Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Let’s Do Brunch Burger

When is a burger not a burger? This existential question has been posed by philosophers since the time of Socrates and Plato (fact-check this – Ed). Having so far had two fairly standard beef burgers in Wellington On A Plate’s Burger Wellington competition, today I decided to push the envelope (uurrgh…meaningless corporate jargon) try something a bit different. I was tempted by the idea of a pork burger, despite the fact that most of my previous forays into this area have ended less than perfectly (there was this, though). This time it’ll be different, I thought.

Little Beer Quarter is a small craft beer pub. Last year they attempted to reproduce the Big Mac but use real ingredients, with a modicum of success. This year’s offering is the Let’s Do Brunch burger, and, as its name suggests, it’s effectively a brunch in burger form. The WOAP website describes it thus:

Pork and Harringtons black pudding patty with bacon, havarti, tomato baked beans and fried egg in a waffle bun, with hash brown nuggets and hollandaise.

The Garage Project beer match is Nerissimo.

And it looked like this:

It arrived wrapped in greaseproof paper...

...so I unwrapped it
So, is it a burger? It had no bun, but was enclosed in two waffles. It does, however, have a proper patty, made of minced pork and black pudding, and it’s really tasty. As is immediately apparent, this is not a burger for picking up with your hands, it’s a knife and fork job. The waffle, however, was a little too stodgy, and the bottom layer dissolved into mush from the baked beans sauce. Incidentally, when did you last see baked beans in a burger? Never, that’s when…and it’s for a reason. All the other promised ingredients made it to the plate in testable quantities – not a given in all the burgers I’ve tried. Finally, the chips were replaced by mini hash browns, which added another layer of carbohydrate.

What’s missing? Well, when I order a brunch, I like some mushrooms in the mix. But wait, what’s this? The small print on the side of the Nerissimo can says “Truffle & porcini porter. Porcini mushroom and black truffle. Two of the greatest prizes of the fungal kingdom, combined to create a porter possessing a unique rich, dark, earthy character. Mushroom magic meets haute cuisine.” So there’s your mushroom!

That’s the concept, then…a breakfast in burger form, with the mushrooms in liquid form. A great idea, but imperfectly executed (like Nearly Headless Nick). There was altogether too much stodge on the plate. I scored this a 5. The beer was, in fact, the best thing about the meal. I seem to recall making a similar “thanks for playing” type comment last year. Maybe I’ll stop going to LBQ for anything other than beer.

Whilst in Edwards Street I noticed that Vivo Enoteca Cucina has now morphed into Thief Bar. Dammit! Another place I’ll have to try now! Apparently this happened in March…I must get out more.

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