Wednesday, 26 January 2011

An Ode to the Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburger

After promising everyone that I wouldn't do it, that I'd be somehow selling myself out, I finally succumbed.

In all fairness, there were extenuating circumstances. I was hungry. It was late. I had been drinking. All the trains in Waterloo Station were delayed. With no indication of how long it would take before the trains were functioning again, and the friendly and enticing red/white/yellow of burger king on the edge of my peripheral vision,

So I'm starting a new category: Fast Food Joints. This classification will take the commoditised burger

Price: £3.69
Meat: Nondescript, but with quite a nice 'just bbq'd' flavour. Two patties.
Bun: Sesame seeded bap that holds the burger together nicely.
Cheese: A flavourless slice of processed rubbish, however nicely melted to stick the bun to the burger.
Bacon: Actually quite good. Streaky and well cooked, with a nice 'bacony' flavour.
Accompaniments: Zilch, nada, diddly squat, nothing. This is a simple burger (for simple people) - it's got the DMC (Dough Meat Cheese) trio and that's your lot.


This is not what my burger looked like...

The Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburger is a good 'session' burger, although at £3.69 a pop, if you want more than one, you may want to visit one of these other establishments.

Friday, 21 January 2011

6/10 - The Fence, Farringdon Road, London

Location: The Fence is a quasi-pub/restaurant located on Farringdon Road, close to Farringdon Tube station. 

Price:
£9.95

Presentation:
Good, split bun with huge pile of mixed leaf salad, cherry tomato and red onion on one side, handmade beef patty with bacon and cheese on other. Good pile of skin on chunky chips heaped up against the burger.

Toppings:
Bacon and cheese. Generous 'tongue' of bacon (long and thick) covered by a single slice of melted cheddar. Bacon tasty, cheese tasteless. 

Bread:
Not good. Plain bap dusted with flour. Looked good and was slightly toasted so gave the impression of a job well done, but first mouthful confirmed it had been toasted because it was slightly stale. Dry and crumbly, didn't hold the burger and its toppings in place, allowing bits to fall out on each bite...bread fail.

Meat:
Oh dear. While the beef patty was homemade, reference should have been made to the coriander seeds liberally added to the beef. Burger requested rare, came medium-well done.  Meat fail.

Plate Accessories:
Good. Chunky chips with skins still on were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside - nice and hot, and flavoursome with the skins on.

Overall rating: 6/10


The Fence is a nice pub/bar, and its terrace is a great place to go in the summer, but sadly their burger has let them down. Cooking to order is such a key part of why I go out for food, if it's done badly that is a real let down. Tasteless cheese and a below-par bun all added to give this lunch a poor 6/10.
Fence on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 16 January 2011

7/10 - The Ultimate Burger, New Oxford Street, London

Location: This aptly named restaurant is located on New Oxford Street, between Holborn and Tottenham Court Road tube stations. Optimistically named The Ultimate Burger, it's actually not a bad attempt at a burger joint 

Price:
£7.10
Presentation:
Presented with the generally ubiquitous wooden stick through the bun to hold it all together. I ordered the 'blue cheese' which incorporated a stilton-esque sauce, and portobello mushrooms on top of an alleged 'scottish beef' burger. Bun was a sour dough sesame seed job, and there was also some salad-y bits and relish included. Chips and onion rings ordered and came separately.

Toppings:
Pretty good. Blue cheese sauce was a little 'gloopy' but very mature and tasty, and the grilled portobello mushrooms have a wonderful, earthy flavour. The salad was fine, not limp and tasted fairly fresh.

Bread:
A quite nice sour dough bun, not as fresh as it could have been, but held the burger together well (actually quite hard to get my mouth around it!). 

Meat:
Pretty good, although the menu stated scottish beef but I wasn't so sure, the flavour was good, but it wasn't aberdeen angus. The meat was cooked slightly pink which meant it was moist and juicy.

Plate Accessories:
Nothing. Came on its own and chips and onion rings came in a separate bowl. Looked a little lonely, but it was a decent sized burger!

Overall rating: 7/10

A good burger, let down by the freshness of the bun and the spurious 'scottish' beef claims (I'm a marketer, and I want to see provenance!). The Ultimate Burger is a hard name to live up to and in my view it just doesn't have that wow factor, but otherwise a good, solid burger experience.

