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Restaurants

Gangster Burger

Posted by Alexandra Grigorescu / Reviewed on September 19, 2012 / review policy

gangster burger torontoGangster Burger has been open just under a week on Queen West, taking over the former location of a shawarma spot. It's the brainchild of Lee B. and Will Nguyen of FY Ink across the street, and began as a joke. You know the one--"hey, wouldn't it be wild if we opened up a burger joint?"--but when the location went up for sale, they swept in and quickly brought on friend Adrian Forte as the chef.

After opening last Friday, they scored a surprise appearance by none other than Drake, prompting a wave of girls shyly inquiring after which burger he'd had (the veggie option) and whether he'd enjoyed it (a resounding yes).

gangster burger torontoThe interior is sleek, if somewhat cramped. Designed to be purely a take-out spot, it's a long and narrow passage to the counter, flanked on one side by a very slender wooden beam--better for leaning an elbow on than trying to chow down-and collaged wallpaper of famous gangsters and their various molls lending an almost seedy veneer to the other.

Just to clarify: the shop is not "gangstah," but rather "gangster," and it tries to channel some semblance of the irreverent class that made gangsters of yore so rakishly irresistible. To that end, you'll hear classic tunes spilling from the speakers during the day, with an about-turn to hip-hop at later hours. Their mandate is to "make you a burger you can't refuse," and judging by the line-up that coalesces almost out of thin air as soon as 5 p.m. rolls around, it's working.

gangster burger torontoForte tells me that everything is handmade--from the fries, to the hand-formed patties, to the array of truly memorable sauces--and ingredients are sourced from Kensington Market. All burgers are 6 oz beef patties, with the exception of the Eliot Ness (of The Untouchables), a 4 oz. portobello mushroom cap brimming with marinara, and finished with smoked provolone, chipotle mayo, lettuce and tomato.

I'm a sucker for flavour, so I opt for the Capone and the Dillinger. Now, I was told that they've had some trouble settling on kitchen staff, after a former employee served up a burger sans patty, which might explain what happened.

gangster burger torontoThe Dillinger ($7.39) was meant to be an homage to the romantic man of crime in name only--dill havarti, caramelized onions, chipotle mayo, the shop's ubiquitous 'gangster goo,' bacon, lettuce and tomato. What I actually unwrapped was the latter three ingredients only, on a patty so charred that I only ate half. The bacon had also been left too long on the burner, and not even a generous slathering of sauce could rescue what might've otherwise been a quality whopper.

gangster burger torontoThe Capone ($7.99) fared much better, although the array of sauces somewhat deflated the bun even on my 5-minute commute home. Smoked provolone, and mushrooms, onions and roasted red peppers sauteed in a marinara sauce, finished off with lettuce, tomato, and a garlic aioli sauce came together nicely for a subtle complement to the well-cooked (read: not burnt) patty. The marinara was maybe too zesty a choice, and distracted from the rich smokiness of the other flavours.

gangster burger torontoThe sides are, as far as I'm concerned, both stand-outs. The fries are hand-cut Yukon potatoes, tossed in an herb blend of garlic, thyme and peppercorns, and served with your choice of dipping sauce. My vote is for the gangster goo--a spicy ketchup that, while simple, delivers punch. Forte tells me the other favourite is the blue magic, whch is named after Frank Lucas' old-timey brand of cocaine. Enshrouded in mystery, everyone hazards a guess as to which cheese is front and center in the dip; I'm going to stand by asiago although Forte has already smilingly denied it.

gangster burger torontoForte is a veritable wizard with dressing. The salad ($3.05) itself is a simple blend of spring mix, cherry tomatoes, and beautifully tart pickled onions and cucumbers. I sample each of the dressings--jalapeno ranch, grape soda vinaigrette and honey lemon vinaigrette--and the last is a clear winner. It's lip-puckering and a definite wake-up call for your tastebuds.

gangster burger torontoCoke and Sprite are available in retro glass bottles ($2.29), and there's also Vitamin Water and juice, which you can add to your burger as a combo, along with a side, for an even $4.

Discussion

156 Comments

Dave.Smith / September 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm
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This place is way over rated. The concept seems interesting, the employees are friendly, however the quality of food is as bad as prison food. Over cooked fries, under cooked burger when you asked well done, and on top of that the bun over powers the patty. In other words you are eating more bread then actual burger. Hopefully the change up the burger quickly as all they having good for them is a unique look.
P / September 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm
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Woah, that burger looks appalling.
Shad / September 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm
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If you got a girl that likes to eat, then this would seem like the best place to take her to
ivo / September 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm
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^ seems like some1 is envious that people are overzealous of the restaurant. Before you make compare it to prison food you should probably make a visit to jail and try it first. Negativity like yours will definitely get you there..
Lastly, they have been open for less than a week.
To conclude, don't be a jerk, jerk!
AV replying to a comment from ivo / September 19, 2012 at 01:06 pm
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Friend of the owners much?
jer / September 19, 2012 at 01:09 pm
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Looks like way too much "bun" to "meat" ratio....

Burned burgers don't sound too tasty, hope they iron out their kinks!
Shoulds replying to a comment from Dave.Smith / September 19, 2012 at 01:09 pm
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Hoping I never have to know what prison food's like.
De / September 19, 2012 at 01:12 pm
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Friend of mine got the Dillinger yesterday with a side of fries. Said the burger was good, too much bread though. I tried the fries - good seasoning but they were kinda...flaccid.
Snoop Dog Burger replying to a comment from De / September 19, 2012 at 01:32 pm
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I prefer my fries fully erect too.
Tim W / September 19, 2012 at 01:32 pm
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Nothing more enjoyable than glorifying Murderers, Rapists and Thugs!

