Review of Gourmet Burger Kitchen Nola Rolla
What they say:
Time to go to the Deep South & feel the flavours of New Orleans, Louisiana with our new summer special, The NOLA Rolla’. A slow sunset combination of beef, Cajun relish, crispy bacon, gorgonzola, chive & truffle mayo, onion jam, salad, dill pickle in a brioche bun.
We had hoped to get to Gourmet Burger Kitchen sooner to sample The Benedict, but circumstance meant we were unable to make the 70+ mile round trip to our nearest location. Then on Tuesday evening I saw a tweet by GBK showing a picture of their new special which was to be launched the following day. We weren’t going to pass up the opportunity to review this on the day it was released.
GBK Oxford is located on George Street in the shadow of the New Theatre and looking around there seems to be quite a bit of competition all vying for customer spend (Byron is literally two doors down as well). It’s not a particularly big restaurant and it looked like it needed a bit of a spruce if I’m honest. Now I believe there are no GBK franchises but I really got the feeling that this one was. I’m not going to be too harsh and compare it to the newer Swindon and Birmingham ones I’ve been to but it did feel a bit shabby. I’ve also met friendlier staff but to their credit they certainly improved…
OK the latest special is The Nola Rolla’ and is priced at a shade under a tenner and that doesn’t include fries. It’s made up of a smorgasbord selection of ingredients – Cajun relish, crispy bacon, gorgonzola, a mayo, a jam, salad… so you’re getting a hell of a lot of toppings for your buck but how well do they work together?
|GBK NOLA Rolla’…|
As you can see from the picture the burger looked pretty damn fine! There’s a dazzling array of components which all looked inviting. Good beef patty, fresh salad items, a luxurious, glossy mayo and crispy bacon which was indeed crispy. Even with the ubiquitous wooden skewer running through, it looked like it was struggling to cope holding everything together. Stay on target…
I took my first bite and was literally blown away by the strength of that cheese. I warn you now if you are not a fan of blue cheese you won’t enjoy this burger! Personally I’m not a fan but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. For fairness I am going to bring in our own Miss Milkshake to talk about this element as her + blue cheese = yes please….
“Blue cheese lends itself well to red meat (i.e. a blue cheese sauce on your steak) and the GBK beef patties are juicy and succulent enough to justify this addition. The cheese is rich and flavoursome and I didn’t think it was too strong at all, although this is coming from someone who took a whole wedge of Stilton in her schoolbag to eat at lunch when she was six.”
|Crispy bacon & blue cheese…|
See the problem in writing a review is that it is very much subjective to your personal taste which is why I needed a fan of blue cheese to talk about that component. What I can do however is present the facts. And this particular account relates to the build of this burger.
The bottom brioche bun on my Nola Rolla’ could just not cope with the sheer plethora of ingredients used. I don’t know whether it was due to having the chive & truffle mayo on the heel bun but after literally two or three bites it had completely disintegrated. MM didn’t even have mayo on hers and after the same number of bites had resigned herself to eating the rest of it with a knife and fork. This was very disappointing.
Now I mentioned the staff earlier and instead of us being terribly British (when asked if everything was OK) I did explain our disappointment with what had clearly happened to our food. To their credit the staff addressed this concern towards the end of the meal by presenting us with two £6.95 free lunch cards so we can only applaud that reaction. Moving on…
For the remainder of the Nola Rolla’ I was left with, in essence two halves of a burger. And it was the top half I really, really enjoyed. The beef was good and cooked with a slight pink hue, the bacon was delightfully crispy but not to the detriment of your dental work and I absolutely loved the sweet and savoury taste of the delectable onion jam. Good work! I loved the Cajun Relish – this had a slight spice to it and I really needed it to cut through the almost sickly cheese and Chive & Truffle Mayo combo. It’s just a shame that both burgers disintegrated into utter chaos. There were a few pickles on the bottom and I can’t recall red onion being on here but I could be mistaken.
The rest of the meal was fantastic. The Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Milkshake was a delight and MM described it as “one of those shakes you want to finish in one slurp. GBK really nail their shakes and using salted caramel ice-cream instead of wretched vanilla really elevates their shakes above the rest. Mind meltingly good with no brain freeze here thank you.”
Along with the shoestring and sweet potato fries we sampled a portion of the Chilli Fried Chicken Bites with sriracha hot sauce mayo and cannot recommend these enough!
We’ll leave you with one last look at The Nola Rolla’ – if GBK can sort out the disintegration issue and you are a lover of blue cheese then this latest special they’re doing is an absolute must for you!
|A burger of two halves…|