Ronto’s is another great addition to Toronto’s decked-out halal burger scene, doing burgers topped with hot fried chicken or mac & cheese.
Also serving equally epic poutine and solid fried chicken and waffles, Ronto’s isn’t licensed but they’re open late on weekends in a bar-drenched neighbourhood.
A custom beef blend for patties is ground fresh in house every day, and these are no smash burgers. A good centimetre thick with a crusty caramelized exterior, these patties take time to grill to order on the flat top, getting a decent amount of time under a bowl to steam both before and after American cheese is placed on top.
Even squishy buns get a little extra love, dragged through fat and grease as they’re toasted on the griddle.
A Mac & Cheese Burger ($14) tops two of these patties with cheese with what is essentially a full adult serving of three-cheese mac. The result kind of reminds me of Hamburger Helper (in a good way).
The carb overload shouldn’t work as well as it does: all the elements remain relatively distinct, both the burger itself and the mac solid on their own but pleasant when they combine. Since the macaroni is so overflowing you essentially end up with a side of mac & cheese along with this burger.
The Barnyard Burger ($13) tops a cheeseburger with fried chicken tossed in hot sauce, accompanied by crunchy coleslaw, pickles, a drizzle of honey, and bacon (always cooked separately from halal beef and pork).
The over-the-top combination is surprisingly successful again, the chicken moist with a good level of kick, the honey, slaw and pickles bringing an appropriate balance of acidity.
Chicken and waffles are probably the best deal here at $9 for a hefty two-piece. The skin could have slightly better bite-through but it’s crunchy and crackly and the chicken is juicy, and the waffles are fluffy, supportive, everything they need to be. A hit of maple syrup completes the sweet and savoury dish.
Spice level can be adjusted on the chicken for both chicken and waffles as well as the Barnyard Burger.
Poutine starts at $10 and ramps up successively to $12, $13 and $14 for varieties topped with hot fried chicken, chopped cheeseburger, or bacon, sausage and ham.
All start out with hand-smashed fries, Quebec cheese curds and veggie gravy. The fries don’t get too soggy, and the curds are nice and squeaky but still very melty and stretchy.
Formerly home to Fargo’s, short-lived neon and hip hop memorabilia have been replaced by a clean look with around 18 seats at a banquette, standalone tables, and a window-facing ledge.