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Get to know a Chef: Shant Mardirosian, Burger's Priest

Posted by Natalie Chu / April 5, 2012

Shant MardirosianIt's safe to say Burger's Priest owner Shant Mardirosian has converted an impressive wave of burger fanatics. His no-fuss, Californian style patty brings customers in droves, topping multiple best-of lists this past year and even having a hymnal dedicated to its name. Here, he easily responds to recent criticism about his new uptown spot, but remains mum on the status of the much anticipated third location.

Did you always want to be a chef?

Well, that's based on the assumption that I am a chef - I'm not. I'm a waiter that knows how to make a hamburger.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

Policeman.

What was your first restaurant job?

My first restaurant job was at Planet Hollywood.

Shant MardirosianWhy do you like burgers so much?

I don't know if I necessarily like them so much; I just felt like it was something that could be improved upon in the city. And it's something that is just simple and I like it, so I just made it.

What do you like on your burger?

Lettuce, onion and pickle.

What do you like to eat when you're not eating burgers?

I like to eat the Bigoli pasta at Buca.

What's something that should never be on a burger?

Relish.

Shant MardirosianAside from you, who makes the best burger in the city?

I would say Mark McEwan at Bymark. Just because it follows really simple principles of really good beef, loosely packed and lightly seasoned.

Joanne Kates called your new location an "unholy disappointment" yet you have line-ups out the door. Do restaurant critics matter anymore?

No, I don't think they do. We broke records at both stores regardless. On the day that we came out we broke records at both stores, so that shows.

When and where are you launching location #3?

I don't know, I honestly don't. I'm not lying, I'm trying my hardest to get this one running as soon as I can, but I'm having some problems. But once I get this one going then it could be six months, it could be a year. And it will probably go downtown.

Would you prefer to franchise or keep Burger's Priest company owned?

Company owned.

Shant MardirosianRAPID FIRE QUESTIONS

Most underrated ingredient? Pickles

Best culinary tool? Spatula

David Chang or Daniel Boulud? I don't know who any of those people are.

McDonalds or Burger King? McDonalds

Favourite Toronto restaurant? Buca

What would people be surprised to find in your fridge? Nothing. My fridge is empty.

What's one dish you can't live without? Spaghetti

What's one food trend that needs to end? Shawarma

Shant MardirosianView all our chef profiles via our Toronto Chefs Pinterest board.

Photos by Natta Summerky

Discussion

76 Comments

r / April 5, 2012 at 09:23 am
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best burger in the city hands down
keep up the good work boys
2 low priests hold the fries
Picard102 / April 5, 2012 at 09:31 am
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Not sure how to take their "Gospel" on their website. Kind of off putting.
K / April 5, 2012 at 09:35 am
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Teach your Queen East staff some customer service.
MrPotato / April 5, 2012 at 09:40 am
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We need to seperate religion from burger!
auditorydamage replying to a comment from Picard102 / April 5, 2012 at 09:44 am
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I giggle and ignore it. People can choose to believe in whatever odd-ass stuff they wish to, as long as those beliefs don't translate into harmful acts toward others.

I need to stop myself before I start typing a dissertation about rational thought, memetic propagation, anf evolution...
Chris / April 5, 2012 at 09:56 am
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Its amazing how a decent burger can make up for apathetic/annoyed service, crappy fries and high prices. And what's the reason for making the menu useless to new customers and having a secret menu that can't be accessed if the names aren't remembered 100%? And is putting relish on display but it not being allowable as a topping the epitome of being a hipster?
Minion / April 5, 2012 at 09:57 am
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My religion is Banana
o rly? / April 5, 2012 at 10:06 am
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Shawarma is a food trend?
jer replying to a comment from o rly? / April 5, 2012 at 10:18 am
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Ha... yeah, I was thinking the same thing.. Where did THAT come from?

Burgers are okay, if you like the style try Holy Chuck - Yonge/St. Clair - amazing shakes too.... But I find both Holy Chuck and Burger Priest pricey considering what they are, just burgers!
krs / April 5, 2012 at 10:25 am
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What's the big deal with this place? The guy clearly has zero passion for burgers. Just following another trend that should of died 2 years ago.
jon / April 5, 2012 at 10:29 am
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Excellent Burgers!!! I wouldn't say anything bad about the service. They are busy, get over it!!!
auditorydamage / April 5, 2012 at 10:47 am
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I like shawarma.

