Fast food enthusiasts waited patiently last night to be the first to worship at the grill of the new midtown Burger’s Priest location.
Over the Christmas break I went to the Burger’s Priest. Though I’d been a few times before, I wanted to show an out-of-towner what all the fuss was about. Arriving at the Queen East meat shack well after lunchtime in the middle of the week, I was surprised to find it packed to the gills. Lineups and crowding have become the norm at Shant Mardirosian’s temple to the hamburger, but on my last visit, there was barely room to move inside, with new signs even posted stating that all meals purchased could not be eaten on the premises.
It is, I imagine, because of this lack of space (combined with its not so convenient location) that Torontonians got so excited when news broke of a Burger’s Priest expansion back in November. Now, two long months later, and after a few renovations and some problems with hydro, the second location officially opened last night at Yonge and Teddington Park (eight blocks north of Lawrence), and burger fiends from across the city came out in droves.
Standing in line for over an hour, local area residents (and, obviously, Burger’s Priest enthusiasts) Zak Muscovitch, Ashley Sellouk and Jessica Fonseca were the first in a line of well over 30 people looking to get their hands on a couple of classic cheese burgers. “When we found out about the new restaurant we couldn’t believe our luck,” said Muscovitch. “We felt like the gods had shone upon us, because we just couldn’t take that drive to Queen Street anymore.”
Despite being a bigger space with dark tin ceiling, scripture adorning the walls, and (gasp) bathrooms, the new restaurant has managed to retain much of vibe of the original, and except for the addition of milkshakes, the prayer board menu remains the same (Mardirosian says he’s still toying with the idea of adding onion rings). Though using a predominantly new kitchen staff, Mardirosian retained a grill man and kitchen manager from the original location to make sure that quality remains consistent. This should come as good news to uptowners no longer wanting (or needing) to make the long drive to Queen and Coxwell, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy getting in—last night, patient patrons waited at least 30 minutes to get a taste of What’s Right.
The Burger’s Priest, 3397 Yonge St., theburgerspriest.com.