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Restaurants

Holy Chuck Burgers

Posted by Rebecca Fleming / Reviewed on October 27, 2011 / review policy

Holy Chuck BurgersHoly Chuck Burgers wants to satisfy. no, stuff its customers. Even their bovine logo is in on the action, literally offering up his head on a plate. A little morbid yes, but with that big goofy grin he at least looks happy with his decision.

Holy ChuckLocated in the space that used to be Retro Burger near Yonge & St. Clair, and open for two months now, Holy Chuck is making a name for itself in the burgeoning burger business.

Holy Chuck BurgersHoly Chuck looks like your run-of-the-mill fast food place. When it comes to ambiance, it's on par with any establishment that has primary colour splashed walls and swivel chairs bolted to the ground. Customers place their order at the counter and wait for their name to be called a la Lick's. The one fun touch comes in the shape of a table-top arcade game which is a leftover from its past life.

We perused the wall-mounted menu to make our choices from burgers with names like The Farmer's Threesome, The Mad Cow and the Go Chuck Yourself, as our arteries proactively hardened in anticipation.

Holy Chuck BurgersMy friend chose the Grind n' Shine ($9.99) and made it a combo with Crispy Fries and a Nutella & Salted Caramel Shake (for an extra $7.99). The Grind n' Shine consisted of a double-bacon cheeseburger, topped with caramelized onions, a fried egg and hiding out in the middle...crispy fries.

Staff here recommends that you add nothing else except lettuce and tomato in order to reap the full benefits of their burger experience. Steve enjoyed his burger, but compared the overall taste to a certain restaurant with golden arches. I think this may be attributed to the processed cheese and plain bare-bones buns. He did however say the patty itself was more tender and juicy.

Holy Chuck BurgersI opted for The Grazer ($10.99), Holy Chuck's meatless option, to see how they stacked up in that category. Now don't go thinking that a veggie burger at Holy Chuck constitutes healthy eating, and those looking to eat healthy probably shouldn't be looking in a burger joint anyway.

The Grazer consists of what they call "animal feed", or to be more specific, a Panko-crusted portobello mushroom stuffed with feta and cream cheese (no vegan burgers here...). The aforementioned 'shroom is then deep fried, slathered with a mixed herb aioli, topped with lettuce and tomato as recommended, and stacked between two grilled cheese sandwiches (see: slice of cheese in between 2 burger buns).

The filling itself was very rich and the aioli was a nice complement - they were right about skipping out on the ketchup and mustard. I didn't order a combo as my friend already had and I considered these to be communal, and I'm glad I didn't as my burger alone had me itching to undo a button or two. I've heard of the meat sweats, but mushroom?

Holy Chuck BurgersThey were both decent burgers, but my return to Holy Chuck would be purely shake-based. My friend's Nutella & Salted Caramel concoction was tasty, but my Reese's Pieces and Banana milkshake ($5.49), made with 90% ice-cream and 10% milk, was heavenly and every sip brought with it chunks of peanut-buttery candy and fresh banana. This milkshake required some chewing.

Holy Chuck BurgersIt's obvious that co-owner Johnny loves what he does (I watched him have way too much fun deep-frying a Twinkie), and he is proud of the quality ingredients that go into their food like the meat with no added fillers, ground in-house daily. He's created a fast-food restaurant with more soul and fewer question marks.

Holy Chuck BurgersIf competitive eating is your thing then be sure to order up the Go Chuck Yourself ($19.99). Finish this 6 patty, triple bacon & grilled cheese behemoth in under 6 minutes to secure a place on the Wall of Fame (and a free t-shirt). Excessive? Well, as Johnny said on my way out, "We're Greek. It's our business to overfeed." I couldn't have asked for a better sound bite.

Holy Chuck Toronto

Discussion

57 Comments

JLankford / October 19, 2011 at 09:38 pm
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Even more expensive than Retro Burger, which it replaced. $9.99 and up, but at least you're receiving 'a lot'. Eating here more than once per year is probably going to take years off.
Greg / October 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm
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Ok Toronto, for real, the burger craze can end now.
BillyO / October 27, 2011 at 03:58 pm
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It's still early to say, but this place might just be as good as the Priest. Time will tell, but if you like the Priest I'd say this place is worth a try - right off of St. Clair subway station, which is nice.