My partner loves the burgers. Her main complaint about most burgers in this city is a perceived overreliance upon seasoning for flavour. I find the Priest pricey, though yummy. My taste is questionable, though; my favourite burgers were from greasy spoons that no longer exist...
swiggy / April 5, 2012 at 10:48 am
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This guy is ridiculous, he got lucky and thats its. The burgers are more of a fad and they dont really taste that good!!! Five guys is ten times better all around. These guys need to change the way they operate. The price for these SMALL burgers is ridiculous. People OPEN YOUR EYES AND STOP WASTING YOUR MONEY!

Anna F. / April 5, 2012 at 10:50 am
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"The Gospel" - yeah, a little off-putting. Curiously, the church blog has removed the reference to "pray(ing) for the homosexual community" from the July 5/10 entry. Maybe they realized it was, you know, stupid?

As for the burgers, I find them sooooo delicious. Juicy...maybe even a bit too juicy and messy. Worth the line-up, as long as you go during off-peak hours....still a wait, but just not as long.
Jamie / April 5, 2012 at 11:14 am
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Hahaha, Shawarma is a food trend? Coming from the guy riding the wave of burger trends? That's rich. This guy kind of sounds like a twat.
champy replying to a comment from swiggy / April 5, 2012 at 11:15 am
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I disagree with you wholeheartedly. These type of Burgers are not a fad, they are a forever. He didn't get lucky, he took a risk, just like every person who opens a restaurant. Five guys is hit and miss location to location, and even their best isn't as good as BP. Getting filled up for under 20 dollars in Toronto is a decent price. Basically you have it all wrong, and you used all caps at the end to top it off. Go away.
Kyle / April 5, 2012 at 11:48 am
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Is the whole religion/church/gospel thing a little tongue-in-cheek? I require this information. I enjoy a good burger, but what I don't enjoy is giving my business to outright idiots.

Yes - I am taking a burger review there.

At least his first statement is that he's not a chef. One redeeming quality.

But seriously - need to know about the God related stuff.
manwalkedwithdinos? replying to a comment from Kyle / April 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm
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Well in that case Kyle, you may find the answer a little hard to swallow. On the Burger's Priest site are links to sermons and a church whose beliefs are stated as follows:

We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.

We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by his mercy.

We believe that salvation is by God alone as he sovereignly chooses those he will save. We believe his choice is based solely on his grace, not on any human individual merit or on his foreknowledge of our faith.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through his perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in him alone for salvation.

We believe that God is gracious and faithful to his people, not simply as individuals, but as families in successive generations, according to his covenant promises.

We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow him.

We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to take his people to their eternal home.

We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the lordship of Jesus Christ.

misfit replying to a comment from champy / April 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm
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Champy.... Swiggy is right on the money! You just have poor taste my friend
kat / April 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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good burgers, but he doesn't know who david chang is? that's sort of sad.
Pk replying to a comment from Anna F. / April 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm
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Not so fast. The evils of homosexuality are still up on this Church's blog: http://www.gracetoronto.ca/2011/11/prayer-for-the-city-church-nov-14-21/

Bummer.
Yankee replying to a comment from swiggy / April 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm
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Coming from the states, I would agree the Five Guys is the standard but I've had better burgers at the Priest. Every American friend or family member I've brought to the Priest has said that the Priest was better. Five guys isn't a whole lot cheaper but you definitely get more bang for your buck. ie. Loading up the fries and what not.
R replying to a comment from auditorydamage / April 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm
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ok, but when they DO result in harmful acts, you gonna keep giggling? This religion mixed with burgers is annoying. As a gay man, I won't ignore it.
Gloria / April 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm
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A sub-$20 meal is now noticeably "decent"? Jesus.

