It’s hard to make running a burger shop sound like a social revolution, but Top Gun’s website comes pretty close. They describe their mission as “restoring the forgotten culture and craving for gourmet steak sandwiches & burgers, acting as innovators in the art of steak sandwich & burger craftsmanship – hungry stomachs flock here for truth and promise.” Did I find truth and promise as Top Gun? Not really. But I did find some very good burgers.
The setup provides a mix between a pure fast-food chain and an upscale restaurant — you order your food from the front, as opposed to being waited on, but your meal is brought to you as you’re seated. This makes the atmosphere a bit more relaxed than a traditional steakhouse, but more geared to a sit-down experience than a conventional burger joint. The staff is very friendly, and I encourage you to ask for their recommendations if it’s your first time out.
That suggestion might sound appealing when you’re confronted by the quite dizzying menu, a piece of work that certainly legitimizes their claim for innovation. If the thought of venturing outside the familiar territory of a plain beef burger terrifies you, there is always that option — but why would you want to when you can have two beef patties topped with grilled pineapple and served with chipotle sauce?
Regardless of what option you take, you’ll be treated to a high quality meal. Each option on the menu is carefully designed, and the various toppings compliment each other excellently. The highlight is exactly what you might expect when visiting a burger restaurant that brands itself as a steakhouse: the meat. And although some of the options might not be to your liking — mushroom stuffed with cream cheese grilled with a beef patty is unsurprisingly an acquired taste — it’s worth it to step outside your comfort zone and know the quality of every ingredient will be superb.
Top Gun didn’t quite surpass by current favourite burger restaurant, but it is certainly worth a visit if you’re in Toronto. You might not find truth and promise, but you’ll get a great burger, and isn’t that almost as good?