Tag Archives: Burgers

Wimpy’s Grill

On the corner of Hillsborough Road and Hicks Street
(919) 286-4380
http://www.wimpysgrillnc.com/

Wimpy’s is a small little take away almost in the middle of nowhere, in a town that’s quite in the middle of nowhere itself. They specialize in old fashioned style hot dogs and hamburgers, and one of their burgers, the Garbage Burger, was featured on one episode of Man vs Food. The Garbage Burger is a burger monstrosity, with more beef and cheese and toppings and thus, fats, than one should ever consume in a week, which sounds just perfect if you ask me.

 

We didn’t order the Garbage Burger, going for a far more sensible option, and built our own burger. We had a cheeseburger with some classic toppings like onions, lettuce, and of course, bacon. The burger was absolutely delicious. There was nothing wimpy about the burger. The beef patty was nicely marinated and it was a beautiful, sloppy creation. I could eat this all day if I had unlimited calories to spare.

We got for ourselves a small side of French Fries, and they were one of the best fries we’ve ever had. Clearly, they don’t conform to our modern day expectations of the way healthier food should be prepared, since they probably use animal fat to fry their fries in, but oh boy were they tasty.

This place is extremely popular among locals, and among students at Duke University. You’ll definitely need a car to get there, and a very good reason to be in the neighborhood in the first place, but when you do, you’ll definitely be blown away by their awesome burgers and fries.

Service: NA
Food: 7/10

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Shake Shack

www.shakeshacknyc.com

Shake Shack began as a hot dog cart, and has slowly turned itself into a burger chain. Now, it’s probably one of the most popular burger places in NYC, if the queues are anything to go by. We’ve long heard about the monstrously long queues, so we decided to beat the crowd by going there extremely early, and ended up being one of the first few customers of the day. Kiasu we are.

We had the Shack Stack, a Cheeseburger, 2 portions of fries, lemonade and a peanut butter milkshake.

The burgers were both very good. The beef patties were very delicious, but they were definitely over cooked and not medium as we requested. Nevertheless, they were extremely satisfying, full of flavor and still juicy, despite being over cooked. The difference between the Shack Stack and the Cheeseburger is that the former comes with an additional layer of crisp fried Portobello mushroom stuffed with cheese. This addition of the mushroom made the burger even more awesome, as the wonderful flavor of the Portobello mushroom really brought the whole burger together. You really can’t go wrong with a Portobello mushroom.

The buns however, are really just an afterthought. They’re buttery and soft, and probably quite yummy by themselves; but they really serve as just something to hold the burger together, and are overwhelmed by the strong flavours of the beef patty and the mushroom. When you bite into the burger you barely taste the buns, and the same can be said for the lettuce and tomatoes – there just to provide an illusion of a balanced meal, but you ain’t foolin’ us!

The fries were very well cooked and the peanut butter milkshake was easily one of the best we’ve ever had – very thick and sinfully sinful. Thank god that we ordered a cup of lemonade as well to provide some acidity to balance the sweetness of that milkshake.

So how does Shake Shack’s burgers stand in comparison to the other burgers we’ve had? It’s definitely ranks right on top in the fast food burger category, well above the likes of MacDonalds and even Burger King. However, it will never feature in the gourmet burger category, with contenders like Hache and Byron. Shake Shack is not, and has never portrayed itself as a gourmet burger chain. It is fast food done extremely well, and it is definitely something worth queuing for if you find yourself hungry in NYC.

Service: NA
Food: 7/10

Bryon II

This is the first time we’re putting a re-review of somewhere we’ve eaten at. The first time we went to Byron we didn’t think it was particularly good, so we gave it a 6.5 on food. We found the menu un-inspiring and the burgers decent, but nothing much to scream about. Many other food blogs have reviewed the burgers at Byron, and to our knowledge, they’ve all been giving it high praises. Every time we read yet another glowing review of Byron we cringe and wonder what the hell we missed out on that visit. So we decided to give it another shot, and do another review on it.

