About the joint
The first thing that hits you about Alexander's is their signage. The big, glowing neon "BURGERS 'n more" sign hanging in the window makes a bigger impression than the actual name of the restaurant, beside which the words "All day breakfast" portend a few non-burger related visits - who doesn't love breakfast for dinner, after all?
The menu is packed with options, only 8 of them (yes "only" 8 - it's a big menu) are burgers. It's exactly what you'd expect from an old Greek family run place, a greasy mish-mash of every kind of diner food you can think of, brothers and cousins cooking in the back, Mama and daughter up at the cash, and Papa hovering back and forth, running the show. (By the way, that all the employees are related to each other is complete assumption on our part.) The two-tone brown leather booths and the wood paneled walls are just icing on the cake.
The clientele were mostly seniors - confirming suspicions that the decor isn't meant to be ironically retro. Seems like a good place to get grub, but will the burgers uphold the expectations?
Homemade Isn't Always a Good Thing
by basil on February 8th, 2012
York Region isn't the Derbist's Mecca that downtown Toronto has proven to be, and searching for a truly great burger is a labor of love up here. I found Alexander's on Yelp - it had one review, a 3/5 for its burgers. "Why not?" I said. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, after all. A little "presearch" told me I was in for a good burg, at least a few netizens felt it was the best burg in the area (not so, Hero Certified Burgers is down the street and a much better option, if a bit more pricey).
I was disappointed. I wasn't expecting a gourmet burg, especially not when I saw what the place looked like (see above), but I had hoped for something more impressive.
What I got was a huge bun, abashedly displaying the thinnest hand-formed, cooked-to-crispy patty I've ever seen. No juiciness or flavor was left after a man who I can only assume is named Uncle Kosta mashed this round of ground into the cooktop. What flavor was there tasted like slightly salty beef - at least they didn't kill it with seasoning.
To be fair, the overall experience of the burger wasn't a complete turn-off - they'd toasted the bun, a nice touch, and the cheese made things a bit better, though real cheese would have earned an extra half point.