Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Paradise Farms Cafe

Paradise Farms Cafe has lofty aspirations for providing high quality healthy burgers for it's clients. Black aberdeen angus, Scottish Highland beef ( a lean grass fed cow with high omega-3 fatty acids), Italian chianina and wagyu breeds are humanely raised on the Cafe owner's farms and not fed chemical additives for inducing weight gain. High aspirations indeed.

A very large selection of fresh burger toppings are available to customize your final selection. Tasty treats! This photo was one of the 2 cases of toppings! The following toppings were offered: caramelized onions, sauteed fresh mushrooms, sauteed sweet peppers, crispy fried shallots, house made guacamole, house made smokey roasted tomato ketchup, house made salsa, basil/pesto aioli, maple chipotle aioli, roasted garlic tarragon aioli, pickles, tomatoes, fresh onion, relish, mustard, hot peppers, olives, double smoked bacon, peameal bacon, and 4 different kinds of cheese.......I would come back here for the toppings alone!........However!

I ordered the following burgers: the koburger (Ontario wagyu beef), the black angus burger, the highland burger and the veal burger. The resto also passed around tastes of the wagyu sausage all by itself, for patrons to taste. I tried each burger by itself without toppings or bread, then enjoyed the whole sandwich. There were no real taste differences between the burgers. The principal difference discernible to me, between the burgers, was the texture and I don't believe that those differences were intentional. The buns were ok but I would prefer a bun with a slightly crispier skin and a less dense interior. Bun "science" is tricky. The wagyu sausage was something that I would come back for. It was very good. But, I would avoid the truffle oil topping, on principle.

The highly proclaimed "the best" onion rings were indeed crispy, ungreasy and very tasty.

The fries were just "ok". 

I applaud the owner's aspirations. But, although the experience overall was ok, the owners must match their aspirations and the good intentions of their meat husbandry with the butchering and fabrication of the burgers. To my taste, in all cases but the veal burger, the burger texture was much too dense. If the burgers were ground daily, on premises (I suspect they were made, frozen and delivered), with a single coarse grind and not handled too much, there is the potential of an outstanding product. Further, I was advised, that "by law", they could only supply their burgers done medium well. Of course many restos in the city cook their burgers as the client requests. Here they are adamant about "the law" and cooking medium well, although 3 of the burgers arrived, fortunately, medium. Given the burger consistency, it frankly makes no difference. But, if they improve the delivery of their product by better burger fabrication, making burgers available medium or medium rare, the potential of the end product would once more, be vastly improved.

I live downtown and would definitely not go out of my way to have these burgers.

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