I really like burgers, but the effort of going to a super popular place, waits, prices, etc. and I might as well go through the effort of grinding my own and cooking them myself. Burgers are just one of those things that I really don't see the point of paying money for.
GRAARG replying to a comment from K / April 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm
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They need a Soup Nazi behind the counter to thin the crowd of idiots out. At least at the Yonge location, it seems to be populated by muppets.
Welshgrrl / April 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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Wow - proselytyzing on BP website a big turnoff for me. Think I'll be giving them a pass ...
Aretha / April 5, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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What a self-absorbed dick.
Tim W / April 5, 2012 at 01:13 pm
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Utterly overrated food and an expected level of smuggery from this guy.

Holy Chuck is essentially the same, its not that food at either place is bad, its just that its hyped up as something incredible and ends up pretty small for its price point.
Kyle replying to a comment from manwalkedwithdinos? / April 5, 2012 at 01:18 pm
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Perfect - that's the info I was looking for. Thank you so much for your very thorough explanation.

You've enslaved yourself to a fictional character.
cosmosuave / April 5, 2012 at 01:36 pm
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Over rated... Burger at Utopia far better less expensive no line up and you can enjoy a glass of wine or beer with it plus the fries are decent...
auditorydamage replying to a comment from R / April 5, 2012 at 01:36 pm
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No, that's when I stop giggling, which I thought I'd made clear in the first place. As a friend and ally of a lot of LGBT people, I don't ignore the toxic, destructive effects of queerphobia.

My partner's going to be disappointed. Magical thinking is one thing - condemning people for inherent traits is just cruelty and hatred under a facade of fake morality. I know that's something she doesn't tolerate under any circumstances either
joel / April 5, 2012 at 01:50 pm
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""The Gospel" - yeah, a little off-putting."
"Is the whole religion/church/gospel thing a little tongue-in-cheek? I require this information. I enjoy a good burger, but what I don't enjoy is giving my business to outright idiots."
"This religion mixed with burgers is annoying."
"Wow - proselytyzing on BP website a big turnoff for me."

The above quotes are about "The Gospel" tab that's on the BP web site. If you don't like it then don't click on it. I don't think it's 'proselytyzing'. In-N-Out burger does it as well. They put Bible quotes on their stuff. Does that make the food any different? I find that people who say Christians are intolerant are just as intolerant as those they despise. Get over it. Stick to the merits of the burger not religion.
If you want to talk about religion go to another website. Search on google. There are lots of them.
JT / April 5, 2012 at 01:55 pm
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Wow, some of y'all are hard to please!

First of all, unlike many other restauranteurs in this city, this dude seems not to be a pretentious douche-bag. He doesn't even consider himself a chef, for crying out loud.

Second, for all the haters there are more lovers. Exhibit A: The line-ups.

Third, who gives a shit if they are religious. No one is forcing you to eat there, further, I assume you won't be harassed to convert as you wait. If they're Christians, who cares. God, the sense of entitlement that comes through in some of these comments is absurd.

Opening a restaurant in this city ain't easy, especially given the high percentage of total asses who live here and apparently comment on BlogTO's posts.

Give the guy a break.
Anna F. replying to a comment from JT / April 5, 2012 at 02:01 pm
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How is it a “sense of entitlement” to voice concern over homophobia?
Chan replying to a comment from Aretha / April 5, 2012 at 02:03 pm
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How can you describe him as self-absorbed? He says he's a waiter, not a chef. Seems pretty humble to me. Do you know something the interview didn't mention?
Sherry / April 5, 2012 at 02:17 pm
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I can't help but wonder how "best" they would be if they didn't have that stupid "secret menu" that promotes an air of faux-exclusivity. You know, the "secret" menu that anyone can order off of.

That being said I do think his burgers are good, above average for sure. But nowhere near "best" and certainly overpriced and overrated.

And he has no idea who David Chang or Daniel Boulud are? I wonder if he's a poser/hipster who couldn't think quickly enough to claim that "he was a fan of David Chang before anyone else knew who he was".
JT replying to a comment from Anna F. / April 5, 2012 at 02:23 pm
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Methinks you need a more adequate understanding of what counts as "homophobia". Disagreeing with same-sex intercourse does not make one homophobic.

