Burger schmurger

Two weeks or so ago the Philosophe asked if I would consent to being all ‘Capetonian’ and hitting the Loading Bay for a burger.

The Loading Bay, for all non-Capetonians (and that includes some of you who actually live in the city but who – like ourselves – roll on different wheels), is a clothing-accessory ‘luxury apparel’-coffee-food-shop. They serve food all day (including a burger), but Thursday nights they stay open just for burgers. ‘Capetonians’ know about this, and there are enough of them to make booking a necessity. This is how they describe their burger (veggie available too, but who cares):

Looks good enough, no? So we booked (accepting a rather early slot, which was the only one available), we went, and I got so Capetonian on that burger that I even ate the whole thing with my hands.

Yes, so I’m one of those irritating people who usually leaves the bread and tucks into the patty with a knife and fork (technical term: going Danish on a burger). It’s not that I don’t like bread. I like bread. A lot. It’s just that usually burger rolls turn into these soggy, useless discs of starch that add no value to the meal, except as useless, soggy starch. A bit like mashed potatoes, come to think of it.

But eating the Loading Bay burger was one of those rare experiences when the whole package just worked: good patty, righteous bun (lightly toasted, as I recall, and dense enough to serve a palatable function), good cheese, condiments, etcetera. Being a Capetonian is rather delicious, it turns out.

Then the Capetonian in me got greedy, and decided that we needed to search out the best burgers in town (which is a) yawn, and b) why bother when you’ve found something that works?, as my brother-in-law pointedly remarked of the venture). We have been impressively committed to the task, hitting some most of the spots people bother to talk and blog about in the burgerverse.

The results, in a word: Meh. With the exception, of course, of the glorious bacon and blue cheese numbers that the Philosophe himself conjured on the braai just the other night (coming a close second to another home-experiment involving hand-chopped meat and duck fat). And then there was this morning, when we found ourselves in the decidedly un-Capetonian hinterland of Somerset West Mall. Look, no-one forced us there. We happened to be driving past, and decided on the spur of the moment to watch a movie in the middle of the day (because that’s the sort of thing you can do when the only creatures you have to look after are yourselves, and three cats).

11am, an hour to kill. What to do? Spur of the moment indeed:

See that processed cheese? Now imagine some crispy bacon on there, and a good puddle of Spur’s secret BBQ sauce. And no, I didn’t eat the bread. But I had a bloody mary with it, and on a Sunday morning in Somerset West, it was the very best brunch to be had. Lessons learned (attention Heston Blumenthal!): why mess with something that works?

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