The Johnny Vegas – burger topped with crispy bacon, warm toffee apple butter, grilled black pudding, sweet chilli paste and a homemade mini Guinness jelly doughnut “munchkin” on a stick.
Price of burger: £11.90
For some time now I have been MIA when it comes to the ‘oud burger reviews. It’s not for lack of trying mind – more the need to start looking after myself because, contrary to my popular belief, the burger is not the healthiest thing to eat on a regular basis – who knew?!
My return to reviewing needed to be spectacular – not just your standard Brewers Fayre or Wetherspoons (no offence JD) – so when my wife and I decided to have a weekend away in Nottingham, I seized the opportunity to do a bit of research and pick somewhere that would be worthy of my return – bit over the top, I know.
Time after time, my search results seemed to turn up “Annie’s Burger Shack”; a restaurant with which I clearly share a passion! The menu is totally dominated by burgers; but not just your standard fodder – there are burgers topped with pancakes, some served with a doughnut and others with a roast dinner on top for God’s sake (pictured here as it needs to be seen to be believed).
It was a no-brainer – I HAD TO GO!
After booking (an absolute must as they get extremely busy), I started to peruse the menu online. The creativity that must have gone into coming up with some of the choices is mind-boggling and after hours of looking (I wish I was joking), I decided that “The Johnny Vegas” burger was the one for me. A burger patty served with crispy bacon, warm toffee apple butter, grilled black pudding, sweet chilli paste plus an extra burger and topped with a homemade mini Guinness jelly doughnut all served with curly fries seemed absolutely the best thing I could have wished for – take that other restaurants!
We arrived and were seated at a table for two. The table was a good size (that might be the most boring sentence I have ever written – I fell asleep half way through writing it), but I feel the need to say it as I hate going places that seat you on some crappy little table in the corner which would be more suited to Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee.
I waited with a lovely pint of ale – the perfect companion to a burger, I would suggest – and it didn’t take long before the meal arrived.
The first thing I noticed was the doughnut topping the sesame seed bun; obviously, as this was one of the main reasons I picked this burger. The meal itself looked great – I love me some curly fries and was happy to see that they hadn’t been stingy with the portion.
I didn’t waste much time in removing the roof of the burger and taking a bite out of the toffee apple butter soaked black pudding. Now those that know me know I’m not a huge fan of cooking – my wife often has great fun in reminding me that I am no Marco Pierre White – but there are a few things I kick ass at; BBQs and breakfasts, meaning I have had a fair bit of black pudding in my time. I can honestly say that, despite this, I reckon this is the best black pud I have ever had! SAAAAAAY WHAAAAAAAT?! It was soft and juicy and tasty and…droooooooooooooooling now…
The bacon was thick and not overcooked and complemented the black pudding perfectly.
The burger itself was served a little pink in the middle which was right up my street. If I have one criticism with it, however, it would be that it was thinner than I would have hoped meaning that it wasn’t as juicy as I think it could have been (you can see what I mean on the picture). Let me just say though, that even with this being the case, it was a chuffing good burger and I am glad that I had decided to double up (I should probably mention that you can do this with any burger on the menu. It is an extra £3.50 but sod it; it was worth it).
The atmosphere of the place was cracking. It was a lot bigger inside than I had initially thought but you can absolutely see why booking is essential as it was chokka, even on a Monday evening.
Now, as a man of big appetites, I was interested in seeing the dessert menu because everyone knows that no matter how much beef you eat, there is always room for dessert! Unfortunately, at this point the service seemed to die off. I don’t know why this was as our side of the restaurant was less busy than any other time of the night and our plates had been collected so it wasn’t like we had just been forgotten. I do need to say that up until this point, the service had been excellent so I am just going to put it down to bad luck but I am sure you will agree, it would be remiss of me to not mention it.
I would highly recommend Annie’s Burger Shack. It is original, cool, has a vast and adventurous choice of burgers and is a very friendly place to eat – JUST REMEMBER TO BOOK!
It doesn’t quite make it into the top three, but it’s really not far off – and who knows, when I go back (and I surely will), another of Annie’s creations might just punch its way straight to the top spot!!
Entire meal 9.0