Monday, 30 May 2011

Burger Battles

The other day I was lamenting the lack of decent hamburgers in England.
I've tried quite a few at a variety of restaurants that have been just not right.
I can't put my finger on what the problem is, but I haven't found one that compares to Whataburger, Snuffers or Burger House.  

My darling husband, having heard my complaint, suggested that we go to Gourmet Burger Kitchen for pre-theatre dinner on Saturday night.  We'd been there before and I'd say it's the best burger I've had in England.  

While we were there, we discussed a few things.  
1.  Bacon-  I threw our poor waiter into a tizzy by asking if the bacon was British-style or American-style.  He was totally flummoxed.  I tried to explain the difference, and though he tried to figure out what I meant he was at a loss.  He helplessly raised his hands and said, "I'm Australian."  Hahaha!  I said that if he could bring me a piece, I could tell him the difference.  He obligingly went to the kitchen.  He returned with hope in his eyes and a piece of bacon on a plate.  Sadly, I shook my head and declared it British bacon.  

Crispy, dark, delicious!

Floppy, pale pink, also delicious (but not on a burger).

You can get the American style bacon at the grocery store here, but I don't think I've seen it at a restaurant.  Now I don't normally have bacon on a cheeseburger, but I guess I was having a "go big or go home" moment.   I guess the restaurant- or perhaps the entire nation- was trying to save me from over-indulgence.

2. Salad-  Now, in America, salad means- well- salad.

In England, it might mean that.  Or.  OR!  If we're talking about a sandwich or burger of some kind it could mean something entirely different.  It doesn't mean that you'll be getting a salad on the side.  It just means that you'd like lettuce, tomato, and onion ON your sandwich.  They never explain that though.  It's just one of those things that you're supposed to know.

Finally, let's talk about the use of the term "burger".  In America, the fact that the burger is made of beef is implicit.  In the UK, you'll hear anything on a bun referred to by the "burger" name.  I guess in the US there are things like a turkey burger- made from ground turkey meat.  But in the UK, a chicken breast on a bun is a chicken burger.  It always sounds strange to me.

Do you prefer British bacon or US bacon?
Where do you find a great burger?


  1. British bacon is lame. LAME.

  2. The burger I had in England was good, but by habit I ordered it with bacon... alas it was NOT the bacon that is yummy on burgers. Not really a fan of British bacon.

  3. @Betsy- True. It doesn't hold a candle to the real thing. It's more like a ham steak than bacon.
    @Kimberly- I know! It's sooo wrong on a burger.

  4. ffs go home if it pisses you off so much!

  5. Anonymous- No one said that the bacon pisses them off. I was merely discussing a cultural difference. I encourage comments on my blog. I certainly don't mind if people disagree with me, but I do ask that comments are respectful of people. This is my personal blog and as such a place for me to say things that I want to say. If it pisses you off so much, you are free to stop reading.

  6. If this blog is so personal, then you know what you should do with it? Keep it to yourself. Honestly, i feel i have stumbled upon some of the most whiney, superfluous and tedious drivel i've ever read.

  7. I totally feel you, Meg. I LOVE English bacon but I wouldn't want it on a burger. I talk about this with my husband all the time...the cultural difference. I guess you don't think there's such a huge difference since both countries speak "english" and you would expect more culture shock if you went to Germany or Italy. I personally don't like British beef full stop and avoid it at all costs when we're there.

    And to "Anonymous" (which it's no wonder you don't want to give your name), if you don't like the blog don't read it! No place is perfect and just because someone chooses to live in a country doesn't mean they have to like every single thing about the place. You're the type of person who gives places a bad name because you can't admit that there's always something that could be better everywhere! People are also entitled to their own opinions.

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  9. Not a big fan of English bacon. On occasion I've found Oscar Meyer Bacon at Tesco. That always makes my day. I've yet to find a good burger here. This is so lame, but I usually just go to Burger King and get a nice big Whopper whenever I'm having a burger craving!! Or my husband and I fire up the grill and make our own.

  10. I don't know if this is old news to you or not, but I think the American goodness version is known as streaky bacon in the UK.