Grindhouse, Toronto

When brothers Tim Pettigrew and Rob Pettigrew and their partner Mark Matusiak decided to start a catering company, they needed a functioning kitchen to run it out of. Settling on the King Street location of an Indian restaurant named Aromatic Spices, the caterers decided to double the potential of the space by opening up a congruent restaurant. Despite all coming from a fine dining background (between them, they?ve held down the kitchen at Sequel, Edward Levesque’s Kitchen, Marben, and restaurants all over Ontario), the boys decided on something much more of the times. Like countless other recent Toronto restaurateurs, they decided to open a burger bar. Enter Grindhouse, the newest vestige of Toronto’s unquenchable hunger for gourmet burgers.

Many of Toronto’s new burger shops offer natural, organic and local meat, but to our knowledge, Grindhouse is the only one that actually has a holistic nutritionist on staff. As a result, nothing on the menu has refined sugars, genetic modifiers or unnatural preservatives. There’s no Coke or Pepsi available, only Boylans sugar cane soda. Approaching the burger concept as if it was the fare at a five star restaurant, the three partners make everything from scratch from meat to ketchup to buns, which are made with Mill Street Tankhouse and Steamwhistle. All the fresh-made goods are also sold as retail at the front of house.

Looking to take advantage of its prime King and Spadina location, Grindhouse operates as much as a bar as a restaurant. It even looks a bit loungey with red banquettes, two large flatscreen TVs, and a long focal bar. But even the bar-side of the operation is treated with detail-oriented care. Taps are filled only with local breweries, including Mill Street, Steamwhistle, Camerons, and Big Wheel. Eventually, these will be paired with “slider tastings” and food will be available until 3 am on weekends.

Running the catering company out of the same kitchen gives Grindhouse some flexibility to experiment with other kinds of cuisine. In addition to the core menu (which includes a bison, turkey and veggie burger and a homemade fish n’ chips), the restaurant will rotate a daily, seasonal specials. Since Grindhouse sources whole animals, the meat that doesn’t get put into burgers will be put to use in gastro-pub leaning dishes like brisket, shortribs and chilli. That’s important, because if this whole burger trend ever dies down, at least Grindhouse will have something to fall back on.

Address: 356 King Street West, Toronto, ON
Contact: 416-977-3010
Cuisine: American
Area: King West
Venue: Restaurant, Bar
Hours: Sun. to Wed.: 11:00am – 12:00am
Thu. to Sat.: 11:00am – 3:00am
Price Range: $$$ (Within Reach)
Payment: Master Card, Visa, American Express

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