For a girl who spends a good deal of her life dining in weird and wonderful Asian joints, it was odd to find myself in a burger bar for the second time in one month. The first was the wonderful Burger Burger in Ponsonby Central then last night it was newest addition to the casual dining scene, Better Burger, next to Britomart Country Club.
The reason I’ve avoided burgers in Auckland is that they’ve been mainly pretty average but this isn’t the case at Better Burger. The attitude and the menu really remind me of New York’s famous Burger Joint tucked in next to the reception at Le Parker Meridien – just burgers, fries, sodas (coke and sprite, no diet) and shakes. If you want anything else, go somewhere else.
What impressed us the most was that despite the low prices, quality was not compromised. The buns were from Bread and Butter, the tomatoes from the fabulous Curious Croppers, the ice cream in the shakes from Kohu Road offshoot Little Paddock (with real pureed strawberry in the strawberry one) and the beef, decent quality Angus.
We both had Double Cheeseburgers ($6.50) and they were great. Patties cooked to medium perfection and just the right amount of gooey melty cheese and condiments. We had one as a combo and the fries that came with it were also excellent. They have a ‘chipper’ there and the contents of the big sacks of potatoes which adorn the dining room can go from raw spud to crispy french fry in six minutes, according to the (super friendly) staff. Talk about fresh.
This place will do well. Nothing is fancy but everything is made fresh with good quality ingredients, and more importantly tastes really good. The chips were a bit salty for my liking but that’s easily fixed if you ask them for a slightly lighter hand with the shaker (they are very obliging and will happily tailor your order, if you have a certain preference). The hours are late – we do feel a bit sorry for the White Lady – and it’s eat in or takeout. A winner for all – from those needing a pre-theatre bite to those searching for a post nightclub alcohol soak-up in the early hours.
It doesn’t have the flourishes and exotic flavours of places like Burger Burger, and others of similar ilk, but that’s not what they are going for here. These guys have seen the need for a cleaner, better alternative to a shameful stop at the Golden Arches. We couldn’t agree more with chef Dan when he says “This is the kind of burger you want to wake up with.” No next day burger regret at this fun new addition to the Auckland eating scene.