Great concept!
ivo replying to a comment from AV / September 19, 2012 at 01:33 pm
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more like I’m a fan of positive energy. and my friend you have none. Would of been fine to express that you don’t like the food you received. to be frank, i thought it was too much bread also, but i dont compare it to prison food. try being more optimistic.. or dont.. w/e that’s your life..
malcolm / September 19, 2012 at 01:36 pm
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I had this for lunch the other day. I ordered the capone and i would have to say it was one of the best burgers i ever had, the marinara sauce wit the sauteed mushrooms and onions gave the burger a nice kick. Ill definitely be going there more often
MrsPotato / September 19, 2012 at 01:45 pm
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Why does that burger look CHARD? as in burnt.
Al / September 19, 2012 at 01:46 pm
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I'm tired of all the new (mostly burger) restaurants that have no place to sit and eat. A freshly cooked burger and fries are delicious; cold or reheated fries and burger at home, not so much. The option of juggling burger & fries while walking on the street, especially in the winter, is not welcome.
emmav / September 19, 2012 at 01:57 pm
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That location is pretty much a constant turnover of deadpool .. so we'll see how long this place lasts, if there are too many 'nehs', they'll never survive queen st w rent prices.
Adam / September 19, 2012 at 01:57 pm
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I've had the beef and veg and I'd say it's ok at best. Go to Priest or Holy Chuck instead. If you are in this area, even Big Smoke, BQM or Gourmet Burger Co would be better options IMO
Adam / September 19, 2012 at 01:58 pm
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I agree too the buns are way too large.
APOW / September 19, 2012 at 02:16 pm
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GO
AWAY WITH THESE REVIEWS
NO
GO THERE SAY APOW
SO WHAT DRAKE WENT THERE
THAT GUY?
EATS?
RIDICULOUS

BIG OL BURGERS
UGLY LOOKING
REALLY THO
GO THERE IF YOU WANNA
EAT
REALLY YUCKY THINGS

-APOW
De / September 19, 2012 at 02:21 pm
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Also the images on the website / facebook. T-shirts with "No Priests. No Heroes. Just Gangsters." I'd probably ensure survival before calling out other places (although Hero is pretty terrible...). Within 10 minutes of this place lies:
The Burger Press, 2 x Hero Burger, 3 x McDonalds, Big Smoke Burger, Grindhouse, BQM, Burger Bar, Burger Brats, Gourmet Burger Company, & the new location of Burger's Priest. Remember Oh Boy Burger a minute east of this? I never wish for a new place to not survive, but they've got a tough battle ahead.
Maxer / September 19, 2012 at 02:26 pm
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Big buns. Charred goods. No thanks.
Adam / September 19, 2012 at 02:31 pm
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Is Drake a vegetarian? Discuss.
Ryan / September 19, 2012 at 03:00 pm
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I didn't have a great experience here. The service was incredibly slow, despite the place being empty. The staff was sullen. When I finally got the burger after 15 minutes, it was pretty underwhelming. Mine was overcooked and dry, and the bun totally overpowered the beef. I could have made a better burger at home, which isn't saying much. Next time I'm in the mood for a burger, I will definitely keep on walking down to Hero Burger.
Non / September 19, 2012 at 03:30 pm
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I appreciate that the review tried to be positive because lard knows that BlogTO hates giving bad reviews but have the balls to call it like it is. This review makes the food look horrible. The burger looks awful and the fries look limp (one of the fries is rotten in the picture). I say, if it's still open in couple months, BlogTO go back and review again. If it's still garbage than call it like it is, but I think it's worth letting them get the kinks out.
zigbot / September 19, 2012 at 03:39 pm
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This place should create every burger like it was a 'review burger' because in this case it was. That burger in the picture looks disgusting. Step it up Gangster Burger.
Andrew / September 19, 2012 at 03:47 pm
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Man, this review makes the food look awful. I am not going to assume this place sucks, but I definitely will not be going out of my way to try it, especially when Priest and Holy Chuck are closer.

Also, KEEP ITALIAN MARINARA AWAY FROM BURGERS. There are some blends of culture that are awesome, but tomato sauce on grilled beef is just a shitty flavour profile.
Roctop replying to a comment from Tim W / September 19, 2012 at 04:51 pm
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You said it, pal. They burgers look criminal, even if some of the posts say that they taste good. One swell joint but the goods look scary.
lol / September 19, 2012 at 05:34 pm
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will fit in perfect with the conglomerate of dickheads in the area.... and maybe they should rename the place "gangster bun"
Sienna / September 19, 2012 at 06:28 pm
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Visited this new burger joint yesterday, was excited but overall Terrible burger.
It was burnt & bland & I waited too long to get my food.
I doubt this place will be there for long, funny since they call out every other established burger joint in their tag line lol
food nom nom replying to a comment from MrsPotato / September 19, 2012 at 06:50 pm
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Chard is good for you, missy. It makes you smart. Perhaps you should eat some, so that you'll be able to learn that the word you meant to use is 'charred'.
Brent replying to a comment from Dave.Smith / September 19, 2012 at 06:53 pm
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Who orders a burger well-done?
debo / September 19, 2012 at 09:03 pm
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Ive tried the capone, dillinger and the lucas. I love them all. The bun issue seems like it has been resolved because i had it today and it was amazing!! Most new businesses have kinks but after a few days the usually iron them out...
Gabe / September 19, 2012 at 09:44 pm
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Are the forks and knives chained to the tables?
thereshego / September 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm
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The concept of this place is great. People who are offended or think its a horrible idea, you need to think outside of the box. The guys that opened this place are brilliant. Also, keep in mind that its only been opened for 4 days, things are continuously getting better. Also, considering the lines that I've seen coming out of this place, they seem to be doing just fine.
416honkey / September 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm
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I love this entire thread! The char vs. cool concept ratio is a paradox... and NOW I MUST GO to decide for myself!! Even trash talk is good press man.
Dhoomsday / September 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm
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That burger looks like hell. I'd rather just go to A&W
A Damn! / September 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm
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Seriously, though, all the food in the photos looks truly awful. It just goes to show - re: "the lines that I've seen coming out of this place...", people are sheep, and suckers. Best of luck.
Kevbo / September 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm
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It's totally worth just going to The Barn for a good burger at Queen & Bathurst.
William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / September 20, 2012 at 12:38 am
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As the owners of Gangster Burger, we would like to say thank you for all the feedback that we have received in this review and thread. Everything has been taken into consideration and several changes have and will continue to be made.

Our grand opening is September 29th and our goal is to have resolved all issues that have or have not been mentioned.

Thank you to all our customers for their patience and support.

naw / September 20, 2012 at 01:40 am
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reviewer: you should've got the one with the fuckin' blue crap all over it. that looks really great
Sonya Monga / September 20, 2012 at 05:43 am
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I got food poisoning from gangster burger. I did not eat the whole thing since it was flavorless, but I still got really sick. I guess I sort of deserve it for eating at a place that celebrates brutal criminals, but I was hungry.

