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Introducing: M:brgr, home of the $100 burger

Ask Jeff Ditcher what it’s like setting up an upscale burger bar at the tail end of Toronto’s burger craze, and he’s not too worried. The traveller, wine collector and founder of M:brgr opened his second location at King and Spadina on Sunday (the original location is in Montreal), despite the presence of Craft Burger and Grindhouse in the immediate vicinity. His rationale? Toronto’s burger demand is only going to get bigger. And besides, he says he’s got an edge on the competition, with waited tables, an extensive wine list, a resident mixologist and an awe-inspiring list of toppings ranging from the odd to the gourmet. Oh, and he’s got the only joint in town with a $100 burger on the menu.

M:brgr is all about options. Start by choosing a patty (AAA $8.75, organic $12, Kobe $19.75, veggie $9.75, or tuna $15.75), then a bun (whole wheat, white or a lettuce wrap), followed by cheese and then the mother lode of topping selections. While a more conservative customer might pop on some grilled onions ($1.50) or hot peppers ($1.25), someone partaking in a full-fledged burger bender might opt for black truffle carpaccio ($10), pulled pork ($6) or even foie gras ($11).

Take that burger indulgence to its logical extreme and you end up with the $100 burger: two Kobe beef patties, bacon, grilled pear, foie gras, brie, fig jam, asparagus, Piave vecchio cheese, garlic-roasted ham, porcini mushrooms, honey truffle aïoli and truffle carpaccio, and an assortment of sides. It’s like the more uppity brother of Dangerous Dan’s Colossal Colon Clogger.

On the more frugal end, M:brgr offers a lunch special ($12.75) featuring an AAA burger with fries and a soft drink. Part of the proceeds goes to SickKids.

The venue itself seats about 200 and is contemporary but warm with its oak-panelled walls. Large murals of Toronto’s cityscape are peppered with random oddities to keep customers amused in a Where’s Waldo sort of way (see if you can spot the space ship). Managing the kitchen is Adam Rutherford, who spent time cooking in such Montreal stalwarts as Globe and Rosalie.

As for the all-important burger preparation, the patties are made simply: ground beef is mixed with a medley of secret spices. But for Ditcher, the true test of a patty is how it tastes sans bun. “You have to be able to eat the patty on its own,” he says. “Most people don’t eat it that way, but that’s key for us.”

M:brgr, 401 King St. W. (at Spadina Ave.), 647-729-1747, mbrgr.com.

Our Introducing series explores newly opened restaurants, bars and shops throughout the GTA
This is not a review.
Toronto Life’s starred reviews can be found in their entirety in our
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  • CRITIC

    Would you have a $100 burger in a place where the patties are ‘simply made’? with Oak looking cheap chairs ?! Come on! Toronto sure as hell dont need another burger joint!

  • Red Maple Leaf

    Let me guess…serves that other tired trend for dessert…cupcakes..

  • Oh, Noooo!

    Nothing says Classy Joint like tables set with Fast Food Napkins.

  • Culinerd

    Well Simply made burgers sounds a lot better then a burger who someone jazzed up way too much no names but there is a place in toronto. $100 for a burger but look at the amount of toppings and read those toppings pretty serious s**t.
    I will be there Saturday gotta try this place out.

    SideNote- A burger should be about the beef not how much junk they put into it. When you buy a steak do you want them to over spice or add to many extras? Bc salt and pepper on a steak is all you really need.

  • dean

    $100 dollar burger just makes me upset. I can picture these half wits telling their buddies “yeah man, we just opened up a place with a $100 dollar burger. pretty cool eh?’. Didn’t Montecristo try a $100 dollar martini? They are looonnnnnggg gone now. Why????? What’s the point? No sober, sane person would ever dream of ordering it. In fact I’m sure I’m not the only one completely put off this place just for having that on the menu. Absolute amateurs…

  • Jack

    Rarely do I wish bad but I hope they fluke out. Their ‘toronto needs lots more burger place’ is a tat of a talk down to us. Not good at all. $100… GTFOH!!!

  • Julie Drozdow

    Oh Im sure the yuppies will eat this up. Please be warned, eat somewhere where the food and the beef actually matters. Lets say Beast, Cowbell et all.

