Restaurant of the Week: London Burger

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London Burger, 843 N. Mountain Ave. (at I), Ontario

What you notice right away at London Burger is the red double-decker bus parked in front. The owners bought the London bus secondhand, restored it, took out the engine and put it outside their restaurant as a conversation piece.

The fast-food restaurant, which opened in April 2012, occupies a former Spike’s Teriyaki Bowl on an uninspiring portion of Mountain Avenue between a mortuary and a Taco Bell, with a McDonald’s across the street, making the red bus more of a surprise. I suspect a lot of people will think the restaurant is named London Broil.

I bought lunch the other day before introducing myself to the owners and asking what the deal is with the bus. They have burgers, a veggie burger and fish and chips. I got a London Cheeseburger ($4.03), steak fries ($1.39) and medium soda ($1.69).

There’s nothing especially London about the burger — thankfully they don’t pile mushy peas on it — but the result was ambitious for a place with a drive-thru.

You can get a burger as a slider, a 4-oz. (as I did) or a 7-oz., and on a flour or wheat bun. The beef is mixed in the kitchen and handformed into patties rather than being premade frozen discs, a depressingly common practice. The cheese is mozzarella, although you can substitute American. The fries were acceptable but a little soft. I’m told the fish and chips is beer-battered cod.

The interior decor is standard fast-food except for the British touches: a red London phone box as a centerpiece, faux stone accents like a castle, British photos (many with doubledecker buses), two tabletop 3-D dioramas of London and a red and black color scheme to match the bus.

The bus, a 1961 model, is intended to open for dining soon — what a concept — once they finish converting the interior into booths and install air conditioning.

So, it’s a novelty, but the food’s not bad at all. Good show, London Burger.

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