Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Almost Famous River Phoenix Burger

Review of Almost Famous Manchester River Phoenix Burger

Website: http://almostfamousburgers.com/

What they say:

Our burgers are made with 100% freshly ground beef. Your hands and conscience may never be clean again. Double cheese burger - bacon - bbq fried onions - frazzles - baconnaise - chipotle ketchup - bbq sass - fresh chilli.

Price: £8.00.

Calories: Unknown.

Our Principal Burger Critic returns to Almost Famous to check out the River Phoenix…


31st October 1993: a talented young actor lies dying on the pavement outside a popular Hollywood nightclub. Despite the best efforts of his brother, he becomes another victim of a drug overdose.

Twenty years later, like the mythical bird of his name, he rises again, courtesy of Almost Famous.

Actually, I'm waffling. I have no idea what the connection is between this burger and the late actor, other than they are both called River Phoenix.

Rainy summer day = Manchester and that means Almost Famous. I've covered the location before, in the review of the Baddaboom, and this time is much the same, but considerably busier.

The River Phoenix is a double cheese with all manner of sloppy ingredients including, believe it or not, Frazzles - the bacon flavour crisps we all had as youngsters.



Burger Lad
Almost Famous River Phoenix...

In fact, bacon is the name of the game here, with the frazzles, baconnaise and liberal amounts of actual bacon. It seems to be balanced out by barbeque ingredients as well as a bit of a kick in the form of chilies and chipotle.

When it arrives, it is held together by a wooden spike. Hardly surprising, given the height.

The first impression is the smell, which can only be described as savoury wonderfulness. Secondly, it looks fantastic. Shiny bun, plenty of beef and cheese and bacon. I'm positively salivating as I pick it up for the first bite.


Burger Lad
Bacon. Burger. Brilliance...

Squidgy, sticky, salty, hot and damn tasty. And on top of all that, the first bite tells me it's crunchy too - the frazzles, onions and bacon make sure of that.

The heat of the sauce and chillies is subtle yet present.

It's gloopy and the sauce has been perfectly married to the bun, sticking to it and holding everything together rather than eroding the bread.


Burger Lad
Enjoying the River Phoenix...

Second and third bites demonstrate that the kitchen roll on the table is absolutely necessary.

The meat has been cooked well done (I wasn't asked) but not cremated. There are subtle hints of pink in there and it is still juicy. Of course the melted cheese and all the sauce makes it "wet" anyway but it's lovely not to have dry meat covered up.

The large pieces of chilli are interesting. They ensure that some bites are hotter than others and the onions and frazzles keep the crunch going right up to the final whistle.

When it's all over, the feeling remains that this was bacon's show. Bacon was the chief flavour on display. Bacon ruled the roost.


Burger Lad
Baconator® runs scared from River Phoenix... 

Almost Famous has three locations in Manchester and Liverpool, with a fourth apparently due in Leeds. Here's hoping Mr Myers breaks free of the clutches of the M62 and we start to see branches of this institution from Montrose to Malvern.

We will never know if River Phoenix would have been impressed by his namesake burger, but I bloody well was.


Thanks again Admiral Burgerbar for your analysis of this awesome looking burger. I do believe in a fight, The Wendy's Baconator® would run a mile from this bacon bully...

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad

Saturday, 26 July 2014

All Bar One BBQ Pulled Pork and Handmade Beef Burger

Review of All Bar One BBQ Pulled Pork and Handmade Beef Burger

Website: http://www.allbarone.co.uk/

What they say:

BBQ pulled pork and handmade beef burger topped with Applewood cheese and a dill gherkin. Served in a sesame brioche bun with fries and mango coleslaw.

Price: £11.00.

Calories: Unknown.

It’s been a while since we had a guest review from our official screenwriter for Burger Lad®: The Movie so imagine my little face when this arrived in my inbox… keep them coming please!!


Well, it’s been a while since my one and only review for this hallowed site, so I thought I’d pull out my metaphorical finger and write another. I like to think of myself as the Terrence Malick of the burger reviewing world.

The joint was All Bar One, the location Milton Keynes, the burger:

BBQ Pulled Pork and Handmade Beef Burger.

Now I’m not a resident of the straight road, promenade strewn new town of Milton Keynes, but on a hazy humid Friday I arrived in delirious anticipation of seeing Pearl Jam (best band in the World) at the National Bowl.

I arrived at lunchtime and boy was I hungry, so with no bearings what-so-ever I headed toward the tall buildings and I found a safe haven of restaurants and All Bar One looked to have the most impressive menu.

The burger arrived expertly presented but it was immediately apparent the burger would have had to have been put together by a master engineer to keep it all together on the lift from plate to mouth. So, with all the care of a surgeon I removed the stick keeping everything in place and lifted! The Applewood tried it’s hardest to keep the BBQ pulled pork in place, but needless to say, slippage was a problem and a lot of pork was lost to the plate.



Burger Lad
All Bar One BBQ Pulled Pork & Burger...

But who cares, it was the tastiest damn burger I’d had in ages! The pork had an amazing BBQ sauce, not too sweet and literally melted in your mouth and the Applewood on top was a stroke of cheesy genius - it complimented very well. As for the burger, it was delightfully cooked with hint of char grill and substantial in stature - it sat nicely in the brioche bun which was nice and soft - a great bun!

