Restaurants: Hero Comes to Save the Day
It’s hard not to notice the mouth-watering Heroes asserting themselves around the city this summer (TD Centre franchise pitcured here). The newly-opened, brightly-lit Hero Certified Burgers on Queen Street West had specifically piqued our curiosity lately, so we just couldn’t help but opt for a late night pop-in. John Lettieri, of the Lettieri coffee franchise, opened this burger chain, which aims to deliver fresh and higher-quality fast food to the average Joe.
So here’s the deal: You order your burger (they come in increments of 4, 6, or 8 ounces) and specify which toppings you would like on (or like to omitted from) the Angus beef burger. TOist is kind of a sauce fiend, so we made sure we had honey mustard, mayonnaise, Tabasco sauce, and some Hero Certified “Sauce” (some sort of creamy sauce, although we can’t remember). You can also choose from Mustard Creole, Roasted Red Pepper, Relish, and Corn Relish, among others. Please note that these condiments are all free of charge, so load up at your own discretion. Other custom toppings (which you have to pay for) include an Olive Spread, Avocado Spread, 5 Cheese Sauce, Smoked Provolone, and Boursin cheese on your burger.
The results? That’s a tasty burger, as Samuel L. Jackson might have said. TOist’s 4-ounce burger was still quite tall in height and was pleasantly sized despite its status as the smallest burger – owing size to the large, puffy egg bread bun it was accessorized with. You’d think that a bun of such voluminous proportions might be dry and hard, but, to our delight, it was not so. The burger was adequately sauced, although Torontoist would have preferred a little more Tabasco (remember to specify if you like it hot!) for next time.
As for the fries, they were thick-cut – in the manner of chip-truck fries – but they were much more pleasant than chip-truck fries. Deep-fried in 100% canola oil, the fries came out a bit crispy, yet moist (and not too grainy or starchy) on the inside, and didn’t come off too greasy. While good, we think the fries could have suffered a smidgen more time in the deep fryer so that there would be a slightly greater contrast between the crispness on the outside and the moist softness of the inside…but, overall, this is a decent fry. Don’t forget the salt! As for fry condiments, you’ll find malt vinegar, white vinegar, and the requisite salt and pepper available (and, if you must, ketchup).
For people who hate beef or can’t eat it, you can find a chicken breast, a vegetarian ‘Soul Burger’ and peameal bacon sandwich to satisfy your ‘other meat’ cravings. For people who want beef in another form, the ‘Big Frank’ hot dog is also at your disposal here. However, as this place is all about the Angus beef, Torontoist suggests you give the namesake Hero Burger a try. If you don’t like it, well, that’s your beef, not ours.