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Restaurants

Big Moe's Burgers

Posted by Guest Contributor / Reviewed on April 20, 2012 / review policy

Big Moe's BurgersBig Moe's Burgers is serving Scarborough residents gourmet burgers in an unorthodox location. Tucked in the plaza behind the Petro Canada on the southeast corner of Kennedy and Steeles, the small burger joint offers an alternative to the predominantly Asian offerings in the vicinity of Pacific Mall.

Big Moe's BurgersThe two of us arrived mid-afternoon on a rainy Sunday, put in our order and grabbed seats at the counter top facing the window (seats about 10) which filled up surprisingly fast. The crew of three looked a little overwhelmed with the traffic, especially after a few take-out orders came via phone. The food took about 25 minutes - a bit longer than expected for a burger.

I opted for the Juicy Lucy ($6.79), Big Moe's signature burger stuffed with gooey cheese in the middle and your choice of typical burger toppings. We also couldn't resist from trying the Foot Long Twister Dog ($6.49) and my dining partner wanted to sample the Funnel Cake ($6.99) with Vanilla Ice Cream ($1.99) and Strawberry Sauce ($1.99) as well.

The burger itself is a round 5oz fresh ground patty pressed into shape on the griddle in a similar fashion to The Burger's Priest. It was indeed juicy, not overcooked and held together quite nicely with cheese oozing out of the middle with every bite. On the negative side I found the amount of toppings given to be lacking and would've liked the bun to be toasted a bit.

Big Moe's BurgersThe Foot Long Twister Dog (a foot long hot dog wrapped in their tornado fries) was reminiscent of something you might find at the fair or amusement park. I enjoyed the fresh cut spiral of Tornado Fries but the hot dog was quite overcooked and dry.

Big Moe's BurgersLastly, the Funnel Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Strawberry Sauce was actually comparable to the one most people are familiar with at Wonderland. Deep fried batter with a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with hot strawberry sauce and finished with powdered sugar - it's hard to go wrong.

I would definitely put in the extra effort to grab a burger from Big Moe's rather than any neighbouring fast food joints. The Juicy Lucy is definitely some I could see myself craving every once in a while and I honestly think Big Moe's currently offers the best burger in the Scarborough / Markham area.

Big Moe's BurgersWriting and photos by Bryan Chang

Discussion

48 Comments

Moooooooooo!@ / April 20, 2012 at 09:19 am
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Thanks for the heart disease!
Rich / April 20, 2012 at 09:21 am
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I swear, people in this city have watched too much Man vs. Food and think they can emulate every shitty spot shown on that show. Its transparent people... so very transparent!
Foodie replying to a comment from Rich / April 20, 2012 at 09:34 am
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I know! I had no idea what these so-called "hamburgers" where before I saw that show, now they're everywhere!
amanda / April 20, 2012 at 09:41 am
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I'm interested in trying this place! but lets not forget about goody's...http://girl.heartless-ink.com/dinner-at-goodys-diner/
Rich replying to a comment from Foodie / April 20, 2012 at 09:43 am
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Failing at trolling isn't hard apparently.

Here champ:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnLIzIu1by4

Aaron / April 20, 2012 at 09:45 am
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Rich with all due , You are transparent!
What is wrong with people in Toronto being such haters towards bringing different , albeit not original , things to this wonderful city so we can enjoy them too. This is much better then bring US chain restaurants here and killing off local business.
Foodie replying to a comment from Rich / April 20, 2012 at 09:55 am
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Trolling and sarcasm are two different things, my friend.
Aaron / April 20, 2012 at 09:57 am
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All due respect that is :)
Nmw / April 20, 2012 at 09:57 am
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Good food but I found the kitchen extremely disorganized and I waited at least 15 minutes for my simple order of 1 burger. Not worth it unless they can get you out the door quickly.
Rich replying to a comment from Aaron / April 20, 2012 at 09:57 am
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The sheer lack of creativity? The importing of shitty food trends that are unhealthy? Think you need to read this recent BlogTO interview with James Chatto, in particular his following comments which I whole heartedly agree with:

http://www.blogto.com/people/2012/04/toronto_through_the_eyes_of_james_chatto/

"How would you assess Toronto's restaurant offerings on a global scale? What's the Toronto restaurant scene currently lacking?