Robin / October 27, 2011 at 04:47 pm
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I've been here and the thing about this place and that EVERYTHING on the menu is just TOO big and crazy. Especially for most females to eat. It's fine to have outrageous options but have at least one normal sized option.
k / October 27, 2011 at 04:54 pm
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BURGER PREIST is BETTER!!
KPB / October 27, 2011 at 05:11 pm
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I like McDonald's
GG / October 27, 2011 at 05:15 pm
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Toronto cuisine. A piece of shit burger and over-cooked spuds. Only in this city could you find someone reviewing burgers and fries.
Monkey See / October 27, 2011 at 05:28 pm
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They've copied their vegetarian option directly from Burger's Priest, who as far as I'm aware were the first to offer a panko crusted portobello mushroom stuffed with cheese. So already Holy Chuck loses big points for copying the originals. Hmph. Although I don't think that BP offers their version sandwiched between 2 grilled cheeses, but that doesn't necessarily make it better...
JJ replying to a comment from Monkey See / October 27, 2011 at 06:01 pm
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Yeah but the BP copied that veggie burger idea from NY's Shake Shack, and their whole concept borrows heavily from In-N-Out and other burger joints in America. There's very few original ideas when it comes to classics like burgers.
Rick / October 27, 2011 at 07:17 pm
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Those fries look good.
Ingap / October 27, 2011 at 08:36 pm
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I've been to Holy Chuck and Burgers Priest and the quality of HC Is superior! I am a women and everything on their menu (other then the six patty options and the GO CHUCKYOURSELF) are things that anyone can eat! These people actually talk to you and are very polite! I think some other burger places should take note! In regards to people copying each other, I would like to quote a food critic who wrote a review, (after HC beat BP in a blind taste test with 5 food critics as judges) that the modern burger was created in NY City and over stretches of California highways 50 years back and not on the distance stretch of queen street. No one is re-inventing anything, but I think HC is the closest to perfecting it!
Ben / October 27, 2011 at 09:54 pm
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Burger craze can never stop.
busted replying to a comment from Ingap / October 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm
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Disclaimer, Ingap obviously works for Holy Chuck.
Filos / October 27, 2011 at 11:24 pm
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From my experiences at Holy Chuck, this blog cannot be further from the truth! Not that is was really bad, but definitely not deserving of the credit they should be receiving. Forget these blogs and go check it out for yourself! You won't be disappointed!
Michael / October 28, 2011 at 01:31 pm
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Burger Priest absolutely destroys this place.
JOE BLOW replying to a comment from GG / October 28, 2011 at 03:36 pm
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YO!!!!!! FUCKEN RETARD!!!! IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE REVIEW WHY EVEN BOTHER WASTING YOUR TIME IN READING IT???? GO WATCH YOUR PORNO OR SOMETHING!!! TIPCAL DUMB FUCKEN TORONTONIAN. GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS!!!!
Monkey See replying to a comment from busted / October 28, 2011 at 05:40 pm
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It's so obvious...
Visualhornet / October 28, 2011 at 07:02 pm
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Stockyard on st.Clair, has been doinin an out burgers way before BP, was around plus better service and more menu choices
val / October 31, 2011 at 01:40 am
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The deep fried portobello from BP tastes better because they use a different cheese. The patties are both good but I like how the bun holds up better at HC - Priest gets soggy and oily way too fast. BP also has better pricing for the vegetarian option but neither of these compare to Shake Shack :(
eli / November 1, 2011 at 06:34 am
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the holy chuck is the same owner as retro burger they could not make it went to bp copied everything and started the holy chuck. they could not come up with their own idea. the place is cold the service is slow and the fries are nasty and sometimes two days old. and I do not work for bp. just know what is good and bad
Teena / November 4, 2011 at 02:59 pm
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I ate there today. Very expensive for a small greasy single burger, cold fries and fountain pop. I won't be back.
CaushJahLisse / November 12, 2011 at 06:30 pm
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Richard / November 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm
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I went there yesterday.

