If there’s one thing Allen’s is known for, it’s definitely their burger, which some argue is the best in Toronto. Open since 1987, Allen’s is located on the Danforth just east of Broadview. It’s got a pub feel to it but you’ll find that the prices are higher than the typical pub.
This place is actually pretty well-known for their patio (something to consider in the summer) too and they’ve got a pretty extensive beer, wine and scotch selection.
So, let’s talk about the famous burger. You can get a basic burger for $11.95 but I opted for the Aged Ontario Cheddar Burger ($13.50). Other cheese options include swiss, goat cheese and blue cheese while toppings (which vary between $1.25 and $2.50) include peameal bacon, strip bacon, grilled onions and mushrooms. I added grilled onions for an extra $1.25.
The menu dedicates a good half page to describing the meat they use for the burgers and the burger making process. The meat they use is all hormone and antibiotic-free, coming from cows which are naturally raised in Ontario. They butcher their meat in-house and the patties are formed by hand without the addition of any fillers.
My patty was cooked to a perfect medium rare, just like how I requested. The meat was juicy and flavourful – a simple burger done wonderfully. Our friend Cary enjoyed the burger so much he actually ordered a second one!
My only complaint was that the bun was too big for the patty. The bun was just hanging over the meat and there were just a few too many bites which didn’t contain any meat. You know what I’m talking about!
To accompany my burger, I ordered some Roasted Ancho Chili Onion Rings ($7.95). They weren’t the usual thick battered onions rings I expected. They were limp, greasy and not well fried at all. No crunch whatsoever and I couldn’t taste any of the “ancho.” I couldn’t believe I just spent 8 bucks on this sad plate of onions.
Mike ordered the Cider-Brined Bosdale Farm Pork Rib Chop – with mustard pan sauce, sage polenta, braised red cabbage with apples ($24). The pork was moist and actually tasted better than I expected and the braised red cabbage had a nice sweetness from the apples. The weak point was definitely the polenta which was on the bland side. Not a bad dish but I’d recommend just sticking to the burger.
Overall, I felt the burger lived up to all the hype but I wouldn’t call it the best burger in Toronto. And while I enjoyed the burger, I didn’t love the service or atmosphere so if I have a restaurant burger craving, you’d probably find me elsewhere.
At a glance:
• Open since 1987, located on the Danforth just east of Broadview
• Has a pub feel to it but the prices are higher than a typical pub
• Extensive beer and scotch selection
• While I came in the winter, I’ve heard great things about their patio
• Didn’t love the service or atmosphere
• Famous for their burgers which we all really enjoyed
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3.5 stars
• Service: 2 stars
• Atmosphere: 2 stars