the best burgers I’ve ever eaten
What makes a perfect burger? Is it the quality of the beef? A brioche bun? Loads of toppings? Ability to hold it in two hands? I’m not sure I can make a list myself, as it’s a little bit of how I’m feeling at the time. Sometimes a greasy burger van burger with a pile of slightly singed onions is perfect when I’m in the mood, and I don’t mind a Quarter Pounder with Cheese either. But I don’t think you want to read a list of those, so instead to celebrate National Burger Month here is a list of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten from decent places. I’m also not bothering to include sizeable chains – I’m a big fan of Five Guys all the way – but instead here’s a few more unusual places. So, here’s a top 3 of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten in no particular order…
This quirky little venue in Leigh on Sea hopes to invoke ‘speakeasy vibes’. Not sure I’m qualified to comment on that but the burgers they sell are sensational. There’s a range of hot dogs, cocktails and milkshakes but the burgers are where it’s at. This Swiss Toni burger has a loose meat patty, a smoked Swiss cheese, bacon and a potent BBQ sauce. With an appropriately sized brioche bun and just the right amount of salad garnish to give you that fresh crunch. Super savoury, super good.
This burger joint is located inside the fancy Le Parc Meridien in New York. I’d seen Heston Blumenthal visit this place while researching his In Search of Perfection burger and knew I had to go too. While on holiday I went in, crossing the marble reception and walking past the tuxedoed concierge. I felt severely underdressed in my jeans and tracksuit top, but I pressed on until I found the door on the other side of the hotel – I’d missed it. I retraced my steps and then saw a black curtain, with a neon sign maybe 10 metres in the distance. I followed it to the end and scurried down some steps. Suddenly I was in a time warp, thrown from polished opulence to a dingy diner. Exposed brickwork, scruffy tin signs, red leatherette banquettes… it was like an episode of Happy Days. You start to queue, and the sign over the top says ‘if you don’t know what you want by the time you get to the front, you go to the back.’ I agreed with Heston, “it gave me nostalgia for something I didn’t experience the first time around.”
I don’t have my own photo of this one, as it was so long ago. And so long ago that I remember the sensation of eating it, rather than actually what it was. Was the burger itself actually that good? I’m not certain any more, but I remember enjoying it because of where I was. So much of having a great meal is everything around the food. It’s the setting, the ambience, having a good time, feeling comfortable, the right thing at the right time.
I popped here on a whim on holiday in the Isle of Wight last year. It was such a great burger when we decided to come back to the island we booked this immediately. It’s sensational.
The Cow is situated On Tapnell farm so the food miles for the burgers are practically zilch. The burger itself tastes peppery and incredibly savoury, with flecks of crunch where it has caught the grill fire. The Classic pictured above is served with predictable but spot-on toppings like tomato, cheese and lettuce (I added bacon, because why not) and it’s the perfect combo. The dirty fries are an added bonus. I highly recommend a trip to the Island just to grab a burger at The Cow.
Closer to home, here’s some of my favourite burgers I’ve made:
What’s the best burger you’ve ever had? Let me know in the comments.