The fries, well they were fries, they did their job - not much else to say about them really - and the mango coleslaw came in a tiny pot and didn’t really taste of much - but we’ll let them off for this.

So, all in all spending £11 seems quite expensive for a lunch time burger, but when it tastes this good I’d happily spend again! Round of applause please.


*clapping* Thanks again for giving us this look at the All Bar One BBQ Pulled Pork and Handmade Beef Burger - you can come and try my PFT for half that price!

If you would like to contribute to the number one burger review website please get in touch.

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Admiral Codrington’s Burger

Review of The Admiral Codrington’s Burger

Website: http://www.theadmiralcodrington.co.uk/

What they say:

180g rare breed beef, brioche bun, slaw, cheddar, bacon.

Price: £14.50.

Calories: Unknown.

Since Burger Lad® has known Admiral Burgerbar, he has always raved on about this place so it gives me great pleasure to hand him over to re-visit The Admiral Codrington’s Burger…


I've had a lot of good burgers recently, and there's certainly nothing wrong with good - it's like winning a silver medal - you're not going to turn it down!

But today is special. Today I'm going to have a great burger. A gold medal. Today I'm going to have what is, in my humble opinion anyway, the best burger in the world.

First things first, it involves going to Chelsea. I can absolutely understand why Elvis Costello didn't want to go there, because I don't either, except for this greatness.

Chelsea is the kind of place where you see people dressed in the same outfits as their dogs, where sunglasses are bigger than heads, where nannies, butlers and housekeepers still exist, and where massive off-road vehicles hurtle down small flat streets carrying their heavy loads of one person (two if you count the chauffeur).

So I won't be hanging around. A quick in and out. But tucked away, quite invisible unless you know where to go, is the Admiral Codrington. I wouldn't say it's a traditional London boozer but it's probably as close as Chelsea gets to such a thing. Dark wood pub area in front and small but bright restaurant area in the back.



Burger Lad
Outside The Admiral Codrington...

Now, on some London-based burger websites, a degree of murmuring is made over the fact that the original creator of the AdCod cheeseburger is no longer here (I understand he consults for Byron now). I've had this burger both before and after his departure and it remains great.

It's evolution. Without it, we'd still be in the oceans, not eating burgers. The current Chef has admirably stamped his mark on a classic.

I arrive early and have a drink in the bar area. It's quiet and there is a well-heeled christening going on upstairs. Everybody at the AdCod is really friendly and my table in the restaurant is ready.


Burger Lad
Inside The AdCod...

I carry my drink through and am left to settle in, no rush, no pressure. A lovely place.

My drink, by the way, is a Czech Pilsner called Krosovice. Never had it before. It's bloody marvellous.

The owner is, unsurprisingly, a pub company, but the chef Oret is a genius, putting together my burger magnificently. He kindly lets me take a picture of it on the grill.

I hear his deep voice yell "service!" and the waiting staff head to the kitchen. Here we go!

It's been cooked medium (I was asked) and has a neat brioche bun, cheddar, bacon and slaw at the bottom. No gimmicks, just burger perfection.


Burger Lad
Burger perfection for £14.50...

The bacon is hidden under a generous melt of cheddar and the burger sits on top of the house slaw.

The burger patty is a marvel of beef. On the grill it doesn't look special. Just a burger on a grill. But it's outstanding.

The seasoning beforehand and preparation after cooking are what turn this into the world's best burger.

The slaw provides a substantial slop to sit on. This isn't entirely a "dirty" burger but it's not exactly clean on the fingers either. The cheddar gives it the characteristic bite and bacon, well as we know - bacon makes everything better.


Burger Lad
Lifting the lid...

As I was tucking in, wondering how this meal could possibly get any better, AC/DC's Thunderstruck appeared on the stereo.

Please never let this moment end!

Getting further in, there was some degradation of the bottom bun. Not total - it still held its ground, but it did succumb to the sloppy slaw to a point.

The AdCod burger looks small, but the meat is thick. It's perfectly cooked and is very filling. I suspect that's partly a symptom of the brioche - a more filling bun than other types.

This is a burger worthy of worship. It tastes utterly perfect. In my view if it were possible to epitomise the perfect cheeseburger, this is it.


Burger Lad
Lifting the lid again...

After my burger was finished, I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes chatting to Chef Oret.

He didn't overlap with the Fred Smith era and as such the burger is essentially a different being. The meat, instead of Angus, is now West Park, from Dorset, and the slaw is entirely Oret's own creation.

He also heads a pub in Mayfair called the Punchbowl, which is due to reopen soon. It will have its own menu (and burger) created entirely by Oret.

He has worked for the Savoy and Gordon Ramsay in his decade in the UK (he's originally from Jamaica) and given the strength of his creations and his menus in the two kitchens he runs, this chef is one to look out for.


Burger Lad
Behind the scenes at The AdCod...

Before I leave, the infectiously cheerful manager Siobhan briefly chats about the pub and her role in growing the business.

It's a great team, with a great menu, and of course a great burger.

Admiral Codrington, I salute you.


Burger Lad
"At ease..." for the perfect cheese(burger)...

