Review of Almost Famous Johnny Drama
What they say:
Double double juicy burgers, cheese, flat iron steak, pickles, peppercorn sauce, garlic salt shoestring fries, Million Island sauce. Served on the Real Deal Pretzel buns.
Finally I’m at the original NQ burger joint, risen from the ashes – well the Internet is awash with “Phoenix” stuff relating to Almost Famous and their awful fire. I don’t need to add anything to that.
|This is what Almost Famous is all about…|
But they’ve been back a while. Now, before we go any further, I have to declare that this burger is a gift from AF’s owner Beau Myers but I can assure you it didn’t come with any pressure to provide a good review.
Not that that’s going to be an issue. There’s a brand new menu here including a couple of Entourage-themed pretzel burgers.
|Two new pretzel burgers on the menu…|
AF’s menu is distinct. It’s described as being 27% juicier, with 14% less hype. That’s an indicator of how this place works.
I must admit initially the tone of the place annoyed me a bit but good god it grows on you, and I’ve had some terrific burgers at their larger Great Northern branch. Just look at the endless list of stuff in this burger. Loads and loads.
And to give you more of an idea of the sort of theme here, one burger is described as having 22% more crack, while another apparently tastes like holidays.
And it’s not just burgers- the new menu has been filled with loads of new stuff. Under the word “new” is all over the place, written in pink.
Johnny Drama and his brother Vinny Chase are both well-stacked double cheeseburgers, each with different toppings.
In Johnny’s case it’s flatiron steak and shoestring fries. As the burger was already MASSIVE and includes fries within, I didn’t choose any of the SEVEN fries options as a side.
So, arriving on AF’s usual red tray, with the wooden skewer through Johnny’s head, my burger was given unto me. And I also got a fork and knife – it didn’t take long before I needed those.
There are so many elements going on in this burger, I’ll have to cover them individually but I can assure you now that the sum of their parts, and my conclusion, is that AF have an absolute winner on their hands. Even by their high standards I’d go as far as saying this has all the makings of a signature burger.
Firstly, the pretzel bun. At the moment it’s only the Chase brothers that come in pretzels but it’s a terrific choice. It looks great with its ridges and grooves and has a substantial texture. It’s not a huge difference to the brioche of others but it is still enough to set it apart.
|THIS is my burger of 2015…|
The million island sauce – well does AF strike you as the kind of place that would make do with a thousand islands? Nope. This is their burger sauce that appears on a number of the other burgers. It is incredibly easy on the palate and performs two great jobs. Well, three really.
Firstly, it eagerly invites the next bite because it is so damned good; secondly, it lubricates the whole thing so you get a wonderfully moist texture; and lastly it creates a total mess which results in the second half of the burger being finished with cutlery.
It’s unavoidable. And there’s a peppercorn sauce in there too. You get the idea. Messy as hell.
The shoestring fries are the complete opposite. Hard and crispy, they offset the gloopy sauce perfectly and they’ve even been seasoned with garlic salt.
And then there’s the stack. Covered in sauce, the patties and the steak look similar but while the parties (slightly pink by the way) have a melt-in-the-mouth texture, the steak has that slightly tougher chewy feel. Again, a double riff working together.
|This is a MUST on your burger radar…|
EVERYTHING is right in this burger. There is pepper, garlic, pickles, cheese, meat and bread – so many tastes but instead of competing for palate space, they work together like the Wiener Philharmoniker.
And the textures- crispy, gloopy, soft, hard, meaty, spongy … it goes on. Again, a world-class orchestra.
So, did you like it then, Admiral? It’s hard to tell.
Yes I bloody did. In fact I’m going to say that although the term “best” is always very subjective, this is my BURGER OF 2015.
And as such, it’s an absolute MUST.