Last night I checked out the ‘Burger Fest 2’ held at The Plant in Station Drive (where the Morning Trade is held every Sunday). As the name suggests, this was the second incarnation of the event. The first one was so popular that it was either a huge success or failure depending on whether you arrived early or late – by 6.30pm there was nowhere to park, and people queued for 20 minutes just to get inside. (I was one of those who arrived, saw the queues and left).
In an effort to address the crowding issues, Burger Fest 2 was promised to be much better controlled, with only 500 tickets for sale, and presales preferred. The cheapest ticket was R90 which included vouchers for a burger, a side and a dessert – great value! There was also an option to pay R175 for a ticket with three burger vouchers, a side and a dessert. Not a lot of point in this one, seeing as some burgers were only R35 (you do the maths).
My first thought on walking in, was that there were not very many stands –only five selling burgers and sides, one or two selling sides only, one beer stand, and two dessert stations. Having said that, the options were all really enticing, and I ended up having to buy an extra ticket or two to taste everything that I wanted to.
Somewhat surprisingly, only two of the five burger joints were offering traditional beef burgers with chicken burgers, sausage meat and two vegetarian options rounding out the choices.
I couldn’t resist Marco’s Italian sausage burger, which had a focaccia bun, red pepper relish and an insanely good sausage patty. What really impressed me though, were how good the veggie options were – I demolished a Mexican Bean Burger by Out To Lunch (you’ll find them at the I Heart Market where they sell amazing wraps) which I actually would have imagined was completely beefy, there was so much umami flavour packed into the patty. Along with the brilliant bean burger came lashing of rich hummus, spicy guacamole and some fiery chilli (dried and fresh). The famous Falafel Fundi also pulled out all the stops, delivering a beautiful falafel burger with plenty of brinjal, fresh slaw, tomatoes and more creamy hummus.
We used our two tickets for sides for some of the best refried beans I’ve ever tasted (Out To Lunch), and some great root veg crisps. Burgers were washed down courtesy of the delicious beers from Standeaven – despite there being only one beer stand, these guys came to the party with about ten different beers and their famous G&T on tap – the Craft was my favourite on the night, but the Best Black Gold was also excellent, just the right amount of bitter.
To finish off, two servings of Scoop ice cream in salted caramel, a perfectly sophisticated flavour, perched atop great waffle cones.
Bring on Burger Fest 3!