The burger’s seen something of a renaissance in Toronto – with boutiques like Craft Burger and Great Burger Kitchen and the popular gourmet burger chains like Hero and South St. Burger Co (Shameless plug: all reviewed on the yummylocal.com site), so W Burger Bar has plenty of competition. I do enjoy a good burger so I was excited to try W Burger Bar.
The first thing you notice when you walk into W is the bar, lined with a wide selection of spirits and surrounded by bar stools that allow for some patrons to eat while sitting at the bar. The interior of W is modern, with a minimalistic interior and dim lighting. LCD TVs are on each wall ensuring customers are all up to date on the latest happenings in the world of sports. We were greeted as soon as we entered the door by W’s friendly hosting staff. We were lucky to have arrived at W shortly before 7 PM, right in time to make the tweener period between the early evening and late evening crowd. We were rewarded by having a table cleared for us almost as soon as we told our hostess we’d like a table for two.
Naturally, W has a burger-centric menu and is structured to allow customers to select their own custom toppings on their choice of one of 7 different proteins (Beef, kobe, lamb, turkey, bison, salmon, pork and tofu – see menu here: http://www.wburgerbar.com/menu.html). In order to get a good sampling of all of the choices (and the way W envisions them to be eaten) I went with the slider plate (15.99) which had beef, lamb, turkey, bison, pulled pork and kobe beef. Since there were two of us (and since I’m a fat bastard), we added a vegetarian burger (7.99), and a side of poutine (quebecois, 5.99). We were fortunate to arrive on a night where pitchers are on special (11.99, on special Wednesdays), so naturally we got one to share.
The pitcher arrived quickly accompanied with carrot sticks and celery sticks, which make for an excellent appetizer, giving us some fresh veggies to offset the grilled and fried fair that we enjoyed. The glasses that were brought for the beer are chilled and the plates we’re brought for the sliders were heated, which was fantastic. I love the attention to details like this – it really does add to the experience.
Beef: The beef burger came topped with chili, and although tasty, I found the chili a little too dominant a flavor and I would’ve like to taste the beef, which for me is a must for any good burger. The ground meat for the beef when eaten by itself tasted like it was of good quality, but a touch under seasoned for my palate.
Lamb: Topped with cilantro yogurt, mint and sprouts – unfortunately mine was missing the sprouts. I happen to be a fan of lamb (which I think should be a touch gamey), so I enjoyed this slider. My dining companion (who doesn’t like lamb), thought it was too gamey.
Bison: The Bison came topped with Sautéed onions, horse radish and house chipotle ketchup. Our slider came with a generous portion of horse radish which I enjoyed, however, I found that the bison flavour didn’t really come through and was a touch on the dry side.
Kobe: I was really disappointed with this one. Topped with sautéed onions, blue cheese, portabello mushrooms and hot mustard. I found the blue cheese EXTREMELY overpowering. Trying the patty on its own, I found it bland and a little dry. I was disappointed with this kobe beef burger as I’ve had them before from other restaurants (Emril’s sports bar in Las Vegas being the most recent) and the flavor of the beef was FANTASTIC. At 18.99 for the full sized burger, I’d be inclined to avoid it, unless the full sized one is made better than the slider.
Pulled Pork: This slider seemed out of place to me – until I saw the rib tips on the menu, which I hoped was smoked in house. Anyway, the pulled pork was tasty and flavorful, sweet and moist with just the right texture. Nice.
Turkey: Just a quick disclaimer, I’m not a huge fan of turkey but W’s turkey burger patty was my favorite on the Slider plate. The cranberry sauce and garlic mayo give the already juicy patty an additional jolt of flavor. There’s a few leaves of spring mix on this burger too, but they didn’t add/subtract from the experience, IMO.
In addition to all of the sliders, we decided to order the vegetarian burger as well. I requested the house toppings which were hot sauce and pineapples. The patty itself was a house-made mixture of tofu, beans and other tasty vegetarian fare. I do have to say that this was one of the better burgers I had on the night. The fact that they make the patty themselves earns big bonus point with me as I’ve had some really, really bad vegetarian burger patties.
According to our server, all of the buns served by W were baked in house– maybe it was because I ordered whole wheat buns with all my sliders, but they didn’t have that fresh baked quality…not to say the buns were BAD, but they just weren’t that good in my opinion.
The fries for the poutine were freshly cut and the gravy was very flavorful. A decent poutine.
While the burgers and the rest of the food that we sampled were good (just avoid the kobe beef burger), it was the attention to other finer details at W Burger Bar that really makes this night a winner. The friendly staff, the quick service and the reasonable prices, make W worthy of repeat visits. If you’re around midtown, I’d definitely recommend giving W Burger Bar a try for yourself.
Phone: (416) 961-2227
Address: 10 College Street. Toronto Ontario, Canada.
Thursday 11:30AM- 2:00AM
Friday 11:30AM- 2:00AM
Saturday 12:00PM- 2:00AM