Ultimate Burger on Urbanspoon

Friday, 14 January 2011

7/10 - Gourmet Burger Kitchen, St Pauls, City of London

Location: Ahh, ubiquitous GBK, how we love you. An absolute staple restaurant for burger lovers, the Gourment Burger Kitchen situated by St. Paul's Cathedral is the backdrop for a good burger. Visited this New Zealand outpost with Anthony, for an executive lunch and as usual it didn't disappoint.

Price:
£8.45

Presentation:
My Avocado Bacon burger was presented 'bun-on' with a stick through the burger to hold it all together. Served on its own with no plate accompaniments, my burger seemed a little lonely. However a separate plate followed with a bowl of chips and a bowl of onion rings (@ £3 a bowl), which made the table appear less empty.


Toppings:
Obviously putting aside that there was no bacon/cheese option, I plumped for the avacado bacon topping, which included some round lettuce, a slice of beef tomato, a couple of pieces of red onion, chopped (well creamed) avacado, a couple of rashers of smoked streaky bacon and WAY TOO MUCH tomato salsa. The combination was good, and

Bread:
Thumbs up! Although the bun looked a little generic, this was a soft yet firm sesame roll and was surprisingly hardy, allowing two-handed eating with no disintegration.

Meat:
A great aberdeen angus beef patty. Cooked medium-rare (as I'd ordered, and Anthony's was medium as ordered!) the beef was flavoursome and meaty.

Plate Accessories:
None. Although the bowl of chips, the chips were of a very poor, school canteen-like quality, but the onion rings were onion-y, crispy and really good.

Overall rating:
7/10


I haven't rated this down for not having bacon and cheese, however this didn't get top marks as the chips were £3 extra and terrible, and there was too much tomato salsa in the topping to work perfectly - however full marks for the quality of beef, and the choice of bun. A respectable 7/10 for GBK St Paul's.

Honourable mention: As I was lunching with a friend, it would be remiss of me not to mention that his BBQ Burger had a fabulous bbq sauce that was a cut above your usual. If bbq is your thing, this is the burger for you at GBK.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

5/10 - All Bar One, Appold Street, City of London

Location: Situated behind Liverpool Street Station, on Appold Street, this All Bar One is a City take on the ubiquitous AB1 chain acrosss the UK. 

Price:
£8.95

Presentation:
Ok. Wooden stick holding burger together, good portion of chips, and small pot of tomato salsa.

Toppings:
None. Just the aforementioned tomato salsa (didn't fancy the camembert-topped option on this adventure).

Bread:
Surprisingly Ok. Slightly dry but nice cross between ciabatta and standard bun.

Meat:
Not great. Wasn't a handmade beef patty, and was overcooked meaning the burger had dried out and lost any flavour it may have had. Burger had also been made with coriander, giving it a faint curry-ish aroma - I found this slightly offputting!

Plate Accessories: 
Ok. Chips fine and generous portion, salsa was disappointing and there wasn't enough of it to make up for the dry burger.

Overall rating: 5/10

I can't recommend the All Bar One, Appold Street for food (or at least not burger food!), so if you are visiting this public house, I'd stick to the beer!

Monday, 3 January 2011

2/10 - The Masque Haunt, Old Street, London

Location: Situated on Old Street, The Wetherspoons pub The Masque Haunt is one of the worst examples of the ubiquitous chain of pubs across the UK. 

Price:
£4.95

Presentation:
Bad. Burger arrived with a stick through it to hold it together, small pile of chips and some sad and dried up iceberg lettuce, tomato and a ring of red onion.

Toppings:
Not great. Cheese and bacon. Cheese tastless and had been melted a while ago, meaning it had congealed, the bacon was fatty and stringy.

Bread:
Bad. Slightly dried out seasame seed bun, that completely fell apart during eating.

Meat:
Bad. Wasn't a handmade beef patty, and fairly low quality, covered in grease and flavourless.

Plate Accessories: 
Not great. Small pile of tasteless chips were fine, salad was disappointing, and may have been left for too long under a heat lamp...

Overall rating: 2/10

This burger was crap, the only thing I could recommend about this on is price - reconfirming that you get what you pay for in a burger. The Masque Haunt would definitely be pretty low down on the list for place to eat, unless there was a financial crisis on...!
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