Location: 1959 Queen St. E. Toronto, ON, M4L 1H7
What We Ordered:
- Smashed griddle burger
- Signature smoked brisket
- Chicken wings
- Kitchen sink stacked fries
The Hogtown Smoke burger is Angus beef, ground and hand made on site. It came with two patties on a brioche bun with red onions, rocket greens, and fresh cut fries on the side. On the menu it says the toppings are “hot house tomatoes, charred red onions, and rocket greens”, but I didn’t receive any tomatoes and the red onions were not charred at all (you can see in the picture below how it arrived). The menu has lots of toppings you can add, but at extremely high prices. The blue cheese was an extra $5. I love blue cheese, but I don’t $5 extra love blue cheese. I would have liked to see the burger cost a bit less (was $18 as-is), which would make me more willing to stack on some toppings to liven this burger up. I also would have liked a one-patty option since I’m more of a one-patty gal. I didn’t even notice on the menu that it was two patties.
Meat: It came with two Angus beef burger patties ground on site and never frozen, but they were far too dry (maybe a bit overcooked or not enough fat content). I added sauces to liven it up and add some moisture back in. I used the Hogmother BBQ sauce, ketchup, and the wings came with a spicy aioli that I used instead of mayo.
Toppings: The rocket greens were a good choice for this burger. The red onions were cut in rings had that sharp taste red onions can get sometimes. They would have been better if they were softened up on the grill before hand or more thinly cut.
Bun: The brioche bun was very nice but it couldn’t save this burger.
Sides: Fresh cut french fries were perfectly golden, crispy, and salted just right.
I wanted to love this burger, but it was underwhelming and I would not recommend it. It desperately needed a little less cook time, tomatoes to cut some of the dryness, and a pickle or some sort of sauce to give it an edge and add some juiciness to it. It also should have been cheaper (maybe just one patty to save costs), so the extra toppings to give it more flavor would be more affordable.
The kitchen sink stacked fries were to die for. Literally you’d probably die of a heart attack if you indulge in these babies too often. But figuratively speaking, they were delicious! It included beans, pulled pork, cheese, sour cream, BBQ sauce, and coleslaw. It says that it feeds two people but we barely made a dent in it (2 adults and 2 kids under 5).
Clockwise from upper left corner: brisket, wings, kitchen sink fries, sauces at the table
I did not try the wings but they looked plump. I did have some of the brisket and I found it to be good, but a bit dry compared to other BBQ joints and the smoky flavor didn’t penetrate all the way through the meat. There wasn’t a lot of fat on it, which might be why it wasn’t very juicy. However the sauces provided at the table made it less dry and added some zing to the flavor.
The BBQ sauces were at each table. The black & blue was mild, a little smokey and sweet. The Hogmother was mild with a little bit of a peppery kick. The Hogfather was a bit spicier than Hogmother, but not burn your mouth spicy.
Atmosphere & Staff:
Our waiter was great. He seemed nice and genuinely happy to be there and serving us. It was construction season in Toronto so there was banging and drilling in the building next door which could be heard through the walls. We had screaming kids with us at the time (our two year old was acting up), but no one gave us side-eye or made us feel unwelcome. There was nice street-style art on the walls with a chalkboard menu on one side and exposed brick and wood panels all around. There were bench style booths on one side and chair seating on the other (pictured below). There is a patio out back with high-top tables and a bar.
Please note the rating is JUST for the burger, and not a reflection on the restaurant as a whole. Come for the slow cooked meat and kitchen sink fries, but don’t order the burger. This place has delicious meats and other food items to sample that are much tastier.