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Restaurants

The ACME Burger Company: All Your Burger Are Belong To Us

Posted by Frank / Reviewed on November 15, 2007 / review policy

mmm...beefy: 100% angus acme burger
Toronto's been burbling with digital chatter lately on just who serves the city's ace burger. There are more opinions on the T.O.'s fave sandwich stalwart than there are obscure pop culture references in a Ryan Couldrey post. And heck, to their credit, you couldn't swing a coyote lately without hitting a new burger joint opening up to near-messianic expectation ready to feed Toronto's nearly insatiable craving for grill-kissed ground beef. Sure, We all think we know the contenders (and the pretenders), but before you post that 'best-of-2007' list, have a look westward cos what you'll find there might just surprise you.

Nestled on a generic stretch of the Queensway tucked in-between strip malls, big box super-gargantuan-mega complexes and the odd purveyor of modular furniture of Scandinavian design hides the ACME Burger Company. The dining equivalent of a borg drone separated from it's cube, it's truly a restaurant in search of a franchise.

acme burger co design-- borg for common sense
The first thing you notice entering the clean, well-organized space is just how generic everything feels. Take in the utter lack of idiosyncrasy of your surroundings awash in a well-orchestrated sense of 50s diner chrome with a hygienic, ultramodern-modern touch. Sidle up one of those blonde wooden tables that could have been purloined from the aforementioned local Scando-shop and if you can pull yourself away from the pleasant flicker of CP 24 bubbling from a flat panel TV above the door, you'll notice the branding exercise that makes this place feel suspiciously like any Harvey's, Lick's, or insert-burger-chain-name-here. It's actually a little eerie. Stranger still is that, as well manufactured as the experience seems, there actually doesn't seem to be another location besides this particular outlet of the ACME Burger Company-- anywhere! In fact, the only thing that's peculiar about a place that seems to be singularly un-peculiar is the beat up tables and chairs out front for al-fresco parking lot diners adding just the faintest whiff of quirkiness.

Luckily, the menu will get your mind off this Baudrillardian space's over-developed sense of simulation as you tuck in to a burger that's far from generic.

Acme's burgers, as the signage so proudly trumpets, are made from 100% Angus beef and come in either a reasonable 4 oz ($4.75, $6.45 in combo config.w/fries/fountain drink) or a healthy 6 oz ($5.75, $7.45 ). The patty's flame-grilled to order: well-done-but-not-dried-out (sorry folks ACME plays by the rules). The standard supporting cast is all there and all fresh with a tip of the hat to Lick's 'guk' in the form of the creamy, garlicky ACME sauce.
y'want fries with that!?!  hellz ya!  acme burger co fries are teh pwonzer!

I order the 6 oz. "ACME Burger Signature" combo (6 oz., natch-- $8.75) which adds peameal bacon and a slice of real cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sliced red onion and ACME sauce and couldn't be happier with my choice. It's a testament to the quality of the beef that it is as utterly tasty naked as it is buried in the works-- toothsome and juicy, it stands up well to whatever condiments you throw at it.

The sides also surprise. Upgrade your combo for a buck and get a fantastically ice-creamy milkshake that'll do as nicely for desert as a hangover cure. Choose chubby, onion rings arriving crisp and piping hot, the perfect balance between onion and batter; or in my case, the fries: fresh-cut, English-chip thick, crispy golden outside and fluffy white inside, ready to be sprinkled with a little extra salt and whatever vinegar or ketchup you throw at them; truly some of the the city's best. I personally wouldn't mind a satellite outlet in my neck of the woods if it meant being a little closer to this stand-out spuds.

The service is also exceptional as long as you're not taking pictures of the place. Pleasant and accommodating to any request, they are one more example of how this place exceeds expectations of the run-of-the-mill burger experience.

So the next time you're hunting for home furnishings out south (no, not north) Etobicoke way and have a carnivorous craving, you should definitely be a little wily and head for The ACME Burger Company--Don't let the sign fool you, it's actually decent diner grub just disguised as franchise fodder and perhaps the prototype for a better burger chain-- either way, prepare to be assimilated...
acme burger company--the first of many???

