Sunday, 10 June 2012

Wendys, Greenlane - Warriors Burger

I'm in a bit of a dilemma.  Do I review burgers from the Fast Food Franchises.  Now this is a difficult call and I'm not sure I have the answer.  To be sure, some fast food burgers taste better than a fancy schmancy restaurant burger.  But is this enough to justify inclusion?  I eat a lot of them (fast food burgers).  Again not a justification in its own right.

Oh to hell with it.  I will include them but only when I feel like it.  And I won't score them as its too tricky.  For example, do I score them on the same scale as a gourmet burger?  How would I score or rank my beloved Big Mac?

So i had an hour to spare before a meeting and chanced upon a Wendys.  Rather than drive around for an hour I thought i would park up.  Entering, I thought it would be rude not to buy anything.  But its only 10am.  Stuff it.  Im here so Im going to have a burger.  And wait!! there is a Warriors burger.  Score!

$10.90 for a small combo.  The drink was not small!!  Solid serving of fries - which were  quite tasty by the way ...

Probably what gets you the most at fast food places is that when you get your burger it is absolutely nothing like the advertisement.  In this case ... the observation held.

Okay! So that's a bit of lettuce peeking out!

Nothing like the advert.  It was smushed.  The pattie in particular was a lot smaller in real life.  And you couldn't even see the fillings.  So I had a look under the hood.

That will teach them for paying me minimum wage!!
Opening it up it looked like it was slapped together by someone on minimum wage. Oh wait!  they probably were...

 So I rearranged the fillings and spread that bacon and mayo evenly across the burger.

I ate a few more fries to fire myself up.  However, upon taking a bite, I was pleasantly surprised.  It actually tasted not too bad.  The bun, which looked stale, was actually quite tasty. The pattie was flavourful, and supported by the bacon, which added salt and fat (more).  The mayo gave it a bit of moistness and creaminess (and more fat), and the lettuce was crunchy.  All in all a pass on the taste test.

 I don't eat Wendy's much, as the nearest one is in Paraparaumu.  But based on this effort I may go again.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Celcius, Petone - Chicken Burger -5/10

Had the in-laws down over Queen’s Birthday weekend and searching for somewhere uniquely Petone for them to experience.  It looked like every other in-law was in town with cafes packed and parking at a premium.  Luckily I had an ace up my sleeve!!
Presentation was awesome!

Celcius Cafe is not on Jackson Street.  It is planted in the middle of the industrial area on Old Hutt Road.  Even with the out of the way, hidden location, there was only one table free – so we lucked out.

So I wasn’t planning on a burger as I knew they didn’t do one.  Toasted sammies are their specialty!!  However, there happened to be a chicken burger on the menu.  And my wife convinced me (I think or am I just laying blame) that I should give it a shot.

And on that long winded entry I apologise for breaking my first rule and including a non-red meat burger on my blog!!  Sorry!
Spot the protein?
To be honest, the burger wasn’t too bad!!  It had a really good bun, and the chicken was actually a pattie of sorts.  It wasn’t quite a fillet and it wasn’t quite mince.  Intriguing!! 

Compared to a beef burger it was a bit like having a spring salad – not quite the filling feeling you get from a solid serving of meat.  

Oh wait.  Maybe it was the fact that the pattie was tiny.  In fact I had to pull it out and cut it lengthwise so I could fit it across the whole burger. 

It was supported by lighter flavours including the mayo.  Basil, a pesto of sorts.  Okay Im starting to guess here.  But you could really taste the vegetables – cucumber, tomato, onion.
The pattie wasn't quite a fillet and it wasn't quite mince.
However, it was quite small!!
The showstopper was the hand cut fries.  A really good crunch and super tasty.  You can really taste the difference between mass produced fries and homemade.  Unfortunately I can’t score on the fries and it is an indication of sorts when they are the most memorable part of the dish!  

In any case, I did like the burger, but I wouldn’t order again so again a 5 out of 10 (perhaps I need to be more ruthless. But if you like chicken burgers I’m guessing it wasn’t a bad specimen).

I think it cost around $15 but don’t quote me on that.

Tiki Lounge, Lower Hutt - Beef Burger - 5/10

Tiki Lounge recently moved from its previous location in Waiwhetu to the Hutt CBD in the premises vacated by the Cadillac Diner (which has moved into Wellington).  Mental note that I need to go and review a Cadillac Diner burger!!

By chance happened to be at the Carpet Court across the road and thought it would be a grand opportunity to try their burger (which I had looked at with envy when at the Waiwhetu cafe a few months ago).

So I was excited when the burger arrived looking every bit as majestic as I had remembered.  If presentation was anything to go by, this was going to be a winner.  It was billed as a “beef burger, grilled cheese, bacon, caramelised onion and lettuce.  The patty looked juicy and the bun looked perfect.  As you can see it came with crinkle cut fries.
Messy!!  Note the burnt top bun!

However, upon opening it up I was a bit disappointed at the way it had been thrown together.  Perhaps this was a sign??  Lettuce was mesclun and the caramelised onions were, well, onions.

To be fair, there was a nice sear on the pattie.  But that is where the praise stops.  Okay it had everything there but it just wasn’t quite there in terms of flavour.  The top half of the bun was burnt making it like a piece of toast.  The bottom half of the bun was mushy from the liquid (which came from??).  Further the burger just crumbled when you tried to pick it up (even after cutting it in half!!).  The pattie itself crumbled.  It was messy eating.  Might as well have been mince on toast.

Perhaps I had just worked myself up too much and my expectations were too high.  I reluctantly score it 5 out of 10.  But to be honest, I would take the Burger Wisconsen over this, particularly as it costs $17.50 and i am pretty sure i enjoyed the Wisconsen burger more.   I had better stop here before i talk myself into scoring it a 4.