The growing chain of burger joints offering $10+ burgers was, at first, alarming to me. Growing up, the choice of burgers was either 1. McDonalds or 2. those sloppy-yet-loveable offerings that I was allowed, once in a while, from the local fish ‘n chip store. Either inflation is far crazier than I imagined or (as I actually think), people’s want for a better version of what has previously been offered, is now being catered for.
For me, McDonalds was a once-a-month treat and (best of all) came as part of a Happy Meal! Second only to the food, the cool box and toy was also a huge highlight. Then, in my “tween” years I took the big leap to the “big boy” burgers – the McChicken and the Big Mac. This opened up a whole new world of amazingness. I felt like a real man. The latter choice (from the local F&C shop), as delicious as I remember, was almost always gigantic and I was quite often disappointed by the unexpected inclusion of an historical arch-nemesis – beetroot.
Nowadays, the choice is seemingly endless… and growing. Burger Wisconsin was the first of the “premium” burger joints I ever encountered and, initially, I met it with quite an amount of disdain. “$10 for a burger? Are you kidding me?”, “Does it come with a BJ?” “You can get TWO combos at Burger King for that amount!” etc etc. Little did I know that “Burger Wisco” had some awesome food but, at that more ignorant stage of my life, my meager student income dictated my diet. Nowadays, a $10 burger is a viable MEAL.
Burger Wisconsin, Burger Fuel, Murder Burger (Ponsonby – I rate it!) et al. Quality, fresh ingredients, a huge range of styles/flavours and some funky extras that you don’t get at the Maccas drive-thru. Velvet Burger caught my attention through its $1 burger promotion on groupy.co.nz (My rant on “deal” websites here). I was apprehensive at first and wandered how this particular chain was going to distinguish itself in a growing and increasingly competitive market. So I went there for lunch, got me my $1 burger, scanned the menu for a refreshing beverage and found out… they sell Double Brown. By the can. $4. SOLD.
It turns out their burgers are also very, very good. Fresh buns (haha “buns”), fresh ingredients and Double Brown (which they describe in their menu as “nectar of the gods”… I tend to agree). What more can a temporary JAFA ask for?
As far as I can tell, Velvet Burger has been somewhat of an institute in Dunedin for a little while already (they have TWO Velvetburgers in our fairest student-ruled city) and have ventured North in search of the highly-valued Auckland dollar. I’m sure they’ll fit in nicely.