Discussion

36 Comments

jordan / November 18, 2007 at 01:09 pm
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From the teaser that doesn't allow comments:

Nestled on a generic stretch of the Queensway, tucked in-between strip malls, big box super-gargantuan-mega complexes and the odd purveyor of modular furniture of Scandinavian design, hides the ACME Burger Company-- the dining equivalent of a borg drone separated from it's cube, it's truly, a restaurant in search of a franchise.

Please go back and rewrite this sentence.
jordan / November 18, 2007 at 01:19 pm
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Now that I've read the review, please go back and rewrite the whole thing, minus stretching Baudrillard references, slugs at other BlogTO writers, spelling mistakes, and that mess of a 'what your combo comes with' line.

I'm going to go eat a burger now.
Lyndon / November 18, 2007 at 05:15 pm
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My friend and I must have gone when Acme Burgers was having an off day. The service was horrible and the burgers weren't much better.

The sides were good though and was probably the only good thing about the meal.
Ryan "net-meme specialist" C / November 18, 2007 at 07:28 pm
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After you finish your burger, Jordan, take heed of the following: your website is ugly, none of the links work, and I'd be hesitant to hire a "design studio" for a job when they have to use someone else's stock photography as the primary image on their landing page. Did you just recently discover you could download photoshop off a torrent site or something? BLECH!
Jordan / November 18, 2007 at 07:53 pm
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It's an uncoded splash screen and my own image, thank you for noticing! But I'm glad that you can write in full sentences.
Alex / November 18, 2007 at 08:34 pm
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yay! a cat fight, hold up, i'll grab the pop-corn.
Jordan / November 18, 2007 at 11:00 pm
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Seriously, where's the copy editing around here?
aroob / November 25, 2007 at 07:38 pm
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i'v tried the acme burger , it's really sooooooooooo good ,and healthy.
aroob / November 25, 2007 at 07:38 pm
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i'v tried the acme burger , it's really sooooooooooo good ,and healthy.
natalya / November 25, 2007 at 07:42 pm
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i like it too,they have ahealthy and tasty burger, and fries.
Charlotte Baptie / December 13, 2007 at 08:07 pm
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I decided to try the burgers!! Awesome! Great topping too, everything fresh! Service with a smile! Give it a try!
diaa khuffash / December 22, 2007 at 11:38 pm
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frank you did a great job the place is perfect the burgers sooooooooooo tasty it is realy " mouthwatring would be an understatmant" i think they brought the quality product from fine dining resturant into the fast food chain.The price is fair the place is very clean fresh drop not pre cooked many toppings to choose from, frindly and fast service .
Yee-Guan / January 5, 2008 at 11:44 pm
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I went there just before New Year's Day. I tried maneuvering over a piece of cardboard in the parking lot. That piece of cardboard turned out to be part of the curb, and now my bumper is flapping in the wind.

Burger was good though. Service was superb.
david / November 7, 2008 at 09:24 pm
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New location opening soon beside Aroma Expresso bar in the Annex. Good coffee+good burgers+good falafel+good movies in a row? Cool.:)
Robert MacKenzie / December 19, 2008 at 11:20 am
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I had a burger the other day as I was lost and found ACME, decided to stop for dinner and boy was I suprised...it was one of the best burgers I have had. I will be a regular and hope more ACME's pop up in my home town of burlington.
mel / January 23, 2009 at 09:02 pm
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Had a chicken burger with bacon at the Annex location. They cooked it up, gave me what I asked for on the bun, then forgot the bacon. Burger sat there, shivering in the cold. Waited only a minute though! That's all it takes to cook a piece of raw bacon apparently. Brought it to the table and started eating, only to find a stringy, cold slice of TURKEY bacon. That's not real bacon!
For almost a dollar extra, I was expecting a few sweet pieces of crunchy bacon.
When I had finished, went up to look at the menu. No mention of Turkey bacon. I asked the cashier, she blinked at me. "You didn't like it?" blinnnnnk. "Oh." blinnnnnnnk.
I've been there four other times so far. Good food. Lose the bacon, improve the pickles (those are not burger pickles) and give the staff some personality.
Evan / February 18, 2009 at 03:30 pm
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I went to Acme burger and I found the food there to be amazing. I was very surprised. The place was extremly well kept and the staff was wonderful ( There is an employee who works there and I was wondering if anyone new her name ) To shy to ask!
Over all i give Acme Burger 10/10
Joon-ya / February 19, 2009 at 10:24 am
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I went there last night for the first time and I absolutely loved the burger. As you watch the beef cook on their grill, you can tell it is nothing less than superb quality meat. I think they had a pretty good variety of toppings and sauces which im a huge fan of. Sweet potato fries and onion rings were pretty good too. Most importantly, the burger and the bun were better than the 3/5 that this site had me expecting. I definitely think this place is much better than any fast food place i've been to. Aside from maybe Stanley's in Mississauga, i personally havent had a better burger in Toronto. I also enjoyed the Turkey bacon. Does anyone know if this food is kosher/halal? I eat everything but pork but i imagine people would line-up for this place if it were either of the two. Thanks.
Bill / February 20, 2009 at 10:43 am
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Joon-ya : I don't think there food is kosher nor halal. But if you plan to go back there just ask them.

