Today marked another of my regular but fitful forays into the world of “best burgers”, with a trip to the Cambridge Bar and Grill, a place long touted as the finest burger emporium in the city.
The Cambridge’s menu is heavily burger-focused, with a truly spectacular range of options, built up from three classics (beef, chicken, veggie), with an array of toppings, relishes and trimmings.
Deborah kept things simple with a classic beef, while I opted for the blue cheese burger, featuring delicious Roquefort. We both had a nice little silver bucket of chips as an accompaniment.
Burgers arrived quite promptly and had stage-presence aplenty. They were stacked with ingredients, with the burger patty an impressively rustic looking beast. It had good charring on the outside while retaining a little pinkness in the middle.
The stack required one of two approaches: the Adam Richman big-jaw bite; or the genteel Edinburgh New Town knife and forking. You hopefully won’t be too surprised to hear that I went for the latter.
As mentioned, the Roquefort was super-tasty, but the burger just couldn’t compete. The intense cheese goodness was entirely dominant, mainly because the burger lacked succulence and flavour. The salad and relish provided good textural variance, but again were smashed beneath the mighty tang of cheese.
I understand that people have a desire for healthy eating, so lean burgers are increasingly popular, but burgers need to be meaty and juicy. The best way to ensure this is to include a good fat content. An alternative is perhaps to cook them more lightly, but that idea rarely (if you pardon the pun) finds universal favour and the notion of asking “how would you like your burger cooked?” is perhaps a step too far.
These quibbles aside, the range on offer at the Cambridge means that you are likely to find something that will tickle your fancy, and the care and attention with which the dishes are prepared sets them a little above the norm. The place is a rather nice little drinking spot, too, so I can see myself popping back, in the future.
But if this is a high-watermark for burger quality in Edinburgh, there is an huge opportunity for others to exploit. Even though I found my visit to Burgher Burger guilty of some of the same things with which I’ve found fault with the Cambridge, the hunt for a quality burger in Edinburgh is likely to see them remain solidly over-subscribed for some time, if the Cambridge is representative of the best competition that’s currently on offer. The quest continues.
Blythe scores the Cambridge Bar
3/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14/20
Today’s questers were: Deborah, Blythe
We ate: classic beef burger, blue cheese burger, chips (2)
We drank: soda water and lime, sparkly water
We wore: fabulous new coat, fabulous old tie
Total bill: £20.70