The burger wars of Toronto continue with a new burger in town that everyone seems to be talking about, The P&L Burger, a burger and malt shop created by the team behind Parts & Labour. After winning first place at the Toronto edition of the Country Music Television (CMT) Burger Wars, chef Matty Matheson and Parts & Labour were overwhelmed by the positive attention their classic P&L burger started receiving. As more and more people began to frequent Parts & Labour purely for their award-winning burger, owners Jesse Girard and Richard Lambert, along with Matheson felt it was time to step up their burger game and open a shop solely dedicated to Matty's mouthwatering burgers. I had the opportunity to check out the new Queen West space before they officially opened their doors to the public, for a private media preview event and got to taste almost all fifteen menu items!
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The P&L Burger menu board; The Deluxe; Chef Matty Matheson; The Castor
All of the burgers on the menu (minus their veggie burger) are made of seven ounces of Ontario chuck (ground in-house daily) and are cooked medium-rare with each burger varying in their toppings. The first burger served to us was the classic award-winning P&L topped with cheddar cheese, bacon-onion jam, iceberg lettuce, and dill pickle mayo. That first bite said it all! That tender, fall-apart-in-your-mouth (and your hands!) patty was extraordinary, with the savory, salty toppings complimenting yet not overpowering the star-of-the-show patty. I am always partial to a classic bacon cheeseburger, so the next burger served, The Deluxe, was right up my alley featuring bacon, American cheese, tomato, red onion, iceberg lettuce, and P&L sauce. Melt in your mouth perfection! The third burger served to us was the clear crowd favourite. The Castor (named after their designers Castor Design) features thinly sliced peameal bacon, cheddar cheese, crispy onions, iceberg lettuce, and BBQ sauce and had everyone in the room (minus the one vegetarian in attendance) swooning! This burger had it all, although would most definitely require a nap after consuming the whole thing.
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The P&L team; The Italian; Kale Caesar; The Philly
It's at this point that I begin to regret not wearing bottoms with an elasticized waist (what was I thinking?!). Thank goodness they were only serving the burgers to us by the quarter, or else I would have had to be wheeled right out of the event! Although I truly enjoyed all of the burgers, my final standout of the day was chef Matty's favourite, The Italian. Although The Italian had many people in the room rushing to the bar for water to ease the spicy heat that tickled their tongues, I loved that kick of spice that The Italian served up thanks to the addition of roasted hot and sweet peppers. Doused in sweet and slightly acidic tomato sauce, this burger also featured mozzarella cheese and sautéed onions. You may be wondering about that lone vegetarian that I mentioned earlier was at the event, what in the hell was a vegetarian doing at a burger event? More than just chuck burgers, P&L also has a great veggie burger option, The Big Tempeh featuring classic toppings that included cheddar cheese, tomato, pickle, onions, iceberg lettuce, and P&L sauce. In addition to expected menu items like fries, onion rings, and poutine (with MONSTER cheese curds!), P&L also has a lighter side option their Kale Caesar Salad, with super garlicky house-made dressing, tender kale, lots of fresh grated parmesan cheese, and big crispy croutons, a side that any vegetarian and meat lover would go nuts over!
Being a burger-lover and an indecisive Libra, it's hard for me to pick my favourite burger in the city with so many fantastic options to choose from, but I have to say that The P&L Burger officially makes my exclusive list as one of my favourite burgers in Toronto! Open to the public as of yesterday, definitely make the time to check out what is sure to be a new Toronto favourite! You won't be able to miss their striking, bright P&L sign out front!