Monday, April 19, 2010

    Oh Boy!

    It's such a dreadful, dreadful cliché to blog about burgers these days. Nichey burger shops (and 'Shoppes') pop up every five minutes in Toronto and they all promise to deliver a better patty with better selection for toppings, better fries, better veggie alternatives and better customer service.

    Oh Boy!, do they ever.

    I thought Craft Burger was the cream of the crop in this burger-nouveau world, but I dare say Craft Burger has met its match.

    Last week, on one of those unseasonably warm spring days, I took my bike on a quick jaunt from King and Peter to Queen and Portland to meet my good friend Eric at Oh Boy! Burger Market for lunch.

    As I turned the corner, the smokey smell of the grill hit me. Like a soldier, ready for battle, I came armed with an ammunition of hunger and greed. (Too far?)

    After much deliberation, I opted for the classic, an 8 oz. Premium AAA & Prime Ground Chuck Oh Boy Burger. (They also have lamb, bison, chicken, a gourmet hot dog, veggie, grilled veggie, portobello, an Ocean Burger (fish), and a cutie mini burger that delivers proceeds to Sick Kids Hospital.)

    I added cheddar, and guacamole, which the cashier excitedly told me was made from scratch, in house. She also mentioned that all the buns come from Toronto's own ACE bakery.

    I appreciated the chef's care in distributing sauces. My burger already came with garlic mayo so, adding the guac could have turned into a disastrous sauce overload. Not so. I thought the patty-to-topping ratio was perfect.

    Although tempted by curry fries, sweet potato fries, poutine, onion rings, deep fried pickles and grilled corn on the cob, I (yet again) went for the classic PEI fresh cut fries.

    The fries were the clincher for me. These certainly weren't freedom friesbut more what you would happily expect from a brasserie. Moules frites! Steak frites! Delicate, crispy and perfectly seasoned.

    My far more sensible companion went for the 'Flippin' the Bird' combo: chicken breast with lettuce, tomato, pineapple and jerk sauce. His order reminded me of the burgers that were popular in Australia. (Aside: Eric did his masters degree at the same time as me, him in Perth while I was in Sydney so we both get down like that.)

    Even the side salad offered plentiful choices: house salad or Caesar? House. Toasted sesame or balsamic vinaigrette? Balsamic. We joked that the selection was like a choose your own adventure game.

    We enjoyed our lunches at a sweet, breezy little window table right beside the grill. The interior of Oh Boy! is dark and inviting, suitable for an after-dark crowd.

    If you're a burgery type, I would recommend Oh Boy! in a heartbeat. In fact, my heart is beating just thinking about it again. I want to try their lamb burger, grilled corn on the cob, their gravy and, above all else, their Irish Beer Float, comprised of stout and ice cream. Did I mention they are licensed? Indeed it is so.

    My combo came to $14 including tax and burger add-ons. The soft drinks are unlimited.

    They also have an Oh Boy! Burger Brunch on weekends from 11 AM - 4 PM with Special Breakfast Burgers, Caesars, Mimosas, and Bodums of coffee. Oh joy!

    It doesn't hurt that proprietor Joey McKirk is an Irish lad from PEI with a simple, straightforward philosophy: simple, good food and kindness to patrons. Oh! you East Coast gents, you do it to me every time.

    Rating: 4/5

    Oh Boy! Burger Market
    571 Queen St. West

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    40deuce said...

    I love burgers. will have to remember to check this place out

    Jess Bennett said...

    Thanks for the comment, Sheldon. I want to go back and try one of the million different selections they have!

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