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Lazy Cow Stratford 8oz Dexter Burger

Review of The Lazy Cow 8oz Dexter Beer Fed Burger

Website: http://www.thelazycowstratford.co.uk/

What they say:


8oz Dexter Beer Fed Burger, steakhouse chips, swiss cheese, lazy cow relish (add bacon £1.00).

Price: £13.50.

Calories: Unknown.

Now Burger Lad® usually measures how excited he was about a burger by the length of time it takes from eating it to getting the review published. In this case we’re looking at approximately 48 hours.

We were very much looking forward to visiting The Lazy Cow in Stratford. Dexter cattle are known for producing excellent beef and on the menu was a Do Nut burger which sounded like something worth trying. I’d also got a £5 off food voucher and on the night we visited all burgers were (unexpectedly) 20% off. Had it not been for this we’d have probably visited their sister restaurant ‘The Shed’ which is billed as Stratford’s only burger bar with riverside seating. Maybe next time…

The Lazy Cow Group has three other restaurants in Salisbury, Solihull and Warwick so all feature in fairly affluent areas. Inside the Stratford one it has an upmarket, industrial style steakhouse feel to it but with a rustic charm that you would expect of Stratford. It is also delightfully placed by the river but unfortunately we were unable to dine outside on this occasion.

Sat in the “Oxblood” red leather booths I perused the menu under intimate lighting delivered by colander style light shades. We kicked off the event with a portion of Pulled Pork Nachos. These were good! The nachos themselves were very clearly homemade instead of someone just pouring a bag of Doritos on a plate. Impressive. The double P was tasty, slightly sweet and worked well with the jalapeños and fresh coriander.


Burger Lad
Pulled Pork on homemade Nachos...

Up next was the burger and this was presented to me in a metal Cub Scout tray - which we’ve seen before at Boston Tea Party. As you can see from the pictures it was “OK” in terms of presentation. The big, fatty piece of bacon poking its tongue out at me put me off a bit (I actually ripped that protruding piece off). The top bun, or crown as we call it in the business was skewwhiff from the rest of the ingredients despite the customary skewer.


Burger Lad
What's on the tray for £14.50...

I removed the fresh tomato (I’ll never be a fan) from the lightly toasted, buttery brioche bun and took my first bite. God it was messy (not always a bad thing, see The Bird)! There seemed to be loads of that lazy cow relish which was a mayo-based sauce. Despite in my mind thinking “I don’t like it”, with every bite I took it surprised me each time as it was tasty. I don’t know why but to me a relish means a pickled/chopped vegetable or fruit but I wouldn’t describe the Lazy Cow relish this way. It was a strange one that I can’t quite describe, possibly bordering close to an upmarket, gourmet Big Mac sauce.


Burger Lad
The Lazy Cow 8oz Dexter Beef Burger...

There was plenty of fresh, green lettuce on-board but I was a bit disappointed to see some of the “stem” on the end of one of the leaves – personally I would have taken it off but it was no major deal. The red onion rings were a welcome addition as ever. Fresh, sharp and providing an offset to the main event we all want to know about. The BEEF!!

Outstanding! I really loved the deep, rich flavour impact of the 8oz Dexter burger. The patty had been cooked to perfection with just a hint of pink (you are asked how you want your burger done). It had a fresh, meaty and buttery flavour to it and fused nicely with the thick, nicely melted gooey Swiss.

Overall it was a bit of an unexplainable experience. Yes the beef was good but I did think the execution of this build was slightly off and I did feel a bit disappointed. Due to the excess sauce the brioche bun perished a little and thus descended into a bit of a mess to be honest. I didn’t finish the chips as I’m not a massive fan unless they are fries (“well yes BL but you are in a Steakhouse”). I put in my original notes that the burger left me with a numb feeling but I think this is a bit harsh. On reflection it was an enjoyable burger but I think for close to fifteen quid I just expected something a bit more which was not there. And that bacon was very fatty…

Miss Milkshake went with the Do Nut Burger which to me did not look half as good as the Red’s True Barbecue one. Watching her eat it however, I did feel like Harry Burns sat opposite Sally Albright!


Burger Lad
The Lazy Cow Do Nut Burger...

So would I recommend The Lazy Cow!? Yes… yes I would. I’d probably not have the 8oz Dexter Burger again but I am definitely up for checking out The Shed and am tempted by the Vegetarian(!!) Mexican Chilli Bean Burger. Watch this space as I have a feeling we’ll be back in Stratford in the very near future…

Oh and if you are reading this GraceHQsky… this is not a job or a hobby… it’s a way of life! With that let’s take one last look at the Lazy Cow 8oz Dexter Burger.


Burger Lad
Bit of a mess, pretty tasty...

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Red’s True Barbecue The Donut Burger

Review of Red’s True Barbecue The Donut Burger

Website: http://truebarbecue.com/

What they say:

Two house-made 100% steak burgers flame grilled over hickory, melted double cheese, smoked peppered bacon dirty sauce and deep fried crispy onions, all between two sweet glazed donuts. Served with hush puppies and skin-on fries. It shouldn’t work, but sweet Red above. It’s incredible. #DONUTBURGER

Price: £12.95.

Calories: 2,700-ish?