Anyways, the burgers are damn good. Eat up!
Pk replying to a comment from JT / April 5, 2012 at 02:38 pm
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You can't blame gay people for getting riled up when they walk into a restaurant and the gospel from a not-so-gay-friendly church is plastered on the walls, can you? Of course we don't have to eat there, and of course we can turn around and cross the street, but I think if a business owner chooses to advertise his moral code on the walls, he's going to get some trash-talk on a message board, no?

Anyhoo, sexual/religious politics aside, i'm sure they're good burgers but I can't stand overpriced chuck.
Urethra replying to a comment from Aretha / April 5, 2012 at 02:48 pm
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That would make him a vag, no?
cathie / April 5, 2012 at 02:48 pm
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1) The menu is useless. Please offer some explanations and it will help move the line along faster.

2) The burgers are good but not worth a special trip. I'll stick with the Golden Star - tastier, better fries, cheaper, lots of parking, quick service, lots of tables.
Kyle replying to a comment from JT / April 5, 2012 at 02:55 pm
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The religious jargon is as offensive to me as if they were to have a certain area for different races to sit. Personally. Don't get me wrong - it's a choice they've made and I'm sure they benefit from it as much as it detracts.

I guess when I think about it I'm just thankful people like this decide to contribute cheeseburgers to our society as opposed to something more important.

So honestly - I hope BP just enough success to keep churning out the cheeseburgers and nothing more.
the lemur / April 5, 2012 at 04:30 pm
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So much about this place seems questionable.
bobby / April 5, 2012 at 04:42 pm
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They need to change their branding ASAP, worst logo/sign/design I've seen on a new restaurant, so uninspiring.
Mike replying to a comment from Kyle / April 5, 2012 at 04:43 pm
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So you equate the exercising of religious freedom with racial intolerance and segregation?
BJ replying to a comment from JT / April 5, 2012 at 09:23 pm
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Ummm, JT, you said that "Disagreeing with same-sex intercourse does not make one homophobic."

That is actually the basic definition of homophobia - the judgement that homosexuality is 'wrong' and the resulting discrimination against a group of people based on sexual orientation, which is inborn in them. Prejudice does not need to be blatantly hateful to be negative.

By the way, once the Burger Priest chose to endorse the "we're all sinners, there's only one right path, homosexuality is wrong, etc." message right on their website, they are opening the discussion beyond "the merits of the burger" as you put it.
Brad / April 6, 2012 at 12:15 am
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I have tried to go there on 3 separate occasions, the first time was late, and they had just run out of meat, the other 2 times I gave up after waiting for 20 minutes.

I figure with so many people hating this place, eventually it wont take so long to try it
champy replying to a comment from misfit / April 6, 2012 at 01:37 am
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My last 2 visits to Five guys, the burger was dry. Like i said, varies from location to location. If thats your taste, enjoy.
Mike replying to a comment from BJ / April 6, 2012 at 05:58 am
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BJ, I'm a practicing Catholic. I don't know if I share the same values with all Catholics, but I completely understand your position and I can't say I disagree.

I think a lot of Catholics get a bad name. I went to a Catholic elementary school and a private, all-boys Catholic high school. I also grew up in a home where my parents taught me that you are who you are. You're gay? Cool. Who gives a shit?

There's a lot about Catholicism that I hold dear, but I hate the idea that the religion is homophobic. What Catholicism condemns is sex before marriage, in general. THAT's the biggest issue, whether it's gay or straight.

But guess what? Most Catholics, myself included, have premarital sex. Does that make me a bad Catholic? Maybe, but I still view myself as one.

I have gay friends and family and I love them all. Their lifestyle doesn't at all conflict with my beliefs any more than my own lifestyle does. I'm not perfect and I don't expect anybody else to be, but I still practice my faith.

