Showing posts with label Scarborough. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scarborough. Show all posts
Shamrock Burgers was established in 1970 by Mr. Danny Maleganeas, and has since grown to four locations (3 in Ontario, and 1 in Alberta). I was kindly invited to check out the original location in Scarborough, ON, a couple of weeks ago. I arrived to the restaurant after work, and was greeted by the manager, Michelle, and the owner of the Shamrock Burgers franchise, Greg. Previously, I was in contact with Mike, who handles their social media, and he had prepared a few of their popular menu items for me to taste that day. I was surprised at the amount of food that was presented to me, as I thought that it was super generous of them to do so. 


Shamrock Burgers is a local burger joint whose core menu consists of homemade fast food items such as burgers, fries, prime rib steak on a bun, chicken wrap, poutine, chicken souvlaki, and much more. Their goal is to offer a "fun, friendly and interactive rock and roll experience coupled with great homemade food to their customers". Overall, they have stayed true to their initial principles of using quality ingredients, and providing fresh made to order meals.

The ordering process was quite straightforward. Consumers would order and pay up front at the cash register. It's also interesting to note that Shamrock Burgers has kept the same recipes for both their homemade burgers, and onion rings since they first launched in the 70's. Both items have proven to be a staple, and are one of the most popular items on the menu.

I find that onion rings ($3.69) at many fast food restaurants are misses, as they are heavily battered with insanely thin strips of onions. The homemade ones found at Shamrock Burgers are rather good, as there was a good balance of batter, flavor, and it was crispy golden brown.

The poutine ($5.39) was a solid side, and filled with a generous amount of cheese curds, and gravy. Some of the fries on the bottom were a little soggy, as this wasn't the first item that I tried, but it was still very good.

Shamrock Burgers' menu consists of several burger options and combos. The one that I got to try was their Rock Star (6 oz) ($6.79) burger. If you decide to opt for a combo instead, it comes with fries or onion rings, and a small soft drink. I was pleasantly pleased with the size of the burger, and it was generously topped with all of the works as well. The burger itself was definitely not lacking in flavor, as the beef patty was well-seasoned. The 6 oz burger was juicy, and came with two strips of crispy bacon, and fried onions. They also have over 20 free toppings to choose from, which is always a nice bonus.

Shamrock Burgers are also part of the Vicinity loyalty program, where 10 points earn you 1 free class rock burger (1 burger = 1 point).

I thought that the Greek salad ($4.99) was pretty standard.

 I liked how the menu was not limited to just burgers, and fries. Rather, the menu offers a little more variety than the average casual burger joints in the area, as they also have prime rib steak on a bun, chicken wrap, chicken souvlaki, and Philly cheese steak. Another item that I tried was the grilled chicken wrap ($6.95). Large sliced chunks of grilled chicken were nestled in a mix of tomatoes, onions, and sauce, and then wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Personally, I liked that they did not skimp out on the chunks of chicken, and it was juicy.


The last item on their menu that I tried was the Double Decker Grilled Cheese ($12.99); one of their two new 8 oz gourmet burgers. It was quite massive that I couldn't finish it up at the restaurant, so I had the rest packed up to go. The beef patty was sandwiched between lots of toppings, bacon, melted cheese, and 4 slices of golden brown bread. The bread had a decent amount of thickness, so the ratio between the bread slices, and patty wasn't too bad. This was an overall tasty grilled cheese burger, and definitely filling. 

Shamrock Burgers' interior was small with only a few tables, as a majority of their local customers order take-outs. Overall, it was a fast-casual atmosphere with a mixture of "rock and roll" and Irish themed decor. Additionally, since the restaurant has been an institution in the east end of Scarborough, they also have memorabilia framed photos of the local youth hockey teams (throughout the years) hanging on their walls when you enter. It's a little nostalgic, especially if you grew up eating at the establishment. 

In regards to the service, both the staff, and owner, were very friendly and accommodating. I saw many regulars coming in and out of Shamrock Burgers with their take-out orders, as the staff knew their names, and made small talks. Shamrock Burgers is quite far from my residence, but it's an overall solid family-owned fast food establishment. Hopefully, they will open a location downtown sometime in the future, as I definitely would visit again. Lastly, I would like to thank everyone at Shamrock Burgers for their warm hospitality throughout my visit.

