Anyone driving on Riverside Drive has likely noticed the latest landmark in the city, the giant burger on a pole marking an exciting new eatery in Timmins.
New Burger Planet Inc. offers much more than a landmark, it provides a new way of serving up old favourites. And it is served up by a trusted and beloved local restauranteur.
Siva Mylvaganam (everyone calls him Siva) is well-known locally as the owner Siva’s Family Restaurant in the Timmins Square. He recently opened New Burger Planet on Riverside, offering diners his spin on fast food.
“It is like fast food, but it is fresh fast food,” Siva explained. “It is homemade. A few items, like chicken fingers, are frozen. But burgers and almost everything else are fresh.
“I buy from one of the beef companies. I buy mostly local.”
He has owned Siva’s Family Restaurant for about 25 years. The concept of New Burger Planet is something that has been cooking up for quite some time.
“I have always had an idea to do something different,” he said. “It didn’t take long to develop the menu. This is my work.”
In addition to the food being made fresh, there is quite a variety of items to choose from at New Burger Planet.
“Very popular are the Lozza Mozza ‘N’ Mushroom Burger and the Planet Portabella Burger” (which features a whole grilled Portabella with the juicy beef patty), Siva said. “They’re unique. Nobody has it.
“We also have things like taco salad. Taco poutine. We wanted to do something different. We have beautiful salads.
“Variety is always nice.”
While New Burger Planet also offers fries and poutines — including a Philly steak poutine —there are many appetizers available. These include onion rings, mozzarella sticks, mushroom caps, jalapeno poppers, deep-fried pickles, deep fried perogies, sweet potato fries, pizza fingers, deep-fried pogos, nachos, chilli garlic bread and cheese, potato skins and broccoli cheddar cheese bites.
The menu also includes a number of Planet Jumbo Dogs, including a bacon cheese dog, chilli cheese dog and Italian sausage on a bun. There is also a kids’ menu, known as Planet Junior, with junior burgers and a pepperoni pizza.
Salads include Caesar, garden, Greek and taco. There is also a variety of Planet Sandwiches, featuring grilled cheese (with or without bacon), chicken or beef quesadillas, a grilled chicken wrap, a BLT, a peameal BLT, a hot hamburger and a meatball sub.
Still looking for more? There is beer-battered haddock and chips from Planet Fish, chicken wings or boneless wings from Planet Chicken, milkshakes, beverages, and a variety of add-ons that can be extra toppings or sides with any order, such as extra cheese, fried onions, mushrooms, a pineapple ring, and many more.
It can be difficult to select a favourite.
“Everything is my favourite,” Siva said. “The veggie burger is very nice. It’s plant-based, no chemicals. It’s 100 per cent protein.
“We also have a lot of gluten-free items here.”
Customers can order ahead, so everything is ready upon arrival.
“You can order online, that’s the easiest,” Siva said. “People can call and order. We have Skip The Dishes and Door Dash as well. We have everything.”
The order and pickup counter offer a view of the open kitchen, where the fresh food is prepared.
“You can see the kitchen,” he said. “You can watch how they cook and finish.”
There are a few tables available to eat in, with more outside during seasonable weather.
Pickup or delivery has become increasingly popular in 2020 because of COVID-19.
While the pandemic has had a negative impact on many businesses, Siva decided to go ahead with his plans to open New Burger Planet. And he has no regrets.
“Of course, it (pandemic) has hurt a lot of things. But you have no choice, you have to move on with your life,” Siva said. “You can’t wait forever.”
He said it is “a lot of work” owning and operating two different restaurants, but he enjoys what he is doing.
“It is not my second home, it is my first home,” Siva said with a smile. “My home, I only go there to sleep. I always work. I enjoy, but I work.”
With his reputation in Timmins, it is no surprise that he sees many of the same customers at both of his restaurants.
“There are many similar faces here and there,” he said. “I would like to say thank you to this community. They always support me, even in this pandemic. They make my life easier because if not for them, I wouldn’t be here.
“Every day I always say my local (customers) are my life.”
New Burger Planet Inc. is located at 1026 Riverside Dr. in Timmins. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. To order call 705-264-5555 or visit newburgerplanet.com. They also can be found on Facebook here.