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Metro burger poll: Matt Elliott takes on the Toronto mayoral candidates, in burger form

By: Matt Elliott Metro, Metro Published on Wed Sep 24 2014

I’m no food critic, but I do enjoy a good burger. And I know a thing or two about Toronto municipal politics, which means – as per, I’m pretty sure, some kind of bylaw – I am duly qualified to review the mayoral burgers being served up at The Lakeview Restaurant as part of Metro’s Burger Poll.

Here’s my take, fresh off the grill.

The Morgan Baskin Burger

When I first heard about Morgan Baskin, Toronto’s upstart teenage candidate for mayor, I approached her with some skepticism. I eyed her namesake burger the same way.

But to Baskin and her burger’s credit, I came away impressed both times.

Lakeview builds the Baskin burger with two veggie burger patties, then adds a medley of ingredients including barbecue sauce and – no joke — crushed Doritos. As a pretty ardent carnivore, the veggie patties had me concerned. But the combination works, and the burger ended up tasting meaty enough to hang with its beefier competition. And, hey, you get a glass of Cherry Kool-aid on the side.

The Olivia Chow Burger

I wanted to like the Chow Burger more than I did. It’s topped with jack cheese (get it?), a roasted orange pepper and a chow-chow relish that combines a whole bunch of tastes: tomatoes, cabbage, onions and carrots. There’s something in the Chow burger for everyone.

But while it was still a pretty impressive burger, in the end I thought it was trying to satisfy too many tastes. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a relish fan. If you’re into relish, you’ll be excited about the Chow Burger. But me, I could have used a little more focus on the beef.

The John Tory Burger

The John Tory Burger takes some risks. It combines beef, blue cheese, blueberry barbecue sauce, fried red onion and tortilla chips. My initial reaction: shut up, that’s a ridiculous list of things to put on a burger.

But I persevered, and I’m glad I did. The blue cheese is fantastic. The tortilla chips give it a satisfying crunch. The sauce makes it all so very messy, but nobody ever stays clean in the world of politics or burger-eating.

It’s probably an acquired taste. If the Tory burger doesn’t do anything for you the first time, try it four or five more times. It just might win you over eventually.

The Doug Ford Burger

None of these burgers could be called small, but the Doug Ford Burger is a real monster, featuring beef, bacon, chicken and a side of gravy. It’s the kind of burger I’d pretend to laugh about in polite company, scoffing at the mere idea of eating such a thing.

But here’s the thing: this burger is actually great. There’s no pretense. It’s exactly what it looks like: a giant pile of meat and cheese on a bun. Your head and your heart will tell you to stop eating, to move on. But you won’t be able to stop. The Doug Ford is a burger that won’t quit.

This post was originally published at on 2014-09-24T00:00:00.000Z

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Matt Elliott

City Hall watcher, columnist and policy wonk in Toronto.
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