Never again! Be careful guys.
Felix / September 20, 2012 at 05:58 am
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Not a fine diner, just a regular dude that eats simple. Food here was real bad. The burger wasnt gangster, it was straight up ghetto. I think these cats took the gangster concept too far because after a couple bites I felt like they hustled me out of my cash. Lame
WillB / September 20, 2012 at 07:07 am
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The food quality is near criminal, the concept is buffoonish, and the signage is an eyesore. This place cant be fixed, bankruptcy please, and fast! Queen St West is hip and sophisticated not juvenile, hit the suburbs
Henny / September 20, 2012 at 07:20 am
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I had high hopes for this place. Local peoples be making it happen, dreams come true, right? WRONG. Some folks aint capable for this level of entrepreneurship. Place aint up to snuff, not by a long shot. Bad food, slow service, and bad food. Amateur hour, this reminded me of some high school project. Bristol board up in this joint, bristol board.
Dhillon / September 20, 2012 at 07:37 am
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Went for a burger, it was completely burnt. Service was slow considering I was the only one there. I did enjoy learning about all the different gangsters, death and mayhem is interesting.
Charlotte / September 20, 2012 at 07:44 am
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This place is socially irresponsible. At a time of gang warfare in Toronto we have two completely negligent owners praising gangsters. It is not cool to sell drugs and kill: it is morally suspect to patronize a restaurant that calls itself gangster
Feighton / September 20, 2012 at 07:55 am
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While we have kids getting shot in the streets these clowns start marketing unhealthy food by lionizing criminality and murder. I dont want this kind of crap in my city, these hucksters are trying to harm my children to make a buck.
Ahmad / September 20, 2012 at 08:03 am
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I cannot prove it to the courts but I got serious diarrhea from food here. I think the strong reactions have to do with health issues of this place

food storage mite be dirty
Stan / September 20, 2012 at 08:24 am
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The food may be bad but the message is even worse. Thieves and hit men should not be role models. I would suggest a boycott, seriously.
loper / September 20, 2012 at 08:30 am
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Me thinks the latest comments be trolls and haters. GIve the place a break. Ya, the pics don't look great but you didn't either 4 days out.
Teresa / September 20, 2012 at 08:38 am
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Maybe it's not a bright idea to open up a "gangster" fast food place in the middle of a "gangstah" struck city.
Why you mad / September 20, 2012 at 10:28 am
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Losers who rag on my burger shop? Go fck yourself.
juan / September 20, 2012 at 11:09 am
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gangstah struck city? it's toronto,one of the safest cities in one of the safest countries in the world,if it was nyc or chicago,detroit,etc.. then ur arguement may stand but its just a theme,there were more deaths in mexico in a hour than a year in canada.stop it gangstah.ima try it n see from there
Marvin replying to a comment from William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / September 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm
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May I advise the replacing the burger photos on blogTO asap? They really show off a tragic attempt at cooking a burger to entice people to stop in and try your wares. Just sayin'.
Marf / September 20, 2012 at 01:16 pm
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This burger gave me the shits on Sunday.
RIch / September 20, 2012 at 01:59 pm
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Time to call the city health dept. to check their meat storage temps. What have I read, 5(?) "I got the shits" comments above?
Rollie / September 20, 2012 at 02:28 pm
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buncha haters on this shit
Ariel / September 20, 2012 at 02:54 pm
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I went there and they forgot to include the patty in my burger! Kind of outrageous. I think my burger should hv been comped, instead I got angry looks from the staff. I paid money for a burger not a mushy bun and resentful staff.
Youth Worker / September 20, 2012 at 03:08 pm
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As a youth worker I have to say I am disgusted with the marketing of this store. I want our youth to stay out of gangs. These two goons make a wretched store that presents murderers as heroes. Toronto is better without gangster burger.
tyrone / September 20, 2012 at 03:20 pm
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Why are they calling it "gangster" as opposed to "gangsta"? Because the owners think black culture is to low down and classless for their restaurant. Old, white gangsters are heroes, black gangstas are trash. Straight up racism. Not setting a foot in here.
mayor dodge replying to a comment from Ariel / September 20, 2012 at 04:25 pm
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What do you expect from a place that glorifies thieves and robbers; value?
Robert / September 20, 2012 at 05:02 pm
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From the area, was interested to see so I ate here yesterday. Terrible. Terrible name. Terrible service. Terrible food. And their kitchen hood cant be up to code, it wasnt pulling ANY smoke off the grill. I've been in the restaurant scene for a while and have no idea how they passed inspections. Maybe 'gangsters' don't get inspected, probably why there are a bunch of people saying it made them ill. As for my food, burnt burger, stale bun, too much sauce and by the time I got it 10 minutes to my house, was molded into a giant mush. Maybe stick to the tattoos guys.
Louie / September 20, 2012 at 07:14 pm
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the burgers in the pics look vomit-worthy.one of the fries looks stale and green.not a good look.
Concierge / September 20, 2012 at 07:55 pm
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Gangster Burger... LOL... I'm glad to see that it's as bad as I thought it was. The last thing this city needs anyways is another flippin burger joint!!! I wont even give them a 1st chance and will just stick with my regulars. Fail Gangster Burger FAIL MISERABLY BOOOOO HAHAHHAHHA