The menu is still as boring as ever. We settled on having a classic burger and with it 2 sides – macaroni and cheese, and a serving of skinny fries. The skinny fries were awesome, probably the best fries available in London by far – crispy and light, and they were mysteriously addictive. The macaroni and cheese needed a good sprinkle of salt to bring it to life. It was decent – was expecting more flavor from the cheese and a harder crust. (Yes, I love my cheese slightly burnt.)

The burger was simple and classic, just as it was advertised. The beef patty was very good – definitely many grades better than the one at GBK, and overall it was nice how such a simple burger could taste so good. We definitely think that presentation-wise much more could be done than to leave 2 slices of pickles on the plate as if they were an afterthought, but it seems like we’re the only people who think that way. Also, we definitely wished that we could have had more variety to choose from.

Byron has moved up half a point on food since our last review, and it now stands half a point above GBK, but half a point below Hache. Such a ranking is quite fair we think: the burgers at Hache are indeed better than the other 2; and we’ll forgive the lack of variety at Bryon in view of their better burger and place it just an inch above GBK.

Service: 7/10
Food: 7 /10

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

This is probably one of the places in London with 2-for-1 offers all year round. In fact, we don’t remember going to GBK and having to pay full price for our burgers EVER.

The burgers at GBK are pretty good and definitely extremely good value for money if you factor in their awesome 2-4-1 deal. However, having eaten at Hache, which offers probably the best burger we’ve had in London so far, the burgers at GBK fall a little short. Then again, the burgers at Hache are more expensive, and they don’t seem to do any budget friendly 2-4-1 deals at all.

The burger that K always goes for is the Avocado and Bacon burger, which is a towering creation of lettuce, tomatoes, a huge serving of guacamole, bacon, and a beef patty. The bun is lightly toasted, and is able to hold the filling quite well throughout your meal. That is, of course, if you’re skilled enough to eat your burger and not have it completely fall apart.

A lot of skill and practice is required to keep your burger looking like a burger till your very last bite. The gigantic satay stick that skewers your burger is the key. You hold the skewer and the burger, and cut portions from your burger like you would a pizza. Keep the stick in your burger, and don’t be afraid to apply lots of pressure to the buns while you cut around it – that way you don’t end up with a pile of deconstructed burger on your plate.

The beef patty isn’t the most phenomenal thing you’ll ever eat – it’s probably a cheaper grade ground beef as compared to the ones at Byron or Hache, but we really like the variety of burgers offered at GBK. While Byron has just about 6 burgers on their menu, GBK has easily twice that. The avocado and bacon burger provides many different textures and tastes – smooth and creamy from the guacamole, crunchy from the bacon, fresh and crisp tastes from the lettuce and tomatoes, and a good smoky aftertaste from the patty.

A favourite of A’s is the Habanero burger. This is spicy and tangy, and is full of flavor. The sauce can be a little too spicy on some days, but if you can handle the heat, this is one incredibly tasty creation.

Fries and onion rings can be ordered on the side. They used to serve skinny fries, but it seems like they’ve pulled that out of their menu and only offer chunky fries nowadays. Onion rings are a little too oily, but are really huge and fun (read: messy) to nibble on while you sip your rather diluted milkshake.

Overall, GBK is a good, budget friendly place to have a burger and hang out. They are extremely willing to cater to large groups – K once went with a group of 20+ people and they somehow managed to make space in the dining room for a massively long table and didn’t complain when the group sat around till around closing. Definitely worth a visit to take advantage of the 2-4-1 offers!

Service: NA
Food: 6.5/10

Byron

97-99 Wardour Street
London W1F 0UD
020 7297 9390
http://www.byronhamburgers.com/
As far as we’ve heard, Byron seems to be very often mentioned side-by-side with Hache, which we loved when we went there. Burger joints are aplenty in London, with the likes of GBK, Hamburger Union etc. We wanted to find out how Byron stacks up as compared to those places. We went there with our housemate LM, as well as TW and E who just arrived from Singapore this afternoon and are also staying with us for their time in London.

