Shant Mardirosian believes he’s created a burger fit for a higher power.
“The Burger’s Priest exists to make a burger that if God became human, he’d eat and be pleased,” says Mardirosian, who studied at Tyndale University to become a minister.
The Burger’s Priest, which prompted the band Actual Water to write a song dedicated to the burger joint, recently opened up a second location on Yonge Street at Teddington Park Avenue.
On Jan. 9 Mardirosian announced on his restaurant’s Facebook page the new location would be open that day and people lined up outside, all the way down past the corner of Teddington Park.
With a McDonald’s across the street and restaurant The Burger Cellar a few doors south, Mardirosian says he chose their new location because he knew people in the area were burger fans.
The Burger Cellar’s owner Alan Voves thinks the new addition completes a triangle between the three burger-based businesses and makes the area an ultimate burger destination.
“People have come to the neighbourhood who haven’t been here before,” says Voves. “I think we’ll benefit from it.”
Originally from Los Angeles, Mardirosian travelled and researched burgers for six months until he came up with the recipe for his 113 gram patties, which he says are a combination of New York style fresh ground beef and California style thin patties.
Both the original The Burger’s Priest on Queen Street East and the new location have two menus: The first offers a regular cheeseburger, The Option, which features two grilled Portobello mushrooms stuffed with cheese, rolled in panko and then deep fried, and The Priest, which is a marriage of the two dishes.
The second menu is a secret.
“Customers came in and ordered things we didn’t have but we had the ingredients,” he said. Both locations sell out of burgers on a daily basis.
Mardirosian says the new venue predominantly sells from the secret menu, about which he posts clues on Facebook. One of the secret items he revealed is called Riggs & Murtaugh, a chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream shake, which is only sold at the new location.
Mardirosian spends most of his time at the new store, but he’s not allowed to flip burgers in the kitchen, he jokes.
“I’m a bit of a disaster,” says Mardirosian. “These guys are a lot better at it than I am.”
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