First Look: Wild Burger offers an Ark-worthy menu


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Image: David Ort

Every so often, a Toronto restaurant or pop-up vendor creates a new burger that features an unusual meat. After last week’s opening of Wild Burger, residents and office workers in the Mount Pleasant and Eglinton neighborhood no longer need to travel for a grilled patty of ostrich, kangaroo, or camel anymore.

Chef-owner Suman Roy says he came across as sketch of the concept in one of his notebooks from five or six years ago: “I don’t think Toronto was ready for the idea of game-meat burgers then, but now is the right time.”

He and his partner, Gautam Banerjee, jumped at the opportunity to take over the storefront that Sandoozles vacated when they went out of business this spring. Roy and Banerjee took possession in July and had the whole place gutted (except for some of the kitchen equipment) and ready to open in three weeks.

Reading from left to right, the menu goes from what Roy describes as “something for everybody” to the more adventurous options like a burger made with Okanagan Valley Ostrich ($13) or one that features imported Australian kangaroo ($13). Add five dollars for a combo that includes a fountain drink and one of the many sides ($5 to $7 on their own) options, including: duck fat fries (potato or sweet potato), onion rings, deep-fried pickles, salad, kettle chips, or the Deep Fried Extreme Beans.

Chef Roy is experimenting with the idea of offering a selection of three slider-sized versions of the burgers as a special.

All of the meat, except for the camel, ostrich, and kangaroo, is raised in Canada and supplied by Black Angus Fine Meats. The buns—baked at Silverstein’s—are the only ingredient not made in-house.

Before opening this restaurant, Roy was the corporate executive chef for Campbell’s Canada and helped lead the catering team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He has also worked closely with charities like Toronto’s Second Harvest and their community food works program.

Wild Burger is the first restaurant for Roy and Banerjee, but they are plans to franchise the concept at other locations, including express-style, smaller restaurants downtown.

In addition to covering beer, new restaurants and food trucks for Post City, David Ort writes about food and drink for several Toronto publications including his own site, Food With Legs. He is the author of The Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook; now in stores and available for ordering online. For more of his thoughts on food, beer and life in general, follow him on Twitter or get in touch at info@foodwithlegs.com.

 

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