Holy Chuck brings extreme gourmet burgers (and some twisted meat humour) to Yonge and St. Clair
Here’s the question. Would you eat at a place whose logo is a hamburger on a cow’s body with a cow’s head on a platter? If not, you probably wouldn’t fit in at Holy Chuck Burgers, the new gourmet burger joint at Yonge and St. Clair, in the old Retro Burger space.
But if you think the cartoon logo is hilarious — if it makes you a little bit hungry, even — you’ve found the right place.
Picture this. The burgers are basically ground steak, supplied by Ryding Regency, a large supplier of federally-inspected meats. They are ground in-house daily.
The basic Holy Chuck burger ($9.99) is two patties with bacon, cheese and caramelized onions. And we’re not talking tiny burger cakes from McDs. The patties are big. And drip on your hands juicy. And the bun is perfect, white and soft.
The extreme is the Go Chuck Yourself ($19.99), which, according to the menu, is a whopping “six patties, six cheeses, triple bacon, caramelized onions stacked between three grilled cheese sandwiches.”
You wouldn’t think it, but there is a veggie burger on the menu, for the vegetarians whose meatarian friends drag them in. It’s a deep fried portobello mushroom burger stuffed with cream and feta cheese, crusted with panko ($8.99)
The surprisingly fit-looking team behind Holy Chuck is Johnny Prassoulis, from Steak Frites Bistro, Pusateri’s, and Auberge du Pommier, along with Bill Koutroubis, the former owner of the now-closed Six Steps. Establishments with less artery-threatening options, for sure.
But the Holy Chuck menu has a similar attention to detail and creativity as a higher-end restaurant. Prassoulis says he is thinking of putting a burger topped with foie gras, or a burger with chocolate, on the menu. It’s like creativity and talent meet a passion for meat and grease.
The pair choose their ingredients carefully. The ice cream for their milkshakes, which are 90 per cent ice cream, comes from the local St. Clair Ice Cream. The wasabi for their wasabi, green onion and fresh ginger milkshake ($5.49) comes from local Japanese restaurants. And of course, the feta cheese is always Greek.
“We wouldn’t serve Romanian or Canadian feta or anything like that,” Koutroubis jokes. “We’re Greek."
And then’s there’s the vegetables (if potatoes count as vegetables). They are fresh-cut fries and chips ($3.29) made from Yukon gold potatoes, or sweet potato chips ($4.29). Believe it or not, we could almost taste the vitamins in the sweet potato chips. Like they were slightly greasy health food. And you can smell the fresh thyme and parsley on the fries, which are fresh and delicious. What do you know? Something green is on the menu.
The chips go well with house-made lemon aioli (which is slightly citrusy, made with orange as well as lemon) and chipotle mayo ($0.49).
For the more adventurous, the Holy Chuck fries can also come with bacon, double cheese or a beer chocolate chili topping ($5.99). (If you’re curious, the chocolate melts into the chili, giving a sweet complement to the slightly bitter, meaty chili).
And we tried the strawberry cheesecake milkshake ($5.49), made with strawberry jam and cream cheese. Picture drinking cheesecake with a straw, and you’ve got the idea.
Anyone who can finish a Go Chuck Yourself burger in less than six minutes gets an exclusive T-shirt and their picture on the “wall of fame.” If you fail, you go on the “wall of shame.” Apparently, someone’s eaten it in three minutes, two seconds.
It’s probably fattening just to read about it, but it’s definitely a good time.
Holy Chuck Burgers, 1450 Yonge St., 416-962-4825