Local Leaside

Location: 180 Laird Dr, East York, ON M4G 3V7

Website: http://localleaside.com/

Price: $17.50

What We Ordered:

  • Brooklyn Burger
Outside the Local on Laird Drive in Toronto (East York)

Burger Review:

I was meeting my Mumzie for lunch and she suggested the Local because (as per her text) “The Local is good” and she had an errand to run close by. There’s free parking in the back and I’m down for going anywhere as long as there is free parking. They had some really nice salads on the menu. But this isn’t a salad blog. It’s a juicy meaty burger blog. So I got the burger, natch.

They have a few burger options, but the Brooklyn Burger jumped out at me because A) I’m a fan of New York and B) there is Red Pepper Jelly on it. I loooove red pepper jelly and was excited to try it on a burger. This burger did not disappoint! I really liked it and would totally recommend it. My first bite impression was peppery (black pepper, not the red pepper jelly), and the cheese reminded me of a classic grilled cheese which was delicious. My only issues with this burger is they cook it well done and there wasn’t enough of that yummy red pepper jelly on it so there were a few bites that felt it was lacking in the sweet and vinegary flavours that I like to have in my burg. But I didn’t have to add ketchup – which is usually a good sign of a near-perfectly topped burger.

How the Brooklyn Burger arrived at our table

Meat: Their patty is ground off-site and hand pressed into a mould and is cooked from fresh (not frozen). I wasn’t asked how I like it cooked which isn’t unusual in Canada but I think if I did have the option to get this cooked medium instead of well-done it would have made a world of difference to improving the patty overall. My first bite I could taste lots of black pepper, but it was not too salty. The patty was a size I like (not too thick), but the bun overpowered it at times due to the thinness.

Toppings: These toppings were perfect together. It comes with mayo, rocket lettuce, onion ring, aged white cheddar, house-made red pepper jelly. My only issue with the toppings was that there wasn’t enough red pepper jelly which meant some bites were missing that sweet/vinegar taste. But other than that, I can’t complain. It was good!

Bun: The bun is a baked in-house brioche bun which was so light and fluffy. I later learned this is because they don’t use egg in the recipe. They top their bun with black and beige sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Maybe some other seeds too but I couldn’t tell. The bun was slightly too big for the thickness of the patty so the breadiness overtook the overall flavour on some bites. But it was a treat to have a well thought out bun that was clearly crafted with lots of love and care.

Cross section of the Brooklyn Burger

Other Food:

The burg comes with fries on the side. They were ok. Very thin and lightly fried. I didn’t feel super heavy after eating them or anything. There was very little salt on them which I think is a refreshing change. About halfway through I wished I’d gotten some salt and vinegar to liven them up a bit. Actually, they would lend themselves really well to being tossed with parmesan cheese, garlic oil, and herbs prior to serving. If you’re reading this Local, think about it!

Atmosphere & Staff:

The atmosphere is industrial cool with lots of TVs and big bright windows. We got the last booth during the lunch rush which was good for us because otherwise all their seating is uncomfortable high-tops. They bring a jug of water to your table right away. I adore getting a jug so I don’t have to fuss for refills. The staff were very friendly and cheerful. And there’s free parking in the back (bonus!)

Inside the Local

Final Verdict:
4 stars

This burger was close to a 5-star for me. Maybe I caught it on an off day because very minor tweaks that were related to preparation would otherwise send this burger into the hall of fame. Not to say the cooks did a bad job at all because I would totally recommend this burger any day. I’ll be dreaming of that red pepper jelly. Yum!

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