Call me a hypocrite (and maybe I am), but my interpretation of Catholicism includes everybody.
Mark Bee / April 6, 2012 at 09:21 am
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I was disappointed to see the religious messages on their web-site. I wont be spending my cash there any time soon.
justine / April 6, 2012 at 10:00 am
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I Love Shant,I love his burgers and I love the fact that he doesn't know who David Chang is. Keep it real!!!!!!!!!
ruth cowman / April 6, 2012 at 10:58 am
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Everybody just relax!!! Go enjoy a burger!
Mark Bee / April 6, 2012 at 02:12 pm
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@Ruth. I will go enjoy a burger. Just not one from this place.
annoying vegetarian / April 6, 2012 at 02:51 pm
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I just looked into The Gospel part of the website, and it looks pretty serious, and not really tongue-in-cheek, IMO, which is kinda scary! I understand that the goal of most religions is for the followers to become the best people they can be, and live in the most loving way possible. Beyond all the Jesus, anti-gay bullshit, I'm pretty sure that that is the underlying message. That being said, I don't understand how one can serve factory-farmed, corn-fed beef, with Catholicism being so important to him. Wouldn't he try to at least use the most ethical choice of beef? Doesn't he care about how his choices impact the earth? Or is he only concerned with what "Jesus" thinks, but doesn't give a crap about the environment or mistreating animals…….
oh brother / April 6, 2012 at 05:15 pm
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When I want to teach my daughter what "sanctimonious" and "self-important" mean, I will have her read the comments on blogto.
David replying to a comment from oh brother / April 8, 2012 at 01:37 am
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Thank you for that comment, it's almost suffocating reading them.

You would get the impression that Torontonians don't like anyone that is different than them. I'm literally blown away that by being a Christian can draw this much criticism. Christianity does not say that homosexuality is ok, either does Islam, let's all start boycotting everyone establishment owned by a muslim. Is that alright?

You replace Christianity with any other faith and these comments are cut ten fold. Let's all have a city where we only go to shops that are owned by people just like us. We can all have fun in our segregated little worlds where our first words into a store are asking what their belief structure is so we can decide to spend money there or not.
Mark Bee / April 8, 2012 at 09:16 am
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David: To suggest people are demanding a statement on a store owner's "belief structure" is disingenuous. No one asked this guy about his beliefs - instead he included a page on his restaurant's web site devoted to proselytizing for Christ. He made it an issue and took the chance that people would react to it, one way or another. Had he said nothing about his religion we wouldn't be discussing it. If he wants to promote his faith on his site, I certainly have no objection. However, he forces people to make religion part of their decision making process when considering patronizing his restaurant. We didn't make religion an issue, Shant did.
David replying to a comment from Mark Bee / April 8, 2012 at 11:13 am
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I didn't mean to suggest that people are "demanding" a statement on an owners belief structure, but exaggerating the point that an owners beliefs would be used against him. I don't think that Shant is going all Westboro Baptist. It's just a link on his website, I don't think that any of us would rail if we found an Indian restaurant on gerrard has a link to a Hindi temple would we? Is he forcing people to click on the link? Is he handing out tracts?
I'm just surprised that more people don't read these comments and are not shocked at the amount of religious intolerance, all the while slamming something for being intolerant.

I'd agree with this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCdCVto2MN8&;feature=related
joel replying to a comment from Mark Bee / April 9, 2012 at 11:49 am
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"However, he forces people to make religion part of their decision making process when considering patronizing his restaurant. We didn't make religion an issue, Shant did."
Did he 'force' you to click "the Gospel" link on his website? Did he 'force' you to read it? I don't think so. It's there for people to read or not to read. I do believe you have that choice.
Mark Bee / April 9, 2012 at 04:01 pm
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Joel: My point was this: Shant chose to include his religion on his website thus making it an issue. If he had said nothing, this thread would be much shorter and focused (probably) on his hamburgers. While he did not physically force me to click on the gospel link, he did force me to consider his faith. He forced people to make a choice about whether or not his profession of faith was something they needed to consider as a consumer. For you, it seems it was not important. Obviously, for others, myself included, it did matter. The point is Shant chose to make his faith public. Unsolicited. No one asked. He put it out there.

You may not like that I have these concerns, but that's your problem. We make all kinds of choices as consumers about what products we consume - for many of us, his proselytizing on his menu sent up red flags. Someone above posted statements of belief from his church and frankly, I find it disturbing. So I have to ask if I am willing to spend money in a place where some of that revenue might go to fund things I find disagreeable. I decided it was objectionable enough that I choose to spend my burger money elsewhere.

