Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Fergburger Experience

It's kind of strange when I think about it that after living in Dunedin for 5 years and making many trips into Queenstown for ice hockey tournaments I never once tried Fergburger.

If you're not sure what Fergburger is check out their website (it's interactive!...kinda...) and have a read through the history. If you just want the short story they are a burger joint in Queenstown that started out as a hole in the wall business down some back alley who have now grown into a Queenstown icon. Fergburger is one of the activities that all tourists 'must do' when in Queenstown. As such the burger joint has gained a bit of a cult status, so much so that there is a constant queue for their burgers from about 9 in the morning till late in the evening every single day.

During our Christmas holidays we were down in Glenorchy (45 mins drive from Queenstown) to visit family so I figured I would take the opportunity to finally tick Fergburger off my list of burgers I've tried.

We ended up getting into town around lunchtime which is the absolute worst time to go to Fergburger as it's the busiest time. Because of that the wait in the line was 45 minutes alone just to place my order. It didn't bother me too much as Sam was doing some clothes shopping so waiting in line was much more preferable to waiting in clothing stores for Sam to try things on. Once my order was placed it was another 25 minutes wait for the burger to be cooked making the entire wait time 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Ferg is about two shops down from the white Gelato sign you can see in the distance.

This is Fergburger from about 9am to 6pm.

So after such a long wait what was the burger like?

I ordered the Southern Swine which was a beef burger with bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, aioli and tomato relish. The buns are cooked in their own bakery right next door and all the other ingredients are very fresh. I guess that's one of the benefits of having such a long queue is that you know the turnover of stock is going to be pretty quick and hence anything used will be fresh.

Overall the burger was really good. The patty was cooked well-done, the bacon was shoulder bacon and cooked perfectly, the bun was a little hard on the crust but soft and fresh in the middle, the Aioli was creamy though felt a little lacking in flavour, and the relish was nice though also a little weak in flavour. One thing I should point out though is that Fergburgers are BIG and really cheap by NZ burger standards. The Southern Swine cost me $12.50 which is about on par with, even slighty cheaper than, the likes of Burger Wisconsin, Burgerfuel or Velvet Burger. The difference is that Fergburgers are noticeably bigger.

So after such a long wait was this burger worth it? Well yes and no is my answer. I'm very glad I ticked off that box and I enjoyed my burger immensely. I think there could be some improvements made such as cooking the burger medium rather than well done, and improving the flavour in the aioli and relish. But when all is said and done I would happily buy another Fergburger...if I didn't have to wait over an hour. This is the deal-breaker here, while I was happy to wait just to try it out there is no way I would wait that long again just for a Fergburger. There are way too many other good lunch options in Queenstown including other burgers that it's not justifiable in my view to wait that long for a burger. Don't get me wrong, it's a good burger and good value for money, but it's not the best burger I have ever tasted.

In short, if you've never tried Fergburger before and are in the neighbourhood then give it a go. You won't be disappointed. If you've already had it before and you're pretty hungry then try something else and come back to Fergburger around midnight when the lines are shorter.

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