Address: 6109 Kingston Rd, Scarborough, ON M1C 1K5

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

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Shamrock Burgers

by on Thursday, July 30, 2015
Shamrock Burgers was established in 1970 by Mr. Danny Maleganeas, and has since grown to four locations (3 in Ontario, and 1 in Alberta)...
Black Ox Bistro is a restaurant in Scarborough offering modern halal cuisine with an elevated flair. The restaurant caters to serving halal-certified meat that are from HMA (Halal Monitoring Association) certified sources. It's not a requirement for me to eat halal, but I was invited a couple of weeks ago to check out what Black Ox Bistro had to offer. I found out that they do not only offer halal items, but there were veterinarian and gluten-free options as well. Black Ox Bistro opened to much interest in the Muslim community this past January. Given the long lines at the Toronto’s Halal Food Festival 2015, one could tell the restaurant has gained popularity for their take on mainstream style dining.  However, the food isn't just for those who require their meat to be halal-certified, as it's certainly for everyone who loves good food. 

Upon entering the establishment, it was clear that the management of Black Ox Bistro wanted to create a more upscale and relaxed environment. The dining room was spacious with a bar located at the front of the house where they make in-house mocktails. The reason for the sale of mocktails is because alcohol is not permitted in hahal establishments. 

I started the night off with an order of their most popular mocktails, the Pina Colada ($6) - pineapple juice, coconut cream, and crushed ice. It was a very refreshing drink with a strong hint of coconut, which I enjoyed.

 I was told by one of the servers that the flat bread was one of the most popular appetizers on the menu. However, I decided to opt for the bacon wrapped scallops after seeing pictures of it on my Instagram feed earlier that week. The bacon wrapped scallops ($14) - four pan seared east-coast sea scallops, smoked veal bacon, arugula and mushroom salad, were absolutely delicious, and flavored really well. Normally, I am not a huge bacon fan, but I really liked that the texture of the veal bacon was slightly less crispy than pork bacon.

As for my entree, I got the filet mignon (6 oz) ($24) - the most tender and leanest of all steaks. All steaks are of the highest quality, and are never frozen. The steaks are Canadian Angus beef that are aged for 28 day, and HMA certified hahal. Each steak entree was served with the customer's choice of two sides from the following list; seasonal vegetables, house cut fries, or roasted garlic mash. I opted for the seasonal vegetables, and roasted garlic mash. I also added an extra order of lobster tail with lemon herb butter ($12) to make it into my own version of surf & turf. The juicy steak was cooked exactly to my order, which was medium. The sauce that I selected was the Café de Paris butter. A good Café de Paris butter needs to have the perfect balance of butter, and the fragrant herbs and spices used. The texture of the one from Black Ox Bistro was slightly thicker than I would have liked, but it did add flavor to the steak. The lobster tail also added the extra touch to what was a very tasty and filling meal.

Black Ox Bistro prides themselves on serving a variety of items that are made in-house from fresh local ingredients. Similarly to their food items, the desserts were all made in-house by their chefs. I was happy to see that one of the options was crème brûlée; my favorite dessert of all time. I ordered the crème brûlée ($7) - silky and smooth topped with caramelized sugar, which was well plated. Overall, the dessert was indeed excellent, and it was a generous portion compared to the ones at similarly priced restaurants.

I was pleasantly surprised that all of the staff provided both friendly, and attentive service to all diners. They all worked cohesively as a well-unified team, and that resulted in providing great and consistent service. Overall, I had a fine dining experience at Black Ox Bistro, as I enjoyed both the food and ambiance. 

Address: 1780 Markham Road, Scarborough, ON,M1B 2W2
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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

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Black Ox Bistro (Now Closed)

by on Friday, June 26, 2015
Black Ox Bistro is a restaurant in Scarborough offering modern halal cuisine with an elevated flair. The restaurant caters to serving hala...
Earlier in the week, I posted up my review of Dragon Legend. After doing so, I realized that I have quite a few more AYCE and buffet restaurant reviews in the queue so they'll be up in the next few weeks. This review will be based on the location in Scarborough, as I avoid the poorly managed Imperial Buffet in Mississauga (I got violently sick the next day after eating there).

Imperial Buffet is a buffet located in Scarborough, ON. The price for dinner is M-Thu ($21.99) and Fri-Sun ($25.99). I'd say that the weekday prices are slightly cheaper than other buffets, but the weekend price is pretty on par. On the occasions that I have eaten here; it was pretty busy most of the time so the buffet trays do get refilled often.

A majority of the items available is pretty much traditional Chinese dishes with a small selection of Western fried food. What they do offer is an array selection of hot dishes, cold dishes, salad bar, sushi, fruits, and dessert station. I find that there's nothing stand-out about Imperial Buffet, as they offer the standard and generic Chinese dishes, but it's plentiful.

