I love a good story and Marben's story is no exception. Owner Simon Benstead told me that in the hometown of his parents in Ipswitch, England there are no house numbers. Thus, each house has a nickname. His parents, John and Mary, took the first three letters of Mary's name and John's nickname, Ben, and combined to name their house Marben, now one of Toronto's buzziest restaurants.
Aptly, the burger is named after John, who was the inspiration for the recipe. Locally sourced meat and short ribs are braised and shredded to use in the burger's carnivore interior. Freshly ground beef is then packed around the outside of the braised beef short rib. Sharp cheddar and John's sweet-and-sour Branston pickle (very similar to a chutney) are added for a simple flavor to this dense patty. It's one of the most unique burgers I've had. The burger as well as its sides, fries and simple salad, are the ideal portion size. Not overwhelming but fulfilling.
Though almost 600 burgers are being made on a weekly basis, chef Rob Bragagnolo who has extensive experience as a chef in Mallorca, Spain has added a number of tasty Spanish tapas items to the menu. I loved the warm Mallorcan chickpea salad (topped with kalamata olives) and the tequila ceviche cones.
Located conveniently off King West, this is a great spot whether you're on a date, in a group or for a business dinner. Bon Appetit!
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Mixology at Marben
Just down the street from the Thompson Hotel you will find Marben. One of Toronto's greatest hidden gems and a great place if you are seeking spot-on cocktails! I LOVE that this place has locally-made ginger beer on tap to make a mean Dark & Stormy!