Sincerely,

HaHaHater
Josh / September 20, 2012 at 08:18 pm
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Not sure what they charge. Product research and pricing can make or break a business. I'd be willing to pay $5-$6 for the burger in the main photo.
steve / September 20, 2012 at 09:52 pm
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Stopped by this place the first day it opened and wow....horrible....i took a chance and went back this afternoon and i have to say a hell of a lot better, gotta give these guys credit service was about 5 minutes quicker and bun issue resolved.....keep it going
randy mason / September 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm
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I will not give this place another chance since it made me ill. Really bad case of the runs, and considering how Im not the only guy to get sick I thank god it wasnt too serious. This sort of carelessness is not acceptable.
joel / September 21, 2012 at 03:35 am
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went back today and id have to say the burger was amazing and they got new buns that actually fit the meat. Will definitely be going there more often.
Stuart / September 21, 2012 at 03:36 am
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quick service, great food and the staff was really polite, i'm glad i live around the corner ill be in there more often
Shane / September 21, 2012 at 03:40 am
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WOW...look at all the fucking trolls on this page...smh...give this spot a chance, its only been open for about 5 days
jay / September 21, 2012 at 09:01 am
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Curious about the sudden turnaround, buns were not even the main concern of a lot of people. Also, curious about the few people who so casually dismiss health and ethical concerns. Really sketchy, good business is ethical. Burgers Priest has nothing to sweat about.
wyeth / September 21, 2012 at 09:45 am
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The positive and dismissive points are at 3:35AM, 3:36AM and 3:40AM...deception, obviously the owners or friends of the owner are up to no good. The turnaround is a fiction, and I wouldnt risk my health to go to this place.
Thomaso / September 21, 2012 at 11:34 am
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Sorry gangster burger, we are NOT stupid and we are NOT proud of gangsters. For a few weeks while I was in college I worked at a really bad restaurant, they purposely overcooked and burnt meat when it was going bad or rancid. This was to save money, really sick.
Jillian / September 21, 2012 at 11:59 am
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That picture of the burger doesnt do it any justice. I got the lucas and it was good, bun was a little dry though. The fries is what to die for, the seasonings perfect. Price was decent.
Anna / September 21, 2012 at 02:10 pm
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Haven't been, but there's been a lot of hype about this place. I wonder if the owners know that there used to be a Gangster Burger in Mississauga? Hmmm coz that place had good burgers and fries.
Kenny / September 21, 2012 at 03:07 pm
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Seriously? All the hate here.

Been here twice, got the "Escobar" with bacon twice and it's my favorite burger in town. Better than Big Smoke, and much better than Hero Burger. They have a Jalapeno Ranch sauce that's really unique, sweet and spicy. And the crunched up Doritos go surprisingly well. Not huge on the fries, but I enjoyed the salad.

Took a bunch of co-workers there and every one of us enjoyed it. The wait is a little long, and they don't have cash- My only two knocks against them. The quality more than makes up for those downfalls though.
Abdul / September 21, 2012 at 11:27 pm
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I am a fan of burgers, have tried all if not most of the burger places in Toronto. Tried this place, and frankly the food is not very good: patty overcooked, flavours and toppings not clean and crisp. Some ppl might like it, but it is not up to par. Too much gimmick and not worth making a fuss about.

Phil / September 22, 2012 at 01:08 am
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Ok, so I'm sitting here with a Gangster Burger, and I'm ready to write a review. First off - ordering. The girl behind the counter at just before 1am on a Friday night/Saturday morning is friendly and more than willing to take my order. I order the Dillinger, and a side of fries. I'm the only one in the place at the time of order. The chef promptly puts a piece of beef on, and I wait. The guys that run the place seem decent enough - from what I could see it's just a couple of homies that came into some money and decided to open a burger joint. They're having fun, not taking things too seriously, but that's where having fun and running a legitimate business differs. A premise that perhaps the owners have not yet realised.

The food takes at least 15 minutes to come. This is far too long for 'fast food', particularly when there is no seating. Perhaps (in the area) BQM / Big Smoke take about the same time, but at least they have seating and some sort of entertainment (albeit a newspaper). Regardless, I wait it out and grab my food.

The fries are phenomenal. Really great seasoning and perfectly cooked. They are unlike any other fries I've ever tasted, kinda buttermilk in flavour (if that makes any sense?!). The burger is fine. Not great, not terrible. The texture is fine, and the flavours are fine, but nothing to write home about.

It cost under a tenner all together, and seeing as it's right behind my house, I'd probably get it again. It's not the best burger I've ever had, but it's not the worst by a long shot. I thing the owners need to realise that they actually own a Downtown business now, and they have a chance of sticking around for a while, in a really fucking difficult area.
Claire / September 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm
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Had the lucas last night, considering the food that is available at 2am, this place kicked smokes, and hero burgers food. the seasoning on the fries was phenomenal. definitely will go back again. decor at the take out was sleek and there seems to be a lot of hype around the place. much better than what it used to be, the dirty shawarma place.
simon / September 22, 2012 at 04:43 pm
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Been here twice, both times I regretted it. Without a doubt nothing in the place can be called phenomenal. The more or less positive reviews are done by shills, lot of shilling taking place.
Jill / September 22, 2012 at 04:51 pm
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Okay been here four times, will definitely be back. I went with a bunch of co-workers and every single one of us thought it was the best burger we ever had, second to none. My mouth is watering as I think about it, I think I'll go there now, but the line ups are a mile long. Damn. Anyways, the fries are to die for, seasoned with amazing 'gangster goo'. The food is sick for the price, beyond amazing. This place is open late too, blows Hero, Priest, Gourmet Burger, Craft away. Forget the haters, I love this place.
Rod / September 22, 2012 at 05:13 pm
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This place is for connoisseurs of burgers, someone who has the palate to appreciate amazing out of this world cuisine. Haters should be grateful for this cultural hot spot. This place is bumpin, line ups for miles. Phenomenal fries.
Joe / September 23, 2012 at 02:46 am
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Been here half a dozen times already-for lunch and dinner. This place is thumpin, sick decor, illest owners, and off the charts food. Schazam, this place is ridiculous! The burger is off the chain succulent, the patty melts in your mouth. The fries are not bad...they are the best! The only downsides, insane line ups, like down the block. At first I thought, they selling iphone 5s up in here...no just intense flavor and style. Owners and clientele here are mad balling
Faker replying to a comment from Jill / September 23, 2012 at 02:56 am
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Yo Jill, which one of the owner are you? If you are going to fake a review, do a better job...
My friend and I were looking forward to eat at this place, biggest dissappointment...
We both went for a Capone burger each, I think if Capone was alive, he'll do a hit on both of ya'll. Ease up on the baking soda in your meat patty, it looks huge cause you got it all puffed up, and it taste watery because you tried to soak it in baking soda and water for a faster effect. If you want to play with that stuff, at least go to chinatown and learn how they do it. Seriously, the bun - Walmart quality.
I don't wish you guys to fail but step it up, don't try to take shortcuts for a quick buck, it won't work. Best of luck to you both.
PS. I'm still shitting water.
Runs replying to a comment from Jill / September 23, 2012 at 02:59 am
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I wish they had a washroom in there so I can show them evidence, i've pissing out of my ass for the last 2 days.
Here's an advice to you, crush some immodium into your patty and all will be fine.

