Exploring burgers in Waterloo

Local restaurants offer a variety of choices to choose from for this classic beef-based sandwich

Over a century since its invention, the hamburger has become a centerpiece in casual dining culture. In it’s humble beginning, the hamburger was solely a facet of the army and fast food, but in recent years there has been a surge of specialty hamburger restaurants that wish to bring a gourmet spin to the classic sandwich.

Here are a few local places that’ll fill that hole in your heart and may just destroy your arteries in the process.

Carl’s Jr.

I had heard a lot about the American chain — apparently they served up the best burger among the fast food heavyweights down south — and I had to check it out. As I stepped through those doors, I was teleported to a world where “medium” meant no less than two litres.

Within three minutes, the lifeless, grayed puck would sit in front of me, topped with an offensive amount of bacon and sandwiched between a bronzed freshly baked bun, they called it the Mile High. Needless to say I was disappointed. I was ready to renounce my citizenship and pledge allegiance, but sadly Carl’s Jr. served up an $11 burger comparable to something you’d find at a shitty golf tournament barbecue.

Frat Burger

Next up was Frat Burger. Among the countless combinations and varieties they serve, one particular burger caught my eye — Zoe’s Brunchie. Topped with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar, hash brown and a slice of grilled pineapple, this seemed like a clear winner to me.  Unfortunately, while Frat Burger excels in their creativity, they blunder in their quantity. Now don’t get me wrong, it was a tasty burger, but it took me no less than five bites to finish this $14 creation. It left me wanting more and had Frat Burger committed an ounce or two more of beef or cut the pineapple a little thicker, it could have been at the top of this list.

Big Tex’s Grill

I was reluctant to go to Big Tex’s at first, but many people were insistent that I try their Bucking Bronco. I’m really glad someone spoke up. The beef patty was topped with fried jalapenos, cheddar and beef brisket — a lot of beef brisket. It took my breath away in more than one sense and for $10 you really can’t go wrong. “Everything is bigger at Tex’s” rang true as I looked down the submarine-brisket-burger hybrid — honestly I really can’t get over the brisket. Ironically enough, it seems as though the Waterloo-based restaurant served up a more “American-inspired” experience than the lauded Carl’s Jr. If you’re ever in the mood to knock a few years off your life, or maybe you just went through a terrible breakup, refrain from reaching for that chocolate ice cream and head on down to Big Tex’s Grill.


Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

They call it the Double Double Double. Twin 10oz patties topped with a double serving of bacon and whole lot of cheddar — not to mention all the classic fixins, sauteed mushrooms and onions. From top to bottom this thing hit all the points. Yes, the Double was reasonably larger than all the other burgers covered, but showmanship aside, what Morty’s delivers is a no-nonsense burger eating experience. When you’re eating a burger, you’re not worrying about your table manners, napkins or utensils for that matter — eating a burger is about leisure and recreation. It truly is the ultimate comfort food. Morty’s not only delivers based on their food, but the ambience is welcoming, vibrant and when you’re facing your 20 oz monstrosity, it really feels like home. It’s a no-brainer — head down to Morty’s if you’re looking for the best.

    Leave a Reply