Friday, August 12, 2016

Charley's Trap

And they’re off! Once more I’m starting my annual burger odyssey with exactly the same phrase as previous years. It’s Wellington On A Plate time, and with it, the Burger Wellington competition.

This year, I’m starting at Charley Noble. I know, I started a tradition of having the first burger at The General Practitioner, but frankly, I don’t much fancy this year’s offering of Midtown Manhattan Burger; it didn’t even make my “long list”. If you think you like the sound of that, you’re getting an idea of the quality of the competition this year! With 116 burgers on the list, narrowing down the choices is hard!

Charley Noble won the competition in 2014 and is generally recognised as being a good place. I’m not entirely sure how, as I find it distinctly middle of the road, but for some reason Cuisine magazine has decided to give it one hat in the Cuisine awards this year. This puts it on a par with Logan Brown, Hippopotamus and Jano Bistro. Srsly? I don’t think so.

But their burger offering, Charley’s Trap, sounds good – at least, on paper. Here’s the description: Wagyu beef patty with trashcan gypsy-smoked Preston’s bacon, chimichurri, On Trays gruyère, truffled mayonnaise, cucumber pickle and salad.

It looks like this:

And it tasted pretty good, too. The gruyère was a bit sparse, but there were blobs of it in there. I didn't notice the chimichurri at all. The cucumber pickle, clearly house-made, was quite spicy, which was good. The patty was cooked medium rare, which you want for wagyu beef. The bun seemed a bit over-toasted and was quite crumbly. I was concerned about bun integrity but it held out until the end. And the whole thing is served on a mousetrap board, hence the name.

You'll notice that there's something missing from the picture. That's right, if you want fries, you have to order them separately. As the burger comes in at $21 without them, and house fries are $7, you've got quite a pricey meal. Add in the Garage Project beer match, Hakituri, at $12, and you're looking at $40. Fortunately, this particular meal was on the company ticket - all I had to pay for was the beer.

A good start to the season's burger shenanigans, and I'm scoring this a solid 8. Onwards and upwards!

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