Runs.
jessop / September 23, 2012 at 06:16 am
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This place is a cultural hot spot. Crazy line ups, with BMWs and Lamborghinis regularly parking in front. Ballas only! Fries phenomenal, burger classy. It might only be a burger joint, but when Im stopping by I wear my best clothes, this is the place to be seen.

Jessop out dawg
Lee / September 23, 2012 at 07:42 am
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Stale fries!
undercooked burger !
uneducated and unhelpful staff!
rude atmosphere !
but unique concept.
Went in to see what all the hype was about last night. Girl taking the order was plain rude. Did not look happy doing her job. When she was asked variety if questions about the place, she was not pleasant. Waited 20 minutes for our burger. Told the cooks that we didn't want lettuce tomato and mayo. But they still continued to put lettuce tomato and mayo. The cooks were lost and took a while to figure out who's burger belonged to who. Because of the long line, meat was rushed and undercooked. The cool forgot the fries and pulled out a basket of stale fries from the back. People would like to see that their fries are fresh. Shouldn't be pulled from the back. Only thing cool are the bottled drinks and the mural on the wall. Other customers in the restaurant were rude and obnoxious to us.
HULK / September 23, 2012 at 01:05 pm
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The girl working the counter is beautiful.
josh / September 23, 2012 at 02:36 pm
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The last few raving reviews are obvious posts by management of the place, calling a burger place a cultural hot spot is hilarious. It seems like children are operating this fast food spot.

Anyways, I had the food, it is on the real low end of the burger spectrum, under performing even when compared to Burger King or Harveys. But luckily, no line ups in sight, which, ironically, is the only positive.
ecgt10 / September 23, 2012 at 08:14 pm
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I was wondering where that stale greasy smell was coming from. You know you are approaching Gangster Burger with your eyes shut thanks to the fatty air that surrounds the place. It's unlikely I'll get past the smoky fat smells so that I can actually try a burger there.
Ray / September 23, 2012 at 08:17 pm
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Its a great thing that this place is open super late on fridays and saturdays. Went out there with a bunch of boys after work, and it was all we could ask for. Although the lines were a little long, it was worth the wait. Fries are what makes this place, definitely make yours a combo.
jon / September 24, 2012 at 01:14 am
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I live in the area, haven't seen a line up late on Friday or Saturday. The schilling needs to stop, all the fake posts say the same thing--line ups, great fries, group gatherings, cool. Starting to think the owners thk people are stupid.

Blogto gives the gentlest reviews, if a review says the food was inedible, then the place really might have serious problems. My girlfriend got sick after eating here so while I havent eaten their stuff I certainly would recommend ppl to thk twice.

tripleddd / September 24, 2012 at 05:03 pm
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this is the too entertaining. come owners, friends, family, dogs and cats of gangsta goo. if u gonna write up some shills at least stop using words like sick, illest, ballas, dawg, etc.. the review says that u guys own a tattoo shop. these are the type of language used by young, hip ppl sometimes sporting tattoos. u guys need to use words like succulent, juicy, complex, crispy, balanced, etc when describing the food.

also, tone it down a little. just say how good the food is. don't say it's the best in the city or the best thing u've ever tasted in your life. it's too much. lastly, stop stating how long the line ups are. it's not a club, it's a food establishment.

other than that, keep it going from both sides. this is good reading.
Robert / September 24, 2012 at 06:04 pm
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I live down the street and have never seen a lineup and I pass by it at least ten times a day every day. Walk by at night and maximum five poor souls in thereat any given time. The only thing emanating from the place is the fumes and smoke that their broken hood can't suck up. Blatant shilling.
T Reel / September 24, 2012 at 08:55 pm
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Ok, I was the one who got canned for ‘forgetting’ to include the patty in a customer's burger. Truth is that the owners kept saying it would be hilarious if a customer got a burger without a patty. I thought they were encouraging me, so I did it a couple times. When the complaints came in they got serious and let me go. Never mind that on the opening day the owners had us all ‘christen’ the food by rubbing our bare rears over the buns. Just before I was let go, the owners made bets on which staffer could go longest without washing their hands.
The cats who run the place are crazy nice, but give the staff weird signals.
You so dumb / September 24, 2012 at 09:41 pm
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BMW's and Lamborghini's up front? who is this joker, I see guys with tinted civics with their pants sagging not knowing how a burger should taste like. Suddenly people are trying to hype this place as if it's a rap video, the food still sucks.
The only people I see there are hood rats. I see a lot of diarrhea issue with this place, has anyone asked them to provide their food handling certificate?

BTW T Reel's comment seems fake.
Shana / September 24, 2012 at 09:42 pm
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I fail to see the ulterior motives of so many people (or even potentially one ridiculously adamant person) to express concern about the quality and safety of the food. At Queen West you have the advantage of heaps of foot traffic, heaps of new customers that haven't read a poor review yet.
Take the feedback to start making your new customers happy, because you need them to return. You can talk the talk as much as you want, but at the end of the day, the product speaks for itself.
Best of luck to the owners. Sorry, but I won't be crossing town to judge for myself.
T Reel / September 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm
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As a former member of staff I can say that the place is a hilarious work environment, and everyone there is real friendly and easy going. Because of the location and the owner's huge list of celebrity friends the shop will survive anything. I was there when Drake came by and other celebs, one of the celeb's bought most of the inventory just because he could. It was glam, until I got scapegoated. As I said, everyone laughs when the owners do crazy stuff like chuck patties across the kitchen and use buns as wipes, but not when I made an honest mistake

For the haters:
http://instagram.com/p/Px5K9PPnT4/

Gburger is there to stay, star power can make a business.
smithsonian / September 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm
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great food, really cool concept. Fun for the whole family. T Reel is obviously a harmless jokester!
Rob replying to a comment from T Reel / September 25, 2012 at 09:31 am
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You know, seeing a bunch of douchebags taking pictures of people eating on a Mercedes isn't a selling point.

Keep clubland out of our hamburgers.