Again - None of this would be an issue if he had simply kept his faith to himself. That said, he has every right to put up whatever he wants on his website. And as a consumer I have every right to factor whatever information he posts into my decision as to whether or not I wish to be his customer.
joel replying to a comment from Mark Bee / April 9, 2012 at 04:30 pm
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"So I have to ask if I am willing to spend money in a place where some of that revenue might go to fund things I find disagreeable."
Do you buy gas? That creates environmental damage. Do you buy clothes? It could be from a sweatshop. Do you eat meat? It could be from a farm that doesn't treat its animals right. So where do you draw the line? If you choose to live your life living in that way its your life and I respect that. It's not the way I would live. If someone chooses to believe in something and puts that on their business so be it. Why should that bother you so much? Is it because its something YOU don't agree with? That's life. There will be people in this world where we will not agree with. Can you live with them? For sure. But you already judge him because he puts a statement of belief on his website. He didn't force you to think about it. You brought that upon yourself. You have a choice to think about it or not. What you are saying borders on the absurd.
Mark Bee / April 9, 2012 at 04:56 pm
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I do my best to make ethical choices in what I consume. I gave up my car 5 years ago and use a bike, walk, and take public transit in its place. When I buy clothes I do what I can to ensure I'm not knowingly supporting sweatshops. This year I switched to a butcher shop that sources its meat ethically. (Some would argue that eating meat itself is an ethical shortcoming, and I accept that criticism.) Obviously I cannot be 100% certain that my money doesn't in some instances go to fund things I disagree with - but I do my best to make ethical, informed choices.

As I stated he has every right to put religious material on his sight. You are right - that's life. But why are you so troubled that I don't wish to help subsidize his religious life? I also disagree with your premise that he didn't "force"me "to think about it." He did. I wouldn't have known about his religious beliefs, nor would I have asked, if he had not taken the time to publicize them. Once he made his beliefs part of his restaurant page, he made potential customers consider that when deciding upon visiting his establishment. Many wont be bothered at all and will happily eat at BP. Others are bothered and will make a different choice.

I wouldn't expect you to shop in a store that promoted something you found objectionable - why not extend that courtesy to me?
joel replying to a comment from Mark Bee / April 9, 2012 at 05:08 pm
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The problem is you don't even know the guy. He's posted up what he believes in. Just because of that you make judgements about him and refuse to buy a burger from his place? That sounds very judgemental on your part. I say get to know the person face-to-face. It's easy to judge without getting to know someone. That's the tragedy of the internet and instant information. We can live behind the computer/mobile device and say whatever we want. Meet a person face-to-face and things are different.
BTW what's so questionable about his beliefs? How is what he believes in unethical?
Mark Bee / April 9, 2012 at 06:11 pm
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Are you suggesting I arrange a time to hang out with this guy? He made his statement by placing a link to a very conservative church front and center on his website. The church's statement of faith is, as noted, very conservative, not to mention they believe that the bible is literally true. They write, "We believe that the Bible is the inerrant, authoritative word of God." Teaching people that the Bible is 100% true is unethical. If you want to find out more, read their website. Lots there to see. I don't want a dime of mine spent at a hardline evangelical church.

Anyway, we are not likely to agree on this. I've made my case, do with it what you like.
joel replying to a comment from Mark Bee / April 9, 2012 at 07:15 pm
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I will...by not judging people and accepting them as they are.
I will continue to live life to the fullest and not be restricted by prejudice and discrimination.
David replying to a comment from Mark Bee / April 9, 2012 at 08:16 pm
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You have launched yourself into the defense of the absurd. Read back everything you've wrote, it's such utter bullshit.

You literally are stating that beliefs that aren't your own are unethical, since the things that you agree with are ethical, than the things you don't must be otherwise. If you don't see how close-minded and prejudiced that is.

Also, every single time you make a purchase part of that money goes to something you disagree with. You will never be able to stop this, and unless you ask everyone that you buy from what they believe in and what they will spend your money on, you are not informed, unless it's easier for you to remain ignorant of what certain establishments owners believe in order for it to be more convenient for you.