 

The menu was extremely limited. I really missed the wide selection of meats and fillings available at GBK and even at Hache. There were literally only 6 options for burgers at Byron – classic, cheese, Byron (with bacon), skinny (bun-less), chicken and vegetarian. Of the 6, the last 3 were immediately out of the running, so essentially there were only 3 burgers for me to choose from. 4 of us went for the classic, and LM went for the vegetarian. I would definitely have liked to have more options to choose from. We ordered a side of skinny chips and chunky chips.

 

The food arrived very quickly. LM’s vegeburger was pretty good. The single Portobello mushroom was simple, yet intense. The mushroom was very good in fact. The classic burgers were just only slighty above average though. I felt it was quite a letdown.

There was no excitement in the burger as we experienced in Hache. In Hache, we loved the huge towering burger filled with probably the best beef patty we have ever had. There was a joyous celebration of primal meatiness in Hache. In Byron, even the pickle placed on the side of the burger seemed like an afterthought. The simplicity of just having a classic burger on a plate and a slice of pickle was not what I was expecting. Taste-wise it was not too bad, but definitely a far cry from the excellent burgers we had at Hache. Also, around the side the burger got quite dry and the meat could have been more medium.

 

The chips were pretty good actually. The skinny fries were a huge hit. Skinny fries are a super underrated thing in UK for some strange reason. The last time I went to GBK I found out that they discontinued serving skinny fries and only do the chunky version. I was crushed. The chunky fries at Byron are not bad at all as well, but I just prefer skinny fries to chunky fries anytime.

Overall it was an alright meal at Byron. The vegeburger was pretty good, and the classic burger was just about decent. However, as compared to its competition, Byron has a lot of catching up to do. We didn’t hang around for desserts.

Service: 7/10
Food: 6.5/10

Haché

24 Inverness Street
Camden Town
London NW1 7HJ
020 7485 9100
http://www.hacheburgers.com/

Haché has been given extremely good reviews for its burgers, by many food blogs. We went there today for dinner. Did it live up to the hype? Definitely so.

 

Haché is on Inverness Street, just behind the stalls at Inverness Market at Camden. In the day it would be easy to miss it, as the market definitely gets more attention than the restaurants behind it. At night though, when the stalls are gone it’s possible to see Haché from the main road. The restaurant isn’t very big, and the tables are slightly too close to one another. However, this makes for a very informal dining experience, and we didn’t mind getting a ‘preview’ of what our food would look like by glancing at the table beside us.

We ordered the All Day Breakfast (Bacon, Portobello Mushroom topped with a fried egg) and the Cheeseburger (Topped with two slices of premium melted Mature Cheddar Cheese) with English Garlic Button Mushrooms toppings added extra. We also got the Potato Wedges (with garlic mayo and salsa) and the Onion Rings.

All our food arrived together, and what a sight it was. The burgers were enormous, the potato wedges looked fantastic, and even the onion rings were massive. We took our first bite into the burgers, and understood immediately why this place is so highly regarded. The burgers were the best we’ve ever had. The meat patties were cooked just the way we wanted it – medium, and tasted of real meat. It was a beautiful piece of thick, juicy, proud meat. This was as masculine a patty as it could get. The manliness of it all was quite exhilarating.

 

Both our burgers were excellent. The All Day Breakfast came with a fried egg, which was slightly runny, and hence perfect in my books, and the Portobello mushroom really made it special. Surprisingly, the bacon took very much a backseat in this burger – I usually find myself drawn to, and focusing on the bacon in any dish that contains it, but not this one. Every component went well together to create that perfect burger. The Cheeseburger was also excellent, and the Garlic Mushrooms we added on as toppings, but which came as a side, were very good too. We thought that the buns were not too hard, and allowed the meat to fully shine. They managed to hold our burgers together throughout the meal, so kudos for that!

 

Our potato wedges were crispy and yummy, and the garlic mayo and salsa dip was good too. We had a little issue with the onion rings though – we felt that they were slightly too big, and we got sick of it quite quickly. This was the only thing we didn’t finish, but that could also have been because we were very, very full by the time we finished our burgers.

We feel that Haché fully deserves every single positive review about its burgers. We intend to check out the other burger places that have been given good reviews to judge properly if this place serves indeed the best, as they claim to be.

Service: 7/10
Food: 7.5/10