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For a few weeks, if not months I have tried to review Steer Inn Burgers for this blog. It is the last burger stop in my general area and it was high time I reviewed them. The first time I went it was closed due to a power outage. The second time it was closed still and I thought they must be closed for good.
Then I was passing the area one fine day and lo and behold Steer Inn was still open. I made a plan to return within the week and that I did. It wasn’t the first time I’d be eating this burger but it would be the first time since I started reviewing burgers, the first time sober and the first time during the day.
So Steer Inn is like Golden Star and so many other old school burger joints in the GTA. By that I mean it is a typical truck stop style burger joint with a 60’s/70’s feel and decor, with the menu listed above the counter and consisting of burgers, steaks on buns, souvlaki and such.
From the somewhat crusty and bad tempered cook/cashier/owner (s) (they are actually nice guys once you get to know them) I ordered a double burger, fries and a coke. The patties was placed on the grill right away and the fries in the fryer. The patties were of the frozen variety, the fries fresh cut.
Not long after my freshly toasted bun was ready, the patties were placed on top and I was ready to pick my condiments from the condiment counter a la Harvey’s. What did I pick? Onions, ketchup, mustard, tomato, lettuce and pickles of course. The mustard wasn’t a squeeze bottle, rather a large silver bowl and it kind of seemed old and crusted, like it had been sitting in this bowl for a long time untouched.
I asked for a side of BBQ sauce and I was told it would be extra. Having already paid I opted out of it and a little peeved about it I grabbed my food and went to sit down. I tasted the fries and then kept eating them. Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! Thick and crispy with a soft centre and an abundance of flavour. After about a quarter of them I unwrapped my burger and took a look.
The patties looked delicious, they fit the large unseeded kaiser bun perfectly and most of the toppings looked fresh enough. Chopped onions (perfect) sliced pickles, fresh looking tomatoes and just the right amount of ketchup. The mustard I already mentioned as looking old and the shredded iceberg lettuce looked a little wilted and old as well.
Taking a bite a little bit of beef juice dripped from the burger, so yeah it was juicy enough. And it tasted alright, nothing to complain about there and the toppings were all fine tasting. The pickle a tad overpowering; the lettuce almost non existent. The bun though was excellent, sturdy, starchy, held together well and tasty. Great bun and the best part of the burger.
I say this because now I return to the patties. All beef? Check. Tasty? Check? Quality? Ummm… Fresh? Nope. While I don’t mind eating this burger there is a reason why I haven’t been so many times times throughout the years when I have lived a stone’s throw away.That reason is that there is nothing different or special about this burger in the slightest. It is a typical frozen patty (that has been defrosted) and grilled to order. It tastes just like a million other places (Dairy Freeze and Golden Star’s non homemade burger just to name a few) and I could honestly make the exact same burger at home, if not better.
Maybe in 1979 when there was very little to no competition for burgers this placed rocked but today it’s very very generic. It’s not bad, I’ve had worse but honestly I wouldn’t ever run back and I never have. It’s not inedible, it’s not dry, it’s not bad but in the end it’s just not very good. It lacks distinction and originality and just knowing this alone sends me to anywhere but here (unless it’s two in the morning on a Saturday and I don’t want McDonald’s).
Now the fries (and the onion rings) that’s a different story and they make this place worth a visit (at least once).
Out of 7 Steer Inn Burgers scores 3