Bullshit, such confused, deciding what you believe in as you type bullshit.
Turtle / April 9, 2012 at 10:26 pm
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Mark Bee is 100% correct. Shant made his religion a business issue by including details about it on his business website. Case closed.
joel replying to a comment from Turtle / April 10, 2012 at 09:43 am
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Thanks for the comment Mark Bee. Whether the food is made by a Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim or any other religion, if it's good food - it's good food. If you don't like what they believe in and can't get over it, that's your problem. Your attitude shouldn't be something to get angry or frustrated over. It should be pitied.
Chris / April 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm
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I think the furor is stemming from the stance on the LGBT community rather than his religion. As a non-Christian I have no problem with religion being plastered all over the walls and the website so long as it doesn't impinge upon others. I'd have no problem eating somewhere where they is Christian/Jewish/Muslim/etc. saying or beliefs very vocally communicated so long as there's an understanding and acceptance of those with other believes. Where I have a MAJOR problem is when discrimination comes into play. I can't find the passage on their site that is considered to be homophobic so I'm not going to pass judgement until I actually see it or a cache of it, but IF that is indeed true then I think its reprehensible. When someone is discriminated upon because of their gender, race or orientation, the public has every right to be outraged. As a straight man it pisses me off like nothing else to see homophobia so I can't imagine how a member of the LGBT community might feel...this isn't about being "sanctimonious" (how the hell does wanting equality an expression of superiority? Who would've thought Santorum supporters found their way to Toronto?). If it can be proven that there is homophobia then the outrage is merited. If not and if its just a case of religion being prominently displayed then we can go back to discussing slightly-overrated burgers rather than a potentially toxic environment.
Jamie replying to a comment from joel / April 12, 2012 at 09:39 am
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You and David are insane.

Why are you so concerned over whether 1 person decides to visit a Burger restaurant?

Mark Bee doesn't agree with the owner's belief. He is fully within his right to not go there because of that.
David replying to a comment from Jamie / April 13, 2012 at 01:15 am
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Yup, I'm insane.

I'm not concerned whether one person decides where to eat. It's more the "Wow - proselytizing on BP website a big turnoff for me." quotes from above and people choosing to not frequent a restaurant not because he has a faith, but because they know he has a faith. That's an important difference.

I have never avoided going to an establishment because the owners were gay, or muslim, or any other belief than mine. It never occurred to me to prejudice myself because they believed something different then me. I guess it just makes life easier for some to think of all Christians as Rick Santorums, while criticizing those that would characterize muslims as all being terrorists.

Also, if you're not picking up on the not so subtle message through the thread that it's okay to believe in something as long as you don't "really, really" believe in it, than I'd be surprised. Ie. You can be a Christian, but you can't really believe in creation, or you can me a Muslim, but you can't really believe that there is only one God, that is your own.

Maybe it's just the insanity talking, I'm not sure.
Mark Bee / April 16, 2012 at 07:39 pm
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David: I do not simply object to people's faith, but I do consider how they practice it. I go to many shops that are run by people who believe. Lovely people and I have no problem with them or their faith as they practice it.

I don't shop at places that I think practice a form of any religion I find objectionable.
David replying to a comment from Mark Bee / April 28, 2012 at 01:35 am
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I know, I get it, but I find Islam atheism objectionable. However, I will remain to be friends with muslims and atheists and patron businesses that are owned by them.

You are literally defining prejudice. I don't know anymore, if you can write what you can and still not it, you'll never get it.
Scott / August 13, 2012 at 02:10 pm
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@Mark Bee. Sheesh! If you don't like the guy's beliefs and don't want to go to his burger joint as a result, just don't go.

Publicly slandering the guy because his beliefs are public is completely unethical. He has the freedom to express them publicly, a freedom which we can see precisely because you can disagree with him and he can still keep operating.

But as soon as you start going after him like this, it's just hate. You're trying to shut him down, and effectively telling us that he is free to say and do what he wants, but ONLY so long as he doesn't contradict things you approve of.

Who elected you King of Canada, and told you could impose your views on him? Who's the real intolerant one?
animal porn / July 18, 2013 at 05:29 am
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I almost never leave remarks, but i did a few searching and wound up here Get to know a Chef:
Shant Mardirosian, Burger's Priest. And I do have a few questions for you if it's allright.
Could it be only me or does it appear like some of
the responses appear like they are coming from brain dead individuals?

:-P And, if you are posting on other places, I'd like to keep up with everything new you have to post. Would you list of all of your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?
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