Original B Burger
If there’s an award for the longest refit before opening, Original B Burger on Nicolson Street would have to be a shortlisted nominee.
I’m not confident on exactly how long they were ‘opening soon’ but it felt like since last Festival, if not longer. With such drawn out works, places often never cross the starting line so I suppose the fact they managed to get open in mid-August is to be commended.
Sadly, they don’t seem to have used the considerable waiting time to develop an offering than will persist for anything like as long as it took them to get open.
I’ve heard a fair amount of conjecture down the years about us having reached ‘peak burger’ or ‘burger saturation point’ but I’ve always resisted it. This is mainly because I still think there’s the opportunity to nail the truly outstanding end-to-end burger experience in the city.
But today I’m calling it: we’ve reached peak burger. And not for any of the right reasons.
The Original B Burger – if that is indeed what the place is called (their branding like their dish descriptions is unclear and muddled) – is so complete in its drab spiritlessness that it marks an all-time nadir in my enthusiasm for burgers.
I can empathise with the owners who’ve sunk so much time and effort, not to say money, in getting the place open. But they shouldn’t have bothered.
On my recent visit, I tried their cheeseburger meal. For £5.40 this seemed potentially good value given that it included the burger, fries and a drink.
The service was surly with the counter woman drearily stepping through a service script. The counter man in full branding got his script muddled entirely with the customers next to me. My guess is that he was one of the year-long-sleep-deprived owners.
My items soon arrived as I set in cheaply appointed surroundings that evoked rusting civic works.
The burger was largely without character or flavour. The fries were unevenly cooked. The best thing I can offer is that the sachets of mayonnaise opened as easily as I’ve seen sachets open.
So overall, the Original B Burger is a cautionary tale. I suspect much money has already been lost and in that sense I suppose I’d rather you went and tried to minimise the heartache for these deeply unfortunate folks. But you’ll be taking on your share of the burden as I suspect you won’t enjoy what you get served.
I ate: cheeseburger, fries
I drank: water
I wore: leopard-print lining
Total bill: £5.40
Address: 86 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9EW