The Toronto Banquet Burger

The June 2021 “Burger Of The Month” is The Toronto Banquet Burger! If you’re from anywhere around the Great Lakes you’ve probably been served a cheeseburger this way at some point. Would it surprise you if it’s Canadian? Details below! These you should read…


The banquet burger is all about the way a cheeseburger is plated. As far as ingredients go it can be as classic as cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayo, ketchup… You get the picture.

Francis Deck invented this burger in the 1940’s. Originally called the “Forest Hill Burger,” named after an upscale area of Toronto where he served it. I’m pretty sure that if you live anywhere around the Great Lakes you’ve been served a banquet burger, even if you didn’t know it.

The idea was to fill the plate from end to end, or “crowd” the plate if you will. Done correctly and the presentation has the appearance of a full meal or a “banquet.”

Okay so the way that this works is the bottom bun gets the burger patty and cheese, and sometimes bacon if preferred. The top half however is not placed on top, it’s flipped upside down and placed right next to the bottom half of the burger. So it’s served in two halves.

If there are any condiments they go on the top half of the bun; ketchup, mayo, etc. I like to make a swirl that’s just me… And as far as the rest of the ingredients go they are plated around the two halves of the cheeseburger.

If this is served with French Fries, or as they often are in Canada “steak fries,” this plate looks like it’s loaded from end to end. A banquet in appearance to be sure!

In-N-Out Burger and Shake Shack could do this in a 6″x6″ box in a bag. Assuming that the ingredients are actually combined of course. Deconstructed however the perspective changes. Think of it like this; go wide not tall. And you’re welcome to take that whichever way you want, because at the end of the day this is the Toronto Banquet Burger!

Ingredients: (Makes 4 Burgers)

  • 1 lbs. 80/20 Ground Beef.
  • 4 Sesame Seed Buns.
  • 4 Slices American Cheese.
  • 1 Cup Shredded Iceberg Lettuce.
  • 1 Large Tomato Sliced.
  • 1/2 Red Onion Sliced.
  • 16 Round Sliced Dill Pickle Chips.
  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup (1 ounce per burger).
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise (1 ounce per burger).

Nutrition Facts:

  • Calories: 650
  • Total Fat: 37g
  • – Saturated: 4g
  • – Trans: 0g
  • – Poly: 4g
  • – Mono: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 105mg
  • Sodium: 1,400mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 43g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Protein: 30g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 25%
  • Iron: 10%
  • Potassium: 187mg
  • Vitamin A: 8%
  • Vitamin C: 2%


  1. Prep: Julienne Iceberg Lettuce, slice tomato, and slice red onion. Patty 1 pound of 80/20 ground beef into four patties (1/4 lbs. each.)
  2. Wash hands after handling raw meat, then season one side of all four burger patties with salt and pepper. Just a light coating will do.
  3. Incrementally bring a well seasoned cast iron skillet up to medium heat. If your skillet is smoking before you’ve added any ingredients then it’s probably too hot.
  4. Once skillet is heated well enough to lightly sear, add in burger patties. Burger temp is up to you and how you prefer your burger to be cooked. I prefer medium to medium-well on burgers, unlike my steaks which I eat no more than medium-rare. But that’s just me. If the juices run clear it’s fully cooked. Medium-well temp should take no more than 4 minutes per side before you add cheese.
  5. Once flipped and you’ve cooked for almost enough time to reach preferred temp, add a slice of cheese to each patty. Let cheese melt, and you may also cover skillet to speed this process up.
  6. Plate Banquet Burgers! Do not stack. Keep the top and bottom bun separated, with the top bun upside down next to the bottom bun.
  7. Place burger patty with melted cheese on the bottom half of the bun, then top the top half with condiments; in this case mayo and ketchup.
  8. Fan out remaining ingredients around the plate; shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, red onion, dill pickle chips, all the classics. French Fries are an extra and not included in the Nutrition Facts here, but they really add to the whole “banquet” appeal of this plate. Serve, and enjoy!

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