Pictured: pop-corn chicken, Chinese fried rice, sweet and sour pork, and mussels.
 I'd say that out of this particular batch; my favorite would have to be the mussels. They were juicy and warm. Unfortunately, the popcorn chicken was slightly too dry and salty for my taste.

Pictured: chicken balls, onion rings, Chinese fried rice, beef, and stir-fry green beans.

The chicken balls were decent and I liked its crispy texture. However, I did not like the fried calamari at all as it was too chewy, and tasteless. I'd highly discourage against consuming the calamari.

The Chinese fried rice was good, as it was flavorful, and had a decent amount of veggies. 

There was a small section set on the side where there were some fruits; mango, melon, and pineapple slices. Additionally, there was a decent selection of jello as well.

 The sushi selection at Imperial Buffet was pretty decent with a good number of different rolls. However, I noticed that the sushi were barely touched by the patrons.

This was my first dish where I grabbed items that appealed to me as I walked through the buffet area. The chicken wings were freshly fried and juicy on the inside; I liked it. The BBQ glazed used for the ribs was really sweet, but it was meaty enough. Lastly, the fried shrimp was nicely seasoned with a hint of spiciness.

The dessert station had a wide selection of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, tarts, ice-cream, and etc. ... Most were store bought but they still tasted pretty good.

My overall impression of Imperial Buffet is that they offer nothing unique, and is quite similar to their competitors. However, they do offer a variety of food items if you are interested in Chinese-Western cuisine. Their food can be a hit or miss (as some items are bland), but the quality is what you'd expect for a buffet. Additionally, I have found that their service is rather decent as personally I haven't had any bad experience here. Usually the servers attending to our side are quick to clear the empty dishes, and refill empty water glasses consistently throughout the meals.

Quality of Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Dining Experience: 3/5
Price: $$

Address: 24 Lebovic Avenue, Scarborough, ON, M1L 4V9

Imperial Buffet on Urbanspoon

Imperial Buffet

by on Saturday, May 03, 2014
Earlier in the week, I posted up my review of Dragon Legend. After doing so, I realized that I have quite a few more AYCE and buffet resta...
Chako is one of several KBBQ establishments available uptown. There are built-in individual grills set in the middle of the tables, and customers would order the pre-marinated meats and other items, and would do their own grilling. 

The dinner price was $17.99 per person (my friends and I went on a Thursday night). For the weekends and holidays, you'd need to add $2.00 more to the price. 

Compared to other restaurants offering the same kind of food and service; Chako has a more upscale ambiance. The interior was large and the decor is very contemporary. Be forewarned that the washrooms are unisex. 

The menu offers a good selection of starters, rolls, cold dishes, meat, seafood, greens and ice cream for dessert. If you want to take a look at the full dinner menu, I have uploaded it here :)

Let's start the review off with the meat dishes. Each individual serving of meat contains between 4-6 pieces.  

The beef short ribs were by far my favorite. They were nicely marinated, and there wasn't much fat on them.

The beef was thinly sliced which made it easy for grilling.

The chicken was juicy and had a nice flavor when all cooked.

The calamari was average at best, and I found the texture to be way too chewy.

The tiger shrimps were good, but it was pretty hard to eat due to the shells.

The mussels had a really good flavor to them.

The dinner menu also offers some rolls. The only one that I tried was the spicy salmon roll. Nothing much can be said about the roll as it was pretty standard.

For those who like vegetables, the greens available are pineapples, red peppers, green peppers and zucchini. They were nothing special but it does help considering the amounts of fat intake.

Dessert was limited to a choice of either green tea or mango ice-cream. The ice cream tasted exactly like store-bought ones but that didn't matter to me at all. I was pretty full at the end of the meal, and finished it off with one scoop of green tea ice-cream.

The service was friendly, and our server was quick to get us our requested items (more meat, water, pop, etc ...)

I highly recommend Chako if you're into AYCE KBBQ. Chako is pretty out of the way for me, but it's nice to go to once in a while. 


Quality of Food: 4/5
Service: 3.7/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.7/5
Price: $$

Address: 2190 McNicoll Ave, Unit 112-113, Scarborough, ON, M1V 0D3

Chako Barbeque Izakaya on Urbanspoon


by on Thursday, November 08, 2012
Chako is one of several KBBQ establishments available uptown. There are built-in individual grills set in the middle of the tables, and cus...