Arizona, Surf & Turf – 3.5/10, Burger Wellington 2012

The best thing about the burger was the presentation!!

It’s always hard being first up in a burger competition, particularly when Brad and I had been anticipating Burger Wellington for such a long time.  So you have to sort of feel sorry for Arizona … but only sort of.

 To be fair, we did slightly misread the entry and so were surprised when the burger actually wasn’t a burger but steak in a bun!!  When I got back to the office I checked out their entry and yes, it was clearly listed as “Wairarapa beef steak with cos salad, a parmesan and garlic dressing and tempura prawn”.  So we are not really sure why Arizona was on our list, but it probably had to do with their memorable entry in 2011, where I scored it an 8.5/10.  But anyway here is our review.

Presentation was probably the best thing about this burger.  The burger looked pretty, with a couple of tempura prawns skewered through the bun holding it together; chips were in their own basket – with some seasoned salt; condiments were on the table.

Rubbing our hands with glee we leaned forward, looked at each other with a confused expression and simultaneously commented “this isn’t a burger – it’s steak in a bun”.  From there, things went progressively downhill.
An oblong piece of meat in a circular bun...
It was definitely a Caesar salad burger, with a strong hint of parmesan and creamy dressing.  Probably by design, this was the only flavour coming through.  Unfortunately there is something about ‘melted’ cheese and burgers, which was missing.  There was also no mustard, no ketchup, and no onion.

Brad immediately added tomato sauce to his – akin to taking steroids and enhancing performance.  In the Olympics it would have been DQ'ed and kicked out of the village!!

The bun was a bap.  One half was toasted.  Basically held the burger together but didn’t add much to the overall package.  Nothing much more to say than that.

doesn't really work!!
The only other component was the steak which, to be honest, had a hard job of convincing us of its merits, particularly as we were fully expecting a beef pattie (although admittedly by our own error).  As you can see from the image (dissected photo), it was a thin, oblong piece of meat, which doesn’t work with a round burger (see cross section photo).  It was pretty bland and mine was cooked well done.  Thankfully it wasn’t too tough, which would have made it a complete disaster.

In terms of condiments, the chips could have been cooked longer.  The tempura prawns were good but would have benefited from an aioli (they could have probably dropped the surf and the price as the prawns didn’t have anything to do with the burger).  The tomato sauce was a house brand and pretty sweet (almost a chili sauce).  So we discussed and scored it a 4/10 in the official text competition – it was after all our first burger and we wanted to give it a fighting chance!

Then we paid the bill and realised the burger was priced at $25.  We had discussed this during the meal and decided that overall, the burger was worth around $15.  This took another 0.5 off the final score, giving it a final score of 3.5 out of 10.  Hopefully from here on in the burgers get better!!  Next stop – Boulcott Street Bistro for “the T Rex”.  The name of the burger alone is enough to excite us.


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