Pros:
-Very friendly service, and pretty quick too
-The meal tasted pretty good and somehow I didn't feel lethargic or crappy after eating that much food

Cons:
-The price. $22 for a MadCow (cheeseburger with portabello & ricotta covered in panko and deep fried), fries and a specialty shake
-The MadCow's cheese sort of makes it hard to taste the meat and mushroom...might be better if there was an extra patty on there
anon / November 18, 2011 at 03:26 pm
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Check out this burger showdown between Holy Chuck Burger and the Burger's Priest. Holy Chuck was crowned the winner! http://www.foodwithlegs.com/?p=3699
Steve / December 26, 2011 at 06:34 pm
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I want to know should I stick to going to HARVEY'S and not even try this place. Retro Burger did not last long and every time I walked by it the place it was empty.
Gavin / January 11, 2012 at 04:55 pm
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I ordered the veg burger and it was raw and cold in the middle. Super disappointing. I was really looking forward to it.
Alex / February 20, 2012 at 06:15 pm
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I just had the signature Holy Chuck and the regular double cheeseburger with fries and a salted caramel Nutella shake. Everything was excellent! I was looking forward to it all week and I wasn't disappointed in the least. I enjoyed it just as much as Burger Priest which I tried for the first time last week :)
pz / May 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm
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Pretty damn good burger!! Not sure why there is so much hate; must be the Burger Priest fanboys.

I had "the big Chuck" with no additional toppings. Burger was filling but I did not feel like I was gorging myself (though Holy Chuck of course offers this option)

Customer service was great.
rather peckish / May 12, 2012 at 12:25 am
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I ate here and it was pretty good. i love burgers so we can never have too many burger joints. enjoy.

http://ratherpeckish.blogspot.ca/2012/04/holy-chuck-burgers.html
Burgerlover / May 16, 2012 at 05:15 pm
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I've done a taste test back to back between burgers priest and holy chucks....holy chucks puts the priest to shame when it comes to flavour and satisfaction. I used to be a Burgers Priest loyalist until I went to Holy Chucks. I could keep eating holy chucks over and over again. Burgers priest, not so much, the only thing I'd go back there for is the high priest. There was also a taste test I attended where they blindfolded people and fed them a piece from each burger joint, holy chuck took them 100% meaning all 5 participants preferred holy chucks over burgers priest when it came to taste. Granted holy chucks is quite greasy and a tad bit pricey but comparatively, I've spent 20 bucks at both places and was far more satisfied with Holy Chucks.
mayor dodge replying to a comment from Burgerlover / May 17, 2012 at 01:31 pm
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Another thing that really, really tops Holy Chuck over BP is friendly service. I stay clear of the pretentious ATTITUDE they push in your face at BP. Holy Chuck deserves blessings.
Frankie Rodriguez / May 21, 2012 at 03:57 pm
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I can't explain why I love burgers but I do. To explain my obsession, one weekend out of nowhere, I drove from Toronto to New Haven just to try Louis' Lunch.

On my birthday weekend I convinced my friends to hop in the car and go to every burger joint in Toronto that had a reputation(I know it's not in Toronto, but I cheated and drove up to Goldenstar in Thornhill first). I wasn't playing when I cooked up this artery filling contest, so I created a rubric which all of my friends had to follow (I'll spare you the details).

In all truthfulness we had BP, Holy Chucks, Allen's, Gourmet Burger, Big Smoke, Dangerous Dans, Johnny's, 5 guys, and Burger Shoppe. (Before you tell me to try them, I've had Apache and Jumbo's on the west end before and my favourite burger there is at the Goodspoon at Jane and Bloor).

I won't rank them but the winner after losing 5 years of life to cholesterol was: Holy Chucks

Sorry, to all of you BP lovers (and yes, everyone knows about the secret menu) but Holy Chucks won the overall taste test but who cares ... they're all good.