  • mattagascar

    A mixologist? I’m so there! Nothing I like better with my burger than a nice highball.

  • Higgs

    I have visited this establishment in Montreal on numerous occassions and it is the best burger by far. I am excited to have one of these restaurants in the city.

  • Hungry Boy

    I am SALIVATING….

    Ive been to m:brgr in Montreal many times and have ALWAYS been blown away but the quality of meat and great taste of their brgr. Cant wait to see the New Location…. 100$ brgr might be slightly out of my price range but if you can afford it… call me and Ill take a bite of yours… Cheers BB

  • Mark

    Please…people want value, there is zero value in mbrgr..I’ve tried it twice already because I always give places 2 chanes and both times its when you get the bill…it just isn’t close to worth it, again no value!
    Definatly will not repeat and will not recommend.

  • henry

    Hate it when burger joints don’t disclose the cuts of their patties, which in terms of taste resonates much more than organic, grass fed, or AAA.

  • BG011

    bacon, grilled pear, foie gras, brie, fig jam, asparagus, porcini mushrooms, honey truffle aioli and barf LOL

  • Los

    All i can say about this place is that its a huge rip off! The average price for a burger, fries and pop is about $20 (if that). They charge you $2 for lettuce……seriously? Get the fuck outta here with that. Also being from Montreal you would think they had a dope tasting poutine but low and behold it tasted like mediocre McCain fries with grainy gravy and cold cheese. LOL Anyways if you wanna try it out for yourself go ahead….hate to say i told you so. Go to Craft Burger or even Harvey’s for that matter.

  • Culinerd

    Was going to go there this weekend but opted to go to Utopia with friends, average price for the burger and fries combo seems pretty regular for the downtown scene anywhere you go where they use good product is between $12-$18 from what I seen. The lettuce is a little over much tho…Maybe this weekend if I feel like treating myself.

  • HudgieBudgie

    Terrific place, great burger, supreme fries/onion basket, professional staff (and HOT), pleasant overall experience-highly recommended! In the case for those who complain about spending $20 on a juicy burger with toppings + a side and a drink ,go to McD’s.

  • Lino

    Ate there in Montreal last November…for two burgers, two sodas and a single side of fries our lunch was $50. I’m not a hardcored foodie, but IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT.

  • WalterP

    I don’t expect to see Popeye taking Wimpy there for a burger…he will wait until Bob Burgers opens in Toronto. I envision this being a rendevous for Bluto and his family and this opinion has little to do with the quality of the food but rather about some of the customers.

  • John

    The $100 Burger sounds GROSS!!! First off who wants a burger that will for sure fall apart the moment you pick it up and second, half those ingredients don’t even compliment each other. I hate people who can’t think of their own ideas instead copy someone else “cough Daniel Boulud’s DB cough” which by the way is way better then this rip off concussion. I’m sure m:brgr does great in Montreal, because the dining options don’t even compare to Toronto. We have waaaaayy better restaurants. Take their other place Moishe’s steak house for example. Harbour Sixty destroys that place. Anyways, best of luck to them. Hopefully they last longer then Moshe’s did in Toronto. I’ll take Golden Star, Burger Shack any day over overpriced burgers joints. It’s a fucken hamburger at the end of the day.

  • jason t

    This joint is a huge let down I will stick to BQM Diner where I can get naturally raised ontario beef for burger for $7 bucks and get fries and drink for under $12 dollars.

  • pat@kobeclassic.com

    MBRGR has a best products and selection and price range for all to enjoy.TRY ONEYOU WILL SEE, Pat

  • Carl E

    All well and good…. Yuppie Burgers BUT can that burger be served other than WELL DONE. For those that enjoy a burger medium rare, there is always the home BBQ,

  • jason t

    MBRGR does not in anyway have better product just over hyped Toronto has a great local burger joints like BQM, Burger Shoppe, Craft, Utopia (not all burgers but the burger are awesome there) and many others. If I am going to blow $100 there are a ton of great steaks houses to do so. Not sure what this Montreal joint has to offer it will go the way of MBCO… Burgers Toronto has it – Montreal know Deli maybe these guys should of brought a really good Deli concept.