We're going through a reactionary, recessionary phase where simplification is the order of the day. Burgers, pizza, mac 'n' cheese... Childish stuff. Toronto's gastronomy isn't as multi-faceted as it used to be. It's casual and comfortable and there's lots of good food but it's missing a lot of the old originality and any sort of intellectual risk. I used to brag that we were one of the top three cities in North America for food. That's no longer true. Not just because of the dearth of traditional fine dining - Scaramouche and Langdon Hall would attract Michelin's attention but that's about it - but because so much of what's new falls within the same narrow focus.

We have a really talented, really committed group of young chefs who are now entering their prime, but so many of them are painting the same picture with the same small spectrum of pigments and the same repetitive patterns. It's strange that they grew up eating from 100 different cultures within the GTA but all they want to put on their menus is charcuterie and home cooking from the Italian diaspora. Yes, thank Sooty and Sweep, there are exceptions, but why play checkers when you can play chess?"
MB / April 20, 2012 at 10:05 am
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And here my first thought was "hey, cool, you really can get anyone's hometown delicacy in this city."
aaron replying to a comment from Rich / April 20, 2012 at 10:06 am
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My friend , Life is short and to indulge in some what you call shitty food once and a while is one of life's pleasures , lighten up , its a burger joint for those who want a decent homemade burger , not a political debate
giggity / April 20, 2012 at 10:25 am
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Question about location - is it in the northeast corner's plaza or am I reading the googley map wrong?
aaron / April 20, 2012 at 10:27 am
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It is the south east corner of Kennedy and Steeles , it is in a tiny plaza with sushi and massage parlours.
Foodie replying to a comment from aaron / April 20, 2012 at 10:39 am
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So you can go for a burger and happy endings in one stop?
aaron replying to a comment from Foodie / April 20, 2012 at 10:43 am
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Yes Foodie you can , but you can pretty much do the same because every plaza in Scarborough has one , sometimes 2 ...
aaron replying to a comment from Foodie / April 20, 2012 at 10:44 am
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* same everywhere
Joe Scratch / April 20, 2012 at 10:48 am
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I've been and it's not really worth going unless you have tons of time to kill and you absolutely have to try every Priest-imitating burger joint in the city.
Foodie replying to a comment from Joe Scratch / April 20, 2012 at 10:52 am
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Well I think Aaron has solved the issue of what you can do while you wait for your burger.
Joe Scratch replying to a comment from Foodie / April 20, 2012 at 11:00 am
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But then my $10 burger would turn into a $50 burger and milkshake
Andrew replying to a comment from Rich / April 20, 2012 at 11:36 am
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Rich, you need a lesson in context.

First, this is Scarborough; the demographics @ Kennedy and Steeles will simply not support a restaurant as ambitious and creative (i.e. expensive) as the one you are dreaming about. And you know all those "childish" re-creations of DELICIOUS (albeit, unoriginal) comfort food? Well they haven't been spreading across Scarborough, and while recent efforts such as Smokin Hick's (closed) and Goody's Diner provide counter-examples, these joints are few and far between; Moe's, no matter how "repetitive" their cuisine, are a welcome alternative to Wendy's, and the plethora of Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Middle Eastern options we enjoy here.

And you can always bring creativity to the same narrow scope; burgers are just like anything else and can be tweaked in an infinite number of ways; the grind, the spicing, the mix, the medium etc. From the looks of the picture in this article, that burger is on the rare side and that alone puts it miles ahead of the competition here.

Second, I doubt the owner of Moe's is a newly minted culinary grad, and so likely doesn't have the confidence or capabilities to pull of resto worthy of "Michelin's attention" (or your approval...what a shame).

But perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe he or she is the best of his/her class, fresh out of George Brown. Why pigeonhole the chef to any type/level of cuisine? The best food comes from people's passions, and if they are passionate about burgers than let 'em be. At the end of they day, the owner of Moe's has to live with the success or failure of this restaurant; he or she can't afford to consider the more abstract notions of Toronto's food culture, and certainly not your current inability to brag. Considering my first point, this makes burgers all the more appropriate.

Third, what does this place being unhealthy add to your argument? Healthy is not necessarily creative, and tons of creative places can be unhealthy. If you don't want unhealthy food, then don't eat here. It's that simple.

Rich, while I agree with you on many points in general, and sympathize with your overall worries, save your griping for where it would be more appropriate and effective: restaurants in the core.
Marilyn Lastman / April 20, 2012 at 11:58 am
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Who are Sooty and Sweep???
Akswun / April 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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Wow. Just saw this blog post this morning and I work nearby and decided to come here for lunch. Got here at 1210. And it's exactly 1250 right now and I still don't have my food. Three people running the place. And zero sense of urgency. I think this blog post is goin to be the death of this place today tomorrow and the future. They need some real line cooks up in here. The expoditor and the two other lowly peons have had like 4 thought blocking moments it hurts to watch this. Oh btw these guys are extremely generous with the salt, fries and burgers. Think McDonald's xmillion. I'm starving and still waiting. This will probably be my first and last visit to this place.
hungry / April 20, 2012 at 01:13 pm
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I LOVE HAMBURGERS! THIS IS GREAT!
Aaron replying to a comment from Akswun / April 20, 2012 at 01:24 pm
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How can you state on your first visit before you get the food that they are "extremely generous with the salt, fries and burgers. Think McDonald's xmillion" without tasting the food. I get that your peaved that they took long and if your saying you waited 40 minutes and still didn't have your food I am interested in knowing what they said when you brought this up to them ... Do tell
Kyle replying to a comment from Akswun / April 20, 2012 at 01:27 pm
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Didn't realize people got lit up on meth and then went for hamburgers. :)

I don't really know what you're saying.
akswun replying to a comment from Aaron / April 20, 2012 at 02:14 pm
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I hear what you're saying, and was suprised the amount of salt that I saw them put on it didn't translate to the fries or the burger. So yes my statement was exagerated but when I did see the cook salt up the fries and burgers it looked a little too generous.

And I did not bring it up to them that they took too long to prepare my order. There wasn't a line-up getting into this place and about 6 people ahead of my coworker and I waiting. I should have said something but that would have just riled up the other customers who were waiting as well causing a melee of complaints and pretty much no one getting their food. I'm on my lunch break, I want my food, preferably in a timely manner, 20mins in a sit down resto is too much time to wait. This is supposed to be a 'fast food' joint, no?

I was a line cook for years and 3 people running a place like this was extremely inadequate. One on the flat top, one guy on expo and one at the cash. Zero communication, zero urgency, which is effed up because you're cooking shit infront of your customers.

Eventually when some of us got our food and all decided to get our food to go we all questioned each other if any of us had been there before and some said they have and had never had to wait 50mins. So maybe its a freak occurance which can happen, but non of the employees acknowledged our frustration waiting for our food. Yes I could have said something but these guys were right in front of our faces. These guys were in the weeds! Like the tall grass where crocodiles dwell.

Anyway, as for the burger itself, there was no cheese in it like the above picture presented. Dry and overcooked/crispy the only saving grace was the amount of mayo/sauces to wet it up. The fries were a bit soggy but edible. Crispy burger/Soft fries???(isn't it supposed to be the other way around?) Nothing about the food stood out to me, but at this point the long wait just made me overly biased. Could've drove to Five Guys at Eglinton and Warden, ate there, and still make it back in time within the hour to enjoy a smoke.

