First Look: Burger Brats, a further addition to T.O.’s burger craze on Adelaide
By Lu Fong
Raza Jafary, Burger Brat guru (all images by Lu Fong)
With twelve years of restaurant work under his belt — first at Licks, then as a manager at Johnny Rockets — Raza Jafary has made quite a few friends in the food industry. So when he opened up Burger Brats in the club district two weeks ago, many of those friends followed him willingly as employees, a testament to the young restaurant owner’s good will. He’s also crazy about burgers.
“I love burgers,” he says. “Whenever I go to eat after a long day of work, I’d order a burger. My friends ask me ‘Raz, you cook burgers all day, why don’t you try something else?’ and I say no … Burgers are simple; it’s hard to find people who say they don’t like burgers.”
And it may also be hard to find people who won’t like the easy-going feel of Burger Brats. Though it’s surreptitiously tucked down a set of stairs, the restaurant already has a steady flow of customers — perhaps due to the restaurant’s late hours (open till 10 p.m. on week days and 4 a.m. on weekends), or perhaps due to Jafary’s determination to say “hello” to everyone in the restaurant.
The concept: Chalkboard menus and unpretentious red diner tables make Burger Brats an equally appropriate hangout for financial district folks looking for a lunch break, or for late night bar rats looking to quell their beer munchies. Wondering about the name? Jafary admits he thought of it while watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs with his nephews.
The hood: Adelaide Street, just east of John Street.
The eats: Fresh, never-frozen meat with some serious heft set out to sate the brattiest burger-lover. The joint’s signature burgers feature names like “the Firehouse” ($6.99), “the Angry Texan,” ($9.99) and the soon-to-be infamous “Great Canadian Hangover,” ($15) a triple-decker monstrosity served with two strips of peameal bacon, tomatoes, onion, grilled mushrooms and an egg on top. (The meat alone weighs over a pound.) Wash it down with a milkshake ($5).
Owner’s favorite: “The Adelaide” ($7.99, pictured at right), topped with garlic mayonnaise, chopped onion, goat cheese and a maple syrup barbecue sauce.
Burger Brats, 254 Adelaide Street, 647-352-4786