Volume 95, Issue 86

Friday, March 15, 2002
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Lowest of the Low begins rise back to the top

Thrilling Digressions

J. Dee's a fantastic burger voyage

Sector Seven quarantine London

Hot Water heats it up onstage

Shits and Giggles

J. Dee's a fantastic burger voyage

J. Dee's Market Grill

190 King St.

Four stars (out of five)

By Andrea Chiu
Gazette Staff

Pat Courtis/Gazette

Most burger joints are greasy spoons. They are decorated with bright colours and kitchy wall art, while loud music plays throughout, giving off the general impression customers are expected to order, eat and leave.

But upon entering J. Dee's Market Grill, any visitor will see this establishment is not just a greasy spoon.

Cozily set on the corner of King and Talbot, J. Dee's is decorated with simple wooden furnishings and a large aquarium rising from the bar as the centrepiece.

Patrons are seated at spacious booths, most next to floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on King Street and the Covent Garden Market. The lighting and subtle music invites diners to enjoy their food and stay awhile.

Reflecting its decor, J. Dee's menu offers affordable items one wouldn't normally find at a neighbourhood bar and grill.

One of their best starters is the cheddar cheese soup ($4.95). It's straight to the point, creamy and rich – a great way for cheese lovers to begin their journey. However, if mozzarella is your cheese of choice, be sure to try their homemade mozzarella sticks served with salsa ($6.95). Both of these dishes are quite filling, so share with others in order to save room for your entrée and dessert.

J. Dee's entrée selection is exclusively limited to burgers. They are all served with a choice of fresh cut fries, fried rice or garden salad. Diners with an average appetite are best off with a light salad as their side dish, as the burgers are filling. Salads are also a great way to take advantage of the restaurant's own homemade dressings like the popular honey soy sauce dressing.

The french fries are homemade as well, cut thick for those who like their potatoes.

The teriyaki chicken burger ($8.75) is J. Dee's best seller. Their teriyaki sauce is the key – not too sweet and just enough zing.

Although the veggie burger may not be the "best veggie burger you'll ever have," like the menu claims, it does boast a taste like no other. Made of herbs and grains and topped with cheddar cheese, this burger is reminiscent of grandma's Thanksgiving stuffing.

For more sophisticated eaters, the staff will recommend the Salmon burger, their most popular seafood burger.

But no matter what burger you choose, they are all made with delicious ciabatta buns and fresh, foccaccia-like bread.

Desserts are typically irresistible, but, at only $4.95 each, they are even harder pass up. One bite into the crispy chocolate crust of the peanut butter pie fills your taste buds with melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cream cheese filling – it's not hard to see why this is so popular.

For an alternative dessert, try the deep fried banana split. For the price, the dish is a great size for sharing after a meal.

Covered with graham cracker crumbs and lightly deep fried, the banana is perfectly accented by the a scoop of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream topped off with whipped cream and hot fudge – making it the perfect ending to the J. Dee voyage.

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