I woke up on Saturday morning to find this latest review from our Principal Burger Critic in my inbox. Now I don’t get jealous easily, but my eyes were as green with envy as the finest local produce that Red collected on the first day of Creation…

We know all about “Low and Slow” – after all we’ve got our very own cut of pork shoulder, seasoned in our signature spice mix, cooking away in the slow cooker as I write this introduction, but these guys are P-R-O-F-E-S-S-I-O-N-A-L-S people.

With great privilege, Burger Lad® is honoured to present Red’s True Barbecue - The Donut Burger…


It's summer and it's cold and wet, so I must be in either Manchester or Glasgow. Today it's Manchester and I'm visiting Red's True Barbeque (recently opened, with its original branch in Leeds).

Reds is seemingly an American-style barbeque joint. The website makes that clear and from the minute I sit down and listen to the good ol' boys music playing, it's definitely going for a Hazzard County kind of tone.



Burger Lad
Inside Red's Manchester...

I sit down and order a drink. I put my pad on the table to begin writing, and there it stays. I think I've found the world's stickiest table.

I'm being brave / stupid today and I'm here for one thing only and that's the Donut Burger (yep you read it right the first time - as they say in the menu).

A cursory read of the internet beforehand suggest this thing clocks in at some 2,700 calories, which is more than my daily allowance!!!

It's served with spicy Hush Puppies, whatever they are (I'm assuming not the icy drink) and skin-on fries. I'm not sure if these are included in the 2,700 calories or added to it. Either way, I'm 110% sure I won't be having dessert…

Anyway, the donut burger is a double cheeseburger with melted cheese, bacon and wonderfully named "dirty sauce" inside not one but two glazed doughnuts.


Burger Lad
Red's True BBQ Donut Burger...

The kitchen, or the barbeque pit I suppose, is open. The smells doing from there are bloody fantastic. I'm here for a burger today but I'm definitely going to have to come back for ribs someday.

The decor is a bit Crystal Maze Industrial Zone and I half expect Richard O'Brien to pop up and shout "start the fans please!"

As I put my order in I ask the very helpful young waiter what hush puppies are, and apparently they are sweetcorn, jalapeños and dough all fried up. Interesting.

While waiting, I realise this would be a fantastic (and probably busy) place to spend an evening without car keys. Extensive and interesting drinks menu and a juke-box you can control by downloading an app to your iPhone.


Burger Lad
A tray of Paradise...

I tried the fries first and wasn't blown away. They were nice but not outstanding. The hush puppies were doughy right enough, with that great jalapeño kick, but definitely could have done with something to dip into - there was a range of sauces on my table.

The burger itself looks small. Compacted calories I guess. Lovely and dripping cheese. I'm not sure how I'm going to eat it because the donut is so sticky, and it's quite tall. I think it will be a case of knife and fork. A wet towel is provided for wiping up at any rate.


Burger Lad
Lifting the lid of The Donut Burger...

My first bite told me enough. Sweet doughnut cheeseburger. Tastes exactly as you'd imagine.

What stood out most actually was the meat - it was fantastic. It had the dirty sauce all over it and made me absolutely convinced I'll be having the ribs here before too long.

The sweetness of the doughnuts came through with every bite and it was fascinating. I kept coming back to the meat though. It tasted amazing and that barbeque sauce - wow!


Burger Lad
"Amazing sauce..."

In fact, the table next to me had what I assume was Red's Pit Burger and a part of me wished I had that instead of, let's face it, the gimmick.

The gimmick though, was incredibly moreish and actually not that difficult to finish.

I think you already know the answer to the question - would I have it again? But would I recommend Red's? Yes absolutely. As a place of great meat, certainly.


Burger Lad
Praise The Donut Burger...

So there you have it. Red's Donut Burger. Quite unique. Definitely interesting. Actually tasty. Red's BBQ as a whole - great place.


Thanks Admiral Burgerbar for your analysis of The Donut Burger – we’re heading up the M6 right… about… NOW...

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

McDonald’s BBQ Chicken Legend Deluxe

Review of McDonald’s BBQ Chicken Legend Deluxe

Website:http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/product_nutrition.chicken.1251.bbq-chicken-legend-deluxe.html

What they say:

Succulent chicken breast fillet in a golden crispy coating with smoky cheese, streaky bacon and Batavia lettuce topped with a smoky BBQ sauce and cool mayo, all in a warm, toasted bakehouse roll.

Price: £3.89 for the burger only, £5.49 as part of a medium meal (subject to variation).

Calories: 605 kcal.

McDonald’s releases the BBQ Chicken Legend Deluxe and Bacon Swiss Melt and Burger Lad® is back through the drive-thru to bring you a look at the new “Legend” on the menu - for a limited time only…


Burger Lad
McDonald's promotional picture...

I can’t complain too much about these “safe” promotional items despite not getting a World Cup burger (like the rest of the world) because after all we did get the treat of the My Burger promotion. Oh and did I mention that I was a McDonald’s My Burger 2014 finalist…? Of course, you can read all about THAT day here.

