Friday, 4 September 2015

Where did all the bloggings go?

It's been a while since my last post but I do have a good reason. After about 10 loyal years my computer has finally kicked the bucket. This has made updating the blog a little more challenging lately but now with a shiny new gaming rig I'm back into it!

There's a whole bunch of stuff that has been happening over the past few weeks but what I've been most excited about is Burger Wellington so I'll start there.

Wellington on a Plate is a food festival in Wellington that runs for about 3 weeks over August. The concept is that restaurants in Wellington each put on an experimental fixed menu of sorts where patrons are able to try different and exciting styles of food. As a kind of off-shoot of that there is also the Burger Wellington competition where restaurants all create a unique burger and then patrons can try the burgers and vote for them on-line.

It's probably no surprise that Sam and I have been more excited about the Burger Wellington competition than the rest of this culinary extravaganza. Really though is that not to be expected? When you run a city-wide burger competition you know everything else is going to be just a sideshow.

So over the three weeks we managed to fit in 7 burgers and I have listed them off below from worst to best:

Arizona: Smoked Black Jack Cheddar Brisket

The name of this burger made me hopeful. It sounded like your typical cardiac arrest burger with lots of cheesy, meaty goodness. It turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. The smoked brisket was incredibly fatty and drowned out every other flavour in the burger. I couldn't taste the relish, cream cheese, onion rings or horseradish infused bun. It was just a big slab of meat with some other stuff stuck to it so it could be called a burger. I voted it a 2/10.

Charley Noble: Ebisu Burger

In defence of Charley Noble, who are a fantastic restaurant, I should point out that I am not a big seafood fan so this was always going to be a hard sell to get me to like it. The burger was a fish pattie with Japanese mayo and house chutney in a squid ink bun. It looked amazing as you can see from the picture but at the end of the day it still just tasted of fish. Because it looked so impressive I voted it a 5/10.

Goose Shack: Goose Slammer

Earlier in the month a friend and I had been at Beervana where we had tried a Goose Slider made by the guys at Goose Shack. I'm not entirely sure what was in it (apart from goose obviously) but it tasted amazing! With that in mind I was very eager to try the Goose Shack's burger; the Goose Slammer. The Slammer consisted of a goose patty, apple slaw, beer braised cabbage, bratwurst and cheese in a sweet potato bun. This was really a situation where less would have been more. The slider we tried at Beervana was simple with just a patty, some kind of chutney and some greens. The Slammer just had too much going on and it wasn't nearly as good as the Slider, all the flavours just got lost in one another leaving me a little empty after having such great hope. I still enjoyed it overall and gave it a 7/10.

The Tasting Room: Pimpin Shrimpin Beef

While I may have mentioned earlier that I am not really a seafood fan, the exception to that rule is shrimp. I absolutely love shrimp and prawns. So when I saw this one listed on the menu as a 'Beef Burger with Popcorn Shrimp' I got really excited. All I could think of was a Surf'n'Turf in a bun. The burger also incorporated smoked cheddar, chipotle BBQ sauce and a peanut slaw. While my picture may not do it much justice this burger was actually pretty damn awesome and I would absolutely have it again if I could. I voted it an 8/10.

The Hideaway: The Dirty South

Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the Dirty South as the premises was too dark but I found this photo on-line of The Hideaway's Dirty Cheeseburger which is what I believe the Dirty South is based off. The Dirty South includes a beef patty with jalapeno cheese, bacon, BBQ sauce and deep-fried pickles in a brioche bun. Overall I was impressed with the Dirty South if somewhat disappointed in a lack of spice. With jalapeno cheese I was hoping for a bit of punch in it but there was no heat whatsoever. However the flavour was good, I loved the pickles, bacon is of course always a winning option in a burger and the brioche bun was beautifully soft and tasty. An awesome burger made by a restaurant that knows burgers. I voted it 8/10.

Cafe Polo: Crumbgetacluckinhotchikin

Crispy crumbed chipotle chicken breast - good! Mexican slaw - good! Smoked cheese and a milk bun - good! Homemade tortilla chips on the side - good, good, good! This burger was fantastic and as it was actually the first burger we tried it set the bar very high for others to follow. I absolutely loved it with my only mark off being because it was rather lacking in spice for a Mexican burger. My vote was an all kinds of awesome; 9/10.

Egmont St Eatery: Cheese, beets and meat

Now here is a chef who understands burgers! Hands down this was the best burger we tried and it's no surprise it won the whole competition. The burger was incredibly unpretentious with a beef patty, smoked beetroot relish, fried pickled onions and jack cheese in a steamed bun. The ingredients were limited but all were rich in flavour and none of them were overpowering any of the others. The bun was light and tasty and it came wrapped up in a cool little spill bag so nothing dripped over your hands. This was definitely the tastiest burger by a country mile, absolutely loved it! 10/10!

So there is my burger review for Burger Wellington. Sam and I both enjoyed the last three weeks of gorging ourselves on artery clogging protein and carbs but now it's probably time for me to put on my running shoes and start to burn off all the kilos I have accumulated. I hope you enjoyed the read and if you haven't had a good burger in the last month or so then get out there and find one! There are heaps of great burgers popping up in pubs, restaurants and cafes all around New Zealand as we ride this wave of gourmet burger revolution. There's bound to be a decent burger not far from you!

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