Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Best Burger Quest: Hard Rock Cafe

You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog/ Cryin’ all the time

Sweet home Alabama/ Where the skies are so blue 

Love in an elevator/ Livin' it up when I'm going down

Rock ‘n Roll – the lifeblood of the Hard Rock Café. And everyone knows what fuels rock ‘n roll right? Uh-huh-huh – burgers! Ah, you were thinking of something else, but I am thinking burgers and that’s what I headed into the Hard Rock Café for to see if a place that’s legendary for using the word legendary could put up a good show in the Edinburgh burger hit parade, after claiming it has the best burger in town. 

Soon after being seated, we were approached by a waitress to see if we’d like any song requests for the big screen. Flicking through the iPad to choose some songs was quite fun, like secretly helping to DJ at someone else’s party. So, to keep the party atmosphere going, we ordered some cocktails. It felt like the right thing to do and, putting ourselves in the hands of the experts, the waitress recommended some fruit and sweet drinks for us. So far, so good. There was a lively atmosphere in the room with music memorabilia to view and talk about and I surprised myself by how impressed I was by some of it. Who knew a hat once worn by Elvis could be so exciting? 

I’d already decided to opt for the classic 10oz legendary burger, but it was interesting to scan the menu and see what other burger options were available. Each Hard Rock Café location has a different “legendary” twist and Edinburgh’s is, you guessed it, haggis. The alternatives were unsurprisingly American-influenced, such as a Hickory Barbeque bacon burger and toppings like buffalo sauce, guacamole and chipotle peppers. I’m normally a fan of additional toppings, but thought these particular flavours might overpower the burger a little bit. On the other side of the table, my dining companion dived straight on in and ordered the Red, White and Blue burger which has spicy buffalo sauce, Cajun seasoning and crumbled blue cheese. It sounded like a tasty combination and, although I was slightly jealous, I stayed dedicated to the pure legendary experience. 

When the burgers arrived we were very impressed – they looked great: decent-sized meat patty, a bun that wasn’t too bready, two slices of cheese melted properly, pickles, salad and American style bacon. My one initial quibble was that I’m not a huge fan of breaded onion rings and much prefer the battered kind. Initial impressions were, however, very good. Biting into the burger the bacon was a bit of a let-down, fried as it was to within an inch of its life. It added an unpleasant taste to the first few bites until I decided to just remove it and taste the meat as it should be enjoyed. It was richly seasoned and moist and, I have to admit, tasted pretty good with the breaded onion ring too. There were plenty of chips and a decent portion of salad too. Most of the burgers at the Hard Rock Café are priced at £14.95 which is on the expensive side. However, if your perfect burger accompaniment is rock ‘n roll then go eat the food, drink the drink, hear the songs and admire a hat that The King once wore.