Adventures in Burgers

I meet my friend for a burger every so often. We are firmly of the Ron Swanson burger belief. The optimum burger is one that’s made from beef, good beef, in a bun, with optional ketchup. In parallel there’s been a profusion of new burger joints, this year’s burrito bar.  Somewhere in between saying ‘this is a good burger’ and scoffing at the lists of hipster burger joints we embarked on a project to try all these so called good burger places and scoff at hipsters from a place of knowledge.

It’s a hardship.

To be honest it’s all the fault of Bunsen. Bunsen was our first stop and if it had been crap we’d have fallen back to our smug we know better attitudes, but dammit Bunsen does a good burger. That’s basically all they do – the menu is so small they print it on a business card, but they ask you how you’d like your burger and it gets served to you cooked to perfection. Obviously I don’t like being elbow to elbow with trendy young people, but you have to give them their due.

Next up was Wowburger at the workmans. This is a burger van inside a beer garden upstairs in a pub… it would be hard to be more hipster. Of course van’s don’t take cards, but by some miracle I had cash. You order at one “van” and collect at another. And you take your little plastic tray and find a seat, and try to pretend you belong here. You don’t belong here. The burger is good but a bit too salty, and the venue just made me feel awkward.

Then we made a special trip and drove, we actually drove somewhere, to Five Guys in Dundrum. If I know one thing for sure it’s that Five Guys are really proud of Five Guys. They’re basically their own mother, putting up all the accolades on the walls. Everything nice that’s ever been said about them is a on a poster in their store. They add bacon to milkshakes apparently. I had a cheeseburger. I think the cheese ruined what could have been a pretty good burger, but it’s nearly twice the price of Wowburger and there’s no table service. Aside from the bacon shakes, Five Guys USP are bags of peanuts open in the shop for you to help yourself. It’s kinda like it thinks it should be a bar, but is somehow a fast food joint that’s really proud of itself. I don’t know whether it’s my natural Irish begrudgery but my constant thought was ‘you’re not all that!’

We’ve been back to Bunsen more than once, and we will find other ways to be smug and superior.

Maire Brophy