PS: That is my real email above, if you don't believe that this happened I'd gladly send pictures of the contest to you.
TorontoJoe / June 30, 2012 at 06:45 pm
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I don't understand all of the hate coming from the BP loyalists - I go to both HC and BP and the burgers are incredibly close. Most BP fanboys (and girls) like the crowded,in the know vibe and the not-so-secret menu that was borrowed from in-and-out and it's like they resent HC from copying what BP brought to the foodie masses and fixie-riding hipsters of TO. Let's be honest, both joints are slinging some nice greasy cheeseburgers that seriously hit the greasy-burger craving in just the right spot. Personally, I love the burgers at both, but what gives HC the win is their shakes. For me, the nutella and salted caramel shake is the best, followed closely by the bacon fudge sea salt. Even the straight up strawberry is a winner. I give HC a big thumbs up, but don't distress, my PBR-drinking mustachioed comrades, that doesn't make BP any less of an establishment!
reg / July 11, 2012 at 03:30 pm
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This place is really bad. Burgers are greasy has hell (not in the good way). And the prices are criminal. 2 burgers (they are tiny as hell!), 1 fries, 2 cans of coke = 30+ dollars. You kidding me? Get the hell outta here you scammers.
Sabotage / July 20, 2012 at 10:24 am
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I don't know why we're comparing BP and HC. Let's just focus on HC. Their patty is greasy heaven, but make sure you get it cooked the way you like. Although they grind the meat fresh in house (therefore justifying them cooking the burger pink), they occasionally get overwhelmed by the lunch rush and just give you a raw burger. And if they wanted to offer raw burger meat they could have just added that as an option on the menu.

I like the idea of seasoned fries with fresh herbs but the olive oil makes the fries soggy. I personally prefer crispy fries. All the hype above regarding their milkeshakes is 100% true. Get a milkshake, share it with a friend, skip the fries.
Chris / August 8, 2012 at 02:07 pm
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The best burger I have ever had!
Writer / August 8, 2012 at 05:39 pm
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Good burger. I find it interesting how people need reviews to know if food is good. Incredibly annoying when people's opinion is based on another's. Chew. Think. Chew some more. If you need to talk about it, I would recommend pursuing some hobbies. Foodies may be the most pretentiously boring people around....especially those who herd around reviews.
Not a TROLL / October 26, 2012 at 06:09 pm
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Please Try BQM on spadina and QUEEN, order the Hawaiian get fries if you want to be stuffed medium rare.


please I have sampled all these COOL places and they are nice but the meat never comes through in the taste it either hidden by SPICE or something

Try BQM its good.
evan / November 26, 2012 at 04:21 pm
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Too much salt. That's it really, my meal here tasted like a salt lick. I won't be going back.
rik replying to a comment from JJ / January 14, 2013 at 09:14 pm
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agreed!
vic / January 18, 2013 at 06:40 pm
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I've been to both BP and HC and hands down holy chuck has my vote.
Johnny! / March 12, 2013 at 09:31 am
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The burger is very tasty. Salty, yes, but no more so than most really good burger joints. But the best thing about Chuck is the milkshake. Far and away the very best shake I have ever had. I cannot decide between the Reese's pieces and banana, or the Nutella and salted caramel. Simply fantastic!!
Chris / June 24, 2013 at 08:44 am
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The burgers here are pretty good but a little expensive. The decapitated cow logo is a turn off.
Tom / October 10, 2013 at 11:58 am
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DISGUSTING!!!

CAUGHT THE COOK WITH A PONY TAIL @ THE YONGE ST LOCATION PICKING BOOGERS FROM HIS NOSE WHEN HE WAS ON THE GILL!!!!

SOOOOO GROSSS!!!!

NEVER COMING BACK
CAM / October 10, 2013 at 12:03 pm
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Burger - OKAY
SERVICE - TERRIBLE

Just a greasy mess on a soggy bun. Limp fries to go with it!
yummmmmmm :(

SKIP THIS BURGER... there are a million BETTER spots around town
CAM replying to a comment from JLankford / October 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm
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The service is almost as sloppy as the burger. Chef with the pony tail doesn't look like he showers much...
TOM / October 15, 2013 at 04:03 pm
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HORRIBLE SERVICE....
WAITED 30 MIN FOR A BURGER AND FRIES AND PEOPLE BEHIND ME GOT AN UNCOOKED BURGER. WHEN THEY COMPLAINED THE STAFF JUST LAUGHED IN HIS FACE... HARVEYS WOULD HAVE BEEN JUST AS GOOD.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND GOTO BURGER PRIEST NEXT TIME!!


