I Love My Cheat Days: When the Cheat Food Tastes Good That Is!

Another cheat day adventure! I’ve been blabbing on about how I’m eating this and doing that, and changing things up and stuff. I realized I haven’t done a review in a while. Now my diet and eating habits are boring enough, so lets rewind to one of my cheat days and visit the Burger Bar & Tequila Tavern, although on this visit, minus the tequila.

The place had a country western feel to it, with the red checkered table cloths, high stools, old country music, wooden…everything. Ambiance was just that. Country. But on a lazy hazy Saturday afternoon, it was sleepy country. And if you’ve ever been in Kensington Market on one of those warm, sunny, slow days. You know what I’m talking about. Comfortable yes. But to a point where you wish you were lying on a hammock watching the cows come home. Woop-dee-ta….ANYways, moving along to what we came for, the menu and the burgers!

Although the place was country western, menu was a bit of a mish mash of items, more so with the appetizers. When walking in, you’d think it was a cowboy themed bar, and most of the menu was, but if you wanted a country western place with a bit of a variety, then this would probably be your place. Among the menu of burgers, the Burger Bar offered items like Garlic Pepper Prawns, Crostinis, Rapini salads and rice bowls. These ranged from Asian inspired ingredients like the “Dragon Bowl” containing coconut milk curry and bok choy, with your choice of chicken or shirmp, to the “Vegan Bowl” which was practically the same as the “Dragon Bowl” minus the meat. (cue shrug) I guess being in Kensington Market, they wanted to appeal to crowd of hipsters and vegetarians.

On to the burgers. Straight up. Beef. 100% naturally raised Ontario beef. You can get a 6oz burger $8 or an 80z for $10.50. Toppings come with the standard lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle. However, extra “specialty” toppings like roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and even specialty sauces like arugula pesto and tomatillo & avocado salsa range from $1-2 extra. If you’re really hungry you can add even more special toppings like chili for $4, a fried egg for $2, and even another 6oz patty for $6, just to name a few.

Burger. Straight up was my order. CHOMP! Whenever ordering a burger from a place I’ve never tried before, I try to just go for the burger itself with the normal toppings, just so I can get that feel and taste of the restaurant’s meat and how they cook it. One exception on this one, I couldn’t resist trying some brie cheese for an extra $1.50.

When the burger came out, I wasn’t disappointed in the portion size. A true 8oz patty. CHOMP CHOMP. Grilled to… greasiness. Huge burger, great char grill, amazing beefy texture. But for a buger this size, I would have preferred they put a little pressure on top of the meat to soak out some of that grease. Juicy is one thing. But if I wanted a grease, I would’ve gone to a greasy spoon kind of restaurant.

The burger was good, but it wasn’t amazing. I wish I didn’t order a side, because the burger was pretty big. Good thing I had friends to help out. The sweet potato fries were nothing to wow over either. Good, but not great. Slightly on the over cooked side, but edible.

All in all I’d probably try this place again. It wasn’t a stand out, awesome first visit. But good enough to pique my curiosity and wonder if this place was just one of those hit and miss restaurants. Service was nice and friendly, and seating and ambiance was comfortable. The place, which I forgot to mention, has a great patio overlooking the “cleaner” side of Kensington Market. Perhaps on another sunny lazy day, when I’m craving some meat, I’d try this place again. Hopefully, a better cooked patty the next time, although it really wasn’t bad the first time. For now, 3 out of 5.

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