Driving down the I-90, on a pretty stinking hot day on my way back to Seattle from Idaho, I happened across this dingy little gas station burger joint which looked like it needed a good shimmying up and definitely a bit of a paint job. But, one sign stuck out in bright red: BEST BURGERS IN THE WORLD. Granted, they could’ve been pretty great, and most of the town’s residents probably hadn’t ventured further than their local watering hole, but this was a pretty mighty claim. So I figured; how could you give up the chance to eat the best burger in the world? After a short wait for an order I took off a speckly American teenager, I was slapped in the face by the sh*#$iest burger I have ever seen. A mess of over-processed, rubbery crap was definitely not what I thought I had bargained for. I left utterly disappointed and thought, “Best Burgers in the WORLD?” -- these hicks have obviously never been to Auckland for a bloody burger.
This is what triggered my impulse to find absolutely the best burger joint in the city of sails. I was looking for months. I tried Murder burger, Velvet burger, and even Wisconsin burger and Burger Fuel. But nothing seemed to tickle my newfound fancy for burgers. Then Burger Burger came along. Tucked away in a cute corner of Ponsonby Central’s lane, this little indie burger joint has exploded since its launch, and the reviews couldn’t be better. If you’ve ever been here before you will know what I’m talking about because this place seriously stands up to the 10/10s that it boasts. The funky décor is surrounded with cheerful banter and seriously good music that one of my mates was practically frothing over. And the Burgers! Priced at a measly ten bucks these burgers have to be the best little beauties I’ve tasted in a long, long time. The softest buns compliment the most incredible hand rolled, freshly cooked “free range” patties (to quote Maître’ D and manager Matt Pedley) with a supporting cast of sides like potato skins, broccoli or classic shoe-string fries that stand up to the billing. They also serve Lion Red “swappa” crate beers (sorry New South fans) and a range of classic cocktails or half bottles of wine at a price that may break the bank. But, if you’re behind the wheel, one of their refreshing classic lemonades, feijoa sodas, or amazing homemade organic Lewis Road milkshakes are absolutely beautiful. And by beautiful I mean; these milkshakes are f*%#ing great. Everything fits together in a complete atmosphere that left me wanting to never eat anywhere else ever again. Burger Burger was what I had been yearning for.
Now I know it seems like right now I’m walking around like I’m getting paid to talk about this place with superlatives jumping out of my arse, but Burger Burger looks to have trickled out of what is shaping up to be an Auckland Burger revolution. Mimi Gilmour; genius creator of the hugely popular brainchild that is Mexico, and Chur Burger across the ditch in Sydney; teamed up with partner Adrian Chilton and spent 6 months trying to find the best burger combination of recipe and concept that would start the beginning of a pretty awesome trend. Burgers. With Pinky’s opening up in Tyler Street Garage, offering a hearty share of classic American burger joint clichés, and recently, Better Burger smack bang in the middle of Britomart by the refurbished Country Club we all know and love; these joints all offer a delicious alternative to Burger-Fuel which (although amazing) used to be the only real player in the Auckland burger market. Yet, as we see the start to our winter days being headlined by burger joints galore, only one made me feel at home.
Hats off to manager Matt also, who has created a fun, easygoing culture among the staff. When we sat down at the table after he had made us feel like we went waaaaay back, our waitress Tomo popped herself down next to us and we started spinning yarns about how buzzing the place was, which was a pretty cool touch. I have to say that all in all, this funky little addition to Ponsonby central has done a pretty sweet job of making such a simple idea, an outstanding reality. You couldn’t do yourself a bigger favour by testing the water with this place. Tonight. I’ll probably see you there.
By James Bridgman