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The path to my heart runs straight through my stomach as I love food more than almost anything. The only reason I don’t weigh 400lbs is because I am a relatively tall dude at 6’3″, still have a reasonably fast metabolism–and work out at least 3 times a week.
When I am feeling like eating something unhealthy–and getting what in my mind are some of the best BIG burgers in the City, there is only one restaurant in Toronto that will do. Dangerous Dan’s Diner–a small restaurant at the corner of Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue, located directly across from Jilly’s “Gentlemen’s” Club.
Dangerous Dan’s is famous for their epic burgers which can be seen in this video. While epic is a word that is tossed around too much these days, it truly applies when confronted with the famous Colossal Colon Clogger Combo which consists of a 24 Ounce Burger topped with a quarter pound of cheese, another quarter pound of glorious bacon, all the standard burger fixings (lettuce, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo and hot peppers) and two fried eggs. Yes, the burger is topped with not one but two over-easy eggs.
As if the burger alone wasn’t enough to feed 3 people, it comes with a “small” Poutine and a large milk-shake. Dan’s has the standard chocolate, strawberry and vanilla-but those in the know opt for the Elvis shake which is an awesome concoction made of chocolate ice cream, banana, and Kraft peanut butter. SO GOOD!
As Dan’s Owner, Chef James McKinnon says: ” I just think you should never try and make a burger too healthy. A burger’s supposed to be comfort food and it’s supposed to make you feel good. When people try and make it something that’s really good for you rather than tasting good, I think it’s missing the point.” I couldn’t agree more.
I would love to see Adam Richman, the Man vs Food guy, tackle this awesome burger. I bet he could conquer it as he has conquered some pretty amazing competitive eating challenges on his shows Man vs Food and Man vs Food Nation where Adam Richman who has held virtually every job in the Restaurant business travels across America to tackle various restaurant food challenges from eating nuclear spicy chicken wings–to eating massive Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches.
Dan’s is diner food done right. Every other restaurant opening up in Toronto seems to be a Shawarma place, Burrito place, Yuppie Burger Chain (Hero Burger, Gourmet Burger Co, Acme Burger, etc.) or some flavor of Asian-Fusion–and we are rapidly losing our old-school Fish N Chips and traditional European style diners.
Gone are the days when one can get a piece of MEATLOAF just anywhere, or Shepard’s Pie. Heck I bet people reading this don’t even know what a Shepard’s Pie is–and that is right up there with Poutine, Bacon and Maple Syrup as being food I grew up on. But North American foods, and European foods like Perogies and Schnitzels are increasingly hard to find in Toronto as we cater more and more to other ethnic tastes.
I don’t mind a good Pho Soup, and I am one of the few white boys who can handle REAL Jerk Chicken, Curried Goat and Oxtail platters (Albert’s, Mr. Jerk and Caribbean Queen are my faves)–but like Sutton says in his article, I think it is also important to preserve tastes from the past, and pass those recipes down from father to son (or mother to daughter) so that they are preserved and will not be forgotten–and this includes “white people” food as European style foods, even Traditional French style food is increasingly harder to find in Toronto especially at a price that the middle class can afford.
That is one thing I truly miss about living in Thunder Bay Ontario where I did two years of Anthropology at Lakehead University–the absolutely awesome Finnish, Scandinavian and Polish food available in that city.