The Hunt for the World's Best Burger

Saturday, March 04, 2006

TRAVEL UPDATE - COPENHAGEN & BERLIN

Just a note to say I'll be travelling to Copenhagen and Berlin next week.

I will only be in Copenhagen for about 6 hours so opportunities may be slim for a burger review, but I then fly onto Berlin and am there for 2 nights.

If anyone can recommend a good burger in Berlin, then I would love to hear from you. Otherwise I am sure I will uncover one myself.

Thanks for your comments so far by the way..........

Matt

The Westminster, London - Thursday 2nd March (Lunch)


The Venue

The Westminster is a pub tucked away down Page Street off Horseferry Road not far from The Houses of Parliament.

I had been to this place twice before - on my first visit I had opted for the Cajun Chicken sandwich (served with chunky chips) and to be honest with you I was so blown away that I had it again on my second visit - I try to always surf around the menu of a particular place but this was so good I just had to have more. With this experience in mind, you can imagine what high hopes I had for the burger which I was always going to try at some point.


A quick word about the place before I tell you more about the Westminster's burger. It's a nice room - quite simple - all wood floors. Music is just a little too low, so fairly indistinguishable. You get table service and the waitresses are extremely friendly. I like the venue but they have a problem....I'll get to that.

The Menu

Fairy small menu, about 6 mains and a choice of smaller bar snacks but they also have a range of specials which change regularly - but, as you can guess there was one thing on that menu that called my name that chilly Thursday afternoon - yes, it was the burger.

The Burger

As I have mentioned I had very high hopes for this, perhaps too high in retrospect. First off, I wasn't asked how I wanted it cooked - I was mildly concerned by this but was consoled by my large pint of Grolsh that I had chosen to accompany my food. I didn't worry too much more about it until the burger arrived.

And then it appeared - my initial reaction on initial eye contact was fairly neutral - it didn't look special but then sometimes looks can be deceiving.On closer inspection I was immediately disappointed. Over-soft bun (like you get in a fast food joint), no relish and a slither of lettuce - the cheese (which came as standard) looked OK. Still with the Cajun sandwich in mind I thought the taste would make up for the lack of imagination, but no.

It was greasy - very greasy and boy did that bad boy bite back! Taste-wise it lacked depth - it was bland...yes bland... I am sorry to report. I ordered another Grolsh to console myself further. I managed to finish the dish (including a mid-sized portion of chunky chips) but for the next 5 hours I felt like a hot air balloon filled with lead, barely able to walk - this was due to the grease ...of that I am convinced.

So - I left disappointed, I felt like I had taken a step back in my quest after such a good start with The Camel the week before.

Would I order it again? NO

Burger Hunt Quality Rating: 3

Conclusion

The Westminster is a great pub, great staff and a nice atmosphere but their burgers are far from the best. I'll go back there, but certainly not when I get 'the calling'. Stick to that Cajun sandwich is my advice.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Camel, London - Friday 24th Feb (Lunch)


The Venue

The Camel is a smallish pub in Lower Marsh Street, not far from Waterloo Station, London.

First visit to this pub and what a great find. Great staff, table service and Kronenbourg on tap - ticks all my boxes. Not too busy for a Friday lunchtime either which was another plus. Music was a mix of Australasian hits, most of which I had never heard before - an interesting soundtrack.


The Menu

Quite a small menu but some interesting stuff on there. For a moment I was tempted by Ostrich steak but I got 'the calling'. The blackboard outside the pub mentioned their burgers were 'huge' - there was only one choice really...it had to be the burger.


The Burger

I am pleased to report that it was a beauty! - this is my first report after all - would have been a shame to start with a bad one.

Well, they were not joking when they said it was huge - it really was. Nice fresh bread, cheese, bacon and some salad (all came as standard) topped off with some tomato relish. Always like relish rather than ketchup if it is available so this scored points immediately. There was also a huge side order of potato wedges and a sweet chilli dip (another favourite of mine) - I couldn't believe my luck!

I always worry if I am not asked how I would like my burger cooked (I opt for medium if asked) and I wasnt asked this in the Camel. However, any fears I might have had were quickly put to rest - it was well cooked alright, but not overdone - still quite moist. Taste-wise it was pretty full flavoured but not too rich.

I pleased to report there was no post burger 'bite back' which can happen when eating burgers with a beer on the go, so all in all a very pleasant experience.

Would I order it again? YES

Burger Hunt Quality Rating: 7/10


Conclusion

The Camel certainly delivered. A huge, well cooked, tasty burger in nice surroundings. Have to deduct a few points for not being asked how I wanted it cooked but hey, let's not dwell on it. I'll be going back.

Welcome

Hello and welcome to the hunt for the world's best burger. My name is Matt and I have made it a mission of mine to uncover the best burger on the planet. I live in London, UK and I am 32 years old.

There's nothing better than a good burger - wherever you go you can pretty much guarantee a burger will be on the menu somewhere. A burger is a great leveller - it is the mark of a good kitchen, the heart of a tasty menu.

Now, I do not want you to think I am a junk food junkie...far from it...I rarely eat at fast food joints...the burgers I am talking about are 'gourmet' burgers you find in pubs, bars and restaurants.

When prepared and cooked well, a burger is actually quite a healthy choice as many a chef will tell you. However, the quality of burgers does vary wildly - a bad burger really clouds your day - a nice one can make a good day great. By following my diary you'll discover the best places to order a burger when you get 'the calling' and when to steer clear and have the salad.

On average I probably have a burger roughly once a week and I will try and field regular reports. With any luck, you'll join me on my travels in the UK and beyond and together on our voyage we will uncover the world's best burger!

Can you smell something cooking? OK, lets go.