Life of Burgers has been pretty quiet lately, but all for good reasons! In July I managed to snag a position working on the new TV series The Mist that filmed in Nova Scotia for 4 months, which was pretty exciting (especially since the NS film/television industry has had it rough over the last year or so), but it kept me very busy and burgers had to be put on hold for a bit.
About a week after the show wrapped, I took a much-needed vacation ‘across the pond’ for a couple weeks in England and Ireland. While there was many awesome and iconic things to see and do in these beautiful countries, I obviously had to take some time to dive into the beefier side of things and see how much burger game they could bring to the table.
I managed to get my hands on 11 different burgers on my trip, and Part 1 is going to showcase 5 of these meaty creations!
BBQ Burger – Burgista Bros
The first location on the trip overseas was London, England, which just so happened to have a huge selection of burgers for me to try, and since I was only there for a week, I really had to pick carefully.
Burgista Bros, on Baker Street, was just around the corner from my hotel so it was a great choice after a long night of travel. With a handful of burgers to choose from, I went with the BBQ Burger.
Sitting on a super soft, lightly toasted bun was a delicious piece of meat. The beef was cooked really nicely, and it had a great sear which improved the taste of the burger. On top of the patty was a big ol’ piece of melted Applewood cheese, and a generous serving of their house-made BBQ sauce, which had an awesome smokey flavour to it, and I couldn’t get enough of it! Topping all of this off was a nice pile of crispy fried onions to give it a bit of a crunch, and to finish off what was a pretty tasty burger all around.
This was only the first burger on my trip, but I knew if the others were anything like this one that I would be in for a delicious time!
The Don – Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Before I left on this trip, I obviously did a little research into the burger scene in London. One place that kept coming up on ‘must try’ lists was Gourmet Burger Kitchen, so I knew that paying this place a visit was a no brainer.
GBK has a long list of locations (I went to the Baker Street one) each with an impressive list of burgers to satisfy even the pickiest of burger eaters. I was in the mood for a simpler burger, so I ordered up The Don.
While this may be one of the less adventurous burgers on the menu, it definitely didn’t disappoint when it came to the overall composition. There was a great char to the patty, which was cooked a perfect medium (I really appreciated being able to pick my meat temperatures over here – something that is pretty ‘rare’ in Halifax). This burger featured two types of cheese, American and gorgonzola, and while the gorgonzola was slightly overpowering, I really did appreciate the abundance of cheese smothered all over those crunchy pickled onions!
I’m a saucy guy so I would have liked a bit more baconnaise, but the onion jam did step up, and it offered a great taste to every bite! Overall, this was a decent burger, and I would love to be able to try a couple more on the menu some day.
The Mac Daddy – Dirty Bones
One of the perks of being on vacation is that you can eat brunch any day of the week. I had read about Dirty Bones and their unique menu, so when I saw that they had a brunch, I figured it just made sense to stop by. I had every intention of getting something a little more brunch-like, but being the person that I am, I couldn’t pass on The Mac Daddy when I saw it on the brunch menu.
The first thing my eyes were immediately drawn to when the burger was placed in front of me was the huge pile of mac & cheese. Pasta on a burger may not make a whole lot of sense in theory, but man does it ever work! It was thick and creamy, and it had a really awesome smokey flavour to it. The medium-rare patty that the mac & cheese sat on was seasoned perfectly, and the meat was very tender.
The amount of pulled beef short rib on the burger was just right, and I really liked how the flavour worked well with the BBQ sauce. A soft, toasted bun brought all of these ingredients together and created one of my favourite burgers of the trip!
I also tried out their ‘Shadow Milkshake’ (double chocolate ice cream, Oreo, and chocolate sauce), and my sweet tooth has never been happier. Highly recommend trying it if you are a chocolate fanatic like myself!
Bacon Cheeseburger – Bleecker St.
I’ve known about Bleecker St. for a while now, even before I knew I was going on this trip. They only have a handful of burgers on the menu, and they are fairly simple, but they are known for doing burgers right. Keeping it classic for this meal, I went with the Bacon Cheeseburger.
My first impression when I saw the burger was that it may not be as filling as I would like it to be. This was not the case. They pack this burger with a great amount of both bacon and cheese, and they definitely don’t skimp on the burger sauce. The star of the show, however, was the beef. It was cooked to a nice medium-rare, and it was dripping delicious burger juices.
I love big and creative burgers, but the folks at Bleecker St. put out amazing simple burgers that would crush a lot of the complex creations out there!
Smokey Robinson Burger – Patty & Bun
Another place in London that keeps it somewhat simple when it comes to burgers is Patty & Bun. I popped in to the James Street location for a quick lunch, and I’m glad I did!
The Smokey Robinson Burger features mostly classic burger toppings, but has a couple ingredients to change things up. The medium-cooked patty was thick and juicy, and it was the perfect size for the awesome brioche bun. They were pretty generous when it came to toppings as there was a nice amount of caramelized onions, and the cheese never seemed to end!
My favourite part had to be the smoky mayo that they use. It gave a creamy component to the burger, while adding a great savoury flavour. This may have been a messy burger (I’m talking 3-4 napkins messy), but it was worth every drip!
That’s not all! Stay tuned for even more burgers in Part 2 of my burger adventures through England and Ireland!