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4th November 2013

The not so humble Burger

The dirty burger revolution has taken control of restaurants and menus everywhere. The way things are going, reputations will be made or broken on the quality of their chuck beef and brioche buns.

The Burger has come a long way in recent years, it has made the long journey from cheap, naff, drive thru fodder to now hold an ever present place, and indeed central place, on menus across the entire spectrum from dirty food central Almost Famous to King Street’s Jamie’s Italian, to Chorlton and West Didsbury, all the way to Simon Rimmer’s fine dining establishment in Hale. The Burger, it would be fair to say, dominates the culinary landscape.

Now, I’ve eaten a lot of Manchester’s burgers, and though my quest is still merely in its infancy, I shall share some of my experiences so far.

Now a charred ruin of its once mighty self, Almost Famous, currently relocating (but still operating out of LUCK LUST LIQUOR & BURN) made/still makes the best burgers, staying true to the dirty food revolution. Astoundingly flavoursome with cheese, bacon, pulled pork, beef patty, secret sauces, and a sweet brioche bun. Don’t wear your best clothes as this is a truly dirty experience, but a truly delicious one too. Regular and sweet potato fries are to die for. Burger and fries for less than a tenner.

The most handsome hamburger of them all (Ben Walker)

The Daddy Burger from Violet Hour in West Didsbury is a close second. A fine location to sit and watch the Didsbury set mooch on by whilst you dive head first into a sumptuous offering indeed. Again served with pulled pork and really crisp bacon, the beef patty is bigger, but the bottom of the burger suffered from too much juice seep-through. The chips served were only mediocre, but a totally awesome battered gherkin topped the mountainous heap of cow and pig. All in, £10.

West Didsbury’s entry courtesy of the Violet Hours
(Ben Walker)

They can’t all be great, and worst so far, and at nearly £15 astronomically expensive, one Mr Jamie Oliver. He has rolled out his glorified chain restaurant to King Street, screaming and shouting ‘look at me’, and indeed the burger garnered such attention, but the substance was totally lacking—I don’t just want looks, but personality too.  The bacon was so thin and charred it was over crisp, if not burnt; also the patty was a bit under seasoned. The bun was not sweet enough, and overall the dish was too dry. The chips were parmesan and truffle oil should have made we weep with joy, yet my tears were sadly ones of sadness, reserved for when the billed arrived.

Too big, too dry, too expensive.
(Ben Walker)


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