Review of Atomic Burger – The Wicker Man
What they say:
Slow cooked Chipotle brazed beef, Cajun Spiced red onions, American Cheese.
ATOMIC BURGER: EPISODE VII – THE BURGER AWAKENS
There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?
After a relatively long time, Burger Lad® returns to Atomic Burger in Bristol to check out the latest Joker Special. Up this month is The Wicker Man.
I’ll confess now. I’ve never seen the movie which this burger is based on so unfortunately this review will not be loaded with comical references and shameless Pepsi product placement like in our previous Atomic visit – the Sarah Connor burger. Note to Atomic (or anyone else reading this): if you want to do a Terminator-inspired burger in the future it HAS to be called the Burly Beef.
Anyway… back to The Wicker Man and spoilers follow: in the 1973 movie, the principal character is locked inside a giant, hollow wicker man statue which is then set afire by the islanders/pagans. This is the closing scene of the film and my logic is that this is where the movie gets its inspiration (slow cooked meat). You see on the July Joker Special the burger comes with a good amount of slow cooked, Chipotle braised beef as opposed to a burger served in a burning wicker basket…
|Atomic Burger The Wicker Man…|
Before I continue talking about this burger experience today I’ll quickly mention Atomic. If I could summarise what this place is like in one sentence it would be: ultra-cool, 80’s pop-culture inspired eatery with a stunning array of food options and the most magnificent staff. I’m not going to say much more about the interior etc and I refer you back to past Atomic reviews to read more about that.
OK. Let’s talk beef. There’s not a ridiculous amount of the braised beef on this burger. It doesn’t turn into a complete mess and IMO there was a perfect amount on-board the beef patty I opted for today (you can choose beef, chicken or veggie). It was rich, luxurious and frustratingly more-ish. I could have taken a shed-load back to my friend’s house I was staying at that Saturday, tipped the lot in the paddling pool in the garden and just lay in it all afternoon, supping on that sweet, soft braised beef. Good. Very good in fact and a welcome diversion away from the almost predictable pulled pork offerings served up everywhere now. I was expecting a slight warmth from the chipotle but instead it was a clever smoky flavour, but don’t worry, my heat requirements were more than catered for today by the devilishly HOT Fallout Chicken Wings – more on those later…
|What’s on the plate for your money…|
At first I wasn’t sure if the Cajun spiced red onions had been included on my burger, but after a bit of a poke around I found them nestling within the braised beef. I picked one out and sampled it on its own and it had a really bloody good flavour to it. Not a smack in your face sort of ingredient but a perfectly executed compliment to the rest of the ingredients on The Wicker Man. They were crispy, slightly caramelised and had an almost “burnt” flavour to them (not a criticism). And as I write this review I experience a sort of lightbulb moment. Oh I get it now… If I could make one change however I’d double the onions.
|Rich and luxurious braised beef…|
I feel like we’ve neglected Atomic recently as we’ve had so many great burgers at other places. In my mind I had started to think that they need the “gimmick” burgers to mask the patties but after today’s visit I can safely reassure you (and myself) this is NOT the case. The beef patty again was expertly seasoned, cooked medium to well but still retaining a slight pink inside. Their patties are made fresh that day, never frozen and use locally sourced, top quality meat. The additions do not mask anything, they enhance it. I could easily walk in here and ask for just a cheeseburger and it would be great. I even ordered that to begin with but they thought I was joking…!? With so many fantastic menu items though why would you need to do that!? Maybe a cheeseburger chaser..? Yeah next time definitely!
I mentioned earlier the Atomic Fallout Sauce Chicken Wings. It even pains me to write their evil name. This is not the first time I’ve had them (again our waitress thought we were joking on placing the order). But my friend joining me today fancies himself as a bit of a chilli head so I couldn’t resist “treating” him to a (luckily) small portion of these bad boys. I swear Miss Milkshake and I managed to finish them before but today we managed a respectable 8 out of 12. My goodness they are hot (don’t order them before your burger, have them after or with). After I put away my 4th I was like Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar – burning and scorched, tormented by fire. “What have I done!?” I proclaimed as the heat swelled up inside me like the rage of the Dark Side of the Force.
|Pure evil on a plate…|
My burger was accompanied by my favourite side dish (after MM) the Atomic Sci-Fries. Double cooked with a chilli rub, crisp and fresh and easily finish-able! I was glad of them and the BBQ sauce dip to soothe me back to normal after those deadly wings.
Overall, The Wicker Man is a very cleverly executed burger and after having had it and read up on the film I now understand. The braised beef is a delight, the onions, while subtle work nicely but I wanted more on mine and the American Cheese is not a necessity but a welcome addition all the same. I am adamant they’ve changed their burger buns cause this one today was certainly one of the best I’ve had at Atomic and credit where credit is due, I didn’t even take the fresh tomato out of this build so hats off to the development chefs for creating this future Atomic Hall of Famer. Superb!
We were served again today by the delightful Pippa and I hope she is reading this review because she is a true star and is fast becoming an Atomic Legend herself. Thanks Atomic, we won’t leave it so long until we return next time and I daresay this was my favourite Joker Special yet!
|Expertly executed flavours…|