The Hunt for the World's Best Burger

Saturday, March 04, 2006

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


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.


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