OK… so we headed to Maccy D’s today in search of the McRib but in our hearts we truly knew it wasn’t going to be there (mainly due to an anonymous tipster saying it definitely wasn’t). You may be asking why I keep harping on about the McRib but I’ll summarise for you briefly:

  1. McDonald’s tested the McRib in Sheffield and you should read about that!
  2. The girl at the drive-thru said it was going to be available today (wrong). 
  3. We get comments on the website such as “Our store will be fitted with a new grill in the near future especially for the McRib”. 
  4. Today I asked about its availability and I can confirm it is programmed on their tills. 

Anyway… we’re not here to talk about that BBQ Pork product (you can see my analysis of the German version here). We’re here to welcome the mouthful of a name - BBQ Chicken Legend Deluxe. Yeah I struggled when placing my order but it was worth it as this turned into quite a pleasant mouthful.


Burger Lad
We like LTO packaging...

So after a brief wait I was presented with my bag of food (I went for a meal today) and found a spot in a local car park to film our latest episode of Burger Lad® TV which you can see below. Firstly, I was ultra-impressed with the presentation going on with the BBQ Legend. Whoever had put this “build” together should be proud of themselves as this was quite possibly one of the best I’ve ever seen (except The Burger Lad which had been made to look like a promotional version). But seriously this was pretty damn impressive! The Bacon poked out the bun and looked good. The cheese had obviously just been added (no standing around for this order!) and there was a massive amount of lettuce on-board too! I even liked the artistic swirl of mayo on the right-side of the tasty looking bakehouse roll.


Burger Lad
Straight from the box...

So how did the BBQ Legend taste?

I’d say the bun was just under the “target” level of toasting but that really did not detract from the enjoyment experienced with this Chicken Legend. This bakery-style bakehouse roll is a welcome addition to the arsenal of buns available to the big M. My first bite did give me a bit of a smoky satisfaction – the combination of the bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce worked well together.


Burger Lad
Loads of lettuce...

With each bite you get a definite crispiness from the lettuce which like I mentioned there was loads of. I think it’s that plus the golden crispy coating that gave this burger that crunch impact. The bacon was good, minimal fat and cooked just right. I loved the cheese today as this had been made to order so had just been placed on the Legend breast fillet.


Burger Lad
The BBQ Chicken Legend Deluxe...

The chicken was good quality – white, firm, breast meat and at a relatively low cost offers good value for money. At a total of 605 calories I do not believe I will be participating again but if you’re after a quick chicken fix at McD’s I’d say this is worth a punt. The BBQ sauce complimented the rest of the ingredients nicely to reinforce that “smoky” taste throughout and the mayo really was inoffensive and there was the ideal amount as well (some other companies slather the stuff on).




Overall a pretty respectable burger but I’m going to definitely label it as a “safe” option from my good friends at McDonald’s HQ. What I (and probably countless thousands of others) would like is just something with a bit of a kick to it. Common Ronald we know you’ve got jalapeños in that pantry!! And what about that Chipotle Mayo…!? I think I can speak for a lot of people when we would love to see something just a bit more adventurous with a promotional item. But at the end of the day we appreciate its business and whatever sells is more likely to feature on the menu. We’ll keep dreaming though! 


Burger Lad
Lifting the lid...

So the BBQ Chicken Legend Deluxe – it’s an enjoyable burger, fresh, cheap, and if you get one looking like mine, pretty decently presented. The BBQ sauce works well with the other ingredients to give it a smoky tone and there’s a nice bit of crunch from the crispy chicken coating and Batavia lettuce.

If you’re passing McDonald’s and fancy a bit of chicken you can’t go wrong with this to be honest. The cheese does have a faint but just recognisable “smoke” to it but it’s not the most obvious of tastes. End of school report. Good but could do better. We’ll be back at McDonald’s when these promotional items end – and if anyone wants to tell us what’s coming next, you know where to find me. I’m pretty good at keeping secrets…


Burger Lad
A respectable build...

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad

Monday, 14 July 2014

Coast to Coast Lux Burger

Review of Coast to Coast Lux Burger

Website: http://www.c2crestaurants.com/

What they say:

Our 6oz* burgers are freshly pressed, Aberdeen Angus beef. All served on a sesame seeded brioche bun with fries and a spicy ketchup dip. Our prime burger stacked with rocket, Emmental cheese, garlic mayo, two rashers of streaky bacon, red onion, sun blush tomatoes and dill pickle.

Price: £12.95.

Calories: Unknown.

I’d always threatened to, but never got around to checking out the burgers at Coast to Coast, American Restaurant & Bar. However, Admiral Burgerbar beat me to it so without further delay, Burger Lad® presents the C2C Lux Burger...


Coast to Coast is part of The Restaurant Group, which includes Frankie & Benny’s, Garfunkel’s and Chiquito. As such, there are similarities - immaculate decor, a warm welcome, extensive menus, clean and tidy, decent food and quite high prices.

The host and the waitress were both very welcoming, the former pointing out the new things on the menu. Apparently it has recently had an update, just like its sister establishment, F&B.

The feel of the place is upmarket American diner and they seem to be spread out across the whole country (although the restaurants in Stirling, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh are called "Filling Station".)


Burger Lad
Inside Coast to Coast...

As with other Restaurant Group places, there is a shiny, well-stocked and welcoming bar, at odds with the retail park (i.e. car) location.

