Over the past few years, I have become extremely particular about my red meat consumption. A few food and health documentaries mixed in with the general feeling of grossness have driven me to consume other protein options such as chicken, fish and certain vegetables.
While I have dramatically cut back on how much red meat I eat, from time to time, I do crave a nice and juicy cheeseburger. While my go-to guilty pleasure is usually the two cheeseburger meal from McDonald’s, which generally goes against my criteria of nice and juicy, I decided to branch out and try Diesel and Duke, a spot on campus that my friends have been raving about for their burgers and poutine.
Looking at the menu, Diesel and Duke has a unique selection of burger options. The Breakfast burger with bacon, a fried egg, cheese, aioli and ketchup and the S.P.B.B. with peanut butter, sriracha and bacon all caught my eye. Besides the unique burger options, the add-ons they offered for each burger sounded fantastic.
Onion rings, jalapenos and even aged cheddar are all items you can add to your burger for an extra charge. While I was surprised by the variety Diesel and Duke offers, I decided to go with The Standard, a classic cheeseburger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and aioli. Since I am not a huge fan of mayo, I got my Standard without the aioli.
When I opened my burger, the fluffy bun immediately caught my attention. If I were to imagine the perfect burger bun, their buns would be what comes to mind. It was soft and pillowy on the inside but had a nice inner crisp that provided a nice contrast of texture. It also was the perfect amount of bread so that the bun did not overpower the other ingredients.
The patty itself was terrific. It was a thinner patty that was a bit crispy but still insanely juicy and flavorful. It was fantastically seasoned and you can tell that their burgers are genuinely made fresh to order. Since their patties are on the thinner side, next time I get Diesel and Duke, I will definitely get a double patty to make the burger a bit beefier.
The lettuce and tomato were extraordinarily fresh and provided the necessary refreshing component to a burger you sometimes need to balance out the fattiness of beef. I also really like how they use butter lettuce instead of romaine or iceberg lettuce on their burgers because it is more tender and not as watery as the other lettuce varieties typically seen on a burger.
Overall, this was a fantastic burger that was well-balanced in the sense of flavor and texture.
With my burger, it came without question that I had to get a side of fries. If you look online at pictures of their french fries, that is exactly what you get in person. They were crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside with an outstanding level of seasoning that complimented my burger well.
The last thing I decided to order from Diesel and Duke was the poutine. My friends have been raving about it, and since I have never had poutine before, I decided to give it a go. Since I love disco fries and the only difference is cheese curds instead of melted cheese, I knew I would enjoy the poutine.
The gravy was so flavorful, and even though the fries were smothered in it, they somehow still remained crispy. The different textures of cheese curds, gravy and crispy fries created a fantastic textural experience that wanted me to keep going back for more. I ate the poutine until I could not eat anymore because it is such a hearty portion that could be a meal of its own.
For a burger place with clearly freshly made food, the prices are very reasonable. The Standard with fries was less than $11 and the poutine was $7. While you can easily get a burger from Wendy’s or McDonald’s, you will not be able to get the excellent quality that you get at Diesel and Duke.
If you are craving a fresh and flavorful burger, Diesel and Duke is the place to go.
Cameron Delfino is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies. His column, "Cameron's Crunch," runs on alternate Thursdays.
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