Actually, no, let them have overpriced, burnt (not charred) ones provided by people with zero passion for what they're doing, only seeking to hop on a (dated) trend. Real people know where to go to find great burgers.
Me / September 25, 2012 at 09:38 am
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These guys have been working their asses off for the last few months putting this place together. T Reel has already said how butthurt he is over getting canned...(forgetting a pattie on a burger in a burger joint is not an honest mistake, it's pure stupidity). Highly doubt they're doing what he says they are.
Beefmang / September 26, 2012 at 12:25 am
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Had the burger last week with a buddy of mine and was totally disappointed. There were only two people in line ahead of me but I still had to wait over 20 minutes for my burger. When I finally got my burger, it had a strange flavour to it and the bun to meat ratio was completely off. I only managed to eat half of it, but it was still enough to give me explosive diarrhea a few hours later. I remember seeing the cook slap a patty onto the griddle and grabbing raw bacon without bothering to wash his hands, which was probably what led to my food poisoning. My stomach has finally recovered, but I can honestly say thatthis place needs to be checked out by Toronto health. I wouldn't be surprised if I saw this place fail on the dine safe reports.
Menos / September 26, 2012 at 01:11 am
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I didn't believe the above guy until I checked the dine safe report.

It's here, just enter the name:
app.toronto.ca/food2/index.jsp

They had eight safety infractions, four of them classed as 'significant' in severity. Currently, they have a conditional pass. In comparison, and ppl can chk this for themselves, The Burger's Priest got a complete pass with zero infractions.

I ain't risking it. I will only use their gangster goo seasoning to slicken my chest hairs during foreplay.
Beefmang replying to a comment from Menos / September 26, 2012 at 09:50 am
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A yellow is enough for most people to be weary of stepping into this place. No separate hand washing sink to prevent cross contamination is probably how we got our Hershey squirts. Wash ur hands pleaseeee
Pantz / September 26, 2012 at 05:56 pm
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A conditional pass and the owners run a tattoo shop? You would think they should understand the importance of hygiene, but apparently not.

Some advice for these newbies - go down the street to Banh Mi Boys and order something. Watch the way they handle the line. Then introduce yourself to the owners and beg for an hour of their time. I have no idea if they would actually help you, but you need to do something. You are in over your head.
Rob / September 26, 2012 at 06:23 pm
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Let's hope the next restaurant at this location actually knows what they're doing and isn't interested in blindly riding in on coattails.
Johnny replying to a comment from Pantz / September 26, 2012 at 06:44 pm
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we get it your a fan of pedo burger i mean "priest burger" but if you left your computer screen for a second and stop trolling and and playing world of warcraft you'd see that ontario wide recall on ground beef. i myself havent eaten at gangster burger, but i dont plan to eat at any burger joints until this beef issue is sorted out.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/09/22/nl-ecoli-recall-sobeys-foodland-922.html
WOW / September 27, 2012 at 03:25 pm
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a yellow on your first inspection .. not very gangster at all ..

step your game up fellas ... that is some very basic shit on there .. u clearly didn't do your research in terms of standards in a restaurant environment ..

not to mention they are not displaying there dine safe card in the window ...

I have tried the joint .. again .. just another burger joint doin the same ol bullshit! beef with a bunch of shit piled on! meh.... i do love an egg bun though.. but that shit was NOT GANGSTER.. mega dry ...

as for that recall ... that has nothing to do with this joint .. unless they get there beef from Sobeys or Foodland...

Good Luck .. resto biz aint easy ..
NikBrass replying to a comment from De / September 27, 2012 at 03:52 pm
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Valid point... there's a serious amount of competition in the area. They will have their work cut out. But, the priest hasn't executed as well (in terms of their product) in the north end. Sure their printing money for the most part, but the Queen E. location is doing it properly... no idea what's goin on uptown - nowhere near the same.

I have to admit, I thought the concept was too gimmicky, but it's started to grow on me.

As for the food, they're a new shop, I'm sure they're still workin out the kinks, however, it's a crucial time - attention to detail's important. I have certainly had way worse in the area, and the fries are damn good. Meat to bun ratio is off - as several people have mentioned, but, something for them to address and hopefully change.

I'm all for indie spots opening up in the area, Hero/McD's/whatever large-scale franchise, Fu*kin beat it. Gangster Burger's not my first choice, but I'll see how they are in a bit.
Hop-singh / September 27, 2012 at 08:53 pm
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Went here today, I am speechless. Food, music, people, vibe--oh it was so fresh and so fly with it. First, the beats were bangin, entranced I was ready to groove and shimmy to the register. As I rocked my head side to side to the dope beats I ordered myself a luscious Capone combo. I was hungry playa, so I bit hard and fast on it.

The burger takes you on a journey, a totally seductive fresh-crisp-and-soulful synergy of dashing and co-mingling flavors. Went down smooth, like Dom Pérignon with it. Hits the palate, soothes the soul, smooth like Dom Pérignon with it, playa.

Don't you miss that grand opening playa, don't you dare. Like Dom Pérignon, Saturday the place be busting. Get down with it playa.
GranVizeer replying to a comment from Hop-singh / September 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm
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A playa with a load of crap coming out all his orifices here. You're as burned out as the disgusting burgers and whacked out owners. Can't wait to see this place padlocked.
R dogg / September 28, 2012 at 03:56 pm
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Grand opening tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! Kant wait, be there! Dr Dre is making an appearance
Tom / September 29, 2012 at 09:47 am
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R dogg, I think it's Jay-Z doing the concert tomorrow. And the first 100 people get a Mercedes S550 to eat their burgers off of!!
cdoubleu replying to a comment from T Reel / September 29, 2012 at 02:40 pm
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Your comments confuse me...you're mad that you got sacked for forgetting a patty because the owners encouraged you, but then said it was an honest mistake? You seem pretty supportive of the joint still for someone who just got fired.
Harydog / September 30, 2012 at 03:27 pm
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This place is really cool tons of people want to be seen there seems like burgers and fries are really good the concept is great idea it's great to see young guys whether gangsters or not are employing people in our city and doing something positive with their time at least. They are not stealing your car or shooting anyone at least not if front of anyone lol. Seems like a light hearted concept that has taken off. Good for you guys wish you all well keep up the good work and stay out of of trouble I think this can really work I see your staff working really hard with the line ups I'm a business owner in the city for over 20 years and very rarely see fresh new young guys doing positive things keep up the good work and hope your continued success in our city
bryan / October 1, 2012 at 12:25 am
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To be frank, the concept is, at the very least, incredibly idiotic, at worst, a bad message to the kiddies. Also, a few lousy minimum wage jobs isn't really helping anyone but the owner's pockets. And shilling this pathetic (see above post) does not justify sloppy bad business.

