Calling for Canberra’s Best Burger drew the expected range in opinion, including an unexpected debate on the difference between a hamburger and a burger (apparently one is the posh type, the other a more grungy experience – who knew?).
The two most popular burgers according to you guys are Brodburger (Kingston) and London Burger (Belconnen, City & Tuggeranong) with a range of votes for local takeaway burgers across town.
To show my true dedication to the site, I gathered two mates (including my burger aficionado friend) for a burger taste off. We sampled one from Brodburger, one from London Burger and a local takeaway burger.
To ensure we compared ‘apples with apples’ as much as possible, we went for the equivalent of a burger with the lot from each (no beetroot or pineapple – a vote from my mates – don’t shoot the messenger).
I must confess up front that a fairly large part of me wanted Brodburger to be rubbish. There was so much hype about them in their trendy little position that I kind of wanted to go against the crowd. But, we started with this apparent high bar of burgers and it was hard to go anywhere but down after that.
Our Brodburger (with bacon and egg) was served on a soft, not too fat, slightly sweet bun with the most delicious combination of patty (not too fat, not too thin and not overcooked). Along with the bacon (plenty of) and egg went lettuce, tomato, Spanish onion, homemade aioli and tomato relish. It was freaking amazing. I’m not entirely sure how they managed to cook the egg to such perfection – soft and slightly runny but not messy – and the aioli and relish offered a lovely balance of slightly sweet and spicy flavours. The only complaint with the burger itself was a few large chunks of Spanish onion, which isn’t to everyone’s taste.
The Brodburger with bacon and egg is $15.00 without sides.
Next we sampled the London Burger. We went for the ‘London Burger with the lot’, which came with bacon, cheese, caramelized onion, egg, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion. The first thing to stand out was the size of the patty. It was huge (as was the burger in general). There was a bit too much BBQ sauce and although the patty was tall it failed to cover the width of the burger bun. Call me unreasonable but I like to get a full mouthful of flavours with each bite of burger. The biggest issue with the London Burger though was the inability to get a whole bit in your gob at once, meaning the burger broke up into bits unceremoniously.
The London Burger with the lot is $15.50 with a side of beer battered chips (which were pretty good).
Our last tasting was a local takeaway burger. We went with our local as from experience most local takeaways are similar and they make a pretty good burger. The burger was as expected. The patty flat and pretty tasty, plenty of bacon, cheese, egg, tomato and lettuce with tomato sauce. It’s nothing fancy, no posh sauces and I suspect lacking in organic eggs. But, it was enjoyable.
The ‘local’ burger with the lot is $8.50.
It turns out that with burgers it is in fact hard to compare ‘apples with apples’, as there are burgers for different occasions. If you’re after the king of burgers, all quality and taste and perfection go with Brodburger, but be prepared to faff about to park and wait (we pre-ordered but the wait for others was 1 ½ hours). For everyday, although the burger was fantastic, the hassle factor does (for me) outweigh the goodness of the burger.
London Burger was OK. To be fair to them, it was probably a bit unfair to put them right next to a Brodburger. If I was out and about and that was an option for dinner I would certainly take it over a lot of other fast food options. But, for a high end burger I would expect something a bit more refined and the size put me off a lot.
For convenience and flavour as a combination I would still head to our local takeaway. It ticks the boxes for me.
All this being said, there is part of me still hankering for the other 2/3 of the Brodburger I was forced to share with my mates and wondering why I shared this challenge in the first place…