Grill Gate is known for their Philly cheesesteaks, juicy burgers and coated fries with most things on the menu hitting the grill before the plate.
The laidback eatery on Sheppard West shares a parking lot with a laundromat, nail salon and spa and features a snug dining room of about four tables.
Owner Amir Jahroudi and his partner Siavash Ashkbous are used to grilling in much smaller quarters than these, having run his business out of a food truck for four years before opening the restaurant in 2018.
The Road Grill truck was the birthplace of most of the Persian comfort food and grilled meats on the menu, including the Philly steak that seems to have been nearly perfected by Jahroudi over the years.
Always a popular staple on the food truck, the cheese-filled Philly ($12.99) contains a full eight ounces of ribeye. It's grilled with heaps of mozzarella, sauteed onions, mushrooms and their special sauce. You can also ask for roasted bell peppers.
Once it's been grilled and mixed together, it's topped with parsley and poured into a hollowed-out bun. Jahroudi says he was the first spot in the city to serve a Philly like this.
The grilled chicken sandwich ($12.99) is served in a similar way, with a fair share of over spillage of chicken (again coming with eight ounces of meat), mushroom and mozzarella. Everything is grilled together just like with the Philly, resulting in a creamy mess of flavours.
There are also about 10 burgers to take your pick from. Each comes with an eight-ounce beef patty sitting on a freshly toasted bun. The gourmet cheeseburger ($10.99) is the classic option with cheddar, onion chips and special sauce. Grilled, crispy mozzarella is a unique final touch.
The burger offers a variety of flavours and creaminess, though not quite at the same level as the sandwiches. You can also get it with grilled peppers for some added heat, but that'll be $2 extra.
The creamy mushroom mixture shows up again on the spicy mushroom cheeseburger ($13.99) that's also topped with plenty of special sauce, grilled pepper, onion chips, cheddar and mozzarella.
When it comes to sides, there's a classic ($9.99, combo: extra $4.49) and steak poutine ($12.99, combo: extra $4.49).
It's done in true food-truck fashion with beef gravy, cheese curds and stringy mozzarella; parsley adds a bit of freshness.
The aforementioned special sauce can also come poured over crispy fries ($5.99). The garlic mayo, made special with some additional seasoning, actually gives the poutine a run for its money.
You can also get the slightly tart Mississauga-based Pure by Nature drinks here. I'm told the sugarless drink is made with pomegranates from Iran.
Grill Gate feeds Philly and burger lovers alike from this spot in North York, as well as from their second location in Richmond Hill.