For grill enthusiasts, the taste of a perfect hamburger can be heavenly.
So, there might have been some divine wisdom when The Burger's Priest decided to take on the Barrie burger market with its unique approach.
When Shant Mardirosian decided that the seminary was not for him, but feeding the people was, he came upon a brilliant idea. By mixing what he learned from his schooling and his love of burgers, the California-native embarked on a career of the restaurant kind.
With locations all over Toronto, one in Guelph, Mississauga and Edmonton, Mardirosian knew Barrie was next on the BP radar.
“Barrie is a really expanding market. There are a lot of young families here,” said Mardirosian at Saturday's grand opening.
“We know the restaurants up here do well. Mixed with the proximity to the highway. . . the traffic that heads up to Muskoka and cottage country, and we saw the success of other burger places on the highway and felt this was the perfect spot.”
Mardirosian moved to Mississauga when he was seven and grew up loving the culture of Toronto. One thing he noticed in Toronto was that is was missing a really good burger joint. A decision to find the closest great burger led to a revelation.
“We were looking for a place to eat one night and couldn’t think of a spot to get a great burger,” said Mardirosian.
“We ended driving to New York. We were young and took a road trip. We found a place in the 55th and 3rd area and ate at a 125-year-old Irish Pub. We ordered a rare cheeseburger and were blown away. It was a completely different eating experience. Different like eating pizza in Rome is to Naples. Grits would be different in Alabama than Mississippi. There are regional idiosyncrasies in how people make things. I realized right then that there are different ways that Toronto makes hamburgers, New York makes them and California makes them. I wanted to bring the west coast fast food burger and mix it with the east coast freshness of the product.”
The Burger's Priest takes freshness seriously.
One of their slogans is: “You’ll never have yesterday’s beef in today’s burger.” The beef is ground each morning and used that day. If they run out of fresh beef, they’ll close the doors. If they have beef left over, it is used in their chili.
When walking into a BP restaurant, you immediately notice something different about the decor.
There is scripture on the wall. Every location has different scripture and it is chosen usually based on how Mardirosian is feeling at the time. Barrie’s BP has John 21:1 on the wall. The passage is fitting as it focuses on fishing and the casting of nets.
“This one I picked just because whenever I head north I go fishing,” said Mardirosian.
There are names for each of the burgers: The Vatican City, The Priest, and The Red Sea. There is also the famous Secret Menu that includes Armageddon, Judgement Day and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
To access the secret menu, you have to answer a question. For example, "How long was Noah on the Ark?" The options for the answer are given as a multiple choice. In the end, you can take as many guesses as you need to access the secret menu. The quiz has become quite popular.
Andrew and Amanda Comission attended yesterday's grand opening. As first-time patrons, they were impressed.
“It’s amazing here and a real change from some fast food places,” said Amanda. “We both got the bacon double cheeseburger and fries and they are unbelievable. It’s like fast food, but also trendy. Very comfortable. This won’t be our last time here that’s for sure.”
To check out some of The Burger's Priest, visit their website.