Burger Shack
By YP Contributor

Burgers Like They Don’t Make ‘em Anymore

John Batshon doesn’t have to do much to spread the word about his homey Eglinton Avenue hamburger restaurant. John opened The Burger Shack in the mid-80s and likely will still be serving his signature Banquet Burger with a big smile on his face for many years to come.

It’s not that he’s reluctant to talk about what makes his burgers so special (some say they’re the best in Toronto). You want to grin just listening to John talk about his ingredients, so enthusiastic yet down-to-earth is his personality. It’s just that it seems unnecessary; the “burgers-like-they-don’t-make-em-anymore” speak for themselves. “I’ll let you in on a simple secret,” he says. “What makes my Banquet Burger so great is I insist on using fresh beef every day.” Melting cheese and a rasher of bacon add the finishing touches.

The eat-in and take-out menu extends to cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, chicken souvlaki plus – and this is important: fresh-cut fries and home-style onion rings.

I grew up in a big family and food was always a big part of our lives. My mother passed it on to me. You have to love your work to last for so long. - John Batshon, owner
The Burger Shack

Old-fashioned Burger Bar

The Burger Shack is the type of fast-food spot that you actually want to sit down in. It’s spotless with fun old photographs dotting the walls and low-hung glass lamps creating an inviting and cozy atmosphere. The welcoming ambiance is why the restaurant is so popular with local families. “We have a good deal in our Chicken Dinner which I serve with Greek salad. Families love it for supper,” smiles John.

An old-fashioned egg-and-toast breakfast with a choice of bacon, pea meal ham or sausage hits the spot in the morning while lunchtime sees local office workers dropping in for a bite. The late opening hours make it the perfect spot for a pit stop before heading home after a night on the town.

The souvlaki is only white meat, so fat content is low. John cooks fries and onion rings in nothing but vegetable oil for a clean and light taste. When John says fresh-cut, he means it; every single one of your thick and tasty fries was sliced by hand. The onion rings are some of the plumpest you’ll ever lay eyes on with just enough batter for a crispy coating.

The Burger Shack

Secret Recipes

You can rave to John all night about how delicious his homemade poutine and gravy is but you’ll never get the recipes out of him. The same goes for the sauce on his much-loved Banquet Burger and the combinations of spices he uses for his souvlaki. “It’s all a secret,” he grins and you have to grin with him. It’s no wonder John has such a cheery disposition; he loves what he does. “I grew up in a big family and food was always a big part of our lives,” he says. “My mother passed it on to me. You have to love your work to last for so long.”

The Burger Shack
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