Who would have thought that between two buns so much could be going on? The flavour of the patty, the garnish, the sauce, and the extras inspired a quest to find the best tasting and better value for money burgers in town.
Times are tough and my fifty bucks and change will go to the most delicious bidder for my tastebuds. Unfortunately, there are more places you can buy a burger than there is time to count our blessings, so as the burger-run continues so may the Top 5 wax and wane with different yum and yum-me-nots. Remember, this is all subjective.
There used to be a place in Braamfontein, many years ago, called Tastys. Giant burgers with pink sauce that were cheap, delicious and came dressed in wax paper. It became a ritual to unwrap, devour and wipe pink sauce off your chin as often as possible. The other burger that is sorely missed is Chuckleberries. Originally a standalone joint in Rivonia, these patties were incredible.
The flavour, quality, and texture unmatched. The burgers were simple, and as sandwiches go, moreish, Even the half a kilo cheeseburger. Wish Chuckleberries would come back, as I would be first in line.
As far as franchises go, burgers can sometimes get lost in the sameness of its sauces. Steers, whose legendary barbeque sauce gave new meaning to chips, lands in fifth position. Quality is consistent, the taste unmistakably Steers, and everything is made to rubber-stamp measure.
It is not cheap, and sometimes the volume of sauce is all that there is to the burger. Wacky Wednesdays are a great idea, too, but last week each of the 4 burgers had varying amounts of garnish and sauce, it felt really slap dash and it may be a special offer, but it is still my money that you want.
Sliding into fourth best burger in town must be Burger King. In fact, it is almost a tie with McDonalds had it not been for the chili cheeseburgers at Micky Dees.
The Whopper comes with the perfect mix of garnish and sauce so that eating it in the car on the way to a meeting will not leave lunch-scars on your pants. As far as franchise burgers go, the patty’s flavour outranks them all.
Coming in at number three is McDonalds. Again, a franchise with consistent production-line precision. The menu just big enough to allow for choice, the taste unmistakable to the brand.
It has got to be hot though, especially the fries. Compared to price-range competitors, the McRoyale is great value for money, they are not shy with trimmings and price-wise it competes well. I wish I knew where McDonalds sourced their jalapenos from, as it is the best tasting chilies I have ever had on a burger. The triple-chillie cheese enough to quell a hunger, the combination, enough to make you want to have another one for dessert.
In second place is independent roadhouse Orama in Boksburg, here you can get old-school slap chips with a huge burger for around R 50-70. The nacho burger in particular makes Orama’s longer service time well worth the wait. It is tangy, crispy and the patty tastes homemade.
It is really the closest burger to Braamfontein’s Tastys that I have discovered thus far. Is it value for money? Most definitely. Here the taste-value-price equation is on point.
At the top of the list, for the moment, is Black Steer. The brand has made a comeback in recent years and its burger take-aways somewhat more premium than its competitors. It is a steakhouse feel and taste, the patty full of flavour.
Presently the two burgers and chips special for R 99 is an absolute bargain and not limited to one day of the week. The fare is saucy, well garnished, and excellent value for money considering its more premium nature.
As the search continues, the list will be updated and amended to accommodate new tastes and experiences. There are so many burger joints and so little time.
But, for now, out of the bunch I took for a test drive, these rank best. This is also not to say that the others are awful. It is subjective. Next time, sit-down restaurants, and burgers.