This isn’t strictly anything to do with crosswords – but there is a puzzle coming up in November reflecting the wide range of burgers in the annual foodfest that is Wellington On A Plate – the burger fortnight. Many of them have unexpected names, providing a good deal of material for words in a grid. There were 132 this year – for a fortnight’s festival, that makes for a fair number of burgers to eat per day for the judging. I managed five, one down on 2018, though I did maintain the rule that each burger be eaten in a different suburb. So here they are – note the names (none of which made it to the grid) and then try to guess which of the entries in the puzzle on November 8 (as currently scheduled) contributes to the name of a burger.
Beach Babylon (Oriental Bay, Wellington)
By the Burger of Babylon – Persian fried chicken with whipped feta, beetroot slaw, zucchini pickles, pomegranate ketchup and saffron aioli in a black sesame bun, with Phoenician hand-cut fries and tahini-garlic whip. Matched with Garage Project Golden Path – Juicy Session Hazy IPA.
This had a vegan option including vegan whipped feta – I couldn’t help wondering whether this was whipped by or with vegans, which only goes to show that adjectival order is important.
Cafe Medici (Martinborough)
Prawn Underbelly – King prawn toast with caramelised pork belly, Asian pickles, housemade sweet chilli dressing in a sesame and buttermilk bun with toffee crackling and Sichuan pepper fries. Matched with Garage Project Hapi Daze – Pacific Pale Ale.
This place is one of our regular stops, even if it means driving over the hills to the Wairarapa. Last year they did venison with chocolate, so there’s someone there with a sweet tooth. The sole drawback were the fries in a silly little basket wherein they got cold very quickly.
Brew’d (Stokes Valley)
The Porky-pine – Grilled housemade pork patty with glazed pineapple, cos lettuce, basil leaves, chilli mayo in a brioche burger bun, with island-style k?mara and taro wedges. Matched with Garage Project Hapi Daze – Pacific Pale Ale.
Our local burger. I skipped the beer for another local brew from a craft brewery called Fortune Favours, who were themselves offering a burger at the cafe on their brewery premises. It all gets very incestuous. K?mara and taro make better wedges than your everyday potato.
The Gardens (Alicetown)
The Firey Brazilian (sic) – Gaucho’s spiced beefcap sirloin patty, Slow-cooked pulled pork, lamb carpaccio and crispy chicken skins, Churrasco pesto and cheddar cheese on a toasted brioche bun. Served with crunchy Cassava chips and refried bean dipping sauce.
The crispy chicken skins were like chicken-flavoured bacon, if you see what I mean. Three whole fries, but what a size, though not terribly crunchy.
The Queen of Jackson (Petone)
Three Ameatgos – Southern spiced chicken thigh with barbeque pulled pork, streaky bacon, jalapeño cheese, lettuce, red onion and special sauce on a toasted brioche bun, with corn chips and salsa. Matched with Garage Project Golden Path – Juicy Session Hazy IPA.
I have a vague feeling this name occurred last year. A very neat burger – actually capable of being picked up, and served with corn chips, which don’t go cold! Ameatgos will not be appearing in a grid any day soon.
While awaiting this burger, Marjorie took a snap with which I can remind you that, while I’m appearing as usual on Friday (6 September) I’m being followed by Monk on the Saturday…