In her Opinion:
When we had dinner at Eataliano Panini and Pasta Ristorante a little while, I found out that The Grill Burger Kitchen was part of the same group. So needless to say, I was pretty excited about trying them out and kept a mental note to do just that.
So when we were driving down Fairway Road the other night trying to figure out where to have a quick supper in Kitchener, it caught my eye and we opted to try this new burger joint in the KW area.
Let me begin by saying that I love a good burger...the juicier the better. I love the Burger's Priest in Toronto, Holy Chuck also in Toronto and Frat Burger in Waterloo. So, the Grill Burger Kitchen was up against some stiff competition. I shouldn't actually say that...I never like to compare burgers. Every burger has their own merits that make it an outstanding burger. For me though, it's the juiciness of a burger that makes it a winner in my book and I guess that's why I love the aforementioned burgers so much.
The Grill Burger Kitchen reminded me so much of Sam's Restaurant...a greasy spoon that is no longer opened in Cambridge which served burgers and Greek food. I think the smell was what sparked this memory and the fact that the Grill also serves Greek food. After checking out the menu, I opted for "the Grill Ringer burger" with fries. The Grill Ringer consisted of a big juicy (6-oz burger) with cheddar cheese, chili, bacon and topped with a huge onion ring. I topped it with lettuce, tomato and southwestern mayo.
This was a large burger. I bit into this burger (it's a mess maker folks) and wasn't awed by its deliciousness. It was okay...not great, not fabulous...just okay. I wasn't crazy about the chili. I found it had no real depth of flavour. It tasted like beans and beef in a tomato sauce. The burger itself wasn't juicy like I love. It didn't have any outstanding beef flavour that you get from a really special burger. I was very disappointed. The fries were okay...nothing to really get excited about. Again just okay!
In his opinion:
The special feeling you get when you find a good burger joint is fantastic. I think there can never be enough of them and the more different and eclectic they are, the better. As much as I crave a great fine dining experience, the good burger experience is equally rewarding and when it's good, it's so fulfilling.
At first glance, the Grill Burger Kitchen fits the bill. This is their second location, implying they were successful in their first one that has been open for years, it's decorated well, there is a decent selection on the menu and the smell as you walked in was inviting. We also liked their other "non burger" restaurant Eataliano Panini and obviously, expected some good things from this one.
After some consideration of the menu, I decided to get the Memphis Burger. With a description like "big juicy with cheddar and smothered with pulled pork", there isn't really a way you can go wrong. Or is there?
While waiting for the food, I stood there watching the "grill guy" squeezing the burger patties with his spatula as if he was exorcising a demon out of it, depleting it of all its juices and goodness. I wonder how my burger would get the "big juicy" taste the menu described but stayed optimistic, although skeptical.
Finally, the burger arrives...at first glance it looks good and appetizing. As I pick it up to give it my first bite, I realized that the bread wasn't fresh and felt a bit soggy. First bite in and I'm not getting much flavour from the patty, the toppings or oddly enough from the pulled pork either. From the "patty shakedown" by the grill guy, the flavourless, dry patty was expected but the extremely bland pulled pork came out of nowhere. The chili cheese fries continued the theme of mediocrity, even though to a lesser degree.
I was gobsmacked to tell you the truth. How in the world can you have a burger place that makes such bad burgers? I sincerely hope the wraps on the menu are their salvation because the burgers aren't going to keep them open for long.
The Good: The fountain drink...and the decor!
The Bad: I want to keep this blog short....so read above.
The Verdict: Not sure if it was just that day or that location because I had heard decent things about the one in Waterloo. Bottom line is that given the decent choices of "good" burger joints in the Region, I will find it hard to ever return to this place.
I give it 2 out of 5 Olives as rating