What: Menu Tasting
Where: BAREBURGER - 111 Dundas St. W. Toronto
When: Earth Day - April 22
Why: To launch the new International Franchise for New York's Bareburger Restaurant
Twitter/Instagram: @bareburger #bareburgerTO
I spent my Earth Day Dinner in the best possible way. I spent it with some of my favourite Food Writers at a brand new restaurant called Bareburger. The first International franchise extension from their New York location. It just opened in the last couple of months in a really great location on Dundas just west of Bay Street. It will cater to the Ryerson students, the City Hall, Hospital and other government offices and since it's not far from the Eaton Centre it's also convenient for tourists looking for healthy burgers and sides. We were introduced to owners Ragu and Euripedes (EP) and Chef Andrew who were all very excited to share their food with us.
It was fitting that we had our dinner on Earth Day because they have set their food standards very high. They are kind of like the Chipotle of Burgers where their priority is to serve the best quality local food. All of their meats are Free-Range, Pasture Raised, Humanely Raised, Antiobiotic, Gluten & Hormone FREE. Their fried items are cooked in NON GMO Canola oil. Their food is not only better for the planet it's better for your health and the health of the community where the restaurant lives.
Ok I know you want to know how the food tastes. I am happy to say the menu isn't just regular burgers and fries. Their young Executive Chef Andrew has created a great menu with the classic burger and fries fare and then added stepped up additions to the menu.
Their menu has a lot of choice so as Chef Andrew stated he never gets bored of eating food on the menu. For their burgers there are 3 different kinds of buns, select a patty from choices of beef, bison, elk, wild boar, duck, turkey sweet potato & wild rice, black bean & quinoa. Nine different kinds of cheeses, 4 different kinds of bacon, 11 different kinds of sauces, 5 different spreads and 13 different vegetables.
We sampled 3 different kinds of burgers:
- The Standard had beef, colby, stout onions, dill pickles, special sauce on a brioche bun.
- The Blue Elk was Elk, Amish Blue cheese, back bacon, stout onions, pineapple relish on a sprout bun.
- The El Matador was Bison, cheese curds, pickled jalapenos, guacamole, green leaf, pico de gallo on a brioche bun.
They were all amazing, I think my preference was the El Matador because I loved the toppings.
Onion Rings were the first thing we tried and were served with about 8 different sauces and sweet potato fries. We all shared plates so I only got one onion ring and one sweet potato fry but wow were they delicious. Incredible crunch on the onion rings and the dipping sauces were all influenced by big bbq locations in the U.S. where the chef and the owners had lived or spent time. A really great blend of flavours and they use agave instead of sugar to sweeten some of them.
We also had Poutine with smoked brisket and Montreal cheese curds.
We tried a couple different salads:
- Guapo Chop - little gems romaine lettuce, cheese curds, pickled jalapenos, red onions, pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla chips and avocado basil dressing. Ours was served with the most amazing buttermilk battered fried chicken breast pieces.
- Cali Fresh - Baby spinach, cauliflower hummus, red quinoa, grape tomatoes, watermelon radish, red onions, sprouts, lemon tahini dressing.
We also tried a Vegan addition of their Farmstead Collard Slider with sweet potato and wild rice patty, cauliflower hummus, tomato and baby kale wrapped in Collard Greens. Probably not something I am likely to order because there were other things I preferred more but a great choice for restricted diets.
And finally after we were all completely stuffed out came some amazing Ice Cream cookies and a Black & white milkshake. The ice cream cookies served were 3 different flavours, an apple pie ice cream and oatmeal raisin cookie, a peanut butter ice cream in a chocolate cookie and my personal favourite a roasted marshmallow ice cream in a snickerdoodle cookie. They use Greg's Ice Cream and the Marshmallow flavour is my favourite flavour of all of their flavours. The black and white milkshake was vanilla and chocolate ice cream with coffee beans and chocolate syrup on top.
It was a delicious meal and the owners are all passionate people with a lot of integrity. They love Canada and were told about opening here by one of their suppliers. What I thought was really interesting was the fact that they had a lot of their vendors at the media night. There is an obvious genuine connection and mutual respect between them which is always a sign of a successful operation. There was so much attention to detail from the marketing materials to the design of the space to the combinations of ingredients. All carefully thought out.
As a Food Revolution Day Ambassador I can honestly say that I whole heartedly recommend going to this place.
It's a lovely space, the people are very accommodating and the food is just amazing and it's all a win win situation for everyone. I hope they like Canada so much that they open another location in North York so I can become a regular or maybe I need to get another job in the area. I worked in that area a few years ago and wish they were open then because I know I would have been there a couple of times a week for sure.