It is, says the guy hoping to make it so, the next revolution in casual cuisine.
Not that the burger hasn’t been done before. Indeed, it’s been done so many times the hoofprints in the sand won’t ever go away. But it’s being done differently now. Or so contends Saeed Mohamed, the president of Burger Shoppe Quality Meats, a full-service Toronto burger co. that promises quality beyond that to which you may have become accustomed.
It is Mohamed’s intention to steal back the burger from the fast-food joints who once themselves sought rebellion with low-end, quickservice patties between buns and, well, rebel once more, this time with at the other end of quality and price.
“It’s the age of the gourmet burger,” says Mohamed, who sells only locally sourced, antibiotic-free beef burgers, for $7 to $12 per, and then goes on to charge for fries and a drink. (The “drinks” here are pretty special, mind, given the 12 drafts [all local] and 40 bottle brands.)
And of the restaurants whose patrons once dined on steak alone, Mohamed has a theory. “Burgers have become the way for them to save themselves,” he says. High-end steak, meet high-end burger.
What makes a high-end burger, exactly, is tricky to say. Mohamed, who sources the flesh for his Ossington-Dundas store (he has two others, one at King and Spadina, one in Leslieville) from Scotch Mountain Meats, is loathe to use the word “organic,” what with all its loose bandying about, of late. The cows who give of himself for his menu, he says, “live the right way and eat the right way.”