Dangerous Dan’s Diner (Toronto)

In my past two posts of my New Year’s trip I only showed you brief glimpses of all the vineyards and various culinary delight and tourist traps we enjoyed. Today I am devoting a whole post to one restaurant, one you would not expect to see reviewed here on Cheap Ethnic Eatz.

It is our last hours in Toronto before we hit the road and head back home. We did our last stop at the LCBO (liquor commission) and are on our way to Little India, considering a spot for a late lunch. After 5 days on the road I am wanting a light vegetable oriented meal but Stef suddenly says to me: ” You know we have been eating bad but man I could go for a hamburger”. Of course I protested but suddenly I see a sign across the street….

Yeah you want a hamburger? Well let’s go to this very rudimentary looking dinner that claims their Burgers are Bigger. I denote a hint of hesitation and fear in his voice but he agrees to go. OK I am a little hesitant too when we walk into Dangerous Dan’s Diner and look at the, a-hum for a lack of a better word, retro decor.

This place is either a dump or an expert at the über cool rundown look: all the chairs are old car seats or banquettes, there are cows everywhere, the grill runs the length of the restaurant where the chef makes his meaty creations, there are cows like EVERYWHERE, we are handed a fold out menu and asked to place our order at the cash first.

See the flying cow hanging over our heads and the hamburger add posters. My two favorites are “22% of Ontarians are Obese. We can do better” and ” While we still have health care”. Did I mention there are cows everywhere? The lady at the cash is very friendly, the chef fits the decor and there is one young but burly man sitting at the back reading a paper. I still am not sure what to make of this place yet. Well turns out that burly man is James McKinnom, the owner, who opened this place in 1999 in honor of his wrestling loving grandfather.

We take a table and start glancing at the menu. Besides burgers you will find all the usual diner fixings such as steak, sandwiches, chicken wings and shakes. But of course burgers are the specialty. The normal burger section (yep there is a not normal section) has 3 categories: the 8 oz fullburger (the SMALLEST one), the Big Section and the Tree Hugger Section (veggie). We both went for the bacon and cheddar fullburger.

Would you look at the height on that thing? It was about 8 inches high! How on earth does one take a bite out of that burger?

Well try squishing it down first as best you can. OK we got it down to about 4 inches. Hmm, open real wide.

This is a (so non) sexy pic of me taking my first bite and the mess on my mouth. But man was it good. I do believe I am declaring it the best burger I have ever had. Best is the meat nicely cooked but still very juicy. Now let’s take a peak at the rest of the menu. I notice with laughter some dishes have a cannabis leaf next to them. The bottom of the menu explains this legend: Recommended for Medicinal Cannabis Users (intended as humor only).

At this point we started a great little chat with James, the owner, during our meal. This is not just a burly man, he is a cool burly dude and this restaurant fits him like a glove (and so does the cannabis mention I’ll bet). The normal burger section does not include anything so we took a peak at the side orders. Poutine Perogies ??? I am sorry I cannot have read that right.

I am from the Poutine world capital (not necessarily a proud achievement) and I get slightly offended for a moment that this Ontarian has spun his twist on MY specialty. But I could not help ordering it. Apparently it was added to the menu after several customer requested this custom order (for sure the cannabis customers again). Well it was a damn good combo I have to admit.

Now about that normal burger section. I recommend you sit down before reading these dish tittles.

24oz Bulls Balls Burger

The Coronary Burger Special: 2 8oz Patties, 4 Slices of Bacon, 2 Slices of Cheddar and a Fried Egg on top.

Collosal Colon Clogger Combo: 24oz burger served with a quarter pound of cheese, a quarter pound of bacon, and 2 fried eggs.

The “McEwan”: 10 oz NY steak freshly ground into a hamburger patty, mixed with beer, shitake and oyster mushrooms, camembert and brie cheese and 4oz pan fried Lobster Tail drizzled with clarified butter.

Yeah I am not going down alone with an embarrassing pic, here is Stef biting into his burger too, HA! This place is definitely a delicious rough jewel in the rough. My only regret is that I no longer had the room to try the dessert I have been dying to try for some time that was on the menu: Deep Fried Mars Bar served with ice cream and whipped cream. Oh well next trip!

Dangerous Dan’s Diner
714 Queen East, corner Broadview
Tel: 416-463-7310

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