There's quite a choice of burgers on the menu, but I decide to go for the Emmental-based Lux Burger. I'm looking forward to see how the different cheese complements the stack.

It also includes rocket, red onion and garlic mayo, which I find to be top-tier burger ingredients. Two tomatoes and pickles are also present, but those aren't among my favourites.

As I wait, the host explained to me that they have changed the buns and now use toasted brioche - again a top-tier inclusion.

I chose sweet potato fries to go with it, and was told "good choice" by the waitress. Hopefully she is right.


Burger Lad
Coast to Coast Lux Burger...

When the burger arrives, I note that the presentation is immaculate. Fries in a little bucket too. And there's a great smell. All the ingredients are on show - bacon crossed across the burger, rocket poking out the bottom, the Emmental clinging lovingly to the beef and even the small tomatoes look nice. I think I'll leave them in.

The sweet potato fries are rather good. Nicely seasoned, with that distinct taste that sets them apart from potato fries.

In the first couple of bites of the burger, it's the bacon that comes through strongest by quite a long way. The garlic mayo makes a shout too. The rocket and the cheese don't stand out above the bacon, which is a shame. Further in, I do get the rocket, and the red onion kicks in as well.


Burger Lad
The trademark "Admiral" shot...

As it turns out, this is a burger that improves as we get further in. Emmental is a lovely nutty cheese, so I wish in a way it had stood out a bit more.

The bun is doing a great job of holding all this in, and the mayo and cheese keep it moist so there's no dryness in the bite.

Overall this is a decent burger. It doesn't stand out enough to make me have it again, but I like the place so I'm sure I'll have one of the others next time.

I'd definitely recommend Coast to Coast - it's not cheap, but the ambience does exude quality.


Burger Lad
Ambience exudes quality...


Thanks again to the Admiral for checking out the Lux Burger from Coast to Coast. We’ll be back again soon for more reviews on your favourite burger website.

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad

Thursday, 10 July 2014

KFC Zinger Burger

Review of KFC Zinger® Burger

Website: http://www.kfc.co.uk/our-food/burgers-and-wraps/zinger-burger

What they say:

What does the Zinger Burger taste like? Picture a disco mirrorball hanging from the roof of your mouth and instead of light, it's taste bouncing around your mouth like a tingle wave. And that's what the Zinger Burger tastes like.

Price: £3.49 for the burger only (at Motorway Service Station).

Calories: 455 kcals.

Admiral Burgerbar is back with a look at the KFC Zinger Burger…


This was going to be a review of Burger King's Summer BBQ Whopper but for reasons I shall explain presently, turned into the most frustrating fast food experience I've had in years, and ultimately ended up as a review of the Zinger burger from KFC (which was definitely a silver lining!)

Motorway service station at lunchtime. One of my worst nightmares, but unfortunately a necessity sometimes. At least we got a seat. This particular one had a BK, a Starbucks, Papa John’s Pizza and a KFC.

I sat down and immediately intended to have the aforementioned summer Whopper, because Burger Lad® had mentioned it once or twice or seven times, and The Admiral is good like that.

So I walked over to the BK counter where one member of staff was busy with a couple of people, and another was bustling around in the back. Firstly, I felt two seemed too few for lunchtime but then realised the more pertinent problem was the current customers. The conversation went on for ages and ages and it became apparent they were ordering for seemingly a coach-full of Chinese tourists with all manner of queries and alterations (including one "do you have a microwave so I can heat up this plastic container of noodles I seem to have brought with me?").

Before my eyes, the till went slowly up over £100 and eventually settled at around £130. All of this took a long time- did I mention that?

Eventually it was my turn. "A summer barbeque Whopper please". I'm sorry, we are sold out of whoppers. Obviously there was a direct connection between the massive order and my whopper-less predicament.

I mumbled and shuffled off to KFC, only to be confronted by a massive queue formed of what appeared to be a giggling school group. You see, motorway services at lunchtime = nightmare.

Fortunately, salvation was there in the form of KFC's self-order machine. Giggling schoolgirls don't have credit cards, so I was able to bypass the queue and the excruciating conversations about the latest Gordon Bieber song and the like.

Swiftly, I had a Zinger with cheese in my hand and was unpacking it.


Burger Lad
Zinger Burger wrapper...

So, three weeks after first arriving at the service station, I took my first bite. I like the buns KFC uses - soft and squidgy, and just big enough to fit the proprietary chicken, which poked its enticing crunchy coating out the ends.

I really like the stuff KFC coats their chicken with so I knew I was going to enjoy it. And they don't really hold back too much on the spice in the Zinger and their hot wings. So much so, that the chicken I could see inside had hints of colour, presumably from the spices soaking in. The cheese I added for 15p melted nicely into the mayo and other toppings to give a nice background to this burger, but it was most certainly the spicy chicken that led the way.


Burger Lad
The KFC Zinger Burger...

It held together well. There was enough bun left until the end to help me hold and eat the final bites. The nice spicy taste lingered well beyond the final bite.

I love the taste. The crunchy texture is very generous, the chicken is lovely, and the spice makes it rather moreish. It didn't last very long.


Burger Lad
Lifting the lid of the Zinger...