Big Moes= Big Fail
Chana / April 20, 2012 at 03:26 pm
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That burger's innards looks like a zit I popped once.
Aaron replying to a comment from akswun / April 20, 2012 at 04:04 pm
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Thanks for clearing up the salt confusion.
I think you might need to order the Big Moe to get cheese in the middle.
If I was in a fast food place and it took more then 10 minutes for my food I would speak with them about it right them and there , regardless of the other customers. They might have actually taken it constructive and made improvements. But I guess it all depends on the person , some people will help people succeed others will keep it in and them go complain to everyone else but the actual person they need to talk to ...
Akswun replying to a comment from Aaron / April 20, 2012 at 04:57 pm
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I dunno about ordering another sandwich from them. I ordered their signature burger and got something mediocre. Youre right I could have made a stink and 'maybe' it could pour some more insight into the employees and hopefully the owner. But I left the food industry years ago, I'm a consumer not a secret shopper or management. If I I'd complain that very moment I'm sure that would have added another 10-15minutes to my already lengthy wait time. I don't expect to wait an hour for a meal that should only take 15mins max considering a lineup.
I'm not complaining here on blogTO. I'm giving fellow torontonians my experience at this establishment. And unfortunately it sucked. I'm sure other people will different experiences but if I heeded the warnings of earlier commenters then I could have avoided this headache.
I get the sense that you think I'm trolling here but far from it. I enjoy food and what our city brings to the table. BlogTO has become a go to place for suggestions. And they have suggest some very good places but there are bad ones as well.
Maybe if Big Moes steps up their game I might try it again but at this point in time I'm sure the waits will be just as long with zero attention to paying customers.
jen / April 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm
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This is CNE food lol.
Food / April 21, 2012 at 09:10 pm
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Just went to this place today because I read about it. AHHHmazing burger! Uber-friendly, smiling staff, gave us a full-size sample of something they are going to put on their menu soon, red velvet ice cream sandwich. It will be a hit, seriously. The veggie burger was chick peas & parsley, seasoned perfectly and probably was one of the best I had ever had. Crispy, thin, and delicious, yum. Burger grinder on site, fresh russet potatoes are super good with different seasonings to choose from. Funnel cake looked crazy, no room this time, but I will be back!!!
D Bazinga Guy / April 22, 2012 at 06:41 pm
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Had a hamburger combo today with tornado fries. Find the patty quite sloppy, falls apart in pieces, and definitely too little lettuce, tomatoes etc. The bun of the burger would taste better if its heated longer or toasted. Overall, the taste of the burger is average good, but doesn't wow me.

Would go there again to try something different, like funnel cake.
Clayton / April 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm
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some of you need to calm down...i've eaten at some of the top restaurants in T.O. and 3-star michelin restaurants in new york and paris...while i agree with certain of james chatto's criticisms of the toronto restaurant scene, this is just a burger joint in markham...
Keith / April 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm
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Had the juicy Lucy. Service was not the quickest, but meat was fresh... Cheese had that blck diamond taste so a little oily. Everything was Halal which is great for those that need it.
Good if in the neighborhood but not a destination food trip. Would I go again sure.. Would I go out of my way for it...nope. I live a couple blocks east of the burger priest and go there rarely as well.
Best burger ( when they get it right) is The Grille on the queensway.... But they are inconsistsnt.
TEE / April 29, 2012 at 12:22 am
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Heehee my phys ed teacher so happens to be Big Moe himself !
Funky / June 16, 2012 at 05:17 pm
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Best burger in Toronto! It even beats Burger Priest..
Petero1818 / July 25, 2012 at 08:46 pm
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Here is the thing. Until 2 years ago Toronto didn't have a decent fast food burger to save its life. Why? Because when you grill (as opposed to griddle) a thin burger to medium well you might as well slap shoe leather between your bun. Toronto has had many who do what they can in that situation and some have been better than others at it. But at the end of the day, good "smoke" flavour and condiments does not make a great hamburger. The griddle burger trend in Toronto is a welcome change. Places that grind their own meat and are cooking to order are great. The more the merrier. We have burger places on every corner. There is no reason they cant be good is there?
Joely / July 29, 2012 at 06:45 pm
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Tried Big Moe's today because of this site. My burger was way over cooked and actually very dry which is pretty remarkable considering theres cheese in the middle. Fries were nice and crunchy, but they I won't return. I'd take a third angus burger from McD's anyday over poorly cooked fresh ground beef.
Golds / December 23, 2012 at 08:56 pm
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I would like to start off by letting you know that i went to Big Moe's because there were so many mixed reviews, which made me want to go there to try it out. I had the Juicy Lucy, which is honestly a great burger, it is in fact quite greasy, but well made, and the meat tasted fresh. The only complaint I had about this burger was that that patty was a little small for my liking. For my side I ordered the Poutine, which was another great choice! This is one thing on the menu that I would urge you to try if you are a poutine fan, this joint is definitely going to be on my top 5 list. Moe's serves up an order of fresh cut home made fries, with the skins on, and doesn't pour on the salt like many other places, and the gravy is a perfect compliment to the tender fries, its full of flavor, and they are not stingy with it either, my fries were fully coated, and there was a little extra on the bottom. It was perfect!

