The burger mission continues…

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So guess what? I’ve been eating burgers again (the diet starts next week). This time my mission, as promised, took me to Get Baked Presents: The Joint (the new restaurant arm of the Meanwood takeaway Mr Nice Guys I reviewed in my last post). Upon arriving at the unique converted church the restaurant calls home (Woodhouse Lane in the Hyde Park area of Leeds), the huge gothic window illuminated by a Baz Lurhmann-esque neon Get Baked logo (Romeo & Juliet fans will know what I mean – churches, neon lights, symbolism blah blah blah), I knew I’d found the holy grail.

Get Baked Presents: The Joint

Excited at this experimental juxtaposition, the Mr and I ran in with breath that was bated. We were met with a cool, contemporary space complimented by a seriously relaxed vibe. High ceilings, mismatch furniture, a collage explosion of 90s cultural icons on the walls (the Mr particularly loved a Ren and Stimpy print he spotted – I drew the line at getting a replica for our house, man room or no man room) and a Leeds-worthy bar finished with huge chandeliers and a colourful wall of must have spirits, oh and a red telephone box thrown in for good measure, gave the place that on trend eclectic feel. With Nirvana’s MTV unplugged playing on the big screens and RUN-DMC playing on the sound system, it felt nostalgic and almost youth club like; comforting, a place where you could just ‘hang’ (do people still say that?!). The owner’s vivid imagination was evident throughout and this new hotspot was quite clearly a labour of love.

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To Burger, Or Not To Burger – That Is The Question

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My answer? Definitely to burger. Long gone are the days of over-processed chains and late night greasy dives being our only options. The humble burger has undergone somewhat of a revival of late and a retro style icon is reborn. From posh to punk, brioche to bap, we’re spoilt for choice and the making of this go-to fast-food staple has become a bit of an art. I’ve been on a mission in the bright lights of Leeds to witness first-hand this booming burger scene…

 

FIve Guys Burgers

Five Guys: The All American Dream

Let’s start with Five Guys. When I want something quick and easy without compromising on quality, this is my new best friend and lucky for me, it’s conveniently located on my way home from work so to say I have become a regular is an understatement. The self-confessed ‘heaven in a brown paper bag’ is the new kid on the block in Leeds and harks back to the 1950s all-American dream where it all began for the simple hamburger. A basic palette of red and white décor makes the place feel fresh and crisp, much like the ingredients. With only four choices of burger on the menu (each available in two sizes; I opt for the ‘little’ which is plenty big enough) and only a dozen or so classic toppings to choose from, it’s the quality of ingredients and sheer simplicity of these foil-wrapped beauties that’s the winning formula. Served with a mountain of fries, made from the sacks of potatoes on show in the store, and a choice of over one hundred soft drinks (I highly recommend the cherry vanilla Coca Cola – very Sandy in Grease), this American import is a firm-favourite here to stay and certainly gives its famous red and yellow competition a run for its money. So much so, Elvis would have felt right at home here.

 

If you crave a vibrant party atmosphere and a few cocktails with your grub plus bold experimental flavours that pack a punch, Almost Famous is an in-your-face neon explosion with a cool electronic soundtrack to boot. My advice, come hungry. One of the most creative menus in town, each burger has its own aptly named label and comes stacked high, oozing with unctuous toppings and dripping with sauce (learn from my mistake and pick up enough napkins). The Johnny Mac is pure handcrafted heaven with not one, but two juicy burgers smothered in applewood smoked and cheddar cheese, bacon, grilled onions, crunchy cheese tortillas, million island dressing, chipotle ketchup and wait for it…a deep-fried mac and cheese ball on top. This spectacular combination of flavours will have your tongue doing a dance. Oh and don’t under any circumstances forget a side of Bacon Bacon fries; their famous ‘winning’ fries covered in baconnaise and bacon rain. Enough said.

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