I was in the area during nuit blanche, the opening was obviously a giant flop. I don't wish the owners ill, but I hope they aren't heavily invested in this place because it won't last more than six months.

Badger replying to a comment from Harydog / October 1, 2012 at 10:14 am
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Your post is as pathetic as the LOUSY burgers they push.
trickydisco / October 3, 2012 at 09:38 pm
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ahhhhhhh yeah...was there tonight, so fly - beats pumpin', and the ladies looking fly...couldn't help but put my hands in the air ;) and what do i catch but the tastiest burger i ever had...
snoop, me ren and dre did some ciphering over the fries and the freshness, and here we sit poppin' Dom while we finish off our second helping...with the ladies we grabbed from the club, er...the burger joint ; )
William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / October 5, 2012 at 02:58 am
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As the owners of Gangster Burger, we would like to again say thanks for all the feedback.

The infamous bun issue has been corrected and, for those of you who are unaware, our beef is of the kobe quality. The freshest and top of the line quality ingredients are used for your oral pleasure.

I'd like to also address the negative comments. When we opened we were not very professional, but now we are indeed superior in quality and price to all competitors in Toronto. No pedophiles, no fake heroes, just pure unadulterated Italian mobsters: gangsters.

That's a rap. Come stuff your faces with gourmet.
GranVizeer replying to a comment from William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / October 5, 2012 at 10:24 am
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Kobe style beef is not good for burgers - too mushy and a real waste of a tender cut. That explains why someone had to burn them to keep the patty from falling apart - some 'gourmet' burger places in town are stupid enough to add mashed potato flakes in the Kobe style beef to make it firmer. Do your homework and read AHT's site. Now some grass fed Ontario beef would be nice.
JD replying to a comment from William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / October 6, 2012 at 01:50 pm
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This comment is fake
ASTRO / October 7, 2012 at 09:20 am
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THEY CALL IT GANGSTER CUZ THERE IS A TURF WAR IN YOUR STOMACH AFTER EATING THIS CRAP!!!
William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / October 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm
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Wangster burger
cherry / October 11, 2012 at 03:10 am
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I didn't like my burger, food isn't very good, but didn't make me sick.
Gembah replying to a comment from cherry / October 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm
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With that kind of luck you should buy a lottery ticket as soon as possible.
nadia / October 11, 2012 at 02:35 pm
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My friend went there the on friday, we were in a hurry and i did not order anything, i had a bite of his burger when we left the store (as he was walking and eating) the burger was excellent, by the time we were in front of timmy's (baturst and queen) his burger was done...i was pissed for not getting anything.. so i went again yesterday, had the dillinger burger, the spicy ketchup was amazing, i dont know if there was chipotle mayo on it as well but i got a hint of the taste.. i loved the caramelized onion with the smoked provolone all melted in (i did not have the dill havarti as i am not a big fan of dill) i must say that the burger was not over cooked or under cooked, it was done just right. The patty was juicy and delicious. the topping merged perfectly, i havent had any food poisoning neither did my friend from friday night...

I do agree the girl at the counter is pretty gorgeous... :)
Maureen replying to a comment from nadia / October 11, 2012 at 03:16 pm
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You post is really touching but it sounds like a lie.
Selena / October 12, 2012 at 06:31 am
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My boyfriend went there, we were rushing, and i didn't order. i had a bite of his burger when we left the store, and the burger blew my mind. But because I'm a fat piglet I was pissed he didn't give me the whole thing.

I took out my rage on my boyfriend and slept with his best friend and his father. I also keyed his car and killed his dog. He should have given me the entire burger. I did all these things because these burgers are worth jail time.

Shout outs to photo will
William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / October 12, 2012 at 02:14 pm
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Thanks to my soldiers, keeping my brand safe.

I just want to add, for the haters, Gangster Burger has caught the eye of several powerful corporations. Several offers have been made, including a deal to make the brand global. I have refused each offer, because I know this company is worth mad millions. Each your hearts out.

JPJ / October 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm
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I went there a few weeks ago. I thought my experience was a one-off but after reading the comments and looking at the photos, I have come to the realization that a small burnt patty and extra-large stale bun is the norm here. My burger looked exactly like the ones in the photograph! Honestly, I want this place to succeed...but the product right now is not up to par. I can make a better burger at home...and that's not a good thing.
RealityCheck / October 16, 2012 at 04:01 am
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"Each your hearts out."

This sums it up nicely and shows the owners' attention to e detail. Another joke burger joint started by incompetent owners that are focused on the big franchise potential than the actual product. You won't be there much longer, hopefully you learn from this before throwing more money down the toilet.
Kaytee replying to a comment from RealityCheck / October 16, 2012 at 10:39 am
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It's not just money flowing down the toilet. Dine-safe needs to check the place five times a week to protect the customers. LOL.
416 / October 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm
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you guys think that your burger joint has " franchise potential " haha. The burger's priest kills your food on every scale
Gangbanger / October 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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Ate there last night, it was alright. I think this whole thing is just
A fad and wont last long. No seats or tables to dine on, strictly a takeout
Place. Whats so gangster about this place?
The burgers - because they are dangerous lol
Acon / October 19, 2012 at 05:44 am
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Gangster Burger... more like Bitchass Burger.

Hope they don't see 2013!
Aria / November 1, 2012 at 03:14 pm
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Hi guys,

I'm friends with the owners, they say the place might be shutting down due to lack of business...Guys help keep this place alive, go buy burgers. Even if you're not hungry, just buy burgers, give em to the homeless or feed it to pigeons.

Help guys!
Julia / November 4, 2012 at 04:42 am
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Donate! Guys please, this place is sinking. Come help save Gangster Burger from closing. This place is already a Toronto cultural institution, don't let the best and brightest of Toronto go bankrupt.

