The Big Smoke Is In The Air

22 Jul The Big Smoke Is In The Air

We are not New York and we’re not L..A; but Toronto is “The Big Smoke” in Canada, and now the Big Smoke Burger maybe challenging the maple leaf as a national symbol. If you haven’t heard, the Toronto eatery…The Big Smoke Burger, has invaded the US market with the great Canadian bite.  Three other countries are feeling the same invasion.  If you’re mystified, his name is Mustafa Yusuf. He authored the creation of Big Smoke Burgers, structured, morsel by morsel with only Canadian home grown ingredients.  Big Smoke Burger was instantly hailed for its gourmet, grilled to order, 100% Canadian AAA Ground Chuck,Ontario Lamb and Organic Beef; delivered daily and hand-crafted patties. Their signature burgers can be dressed with house-made toppings and sauces that set them apart with exceptional flavor combinations.  Diners that are calorie conscious can also indulge a little. Big Smoke also offers interesting options…like grilled chicken salad, veggie patties and a option for substituting to a lettuce wrap or whole wheat bun.


Their gourmet dipping sauces include: Cilantro-Feta, Spicy-Chipotle, Rosemary-Garlic and Horseradish-Mayo each made on the premises with all fresh herbs and spices.  In-house caramelized onions and balsamic dressing is also made daily. Now their classic toppings include ketchup, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, fresh lettuce, tomato, pickle, diced onions and jalapenos, for no extra charge.   It’s known that the majority of the “gourmet competitors” will charge at least a $1.00 a topping resulting in having an over-charged burger with under-whelming taste.


Customers can also choose from traditional soda or Big Smoke’s featured Boylan’s, cane-sugared sodas, also good ole Steam Whistle, another Canadian favorite, available at the flagship location at 573 King St W.  Lest we forget, the delectable three scoop milkshakes, coming in the classic flavors of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Once again made to order, the shakes are so thick and delicious that it can double as a dessert. Each drink option is a perfect pairing for all that is emanating from the kitchen.


The menu features fresh PEI potatoes, transformed into hand-cut french fries, fresh never frozen, cooked in trans-fat-free canola oil, and don’t forget the traditional Poutine. Quebec cheese curds and decadent brown gravy smothers the fresh golden brown fries, piled high in a tower of absolute necessity. Each mouthful is bursting with delicious Canadian goodness; some have even commented that it could be considered one of the top Poutines in Toronto.  I have absolutely no problem backing that statement, for I found myself slipping into a comfortable food-coma.  The fries maintained their crispiness, the marriage of the gravy and curds upon them was the true definition of this celebrated Canadian staple.

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I sampled this burger with the organic beef, on a whole wheat bun and substituted the smoked cheddar for the zesty jalapeno Havarti. Note to all of you, come hungry; although burgers are available in 4 & 6oz, it’s still a BIG bite. Not only is the entire place once inside, possess the most sensational scent of char-broiled meat, wafting through the air, simply delicious.  I double handedly lifted the majestic burger, had my hunch stance (to prevent any spillage) and sunk into my first bite!  The crunch of the crisp lettuce, juice from the patty and tomato, the amalgamation of the caramelized onions and horseradish mayo; exquisite!  My taste-buds were going off on every cylinder, of an explosive flurry of flavor fireworks!


Next to sample, with sauteed mushrooms, rosemary-garlic mayo, lettuce and tomato, I couldn’t resist to add once again the jalapeno Havarti, Jalapeno peppers and of course belts of BACON!  Here again the hunch position was held and then, I was sent into orbit on a rocket of unctuous gusto.  Be prepared to get a wallop of each ingredient in unison, sending tantalizing beef tingles upon the body.  Here again the fresh veg compliments the cooked to perfection patty and the rosemary-garlic is a welcome foreigner to my ever developing palate; I’ve found a new love.


Last but certainly not least, this dynamic and elegant burger has fresh banana peppers, grilled pineapple, blazing sauce, mayo, BBQ sauce, tomato and lettuce.  I will admit I had trepidation approaching this burger, for I have had pineapple on pizza before, but a burger?  With my no-fail hunch stance set, I dared the bite.  Let’s say I was flipped; like a burger!  It was beyond words, but I will do my best to relay the encounter.  A complete embrace of the 5 senses, the beauty of the grilled pineapple perched upon the flamed patty, the smell of the blazing sauce, the crunch of the lettuce, the feel of the fresh baked bun, the merging of the daring recipe was a rhapsody of sweet sultry seduction.  In fact, I have had echoes of the bite, a welcome haunt to my palate, as I’m sure, it will yours.


Burgers remain a comfort food. The elevated twist that Big Smoke has brought to the beloved classic, has transformed it to a full gourmet dining endeavor.  In this world of  Insta-everything, why can’t we take the time to sit and truly savor a well prepared burger. There is enough seating to sit back and thoroughly enjoy your meal, the 50 King St E location boasts of a stunning view of the famed King Edward Hotel, street lamps lit with gas flame and historic buildings, only induce one to take a slice out of time, and be present to enjoy one of the best burger and fries combos Toronto has to offer.