We’ve had a lot of good burgers over the year, we were unsure of what to expect at Harbord Room last night, voted best restaurant burger in the city. Could it really be better than Burger Priest? In N Out? Five Guys? Big Smoke? True, none of those are restaurants in the same sense as Harbord Room (we needed a reservation). But still, in the end: a burger is a burger no matter where you get it from.
We ordered and soon enough were faced with mammoth burgers, on wooden planks, with a pile of fries on the side. It was a little off-putting given we were in a fancy restaurant, to be served dinner on a wooden plank. One look and I knew I was in for a treat: no lettuce, no tomatoes. Just meat, cheese and more meat (we had both opted for the bacon add-on). One bite and I was in heaven. Pink meaty heaven. The burgers were not charred or grilled to death as you get in some places, nor was the patty so infinitesimally small that you could barely taste anything. It was a giant slab of meat between two delicious egg buns. The bacon did not add anything, it got lost in the burger. The sauce that came with the bacon was delicious however, making the bacon worthwhile. However, in the end, I am not a fan of bacon on a burger: does not add, just gets lost.
It was a damn good burger, easily the best in the city- but it is hard to say that not having all the other contenders there, side by side. One day, one day we shall gather all the best hamburgers and have a taste-off. Until then, whenever I feel like being fancy but want to eat a burger: Harbord Room it is. Nothing beats eating a big messy burger by dim candlelight while sipping wine, periodically stopping to eat some well-seasoned fries- all the while completely ignoring the fork & knife, saving the napkin until the very end.
Dinner is never complete sans dessert. We split an order of the ricotta donuts. They were much better than expected. So light & fluffy, still warm. Alas, it was a small dish. We ended up stopping at Krispy Kreme on the way home, the perfect end to a fancy night. Sort of. It was a lot of food.