My sister had the veggie patty, which was huge! Both in size and full of flavor. Shes a really picky eater, but today was one of those rare occasions where there was nothing but praise about the tasty entree. I didnt get to taster her burger, so there isnt much more I can tell you about that...

Lastly we also had a funnel cake. I can tell you that they do have a great batter, and it does taste wonderful when its cooked, however they make it twice as thick as it should really be, and that means that the middle wasn't cooked. I hope that they keep the recipe consistent, but fix the quantity poured into the hot oil. I think it was about 2.5 inches thick, and there was no space for the cake to cook through cause there were no holes like wonderland does it. If they get on that they would have funnel cakes that are better then Wonderlands I think because their strawberry syrup really is better and thicker then the one at wonderland. My sister and I just ended up eating around the edges and the rest went into the garbage, which was wasteful..

I would definitely go again, and would highly recommend that you try it out if you would like to have a great homestyle burger, great veggie options, and fantastic fries! This stop has the feel of a mom and pop burger joint, and has unbelievably friendly staff, but you do have to wait sometime to get your food, but that is the cost of fresh!

I hope this review gives you some good insight into what this joint has to offer, let me know what you think if you get a chance to drop by. Hopefully they will have perfected the funnel cake by then, enjoy :)

P.S. And for all of you commenting on heart disease, and artery clogs, we all know you want to eat these juicy burgers too! why else would you be on this site commenting on the food here? Everyone needs a treat once in a while, but like everything else please enjoy in moderation.
Thailand Phi Phi Island Tsunami / April 26, 2013 at 02:56 pm
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I comment whenever I appreciate a article on a site or if I
have something to add to the discussion. It's caused by the sincerness displayed in the article I looked at. And on this article Big Moe's Burgers.
I was actually moved enough to leave a commenta
response ;-) I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it's allright. Could it be only me or do a few of these comments appear like they are coming from brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting on other sites, I'd like
to keep up with everything fresh you have to post.
Would you list all of your public pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
Vernita / April 29, 2013 at 10:14 pm
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Anas Hamed / June 20, 2013 at 01:46 pm
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Amazing Burgers. I highly recommend coming to this restaurant.
SSMT / October 16, 2013 at 04:30 pm
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Best burgers around and they are open late! From the grinder to the grill is all you need to know. Sometimes the burger takes a little longer than expected but you will be pleased when you take your first bite!
kxc / October 29, 2013 at 04:45 pm
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To make it an even more cheap eats, they have Toonie and a half ($2.50) Tuesdays! Which is a cheeseburger w/lettuce, ketchup and mayo if you want the other toppings like onions and tomatoes it's another .50 which kinda sucks but hey it's only $2.50. Not much to complain.
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professional photography / February 28, 2014 at 06:46 pm
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I don't drop a bunch of comments, however after
reading a bunch of responses on this page Big Moe's Burgers.
I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you tend
not to mind. Could it be just me or do some of the responses come across as if they are left by brain dead
individuals? :-P And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I'd
like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Could you make a list of every
one of your public sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?
Kings Empire Hack / March 10, 2014 at 07:30 pm
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Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I
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Thanks a lot!

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