Ever had a pho burger? You can at Dac Biet Burger, which opened its doors this week just south of the Ryerson campus (in a revolving-door spot previously home to a Philly cheesesteak takeaway and an “Irish nacho” joint). Co-owner Richard Fong, a former kitchen manager at the Keg Mansion, and his lifelong friend Peter Duong have hit on a novel fusion formula that they hope will be a hit with students and the lunch crowd: A burger-based spin through Asia.
Five-ounce burger patties are ground daily in-house, nestled on Ace buns and topped with cuisine-specific fixings (all $7.50). The banh mi burger has its own lemongrass-infused pork-belly patty and roster of pickled veggies, while the pho burger gets drizzled with hoisin and sriracha, loaded with griddled bean sprouts, and flanked with a little cup of pho broth “for sipping or dipping”. That pho broth even makes it into their killer poutine gravy, which distinctly features some Thai basil and hoisin flavours.
Outside of Vietnam, there’s a teriyaki burger with stir-fried veggies and wasabi mayo a char siu version topped with BBQ pork and pineapple and a Korean take that includes a kalbi-infused patty and a scattering of kimchi on top. (Also available to quash your fermented cabbage cravings: Stellar kimchi fries topped with sweet pulled pork and spicy mayo.) But they’ll also sell you a straight-up burg with ketchup and mustard ($6) since they’re not afraid to let their patties speak for themselves.
213 Church, at Dundas, 416-703-8878, dacbietburger.com. Daily 11 am to 9 pm. Unlicensed. Access: Small step at door, no public washrooms.