Thursday, March 5, 2015

Stick to the basics at To Dine For Eatery

To Dine For Eatery on Urbanspoon So I finally got around to trying To Dine For Eatery after hearing about their Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger forever. Since my Korean friend was curious about their "Hot Spicy" Korean Kimchi Burger, I got a bite of that as well.

The location looks like a dead-end industrial black hole, but the building it is located in has a good population including an ESL school, so if you try to walk in at noon you'll likely face a packed room. On Wednesday we did a 1 PM walk-in after the lunch hour and it was barely a third full. The kitchen was still pretty busy -- too busy for the chef to cut our burgers in half, apparently, so we did it ourselves -- but service was still pretty fast.

Burgers come with your choice of fries, salad, or (+$1) soup-of-the-day. My friend attempted to get half fries, half salad and was told that would be a $2 surcharge! Apparently their busy kitchen is pretty ruthless about protecting its time and takes no prisoners.

Kimchi Burger ($13.95)
  • Nice bun. Not WonderBread.
  • Tall burger thanks to the fluffy lettuce on top.
  • Lettuce, red onion, and a bit of sweet pickle makes the top half of the burger. What appeared to be a house-made patty sits on the bottom.
    • Patty was moist and tender without being crumbly.
    • Just this would have made a really decent burger.
  • Kimchi portion was so-so.
    • Not hot or spicy.
    • Not so fermented as to be stinky, so don't worry. Basically this is just preserved veggie.
    • Flavour overshadowed by the pickle. TIP: Immediately open up your burger and remove the pickles. Otherwise this burger won't be worth the +$2 cost over their basic burger.
Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger ($12.95)
  • Basically the same burger as the Kimchi Burger, except instead of Kimchi, you get peanut butter and bacon bits.
  • As with the Kimchi Burger, immediately remove the pickles! Otherwise they'll dominate over the flavour of the peanut butter and bacon.
  • Peanut butter seemed watery, but it might be because of contact with hot bacon and burger patty.
  • Flavours do go together nicely. But I'm not convinced this experience is worth $12.95.
  • Previous reviews mentioned full bacon strips but my burger yesterday looked like it had crumbled bacon. Looked crispy, though.
  • Had an aroma suggestive of deep-frying oil that needed to be changed out with new oil. Otherwise it was a really decent fry -- crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Probably an end-of-lunch-rush oversight.
  • Crispy on the outside for a good while after it was gold.
Soup (+$1 with your burger)
  • Soup of the day was a filled-to-the-brim turkey-veggie soup.
  • This is really soup, not the stew/chowder you sometimes get. Ask first if you are hoping for the soup to help fill up your plus-sized appetite.
$12 nowadays will get you a gourmet burger with no side, such as at Romer's Burger Bar. For this reason, To Dine For Eatery's prices may reflect their sort-of captive audience, because the nearest alternatives are a block away or food trucks down the street. If you demand interesting or gourmet burgers, go elsewhere.

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