-TOM
TOM replying to a comment from mayor dodge / October 15, 2013 at 04:35 pm
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WORST SERVICE EVER
DALE replying to a comment from mayor dodge / October 15, 2013 at 04:37 pm
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"Food was a greasy mess. The burger would fall apart in my hands leaving me with some very messy finger food.

Fries were limp and tasted like paper. The restaurant has a cafeteria feel.

The decor was almost as bad as the service.

Staff were rude, unfriendly and seemed a little "UNHYGENIC" to put politely.

STRONGLY RECOMMEND EATING "ANYWHERE" ELSE"
Danny / October 30, 2013 at 02:01 pm
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I was very excited to try HC as a preist fan already. HC's menu looks amazing. I tried the signature chuck and the version of the big mac. We ordered the meat medium. Came out rare. It was very juicy but it was mushy. They do not butter the bun or toast the bun. We didn't even finish the sandwiches. I was a little let down. Actually I was disappointed and didn't want to complain about the meat being under cooked. Maybe if you order the burgers medium well it might be a better experience. I personal went home sad as a huge fan of burger craze. HC wasn't anything special. I personally feel Burger Priest is way better. But I'm looking forward to trying
Danny / October 30, 2013 at 02:02 pm
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Stockyard
Anne / November 16, 2013 at 11:48 am
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Hands down the best burger in the city. Burgers Priest can't even hold a candle to these guys! It's all about the meat and HC's is FAR MORE superior!
Dante / January 16, 2014 at 11:54 am
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I've tried their burger and I'd have to say its ordinary. I recently tried a place on yonge called JACKSONS burger and it was awesome. They truly use quality meat and make the patties right in front of you. I think they're an American franchise of something but they have a great concept.
SML / February 17, 2014 at 09:28 pm
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Completely underwhelmed by both the burger and the fries. Fries were soggy, greasy and under cooked both times I was there. Felt like I had to go home and scrape a pound of grease from the roof of my mouth.

Hamburger was undercooked, on a boring generic bun. The buns really let dow the burger. They should be gourmet buns, not off the shelf ones I can pick up at Loblaws and Sobeys.

The lack of condiments irritates me. I HATE lettuce on my burger and dislike plastic tomatoes. Face it, in Jan they aren't serving local, fresh tomatoes, but the flavourless crap from the US. I like gourmet mustards and relishes. I love a quality BBQ sauce on my burger. What's my choice? Nada. Pretty much served up a dose of arrogance with my burger. I really don't give a damn what someone thinks I should be putting on my burger. None of their business.

Too expensive for what I got. Could do without the indifferent service and arrogance.
Amaya / May 1, 2014 at 02:42 pm
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I SWEAR I do NOT work for holy chuck (noting this because some of the above comments have been accused of coming from employees) I LOVE THIS PLACE!

Yes, it's a bit pricey, but you definitely get what you pay for. Without a doubt, this is the best burger I've had in a LONG LONG time and I am SO pleased to say that their Gluten-free bun is actually not only edible, but enjoyable. I really really dig that since I usually just order lettuce wrapped around my burger rather than endure the gross Gluten-free buns offered by places like hero burger. I have been to the buyer's priest many times and it doesn't even come close to being as awesome as Holy Chuck. I will NEVER go back to the priest with Holy Chuck as an option. It's WAY more convenient, more options, better service, SUPER friendly and knowledgable staff and a fantastic burger! 'Nuff said.
Ivan / May 1, 2014 at 02:58 pm
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.....Grillway at Runnymede and Annette has the best burgers i've tasted so far. Old mom and pop joint. WOW, and they are 7 bucks! and you leave FULL!, you don't even need the fries!
anthony / July 16, 2014 at 08:32 pm
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WAAAAAY to greasy and too much salt as well. I had high hopes for this place but will not go back.

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