Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Friday Lunch at Capitano

You can get other things to eat on Yonge Street between Bloor and Wellesley, but really it is noodle or shwarma lover's heaven along that strip.  Thus it is with some excitement that we spied Capitano, featuring hamburgers and gelato.

Rather than our usual trek via the Toronto Transit Commission to some far flung culinary outpost, Capitano is a hop, skip, and jump down the street. Despite this, the fries are well and truly steamed by the time we dip into them.  Although we cannot tell if they were once crispy, we do register their spiciness. It is, a co-worker reports, rather like the spice mix used by Arby's.  This becomes something of a theme. The sauces used on the burgers are also reminiscent of some big brand sauces only better.

The Banquet Burger

The Banquet Burger features barbecue sauce--the brand savvy co-worker says it is like Bull's Eye.  Besides the ubiquitous onion(red), lettuce, and tomato, this burger features a generous heap of sliced sweet pickles, excellent bacon but a really mingy bit of cheddar. The meat is a little too compacted and over-seasoned, more like meatloaf than a burger. The made-on-site bun, a nicely glazed better than Wonder Bread number sprinkled with sesame seeds is tasty although it collapses a little. Overall, it is an acceptable, but not great, burger.

Banquet Burger (left), Capitano Burger (right)

Our second burger, the Capitano, is a winner.  The texture is a perfect example of a homemade barbecued burger featuring meat that is neither too dense nor too loose. On the outside it is browned well, while, unusual for a fast-food establishment, the meat retains a semblance of pink on the inside. It too has the usual toppings.  They were somewhat more generous with the cheese.  The sauce here is in the the Thousand Island/ secret sauce more--but better. 

Ice cream, sorbet, gelato, one of our number loves them all. Alas, the salted caramel and lemon gelati failed to enthrall. There was a distinct lack of either salt or caramel from the former. Instead there was a sort of a coconut-fueled imitation flavour.  Although the lemon gelato did have a citrusy tang, it was just a little too sweet to truly satisfy.

Lemon and Salted Caramel Gelato
While somewhat disappointing overall, the Capitano burger will draw us back to 645 Yonge Street.  It is a welcome break from the all Asian/all Mediterranean all the time norm on this stretch of Yonge.

Price: $25.82 for two burgers and two gelati.

Location: 645 Yonge Street


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