Location:5236 Dundas St W, Etobicoke, ON M9B 1A7
Website: Apache Facebook Page
What We Ordered:
- Fry Rings
Apache Burgers is a staple in the Etobicoke community and has been owned by the same family since 1969. The daughter of the original owner was even working the cash when I visited. I frequently see Apache Burgers on “best burgers in Toronto” lists, but I wasn’t blown away by their burger. The price of the food was great, I saw a family of 5 get lunch for about $53 including tax. You hardly see prices that good anywhere. The place was busy, and I understand it’s like that every day. And it should be busy because a family run joint serving decent burgers at a great price is a wonderful thing. I think Apache is an excellent alternative to fast-food joints like the Wendy’s that is almost next door. The burger for me just fell a little flat. Maybe because it’s been so hyped up online so my expectations were high. Or maybe because it isn’t really that good, and people only rave about it because it reminds them of their childhood (the place has been around for over 40 years)… it’s kind of like remembering “Adventures in Babysitting” as an amazing movie, but when you watch it back as an adult you realize it kinda sucked. If you’re looking for an outstanding char-grilled burger in Etobicoke, I’d recommend Woody’s over Apache.
Meat: Thin beef patty cooked on an open flame grill. They didn’t have any info about what kind of beef they use, but it tasted fresh. It was a bit chewy overall and I didn’t like the after taste. But it was well seasoned and not too salty.
Toppings: They have the traditional toppings you’d expect at a burger joint, but nothing fancy. Their BBQ sauce was tangy and sweet and I liked it a lot. I had leaf lettuce, diced white onions, length cut pickles, sliced tomato, mayo, ketchup, and their BBQ sauce. The toppings kinda ruined the burger for me. The tomato was green in the middle and the lettuce was a bit brown on one of the edges. Not as fresh and ripe as I would expect on a burger.
Bun: The bun was a regular non-sesame seed bun, toasted on the inside. Probably a little to wide for the patty size. It was good, but not mind blowing.
I had the fries and rings combo. The fries were yellow and a bit soft. I’d love to see them cooked a little more to get crispier. The onion rings were generously breaded. They had no malt vinegar which I would have liked. I saw poutine on the menu and the guy beside me was chowing down on it. Looked decent but I didn’t have any.
Atmosphere & Staff:
This place has the deep down worn that you’d expect from an old burger joint with a lot of traffic. The floors are sticky, and you can see in the baseboards that this place has years of use built up. But the kitchen surfaces look clean, and one of the guys came by and wiped down the tables while I was there. They take cash only but they have an ATM. The decor is 50’s diner with the exception of two identical back-lit round cartoon drawings of a Native American wearing a headdress (see below). I was taken back when I saw it because it reminded me of the Washington Redskins logo which is now recognized as being culturally insensitive and are being called on to change their name and iconography. I think the restaurant is owned by a Greek family, so I just can’t place the connection to Native Americans other than the restaurant name. But I truly don’t know the history of the owners, or why the place was named Apache (The Apache are a group of Native American tribes), or the origin of the artwork. There could be a great feel-good cultural significant story behind it. I’m not casting any judgement here because I don’t know the back story. My point is only that in the moment that I saw it, it felt very out-of-place in the otherwise family run 50’s diner look complete with neon guitar and Marilyn Monroe mural. If the place was packed with art from Native American artists or historic photographs, I would have liked that much better as an homage to the Apache namesake.
Meh. That’s what I have to say about this burger. It certainly is a decent, traditionally topped char-grilled burger. Since it’s inexpensive and from a family run joint with ample parking, I do recommend it if you’re in the area. But don’t go out of your way.