Review: Shamrock Burgers

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Even though my family visits Canada quite a lot, we still aren’t aware of many of the worthwhile places to eat. So when it came time for us to order-in last night, we were all struggling to find a new and delicious restaurant to order from. Luckily my mom came to the rescue. Being the only one of us who grew up in Toronto, she came up with the idea to order from Shamrock Burgers. Shamrock Burgers is a burger joint founded in 1970 by Danny Maleganeas. It’s been family owned for 40 to 50 years now, and has even won the Hellman’s Best Burger in Toronto award. All the more reason for us to check it out!

For our main meals, all four of us decided on burgers. I chose the Rockstar burger with a few toppings, and on the side, I ordered fries and a Sprite. My sister ordered the Kids’ Burger Combo with fries and a Sprite. My dad decided on one of the restaurant’s most prominenet burgers: the Canadiana (without onions). According to blogTO, the Canadiana is the #1 most indulgent burger. My mom decided to go with a slightly different type of burger than the rest of us. She decided upon the Crispy Chicken Burger.

The Rockstar burger that I ordered, I topped with crispy onions, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, strip bacon, and American cheese. Overall, I must say that this burger is better than any other burger I’ve had in the United States. It was tasty, not as droopy-looking as standard American burgers, and the patty was great quality. The patty was not the typical weird-looking meat that you get at most fast-food places. It was grilled perfectly and had amazing flavor. As far as the topppings go, I was unimpressed with the crispy onions. I could barely taste them, and honestly, forgot they were even there! I would’ve preferred slightly larger pieces of onions so that the flavor could stand out against the other flavorful toppings. The mushrooms, I really don’t have much to say about other than the fact that they were not only the right size so that you could really get the flavor, but they were perfectly sauteed, and flavorful. One major difference between Canada and the United States is their bacon. And I have to admit, I think I like Canadian bacon more! The pieces of bacon I recieved in my burger were the right thickness, perfectly cooked, and so mouth-wateringly visually appealing. I have to say, I think the bacon gave the burger some extra, needed flavor that it would’ve felt incomplete without. The side of fries, I will admit, was slightly disappointing. They weren’t as soft as they appeared to be, and were kind of soggy. But because of the potential the fries had based off of appearance, I think their less-than-averageness was mostly because of the fact that we had delivered the food to our house. I’d like to believe that if we had eaten at the restaurant itself, that the fries would not have been this unsatisfactory.

My sister, who had ordered the Kids’ Burger Combo, was pretty unsatisfied with her burger. She had selected two toppings, being the strip bacon, and the American cheese. At some point, she asked for the bacon to be taken off the burger. She blamed this on the bacon being “too stretchy”. She also commented on the bun feeling “slightly stiff” as well as the burger patty being “too grilled”. She had similar thoughts to me on the french fries, except her reasoning was that they were “too fat and too salty”. Though she may have a point regarding the bun and the fries, I believe that her critiques on the bacon and the patty were personal preference and the fact that she’s quite the picky eater sometimes.

My dad, being the most adventurous out of all of us, went ahead and ordered the Canadiana. This monster of a burger includes “chipotle BBQ pulled pork with peameal bacon and side bacon with carmelized onion, lettuce, and topped with poutine”, as quoted from the Shamrock Burger official website. Though this burger is the “#1 most indulgent burger in Toronto”, I had mixed emotions on it. I found the incorporation of the pulled pork and the poutine into the burger very creative, as well as something that would appeal to most. But to be honest, what turned me off from this burger was that when I took a bite, it was somewhat sweet. Though to some burger-lovers, this might be something that made the burger unique and even more delicious, I cannot get over the fact that I believe burgers should be kept savory. Plus, I’m not the biggest fan of poutine. But, my dad loved it. It was so large, that he could only eat half!

Lastly, the Crispy Chicken Burger that my mom ordered, topped with strip bacon, siracha, pickles, mayo, and tomatoes. Before taking a bite, I was slightly nervous. I had been scarred by yucky chicken burgers in the past. But once I took a bite, I knew that this one was different. It wasn’t insipid, and the chicken wasn’t hard. This burger was so pleasant, it was surprising. The chicken actually lived up to the word “crispy” in its name! The only thing I would change about this one sandwich, is the toppings my mom picked. I would’ve steered clear of the pickles, siracha, and mayo. But, again, that’s personal preference. Overall, this burger was pleasantly surprising, and I did in fact enjoy it.

As extras, we bought some onion rings, sweet potato fries, and some traditional poutine. The onion rings were different from any other onion rings I’ve ever tried. These ones felt fresher. The fried dough surrounding the onion didn’t feel undercooked or like the rings had been taken out of a freezer. They tasted fresh, and high quality. I really enjoyed them, and I think they were a great addition to the meal. I didn’t get the chance to try the poutine or the sweet potato fries, but I know that my mom really enjoyed the poutine, and that the sweet potato fries got a thumbs up from my sister.

In closing, I really enjoyed Shamrock Burgers. They’re higher quality and clearly more authentic than any other burger place I’ve been to in the United States. Though some of their menu items after going through the delivery process were less than great, I believe that if we had eaten in the restaurant that we would’ve had greater successes with items like the french fries and the Kids’ Burger Combo.

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