Evan: There is a lot of staff working there so you have to be more specific but i think the girl you are asking about is the same one that everyone talks about and her name is Khristina.

Hope i was a little bit of help to you :)
Ryan replying to a comment from Joon-ya / February 21, 2009 at 11:06 pm
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I went to Acme Burger on Royal York and Queensway and may I say they have the best burgers I've ever tasted. Extremely clean, great variety of topics to choose from and many different items on there menu.Going back there for me is a must! I was very impressed with everything and extremely satisfied with the food. Great job Acme Burger!

Joon-ya: Unfortunately the food there is not kosher/ halal ... but it would be an amazing idea if it was.

Evan: I must agree with you the girl (khristina) is indeed really cute.
S / May 9, 2009 at 10:46 pm
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Joon-ya, they serve dairy and meat together. That means they are definitely not kosher and probably not halal either.
shadi / June 20, 2009 at 08:07 pm
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I had their burger many times since I have tried it for the first time 6 months ago, I truly beleive it is the best burger in town. The burger is just sooo juicy and hits the right spot. Their fries are addictive and their milkshake is to die for, try the vanilla strawberry mix,mmmm. I give it 2 thumbs up, they won a long lasting loyal customer. Sorry Heros & Lick's, you have been dumped :)
Karen / August 12, 2009 at 10:03 pm
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I have two questions. Do they serve veggie burgers, and what type of toppings do they have?
dravek / August 17, 2009 at 01:44 pm
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Acme burger is terrible. They burn the meat, take forever, you have to repeat your toppings like 5 times before they get everything on there. The "Acme Sauce" tastes like fish/tartar sauce or something, and it blows. Screw Acme Burger. If you're in Etobicoke for a burger why aren't you at Apache or Chubby's?
linda replying to a comment from Karen / October 10, 2009 at 02:50 pm
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yes ,they do serve very tasty veggie burger,and i thing they have over 25 toppings .
Caroline / December 30, 2009 at 05:55 pm
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Acme burger is "ok". Nothing special and if you ask me, There are plenty of other burger joints that serve delicious burgers, nice in size and inexpensive in price - WAYYYY BETTER THAN ACME'S. Try The Flame in the little strip mall at Keele and Lawrence, order a homemade banquet (make sure its the homemade patty) THAT WILL COMPLETELY CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK ON BURGERS FOREVER. Or try Apaches, Jumbos, Dairy Freeze, Magic Spot or even Square Boys etc etc. Acme Burger is alright but nothing too special, maybe if you are into that whole "gourmet" craze.
What I do miss is the old burger joint that used to be there and replaced with Acme. **Mr.Tasty's* was the GREATEST. I remember my dad taking me there when i was younger. AWW I miss that place. :(
david / May 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm
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NICE TO SEE ACME BURGERS OPENING AT CHURCH AND WELLESLEY IN THE OLD HOME OF TOBYS THEN ZELDAS,YOU WILL DO A GREAT BUISINESS AT THIS LOCATION HOPE YOUR GOING TO BE OPEN LATE AS THERE MANY GAY BARS IN THE AREA,GOOD LUCK,ILL BE THERE FOR SURE.
Eric Desbiens / May 31, 2011 at 04:03 pm
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We just went to Acme Burger and all my group of friends were not impressed. The meat portion is way to small compare the price we paid. The pictures they show on the menu and the burger we get is very different. We all felt we paid for an empty bunn.
Steve / May 31, 2011 at 04:28 pm
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what a waste of money!!!....the chicken burger was as thin as a Big Mac patty...nothing at all like in the picture.
2 thumbs down
Alan Hall / April 29, 2012 at 05:09 pm
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The french fries served at the Acme Burger Church Street location are consistantly sub par. They need to change the oil once in a while, and stop over cooking the shit out of them! The souvlaki is also horrible!!!!
Naturally the web site doesn't have a contact/comment section.
S / July 10, 2012 at 05:01 pm
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nspected on: July 5, 2012
Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional Pass)
Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 1, Significant: 3, Crucial: 1)
Crucial infractions include: Inadequate food temperature control
Cheated Past Employer / December 12, 2012 at 08:00 pm
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I worked here at all three locations. .. I warn you now, do not eat here. Owner is an asshole. Doesnt pay his employees right. We have rats and ants. No first aid. They smoke in the back where your 100% angus beef is lying around. DIRTY, you have no idea how the back looks, our fridges leak. they really don't care about their customers, very self serving. disgusts me how fake they act to customers. customers can't see how much he bullies his employers. makes us cry. believe me.. owner=snake. oh ya, that acme sauce everybody is talking about? Well here's the surprise, it's generic ranch DRESSING. Not "garlicy mayo" or "dill/garlic/ranch" just plain old ranch dressing you put on you salad. so for those who compliment the staff saying we should bottle it and sell it.. well its already bottled and sold. we don't make it. we just buy it at the grocery store down the street.

