Cafe Polo, Polly's Gone Burger, 8/10 - Burger Wellington 2012

Freshly ground Wairarapa beef patty with PrimeStar beef bacon, caramelised onion, Polo BBQ sauce, housemade pickles and Kingsmeade Wairarapa Jack cheese on a toasted bun, with handcut truffle fries - $21.50.
I am burger.  Eat me now!!

After striking out in the first review, I have encountered my second home-run in succession. 

I sort of already knew that Cafe Polo was going to deliver a great burger.  They won last year's competition with a vegetarian offering.  This year they were going full on burger - beef, more beef, onion, pickles, cheese.  How could it not be good!!

An awesome support crew on this mission.   Anna, Sarah and Kelly - all extremely knowledgable when it comes to food.  Most with experience in eating and rating burgers.  

The table was booked and the burgers were ordered before we had even sat down.  The only option for me was burger, but I was a bit surprised the others all went burger too, considering the enticing dine lunch special that was on offer.

Any possible misgivings about whether they had ordered correctly disappeared when the burgers arrived.  The burgers looked Owesome!!  They screamed "I am burger.  Eat me now!!"  Really, it was a great looking burger.  Solid and unpretentious. Cheese oozing out over the pattie.  Handsome bun.  A burger that looked this good couldn't taste bad.

It looked full of flavour.  Can make for a sloppy burger.
Now the benefit of dining with the diva's from WOAP was that Chef David Thorlow came out and introduced his burger and the inspiration behind it.  It all sounded good, and he had really thought through what he wanted to deliver (so glad he went away from vegan!!).  The extra effort was evident with the innovative addition of beef bacon and herbs foraged from his back yard!!

Thankfully he (David) was busy and headed back to the kitchen - I was so wanting to get into that burger.  Presentation merged seamlessly into taste.  It did not disappoint.  I didn't think it was possible, but it was almost on a par with the T-Rex from a day ago!!  I had really lucked out.

The pattie was close to perfect.  Cooked to medium it was moist, well seasoned and with a meaty texture.  The pickles and cheese were a perfect partner.  The coleslaw gave it good crunch and the mayo (which Anna swore was the same as in a Big Mac) was an added bonus.  

The burger was held together in a quality bun that was lightly toasted.  It was slightly bready but didn't detract from the flavours.  In fact, the bun was quite useful for mopping up the juices that were left in copious quantities on the plate.

And that was probably the only criticism of this burger.  It was quite sloppy!!  I was the only one who was able to eat the burger with my hands (admittedly it was cut in half).  And it wasn't a pretty sight.  My napkin was useless before I had got halfway through.  It was a mission to eat this burger without first cutting it in half.   It would have been an impossibility to eat it by hand if you didn't cut it in half.  In fact, looking around, i was the only person who even attempted to eat the burger without a knife and fork.

A solid (size not texture) meat patty cooked medium.
And that's the thing that makes the burger so special.  The ability to get a bit of everything in each bite.  This is just not possible when you aren't able to pick it up and bite through a cross-section of burger.  The fact the ladies loved it so much even using cutlery is testament to the tastiness of the burger.

But they admitted that this was a man-burger.  It was not designed for dainty, formal eating.  It was a burger that you needed to get down and dirty with if you really wanted to enjoy it.   And i was the only man at the table this day!!Although Kelly does get a special mention as the only one who cleared her plate of burger AND fries...

And so to the score.  I would love to give it more than i am going to, but I can't quite bring myself to scoring it as high as the T-Rex.  It is a classic burger that ticks all the boxes, the only thing bringing it down being the sloppiness factor to the point where a knife and fork is the preferred/only means of eating it!!  And so I grudgingly give it eight out of ten and hope that it makes the cut for the cook-off.  Seeing how many people were ordering it, i am quietly confident that it will.

Thanks Sarah for inviting us to Cafe Polo and thanks David for your hospitality and generosity.  You should be proud of this burger.

If you like a classic burger done well, then get down to Cafe Polo and try this one before its too late!!

As an aside, the truffle fries were good but not great - no ketchup or aioli to support them?  The two guys at the next table over had substituted fries for a side salad.  A bit like supersizing your combo and then ordering a diet coke if you ask me.

Another aside, I believe the burger is value for money but does anyone else find the price of the burger interesting?


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