A hamburger joint popular in the Greater Toronto area has landed on the Elmwood strip. The former Zetti's location at 976 Elmwood Ave. has become the first Hero Certified Burgers in the United States.
The franchise’s signature offering is all-natural, fully traceable Angus beef raised on western Canadian ranges without hormones or antibiotics. No chemicals, no fillers, no additives. The burgers can be garnished with high-end toppings like guacamole, crispy fried onions and bacon in both pork and beef.
The franchise’s red, white and blue signage seemed to capture the attention of people shopping at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market across the street on Saturday. The small room has mostly bar seating facing Elmwood Avenue.
Besides build-your-own burger options, including a vegetarian and fish burger, there’s poutine, and fries in sweet potato and zucchini, and shakes made from soft serve ice cream. Hero Certified Burgers says they can cater to gluten-avoidant customers and those with celiac disease if you let them know when you order.
Similar to the Five Guys “little burger” option, at Hero Burger you can opt to get a 4-ounce burger ($4.99), a 6-ounce ($6.49) or 8-ounce ($7.99) protein patty. Although the focus is on their high quality beef burgers, they also offer their soul burger (100-percent vegetarian patty, $5.99), chicken breast ($6.49), wild Alaskan salmon fillet ($7.49) and 100-percent seasoned Angus beef hot dogs ($4.89). If you build your own burger, you then move on to choose your bread, cheese and toppings that start at $1.
I selected the 4-ounce beef patty on ciabatta roll with goat cheese, lettuce, tomato, crispy onions, portabella mushrooms and a dab of mayo. Crispy ciabatta crust, burger cooked well so you could taste the char, plus a splash of umami from creamy goat cheese and hearty portabella mushrooms made a high-quality impression.
Original poutine fries ($5.59), also available with beef or mushrooms added, were smothered in salty gravy and melted cheese. On a cool fall day, it hit the spot. There’s also regular fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings or tempura zucchini, which I couldn’t turn down. Fried until crispy and golden brown, the zucchini was juicy with a slight doughy flavor. They were delicious even without dipping sauce.
Info: Hero Certified Burgers, 976 Elmwood Ave., 881-4376