although yes, food is good when we make it right, I refuse to eat here because of the wage theft and inequities I faced and MANY MANY other employees faced working there. He owes many of my friends over 1000$.. pays 8.70$ no time and half, never pays on time,gotta wait a month, and sometimes not even in full..

so understand when I say I cannot SUPPORT HIS BUSINESS.
i'm not saying to stop eating there (although that is what I said starting my comment) I just think if you eat there, you support what he does. This is just a friendly warning..this place has left me scarred. Worst job experience of my life. Ministry of Labour is involved. Support your fellow labour participants for equal pay and their rights!
Marek W / April 20, 2013 at 04:14 pm
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I have a rule NEVER to eat at a place that won't cook a burger rare. Means their meat is sub-par and bought in bulk, not ground to order. I also hate the environment that "Cheated Past Employer" talks about, have seen it myself.
functionalonline.com / July 22, 2013 at 07:03 pm
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Frank Gore, a authentic nike jerseys nemesis for
many years to come. That's the next challenge: Go 3300 miles for a 10 am road game. Dallas has a more realistic chance at making it to the full retail game.
Doodle / March 20, 2014 at 06:48 pm
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QUEEN ST NIGHTMARE!!! Well I went to the one on Queen west, unsafe food handling, I had to yell at the kid, and I mean kid, like 16, and he didn't speak very good English at all. It was like Keystone cops back there with all the fumbling around, handling bacon and meat then with the same gloves touching burger buns and cheese, it was a NIGHTMARE!!! It wasn't his fault it was the owners who didn't give two craps to train these kids how to handle food. I wont be going back.
former employee 2 replying to a comment from Cheated Past Employer / May 7, 2014 at 02:05 pm
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i also used to work here and can vouch for every word Cheated Past Employee said. The smoke IN the restaurant, in the back, I found bugs in the lettuce, once over toasted a bun by accident and threw it out - the manager saw and asked "what do you think you're doing? get it out of the trash, brush off the burnt parts and serve it!" ... disgusting. also cheated me out of money, didn't pay me for my 2 week "training period", the owner literally made me cry and ....yeah this place is a shit hole. you've been warned.

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