Burger Week 2012. That glorious, glorious time of year when buckets of the best burger places in Toronto decide to offer their delicacies to the masses for five bucks a pop. At one point, they even gather stalls in one area so that one can walk around and sample/stuff themselves silly with amazing burger after amazing burger. Like... as if this week even exists.
We went down to The Stockyards to sample their offering this year, which was a house-ground beef burger with smoked American-style cheese, arugula, pickled sweet onion and brown-butter cornichon aioli.
I'd been to The Stockyards before for their fried chicken, but had heard that their burgers are equally as standout. I was not even close to being disappointed. The smashed beef patty was fresh, juicy and flavourful (apparently their one-smash process helps give the patty a caramelized crust without compressing the meat or letting any juices out), the pickled onions added a sweet, vinegary crunch and the brown-butter cornichon aioli was a perfect accoutrement to tie everything together. And don't even get me started on the cheese. Sweet smoked American-style cheese -made in-house!- was the most delicious twist on an old classic and truly kept it real. Plus, their open-style kitchen let us watch everything we ate being made. If that isn't a mouth-watering, hunger-inducing, borderline painful experience, I don't know what is.
Basically, these burgers were so good that my dining companion ordered two. One after another. While I looked on in envy.
The bad news? It isn't on their regular menu.
The good news? We now know that The Stockyards serves amazing burgers in general. And according to our waitress, their infamous Animal Burger with special sauce and house-smoked cheese is pretty similar to their Burger Week offering.
As I type, my tummy is yelling at me for not testing that claim out sooner. You might even find me there tonight.
p.s. The fries are good, too.
The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder
699 St.Clair Avenue West