Friday, September 25, 2009

The Best Burger #4: Johnny's Charbroiled Hamburgers

Funny how my whole blog was started to review restaurants on the blogto list but quickly became overran with Leafs posts. I guess here's finally another post for you foodies out there (okay so there's only one of you but I hope you enjoy it anyhow).

Ah, we finally get to Johnny's Charbroiled Hamburgers, or just Johnny's. If you live on the east side of the city, you've probably eaten here at one point or another. Johnny's is famous for their parking lot dining, their late night service and not having lettuce. Blogto has them ranked 4th on their list. Let's see how they fared with my taste buds.

Location: 3.5/5

Johnny's is located on the south-east side of Sheppard and Victoria Park. It's almost right on the corner and isn't hard to spot at all. Just look for the little orange hut that looks like it hasn't changed since the early 80's. As for convenience, it shouldn't be too difficult to get there by TTC. I assume you would get off at Vic Park then take the Vic Park bus north until you hit Sheppard. Though I would never take the TTC to get there since I have a car so don't blame me if you get lost.

The shop itself is a tiny shithole. The kitchen takes up most of the space and as soon as you walk in you're greeted by the counter. There is no seating available with exception of a bench at the back which is for people waiting for their food. If you want to sit down to eat you have two choices; the park benches outside (if the weather is nice and you enjoy being bombarded by seagulls) or your car.

Taste: 3.5/5

I know a few people that swears by Johnny's and I never quite understood why. I remember being underwhelmed the very first time I tried their burgers actually. I'm not sure if they make their own hamburger patties but they could use some more seasoning as I find them rather bland. It almost tastes like the frozen patties you can buy from the grocery store.

As far as toppings are concerned, you can choose from five: cooked onions, raw onions, pickles, relish and tomatoes. Don't bother asking for lettuce because they will tell you to go elsewhere. They also have ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce as condiments but I'm not sure whether or not they have mayonnaise.

While I'm not crazy about their burgers, they do make a great batch of golden, crispy fries. My only problem is that they serve them in one of those skinny cardboard boxes so unless you carry packets of ketchup with you wherever you go, only the fries at the top will get the catsup treatment.

Now don't get me wrong, Johnny's do make a good burger but I just expected more based on their reputation.

Value: 3.5/5

A cheeseburger, fries and a drink cost me a little under $8. While it's far from the price of a gourmet burger, it isn't as cheap as a fast food cheeseburger combo either. It really is only worth it if you're in the area otherwise I wouldn't drive too far to go to Johnny's if there's a Burger King or Wendy's that was closer by.

Verdict: 3.5 Soup Nazi's out of 5

One thing about Johnny's is that the guy working the counter is a prick more often than not. He's usually grumpy, impatient and pushy. I always feel like I'm ordering from the Soup Nazi whenever I'm there. While their burgers are good, they are far from the best I've ever had. In my opinion, it isn't worth the drive there, especially since the parking outside their shop is a bitch. However, I do have a few friends that absolutely love their burgers so the only way to find out if you'll like them or not would be to hit them up yourself.