Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Gourmet Burger Kitchen fail

I love a good burger. I'm not talking a Bird's Eye frozen job, cremated on the barbecue. A proper handmade chunky burger, well presented. So I was delighted to have the chance to eat at Gourmet Burger Kitchen last night on an impromptu visit to Cabot Circus in Bristol.

According to the review quotes on the window this was the best thing sinced sliced... er... buns. And I had enjoyed a GBK burger a few years previously, so all sounded good. As has previously been mentioned, I also love barbecue sauce so inevitably I went for the barbecue burger. I was told it featured their home made bbq sauce. That's great - I sometimes make my own with onions and various other goodies in it, and obviously it's better than stuff out of a catering pack.

When it came, it was a good burger, that I won't deny. But the barbecue sauce was foul. It was loaded with whole grain mustard, so much so that it was, to all intents and purposes, a mustard sauce. Okay, it was dark brown in colour, but the mustard totally overwhelmed it. This was an attempt to be clever-clever gone all wrong. The primary flavour in barbecue sauce is tomato. Yes, it has other piquant touches that make it a dark red (and I do include a touch of mustard in my homemade version), but the stuff I was given just didn't do the job.

Being suitably British (and short of time), I didn't complain, but I was deeply distressed.

While I'm at it, I noticed another fail on the menu. Their chilli burger had 'chilli sauce' on it. No, no, no. A gourmet chilli burger is smothered in good chilli con carne. This was not the real thing.

As an experience it paled into insignificance with the burgers I used to have when I had to travel up to London to get a decent burger a good number of years ago. It couldn't rival Wolfe's, and certainly wasn't a patch on the hallowed memory of Chicago Meat Packers. You need to pull your socks up, GBK.

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