Matt's Burger Lab
Matt's Burger Lab does not have a patio for outdoor dining but does offer takeout and delivery. Sanitizer is available throughout the restaurant, masks are mandatory and washrooms are cleaned frequently.
Matt's Burger Lab is a Toronto destination for over-the-top halal burgers.
"Lab"-like twists include servers in lab coats, vials and syringes full of sauces that can be injected into burgers, images of scientists on the walls and science-themed names for menu items.
Formerly home to sandwich shop Kitson and Co., the unique bi-level design means you ascend a flight of stairs to order food, with a ground floor area for seating.
Beef patties are all made in house by hand from 100 per cent striploin beef, a higher grade cut than is used in many restaurants.
The Burning Atom ($12.40) has a signature juicy beef patty topped with cheddar, onion, tomato, lettuce and pickles plus Turkish beef soujouk sausage, grilled jalapeno and spiced curry ketchup that give this burger its fiery name.
To amp up the heat quotient even more, ask for an injection of house hot sauce directly into the patty.
The Ice Age ($13.40) also has a descriptive name, melty crusted herbed mozzarella cheese mimicking a melting ice floe on top of a beef patty with guacamole, salsa fresca, tomato, lettuce and smoked chipotle sauce.
The Marie Curie ($12.90) has a lamb patty with mozzarella cheese, grilled onion, tomato and lettuce, but most of the flavour comes from lots of slippery, sticky BBQ sauce and pineapple.
In addition to lamb, they also do fish, chicken and veggie burgers, plus cheesesteaks and hot dogs.
The Mango Theory ($13.40) also has a lamb patty that's actually delicious now that I can taste it, a bit subtler than the beef. That's topped with cheddar, tomato, lettuce, pickle, smoked chipotle sauce and a refreshing mango salsa that surprisingly works on the burger.
The Big Bang ($24.90) is the unrealistic burger you come here to Instagram, a tower of two beef patties with cheddar, crusted portobello, crusted mozzarella, beef bacon, guacamole, salsa fresca, tomato, lettuce, smoked chipotle and BBQ sauce all between two grilled cheeses.
Impossible to actually get your mouth around and in danger of toppling, of course, but components like the grilled cheese sandwiches and the guacamole are solid on their own.
Matt's Poutine ($9.90) is topped with the owner's favourite toppings: cheese curds, ground beef, pickled jalapeno, gravy, and an unexpected twist of house mustard that adds an extra kick.
Cheese Fries with Beef Chorizo ($9.40) are topped with melted cheese, beef chorizo, lots of mushrooms and rosemary garlic sauce.
Beef Nacho Fries ($9.90) have melted cheese, ground beef, guacamole, salsa fresca and smoked chipotle sauce. Fries are all a little underdone, but with so many toppings you barely notice.
Murals by Mike Parsons add a personal touch to this space.