I've had this before and I'd have it again. The Zinger can be "towered up" with a hash brown for 50p. Obviously this adds more calories, but if you're in the mood, it also adds a very pleasant complementary sensation.

The Zinger burger then - a fast food gem and right up there among the best of the big brand staples.


Burger Lad
Chicken, cheese, lettuce & mayo...

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad

Monday, 7 July 2014

Burger King Secret Menu Item The Bling King

Review of Burger King Secret Menu Item The Bling King

Website: http://burgerking.co.uk/

What they say:

Not applicable.

Price: £10.72.

Calories: Chicken Tendercrisp: 689 kcal, Double Rodeo 360 kcal, Breakfast in Bread 579 kcal & Hash Browns 192 kcal. Total 1,820 kcal minus 1.5 buns.

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!! After all… as the wise Jedi Master Yoda once said, “Do or do not… there is no try…”

Admiral Burgerbar likes a secret menu item… it’s no “secret”… so imagine my little face when this popped up in my inbox on Monday morning. Now we know we have a copycat or two out there so if you feel the need to copy and paste this onto your site then at least give us a reach around when you do it…

We weren’t sure what to name this complete mountain of greed. The Beast King? The Have it ALL your way? Maybe the Proud Whopper? Not sure on any of those to be honest so it was Burger Lad® that came up with The Bling King. Literally 30 seconds ago this was going to be called The Have it ALL your way but I like The Bling King (with onion ring). After all BK themselves have changed their slogan to “Be Your Way…” so surely we couldn't use that? Be your way indeed…


Well, it's probably time for a secret menu item again. I had a look on the internet to see what things people had come up with. Didn't find anything that grabbed my interest, so it was thinking cap time. What could I come up with by myself?

Perhaps something that gives me my five-a-day. A sort of Land, Sea and Air Plus, or Platinum. Or Platinum Plus even. Fish, Chicken, Beef, Bacon and Sausage.

So I had a look at the BK menu and started building my own burger. If Burger Lad® can do it with great success at McDonald's, then how hard can it be?

The Breakfast in Bread gives me the sausage and bacon, the Rodeo gives me beef as well as onion rings and BBQ flavour. The Ocean Catch gives me fish and tartar sauce, Chicken Tendercrisp with cheese gives me, well, chicken and cheese.

And I'll add hash browns to the mix, just because I can.



Burger Lad
Seriously, do you want to make these a meal...?

I pull up to a Burger King, trying to time it correctly. I am aiming for half past ten, so there is a chance the breakfast item might still be made, as well as the 'lunch' burgers (BL note - you can order 'lunch' burgers before 10:30am... a "friend" told me...).

I think what I will probably do, depending on the height, is stick one of the spare bottom buns in the middle somewhere, just to give a bit of bounce to the otherwise heavy protein stack. I'm looking forward to my made-up burger.

So, I went up to the counter, which was quiet at this time of day, and started to put my order in. After each one I was asked if that was a meal, to which I replied… “No just the burger please”. It got annoying after a while, but I suppose the girl was just following the set sales procedure.

However, my stunning creation came crashing down around my ears when we got to the Ocean Catch. "I'm sorry we don't have that anymore". I protested "But I was just looking at it on the website this morning". The girl turned to the back and repeated that to a manager presumably, who replied "tell him we are sorry that it's still on the website". As the girl turned back to me I said "it's ok, I heard that".

So, no fish in my creation. As we will see shortly, this wasn't necessarily a bad thing.


Burger Lad
We recommend the above for 2 or more people...

I took the Tendercrisp, which was the biggest thing, as my frame, and lifted its lid. Opening the Breakfast one, I could see all the bacon and cheese was stuck to the top bun, so although it was more rounded, it had to go in as the middle bread. On top of that I added the contents of the Rodeo, then three hash browns on top. The hash browns were tasty, but I sort of wanted something like KFC does - a big round hash brown that's meant to fit the burger.


Burger Lad
Onion ring(s) for your Bling King...

With the stack built, I squashed the top of the Tendercrisp bun on the top, along with its white sauce. So far, so good.

My first bite only got the chicken. I'm discovering with these tall creations that contents sliding out is a substantial issue. The other things didn't fall out (yet) but kept moving to the back, so no matter which side I bit, I only got chicken. It was when I tried to tip it forward to get a bite of bacon, or beef, or sausage - anything instead of chicken - that things went downhill.

The bun frame was degrading with the sauce. The stuff inside was all hanging out like a teenager's dress-sense, and before long there was literally nothing dry to hold on to, and it just crumbled. I started out wanting to call this the Animal Farm, but perhaps the Total Mess would be better. There's clearly a reason why burger places don't sell this kind of thing.


Burger Lad
Some serious secret menu item action...

Anyway, armed with a forest of napkins, I finished it off by picking random bits up here and there. By this point, it really didn't feel much like a burger anymore, and I had to sort of accept that my creation was pretty poor.

This was not Burger King's fault by the way. The individual items were nice. The crispy chicken in the Tendercrisp was very nice, and I noted they do a sweet chilli one which I might try some day. The Rodeo was small, but the barbeque and onion rings flavour is very tasty. The breakfast in bread was interesting. I think this was the first time I had ever had had a proper breakfast item from one of the fast food places. The sausage, although reformed into a flat patty shape, was very, well sausage. In amongst the tower of competing flavours, the bacon did struggle to come through. I got it a couple of times, and it really depended what else my teeth managed to catch in the same bite before running away.


