I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try Fat Phill's after my friend suggested this restaurant as a contender for the best burger in Toronto, which had me raising my eyebrows for a second when I first heard it. Fat Phill's opened their new location at Yonge and Davisville in late May after a short hiatus following the closing of their renowned Marlee Avenue location. Residents and workers in the midtown area can now look forward to a new and exciting burger joint in the vicinity to add to their lunch and dinner palate.
The new location has the same feel as the old one, but upgraded to a modern looking burger joint. You can never get bored with the menu options, featuring three different burger sizes, turkey and veggie burgers, Greek classics, peameal sandwiches, ice cream, milkshakes, and other diner-style menu options - including one that my friend Oakley named himself, The Corleone Burger.
Phill has a great personality that makes the restaurant worth calling Fat Phill's ... when you meet him in person you'll be surprised to see that Phill actually isn't fat. There are dinosaur toy figures strewn around the space here and there, which remind me of a boy's admiration with prehistoric times.
We started off with the monster poutine that came in at $5.99. It was a generous and mouthwatering portion of fries slathered in gravy and 2 types of cheese. Phill prides himself on using fresh ingredients down to the last batch of freshly cut fries, which are made in-house from Russet potatoes.
Our orders came out in a timely fashion, and about 10 minutes after we sat down we were called up to the counter to assemble our burgers. Having ordered a specialty burger loaded with extravagant toppings already, I dressed mine up conservatively with lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard.
Pictured above is The Big Kahuna Burger ($9.50) with grilled pineapple, mozzarella, and bacon. My fellow foodies decided to order this signature burger that comes with double the beef patty pleasure. All of Phill's burgers are made from 100% fresh ground beef, without a single ounce of it frozen. The beef is juicy and full-flavoured. and cooked to a subtle, pink-centered medium.
The Blue Kahuna Burger ($9.50) is loaded with pineapple, bacon and Rosenburg blue cheese, and yes, one level up from The Big Kahuna Burger. It was an adventurous choice, as I had no idea what to expect from the addition of blue cheese in a burger. As I made my way past the slightly crunched buns and bacon strips, the blue cheese hit me like a wave of wasabi rushing through my nostrils, but I was instantly soothed by the pineapple. A very interesting burger indeed, and one that takes incredible burger-eating skills to be able to hold it intact while eating it.
Of course, Phill couldn't let us go home without a round of dessert to end a great meal. The mint chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone was the icing on the cake.
Fat Phill's is a vintage superstar who's legacy has been running for at least 28 years, even after the burger scene has exploded in Toronto leaving restaurants competing for the coveted best burger. The prices are reasonable for the budget-friendly and will suit any wallet size. The staff is warm and kind, and the comical art of animated Phill framed on the walls with TV screens and dinosaur figurines is inviting for any crowd looking for a homely place to devour a big, tasty burger.
Thanks to Phill and the staff for hosting. All views expressed are my own, as always.