Review of Fabulous Burger Boys, Manchester – El Narco
What they say:
6oz Chuck Steak Patty, Monteray Jack, Homemade Salsa, Mac Daddy Sauce, Red Onion, Rocket, Beef Heart Tomato, Crushed Corn Tortillas.
Finally! Talk about ships that pass in the night. I’ve been trying, and failing, to get stuck into Fabulous Burgers for months. It’s essentially street food though, and while they will have a permanent outlet (under a different name) at Beat Street’s new venture from next year, so far they’ve been popping up at places and times that I just couldn’t get to.
|The current menu at FBB…|
Properly rectified today though, and after a good chat with Ben and his business partner, I got stuck into El Narco, the newest but currently best-selling burger on their menu.
Now, the menu here isn’t huge – today was three burgers, a hot dog, fries and nachos – and the burgers are essentially variations of the standard Fabulous Burger, with the house patty and “Mac daddy” sauce forming the transferable core across the range.
Ben explained the methodology of the El Narco recipe, including a mouth-watering description of how the cheese and red onions are steamed together. So mouth-watering in fact, that I had to continue eating the thing while he was talking. I was also told that the 6oz patty consists of chuck, brisket and marrow fat – all the tasty bits.
|El Narco is ready…|
The contents, which I will come to, are held in a full butter brioche about which they are immensely proud, and rightly so. It’s a tasty item and more importantly performs its prime role of holding everything in well (and there’s lots to hold in).
But when I say “a lot” I don’t mean towering food-challenge belly busters or anything like that. This is a tasty sensible burger.
At its core is that patty, cooked pretty well done, but still quite juicy thanks most likely to the marrow fat. It’s also quite thick so you certainly don’t feel short-changed – exceptional value for money, actually.
The red onions are very noticeable, which is brilliant – amongst my favourite burger toppings.
|Thick patty and clever toppings…|
Also noticeable is the tomato, which is often taken out, but here because it was fused with the other toppings, I couldn’t. As it happens, I actually didn’t mind it anyway – quite sweet and not at all overpowering for a change.
At this point, perfectionist Ben apologised that the rocket wasn’t actually rocket – the supply issues that occasionally affect all food outlets large and small. It had been replaced by small-leaf lettuce and rocket would be used again ASAP. It was a nice touch bothering to explain that and although I do like the slight nuttiness of rocket, it didn’t actually detract from the overall appeal because there was a lot else to enjoy in here.
Not least the Mac daddy sauce, which is essentially a pickle-laden reverse-engineering of the sauce from a popular high street burger. That gave it a slight sourness, which bounced around the palate, competing with the salsa for attention.
|El Narco up close…|
It’s the salsa and the crushed nachos that give this burger its sort-of Mexican theme. The salsa has a wonderful heat to it, built with coarsely chopped pieces of green chilli. Not stupid Scoville-heat but definitely noticeable, lingering and delicious.
And finally the nachos themselves, adding a crunch which offsets nicely the softness of the brioche bun.
So, a lot of textures, a lot of flavours, and good contrasts in this burger, all worked out with considerable effort in development, and lashings of pride.
It came through clearly that they are proud of the quality of their product and I’d have to say it’s justified.
|A good brioche holds this together…|
I thoroughly enjoyed my burger and look forward to seeing them at their permanent spot where hopefully there will be creative specials to try (well, in fact they shared some of the ideas in preparation, so I KNOW it’s going to be good).
As you read this, the tenure at Junkyard Golf is coming to an end, but check them out at Beat Street’s Hogmanay party and, as I mentioned, the permanent outlet from 2016.
|Inside – many toppings but not overdone…|