With the reappearance of the Balmoral Beef Gourmet Burger Van on the forecourt of St James’ Centre, we decided to recommence our occasional series on fast-food burgers, the previous stop on this tour having been at Snax.


Since then, a new and exciting development in the world of Edinburgh burgers has emerged, in the form of the shadowy and intriguing Burgher Burgers. We’ve yet to find out the full details of this (for example, is it a Silvio Berlusconi backed re-imagining of the bunga-bunga party, for the Morningside set?), but we await details with bated breath. These will emerge via their website and their Twitter @burgherburger.

At this time of year, with the arrival of the various festive markets, associated with celebrations for St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, then New Year, residents are spoilt for burger van choice. I dare say we might make the trip along to East Princes Street Gardens, in early December, to sample some their wares.

The burger van outside St James’ Centre has long been one of those “we must try it” places, without ever having found the right moment. Today was the day.

We were served immediately, with Gary opting for the cheeseburger, while I plumped for the cheese and bacon burger. The burgers themselves are from “locally farmed prime Scotch beef”. They come served with mayo, relish, onions and salad.

We had a very enjoyable little chat with attendant, as she efficiently went about the task of preparing things. With the financials handled, it was with a good sense of expectation that we ambled back towards the office.


I have to say that I was very happy with my burger. The beef was moist and juicy, and complemented well by the various condiments and seasonings. In particular, the soft morning roll on which it was served was an out-of-sight upgrade on anything else we’d previously sampled.


Gary was less impressed, finding the onions overpowering, and finding the overall experience very ordinary. He found the gourmet price (£4.20) was not backed up by gourmet quality.

For me, I actually didn’t find the price such an issue. Fair enough, for a quid cheaper you get chips with your burger from Snax, but I found this burger alone more filling, and more satisfying, so I’m not sure which represents better real value. We don’t have a score rating for value for this reason. Instead, we mention what you get, and what it costs, then how good we think it is, then allow readers to make their own judgement of where value resides.

Overall, we came up with a bit of split decision for the Balmoral Beef Gourmet Burger Van. I think that means that the readers have the casting vote. Go try it! I think you’ll find it a hearteningly filling beefy treat; Gary suspects you may be a little underwhelmed. The burger hunt will continue, soon. As will the mystery and intrigue surrounding Burgers for Burghers

Scores
Gary scores Gourmet Burger Van:
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20

Blythe scores Gourmet Burger Van:
4/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 14/20

We ate: cheeseburger, cheese and bacon burger

We drank: nothing

We wore: Dr Marten’s boots, sixth favourite T&A tie

Total bill: c£9

Written by TheDudley