The owners can barely afford to pay for the buns and supplies, please just come and donate as much as you can afford. Yesterday I went in and dropped a fifty dollar bill in the restaurant. You should all do the same. Help save Toronto's best.
MP replying to a comment from Julia / November 6, 2012 at 05:22 pm
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All these comments below regarding the business sinking is a ploy to make Gangster Burger look bad. Business is still doing great and actually will be expanding. The competitors unfortunately clearly seem threatened by the growth and we are glad to see people going out of their way to try to shut gangster burger down. It lets us know Gangster Burger is doing something right. Thank you.
William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / November 9, 2012 at 05:04 am
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Hi MP, thank you for the defense, but also no thanks. That's right outta here- no supporters, no friends, no family, just gangsters.

We are announcing a new flagship store. We will be opening in Yorkville in January 2013. Two other stores will be opened by the end of December. We are opening a branch in the Scarborough Town Center, for all my peoples, and another branch in Mississauga.

Thanks for your support, I'm going back to counting money.

Out.
richieroller replying to a comment from William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / November 14, 2012 at 09:54 am
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Donations? Sure, just let us know when we can drop off our half filled bottles of pine-sol.
coo1leesilver replying to a comment from William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / November 28, 2012 at 12:35 am
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@Nguyen/Baxter You guys are really expanding into those areas listed that fast? I really find it hard to believe. It usually takes years for a small outfit to expand. And it takes a good 2 years to even work out the kinks in the product(s) itself. You better take it slow and steady boys.....
Cruz / November 29, 2012 at 02:48 pm
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Went here a few days ago after hearing the hype. Staff were super cool, and the concept is pretty rad, but here's my beef with the place, they're calling out their competition with inferior burgers. "No heros, no priests, just gangsters." Really? Gangster Burger might kick Hero Burger's ass, but I think it's a matter of fact, not opinion, that The Burger's Priest's proprietary beef grind actually tastes miles better than what these guys have. Give me a blind taste test I'll be able to tell them apart easily because the difference in taste is that drastic. I'm not saying their burgers are bad, but if you're looking to take swings at your competition, make sure you can knock them the fuck out. It seems like they're trying to over compensate what flavours the food may be lacking by heavily topping their beef (which should be the star of the burger) and over seasoning the fries (too much thyme dudes). I respect these young dudes for doing what they want, but they really need to re-think their plan of attack, no matter how much attention a Drake co-sign will get you.

"You don't get in the ring with Ali 'cause you think you box."
Prime Minister of the underworld / December 17, 2012 at 11:53 am
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Hero burger is the dominoes pizza of burgers. Straight up bland garbage that tastes like cardboard.
thebrunetteinheels / January 9, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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Honestly, I went to this place during the fall and thought to myself, "what a waste of money." I am a huge foodie, so when I heard about this place I went to check it out for myself. I didn't like that fact that you had to order everything separate ie. the burger, the fries, the drink. The sauces they make on the burger really aren't anything to die for (South St. Burger is wayyy better). The flavour of the patty was lacking, I could taste everything else in the burger but the burger itself. The burger was WAY overpriced for what it was worth. When I went in they actually ran out of french fries and salad, mind you it was 1 in the afternoon. Overall, I'll never waste my time and money going in there again. Plus there are so many other better burger joints around, such as Hero Burger right across the street :)
david Hadwen / January 10, 2013 at 03:45 am
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Amazing! Fin.
Kevin / January 28, 2013 at 08:35 pm
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Pretentious price point. Beef is so bland, no taste. A small 6 oz, Wilted lettuce, I'm not feeling so hot. Never again, need I say more.

Extortion.
msfoodie / February 12, 2013 at 06:40 pm
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absolutely delicious burgers! go check them out - best in toronto!
nope / February 22, 2013 at 01:14 pm
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These guys own the chop shop FY Ink? I would never eat here.
AV / February 22, 2013 at 03:56 pm
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"We are announcing a new flagship store. We will be opening in Yorkville in January 2013."

Hows that working out for you William? LOL.... FAIL BURGER.
BlogTOcop replying to a comment from William Nguyen and Lee Baxter / February 22, 2013 at 08:26 pm
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You guys are cowards.......you'll never get passed one location. Youre food is shit and you are shit. You are cowards who glorify rapists and murders. You would shit your pants and run to your parents basement (you know where you live) and cry for mercy.

Cowards
Sam / February 23, 2013 at 12:58 am
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Do you guys really think W.N. and Lee B. wrote those comments? Fake. Clearly. Stop taking it so seriously.
mp / February 24, 2013 at 01:59 am
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the pic above of the burger is all i needed to see... gross.
DK / March 13, 2013 at 02:12 pm
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Go to holy chuck for the best burger you can buy.
Jen-from Redmond ;) / March 22, 2013 at 06:02 pm
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Lee, I'm finally coming for a visit and bringing my ladies with me April 17. I'll be in the area for a concert and have planned a visit there for dinner. So happy for you and all you have accomplished. Despite all the negative comments I will come show my support and hopefully get to bump in to you that evening. Keep your head held high and fuck 'em haters!!!
borderpatrol / April 4, 2013 at 11:31 am
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well...its actually not that bad. The fries are the best thing on the menu. The burgers arent succulent enough, but for a takeaway, it is what you expect. But those fries are damn good.
I think its a matter of opinion, so don't base your opinion on the reviews, base it on your own experience.
honest comment / April 23, 2013 at 12:43 pm
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Ive never been in the place but its not busy like people say, the times I have walked by. The health infractions (http://www.toronto.ca/health/dinesafe/#inspectionResult), bad pictures and cocky comments from the owners are enough for me not to visit this place.
CONDITIONAL PASS / October 4, 2013 at 02:43 pm
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The've had eight safety infractions, four of them classed as 'significant' in severity. Currently, they have a CONDITIONAL PASS.

http://www.toronto.ca/health/dinesafe/#inspectionResult

If you're reading this, I think its fair to say you love a good burger. Who doesn't love a good burger? So don't waste your money at this place. You will be disappointed (and possibly very sick).

In addition, I am convinced this is a gimmicky business and the owners/managers/staff do not take their roles and responsibilities seriously.

Consider this, Gangster Burger - you name your business (and burger items) after criminals, rapists, and murders etc.

So gangsterism is essentially the branding and identity behind your establishment?

Is gangsterism also part of the culture and motivation in your organization?

Are you glorifying gangsterism?

Ok, now tell me about your core values and maturity as a restaurant owner. Tell me why I should give you my money and trust you with my stomach.

CONDITIONAL PASS? No surprise there.

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