Food Tour Party: Better Burger, Britomart
currently: listening to George Ezra 'Blame It On Me'.
Slotted in between 1885 and Britomart Country Club is a new burger joint modestly titled 'Better Burger'. What makes this place better? Well that was the question on everyone's minds.
My ex-uni friends and I (I call them the homegurls) have done a fair bit of touring together around the city's food establishments (and fun fact, they inspired my idea of the first Food Tour Party). From our student tight times of $5 takeaway meals at Wendy's to more recently Burger Burger on Ponsonby Road, our tastebuds understood what a good burger was. And for the first time, no one in this food tour party had ever tried this place before, so it was to be a brand new experience for all. My friend had overheard Better Burger described as 'good burgers but at McDonald's prices'. With that description it was hard to figure out what we were to expect.
A very basic menu shines brightly at the entrance of the food truck; so basic that I honestly thought there was suppose to be another menu just sitting somewhere else. But nope, this place only offered 4 different burgers; hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, and a vege burger. Which I guess made it the wrong night for me to crave a chicken burger, but I'm not fussy.
As a location, Better Burger is in a prime spot. Within walking distance of all the big bars and clubs in Britomart, I can see a place like this going off on a Saturday night, probably aimed at people who can't find the energy to make it to Maccas. However, seating is really limited. While it occupies a third of space that used to belong to Britomart Country Club, it doesn't seat the same amount of people it used to be able to, maybe only 20-ish people.
As the five of us sit at these primary school reminiscent wooden tables and chairs, we're feeling pretty relaxed. Better Burger still holds that upmarket Britomart vibe, mostly helped by the music and visuals you get from Britomart Country Club. But it doesn't feel as noisy or cramped as BCC. We chat, gossip, and I watch as the counter takes order after order. For a Monday, there's a few people out and about.
We get our orders after 10 minutes, and you could see the food was showing off a little freshly-cooked steam. My friends tease me as I stop to take a photo (as reenacted by this awful-faced Instagram) - but I can't help but notice I barely have to "position" the food on the tray for a photo-friendly order. Everything is so well presented, so photogenic.
So, the question - is this really the "better" burger?
Quality wise, it is easily better than your average fast food. The ingredients are fresh, and you can taste they are. It's a classic 'American-style' burger, with no fuss but good taste. The meat patty doesn't taste like grease and later-regret, the cheese tastes like cheese, and the bun is warm with a little bit of crisp. My friends who had the vege burger found it equally as nice, with its breadcrumbed portobello mushroom as a meat patty alternative. And as for the fries, which I've read they're handcut and made to order, they really do resemble McDonald's fries, just without the shame. They just taste...better. I easily finish my burger and "double" fries, and some of Lara's leftover fries.
So while the name does boast the words "Better Burger", I feel it's worth clarifying to say this burger is better than your average burger. Between a choice of all the fast food burger joints like Maccas, BK, Wendy's, Carl's Jr etc., and Better Burger - you should pick Better Burger. Why pay for regrettable food when you can spend the same amount for a meal that you, your tastebuds and your body will be glad to eat?
But as for the best of all burgers? That's subjective. I definitely would feel fuller from other burgers places like Burger Fuel or Velvet Burger, and I would have more selection too with fancier ingredients. But hey, if you wanted variety then those places are available for you. Better Burger wouldn't be able to play that game with the prices they charge, and they just don't seem to be into it. It works on being simple, and being excellent at what's simple.
There's no more need for the Maccas run. For cheap, no nonsense burgers, there's now a Better Burger.
Food Party review:
Money friendliness - it's no $2 Maccas cheeseburger but at $5-$6, it's still very affordable.
Purchase fun - not a lot of options, but at least the staff are nice.
Deliciousness factor - simple burger meal that is A+ on all the basics, at small cash costs.