Whilst I was busy fossicking around on foreign shores, the lads back home were busy opening a number of dedicated burger joints. It seems as though there has been an eruption of high-quality burger places including Burger Burger in Ponsonby and Pinky's within Tyler Street Garage. But the one that excited me most was the opening of Better Burger at Britomart Country Club.
BCC itself has undergone a bit of a revamp; it’s now a little more refined and a lot cosier than before, as it made way for its burger side venture. As a classicist, I am happy to report that Better Burger is serving up the best burger I’ve ever tasted. Yes, even better than Shake Shack. They’ve taken two cliched but often poorly executed concepts, simplicity and quality, and successfully sculpted the best burger in Auckland.
The thing that first surprised me about Better Burger was how cheap their burgers were. Priced at $5-$6.50 each, that alone will have punters bypassing the Downtown McDonald’s in favour of Better. And once they’ve tasted it, they won’t want for another burger ever again. But this place is no secret: people know about it, and the lines can be out the door and the waiting time long. I waited for over half an hour for my burger on my first visit, but oh was it worth it.
It starts with the bun. It’s crafted by Bread & Butter Bakery and lightly charred, adding a lovely crustiness to this soft roll. The Angus beef patties are just the right thickness, perfectly seasoned with a good lick of salt (so often overlooked in just about every burger ever made) and grilled to blushingly medium-rare. Again there’s some nice charring on the patty, adding a smoky-depth of flavour. Add to this some beautiful cheese that goes all gooey, home-made pickle, salad and Curious Cropper tomatoes, and a secret-sauce that took two months to perfect. Voila, you have a Better Burger.
They love simplicity here so much, that they only have regular Coke or Sprite on tap (I gawked slightly at first, but as I took my first sip of full-sugar Coke in 5 years I sighed yes, it really does taste better) or a choice of chocolate, strawberry or vanilla thick shakes. They’re really thick, like semi-molten beverages of ice cream. You’ll burn calories trying to suck it through the straw, and that’s what I love about them. I’ve yet to taste the strawberry (it came as a personal recommendation from the head chef Dan Smith himself), but I will next time.
And don’t get me started on the fries. Okay, get me started on the fries. Skins on, crisp, fresh, greaseless. Impossible? Not so. I’ve been wandering through life, living from chip to chip, and I’ve finally tasted perfection in a fry.
If there isn’t a Better Burger cult already, there will be soon; I’ve already converted several friends.
31 Galway Street
And other locations.