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Today I went to the Yellow Griffin Pub to review their burger. Generally i stick to places that are solely a burger joint but Yellow Griffin has 35 burgers and very little else on the menu which basically makes this a burger pub. I had been here years ago, once before, and although I don’t remember too much about the burger (never a good sign) I do remember thinking it wasn’t the greatest. Maybe they improved since then?
So I drove out to Bloor West Village, paid two bucks for parking and entered the Yellow Griffin. It was fairly empty (2 other tables in there) and kind of small (they do have an upstairs party room). No one was ordering (they already had or were already eating) and I sat myself and waited for a menu (this was a sit down pub after all). No one came. I saw a menu on an empty table so grabbed one and read it. I waited. No one came. After about 10 minutes a guy came from the back, took of the coat he was wearing and came to take my order.
I had plenty of time to review the menu. They had 35 burgers such as:
- The Big Stilton Burger: Walnuts and roasted garlic with crumbled Stiilton bleu cheese
- New Mexican: Santa Fe salsa, Tabasco, New Gringo guacamole, topped with
peanut butter, diced sweet potatoes, and chopped coriander all
I, of course, ordered the usual. A single patty (it was 8 oz and two patties would be to big) with a beef patty (they had choices of beef, lamb, turkey, pork, bison, salmon, veggie) with fries and a coke. I ordered the plain burger and asked them to add lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.
He took my order (was very friendly) and walked away. Not two minutes later my coke had arrived. It was a cold can which works as sometimes fountain coke is just, you know, bleh. I then waited for the burger. The menu said it would take 20 minutes as good burgers take time. Fine with me I thought. I looked at the decor of the place. It was typical pub with wooden tables and benches and tap beer listed on the wall. Like I said it wasn’t very big and it did feel a little old (but cozy old not run down old).
I got my burger in ten minutes, not twenty. The first thing I did was taste the fries. The menu raves about the fries, it says they are a cut above. They were frozen McCain fries or thereabouts. A cut above my ass. They were the worst fries I have had since starting these burger reviews. Even the ketchup I used (out of a fillable bottle) wasn’t very fresh or good.
Ok fine, the fries sucked but it’s all about the burger. So let’s talk about that. Firstly, I took a look at what I had in front of me. It was a fairly big 8 oz patty that looked tasty. The bun looked like a Dempster’s burger bun you can buy at any grocers. The tomatoes were cut fine and were just the right size, the onions were sliced half rings and very sparse and the lettuce was a large (maybe romaine) single piece. There were three pickles that were very thick and large. I took one off and tasted it; it was very sour and vinegary and not a great burger pickle. I left the other two on the burger. After squeezing on ketchup and mustard it was time for the first bite.
Ever bitten into something and been very disappointed? Ever tasted something and thought: What the hell is that? Well all that and more happened after two bites of this burger. The toppings were fine and the generic bun were fine but that patty? Was it fresh? I couldn’t tell. Was it frozen? I couldn’t tell. Did it taste like yummy beef? Not at all.
The good about the patty was that it was still juicy (cooked to well) and it had a nice texture. The bad was the flavour and the quality. It tasted kind of like meatloaf, or a baked burger patty or something other than a grilled burger. It was weird and not in a good way. I wouldn’t say it was the worst tasting burger but the flavour I was tasting was something that should not ever be in a burger. It was edible but kind of off putting. It tasted like it had stuff added to it but it looked like pure beef. Suffice to say I was not impressed.
Now other burger places that have these signature burgers I take into account and say their burger (if it’s just okay) would be better if you had the signature burger with the crazy toppings they provide. I do not believe that in this case, the Yellow Griffin burger would be any better. It was not a good experience. It was a sad experience. Sad because the burger sucked. Sad because the fries sucked. Sad because the (took a long time to get there) waiter was nice. Sad because I hate going home and writing bad reviews about a place.
I would not return and I would not recommend this place. Maybe if you go, get hammered and then eat the burger you’d enjoy it but otherwise there are way better places to go, nearby or far away. I’m giving it a two out of seven (I want to give it a one) only because it was still somewhat edible and some of the topping creations were cool and unique.
After I left and got in my car, I could feel the lingering taste of the burger on my palette. It wasn’t enjoyable.