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It seems that the world of the burger, something we take very seriously here at Concrete Playground, has seen the line between professional eatery and burger takeaway joint become blurred.
Burger Burger – the latest addition to Ponsonby Central’s hip hub of eateries, bars and good times – is such a place. Half swank Ponsonby eatery, half burger joint, it combines a bustling kitchen, comfortable interior and non-takeaway joint drinks list with a simple but well-constructed burger menu.
First, select your substance: beef, fish, lamb, chicken, vege or pork (plus a special of the day – venison during our visit). All burgers are then made with a balanced mixture of pre-selected garnishes and sauces to match, and topped off by your choice of additives i.e. bacon, egg, beetroot, pickles, cheese. The results are impressive, providing a well-built burger that is both delicious and satisfying.
We tried the lamb (with beetroot, feta and mint yoghurt) and the beef (pickles, mustard, tomato jam and mayo). Both were top notch, simple yet hearty with what is clearly a well thought out combination of flavours. The meat was juicy (notably so) and clearly reflects the top quality ingredients noted on the menu.
Of special consideration were the buns – amazing. With a taste the manager describes as sourdough but similar to a brioche in consistency (with a lot less sugar) the result is superb. Of course - given this is Ponsonby - should a carb-free lettuce bun be your thing, to fit your paleo-gluten-dairy-cannibal-free whatever lifestyle that is on offer too.
Turning to drinks and sides, you can see some flair come through when choosing from the extensive beverage list, from champagne ‘because we can’, to shakes, wines, many beers and Lion Red by the swappa crate bottle, the perfect addition to a two burger dinner. Sides keep the simple theme coming through, potato-skins, kumara, charred broccoli and a few other options cover all peckish hankering bases.
So our final thoughts? We aren’t here to bullshit you. Creator Mimi Gilmour (of Mexico fame) has set out to create “the best damn burger joint in town, but one you could have a drink at”, and despite only being a few days into on this endeavour seems to be progressing well. With a flat $10 per burger price it ain’t heavy on the wallet and certainly has a great beer/burger vibe.
You’d class it as Ponsonby swank with great burgers to match a great atmosphere – not quite your local takeaway joint serving the best homemade burgers in town, for it has more spit and polish than that, but probably the missing link between Auckland’s best takeaway burgers and the illustrious best gourmet burgers you see at fine-dining establishments.
Regardless of the definitions, we’ll certainly be back.