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Best New Restaurants 2011

number 9 The Burger’s Priest

City carnivores find the meaning of life in an all-beef patty

Freshly prepared burgers at The Burger’s Priest

Yes, a hamburger joint. Because owner Shant Mardirosian has managed to execute the dead-easy formula that legions of mothers once knew but has nonetheless eluded nearly every other city hamburger shop for the past, oh, 30 years. The Burger’s Priest makes North America’s most beloved food from scratch. They grind their beef in-house in small batches several times daily, hand-form it into loose patties and then cook them to medium, so they’re pink in the middle and juicy beyond belief. Mardirosian uses basic, white-bread buns (no artisanal Red Fife and spring water ciabatta here, thanks), and tops his burgers only with simple condiments (mustard, relish, ketchup) instead of the usual jackass stuff. The cheeseburger is an icon of greasy, sloppy, processed-cheesy perfection; the double cheeseburger, with breaded, deep-fried, cheese-stuffed portobello caps, is an artery-shocking work of art. It’s an unambitious burger shop, but that’s the point. It’s more memorable and more satisfying than nearly any other take-out spot in town.

1636 Queen St. E., page