Burger Lad
The Bling King...

As for the Ocean Catch, I emailed BK UK HQ later and despite the standard automated reply saying they'd get back to me within three days, I got a reply in a couple of hours. Effectively it told me that, as BK restaurants are franchises, there are some menu items that are discretionary. The one I went to obviously decided not to make the Ocean Catch available, but it's unlikely to be removed from the website as the suggestion was that it is/may be available at other locations. Has anybody had a BK Ocean Catch recently?


Burger Lad
Be your way... sing the bling...

At any rate, whatever you want to call this - "Land and Air plus sausage and bacon but minus the Sea", "Animal Farm" or "Total Mess", it was a failure. Individually tasty items, and collectively tasty too, but I was far too pre-occupied with trying to hold it together to enjoy it properly. I won't be having this again.

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad

Saturday, 5 July 2014

McDonald’s Big Mac

Review of McDonald’s Big Mac

Website: http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/ukhome/product_nutrition.beef.19.big-mac.html

What they say:

Two 100% beef patties with lettuce, onions, pickles, cheese and our unbeatable Big Mac sauce - all in a sesame seed bun.

Price: £2.69.

Calories: 490 kcals.

To celebrate one million page views and being a finalist of the McDonald’s My Burger promotion our very own Admiral Burgerbar decided to analyse the most iconic burger ever… the McDonald’s Big Mac… no pickles though… not sure about that! In fact after reading this review I had to rush out and get one hence the additional pictures! Although at the drive-thru they tried to give me a small coke and there were no serviettes. Do they not know who I am…!?


In honour of Burger Lad®’s recent achievement and in acknowledgement of the milestone that July will bring, this week sees a big burger that's famous. Very famous in fact. Quite possibly the most famous burger in the world.

Today's review is a Big one. After Wimpy, the first burger I ever had, and instantly recognisable.

It's the Big Mac.



Burger Lad
The iconic McDonald's Big Mac...

No promotional version, the only modification I made was asking for it without the pickle.

The very definition of fast food. From the minute I handed over my five pound note and "Mac no pickle" being shouted rearward like a well-rehearsed rugby pass, to my being presented with my cardboard, was a very short time indeed.

I chose a seat in a fairly empty restaurant and sat down with my tray. I knew I was going to enjoy this because I've had it many times over the years.

The most memorable of which was 1996 in Austria. I was rather less adventurous back then and didn't like the pickle or the Big Mac sauce, so I usually ordered it "cheese and lettuce only". This particular time I did just that auf Deutsch and was given effectively a three layer cheese and lettuce sandwich. No beef. The beef is the essence of the burger surely, and it's taken as read that it is included. You live and learn.


Burger Lad
Is that a My Burger promotion I can see...?

Anyway, back to the 21st Century and I have a steaming pile of McDonald’s fries in front of me. Over the years and across the world, I've rarely had bad McFries and today was no exception. McDonald's has had a very long time to perfect them and it shows. Crispy, hot, right thickness, salted, and damn tasty.

Liquid accompaniment is in the form of a Diet Coke which I had to fill myself. There is not a lot finer than a burger and a beer, so I do wonder if the high street burger places are missing a trick with licensing. I'm sure I've had beer in McDonald's elsewhere in the world, but I may be mistaken. At any rate, this particular McDonald's wasn't on a high street, it was on a retail park and required a car, so that musing was pretty moot as it happens.


Burger Lad
Dropping a topping = made from scratch...

On then to the headline act. The Big Mac is probably the single most identifiable image of fast food. This one had been made from scratch and the cheese hadn't yet melted (it did as I went along).

I didn't get any of the sauce in the first bite but I did in the second. Again, instantly recognisable. The cross-section of double-patties resonated on my taste buds as well as any twin-guitar riff from Maiden or Priest. McBloodyMarvellous. The bun in the middle adds a subtle yet welcome bounce to the bite. The patties are of course thin, compared to gourmet-style burgers, but they are nicely seasoned and very tasty.


Burger Lad
Here's one they made earlier and very respectable too...

In fact, the whole thing, including the fries, is very un-put-downable, just like the Harry Potter books on the Tube a decade ago, or that catalogue of shades of grey paint that people seem to read a lot these days.


Burger Lad
Lifting the lids on the worlds most famous burger...

So un-put-downable in fact, that I've yet to avoid guzzling a Big Mac meal as if it were my first food in years. Did I mention I've had a few of them over the last four decades?

The only way I managed to take a few breaths between bites this time was the fact that I'm writing this.

So, all done, the lovely cheesy beefy oniony taste lingering in my mouth and the knowledge that I'll most certainly be back, I bid my (temporary) farewell to the world's biggest burger.


Burger Lad
The money shot...

The Big Mac. I'm bloody lovin' it!


Thanks again Admiral for your analysis of this iconic burger!


Burger Lad
An absolute classic...

Burger Lad®

McDonald’s My Burger 2014 Finalist

We are the people's burger website™

Enjoy!

For more burger related news and comments follow me on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Burger_Lad