My praise of the Heart Attack Grill the other day for its unorthodox and anti-food-fascist marketing strategy drew a friend to point out to me that we don’t have to go all the way to Arizona for that sort of thing. We have our very own devil-may-care burger joint right here in Toronto, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s about three blocks from where I live.
I’ve been meaning to eat at Dangerous Dan’s, at the corner of Queen Street East and Broadview for some time. I always found something enticing about the restaurant’s relatively simple, no-frills signage every time I drove past it, and I remember a friend mentioning a while back that they had huge burgers. But I’d always put it off.
I had no idea it was something of a local sensation. A little research turned up a few articles, including a recent one in the Globe and Mail about Dan’s recent un-PC ad campaign, which is similar to the Heart Attack Grill’s.
How could I resist?
I ventured over on Tuesday to see what all the fuss was about. It was late afternoon and the place was deserted, but that’s okay because it meant I had the staff’s full attention. I looked at the menu and chuckled. It was full of the stuff I expected: the Big Kevorkian burger, with a fried onion, an onion ring, fried mushrooms, 2 slices of bacon, a deep-fried pickle, garlic dressing and mayo; the Elvis burger, with bacon, peanut butter and a fried banana; and of course, the Quadruple C, or the Colossal Colon Clogger Combo, which is a burger with two 8-ounce patties, four slices of bacon, two slices of cheddar and a fried egg on top, plus poutine and a large shake.
There’s also the dessert menu, which includes deep-fried Mars bars and the South Park-inspired Chef’s Salty Chocolate Balls.
Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Maybe, but the restaurant’s brochure proudly displays a review it got from CityTV: “Probably the most unhealthy restaurant in Canada.” Posters around the restaurant read: “22% of Ontarions are obese. We can do better.”
I was attracted to the Big Easy burger, which is an 8-ounce patty with spicy marinated peppers, cajun spice, hot peppers and hot sauce. I asked the guy at the counter how spicy it was, and he said, “It’s white-man spicy, not Sri Lankan spicy.” Har. I love this place already.
Here’s my burger. It was quite impressed with the size:
So how was it? I can honestly say it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. It was at the limit’s of this white man’s spice threshold, but otherwise it was very tasty. What’s more is that I felt really good after eating it. Usually I feel pretty bogged down and heavy after a burger, especially one that size, but the Big Easy left me feeling quite energized. The only downside is that I think I missed some of the burger’s true taste because of the spice. Next time I’ll get something a little less ass-kicking.
What makes Dangerous Dan’s even funnier is that it’s right across the street from Jilly’s, a strip club. If only there were an army surplus store on one of the other corners – then it would be the ultimate Sex, Bombs and Burgers intersection!