At once familiar and exotic, Etobicoke’s Royal Meats Barbecue puts a Slavic spin on an American classic. Consider the burger boom of the past decade, and all it brought us. You have your flattop purists and your hip diners, the beloved chains (both new and true) and truffle-stuffed gourmet headline catchers, each with their loyal defenders and fierce haters. But within this crowded field, few can match the sheer heft of the Royal Burger—a full-pound patty half the size of a steering wheel that, when loaded with toppings, requires two hands to hoist. Aside from its formidable size, it’s the makeup of the signature burger at southwest Etobicoke’s Royal Meats Barbecue that sets it apart from the pack. In an all-beef town, this one’s a mix of marbled veal and pork. And while lettuce, tomato and other standard condiments are offered, each sloppy burger is topped with a sizeable shmear of house sauce made from roasted red peppers and a salty goat cheese similar to feta, as well as another one made with cream cheese.
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