  • Lauz

    Went there last night……I walked out thinking that was the most expensive burger and chips I have ever had and it was nothing to write home about. The burger was nice, but I have had better. The lights were to bright in the restaurant. I felt very exposed under them. It was also cold and the place had no warmth. I wouldn’t go back unless they drop their prices. I paid $45 for a burger, chips and 2 beers!!

  • Yoza

    Burgers were really delicious, expensive though. If you’re trying to distinct yourself from other (very good) burger joints in the neighbourhood by introducing truffles, porcini & other ‘exotica’, you better do it right! The truffle frites have to have a strong truffle scent, not just a few drops of truffle oil! Porcini are hard to find fresh in North America, but then better not offering them – I would bet the ones I eat were Portobello. Nice thing was, Jeff the owner came by to make sure everything is OK. I did share my (positive) critique and he seemed happy to get feedback from foodies, not just hungry sports-bar/more/is/better type of customers. He offered a few slivers of truffle carpaccio to taste – on the house! To resume: food is very good but not the best ever, prices are high and if the cook is concerned about truffles challenging Torontonians’ taste buds or he/she simply doesn’t like them – then don’t offer them! BTW: the best surprise were the cupcakes!!! Kid you not, these came with REAL, creamy icing, not your commercial grade, overly-sweet crap! All in all, I wish I was blown away by a dream-burger not a cupcake…at least in a hamburger place.

  • alex

    two things:

    1: They do NOT charge 2 dollars for lettuce. They charge 2 dollars for ARUGULA, there’s a difference. You want lettuce, ASK. Use your words.

    2: The people that include tips and taxes in their INSANE price proclamations do not have a concept of what dining out means. Stop inflating the price, and grow up. Burger, fries, two beers? Don’t know what you had on the burger but if you don’t think you’re paying close to 45 for all that, you don’t belong out of your house. You order truffle fries, and desserts, get free samples of truffle carpaccio and still complain about the price? Get a clue. Everyone who is negative needs to be informed before they rip a place that’s been open for all of two weeks.

  • mbrgr montreal fan

    Can’t wait to try it – Mbrgr in Montreal is AMAZING!! I look forward to going there every summer as to most of my non-Yuppie friends. If the TO location is any good as Montreal, then it’s burger gold.

  • MV

    AAA Burger was fantastic. Good service, nice interiors, you can actually tell that they spend a lot of money renovating the place. The homemade tiramisu was awesome.

  • eating my words man

    Does the $100 burger come with a happy ending??

  • K

    Right across the street from my place in Montreal.
    Definitely recommend this! Try their cookie dessert with icecream.
    Delicioussss. NOT just any burger joint.

  • C-Go

    Tried out m:brgr in Toronto only because I had just returned from a holiday in Montreal and we had met a friendly guy that offered us the “free” portion of 2 for 1 wings at the Irish Embassy on Bishop. He only wanted a pound so offered my friend and I the 2nd pound, refusing to take any money from us. He said he worked at m:brgr in Montreal so upon return to Toronto today we decided to visit the King St location. Yes, it was an expensive lunch ($42 for 2burgers, 1 being organic, 2 toppings, bottled water, 2 coffees and fries) but the quality, taste and service was there. Oddly enough, I raved mostly about their coffee. Really good brewed coffee which can be hard to find in many casual dining restaurants. Overall, a good visit and the current offer of 2 free desserts upon a return visit was a nice touch.

  • gwendolyne

    Fabulous burgers, I checked out all the places this city has to offer. This has been the best so far. My husband and I have a fabulous burger with fries and our final bill comes to $24 for the two of us. I dislike the negative comments as I know this restaurant has a lot of integrity and taste. If you do not want to charge up your bill with the extras then go simple and taste that delicious meat they cook up perfectly. I rate this restaurant with the best burger restaurant in our city. As for the other places mentioned I gone to all and eventually all let me down and we have not returned. We went 3 times over this last month. Let’s hope they can stay open as they are well worth the visit.

  • Sarah

    I’ve been to the Montreal location a few times and have never been impressed. It is overly expensive and not that tasty. You’ll only find tourists inside because all the real Montrealers will choose a 4$ burger at BUNS then this ridiculous place.

 

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