I originally wrote this as part of a lengthier post to come, but I felt it was best to pay tribute to the burgers that made our trip. There are 2 to make mention of for having the tenacity of sneaking into our dreams and into our cravings weeks after we’d long left New Zealand.
Queenstown is home to the best – and you must take it from me – burgers. I’ll share with you why you have to believe me, simply because I’m the sort of person who doesn’t really like burgers. I enjoy the good chomp into a stack of meat and buns, but that’s as far as the craving goes. I’m not a burger person, by that admission neither a sandwich person, but oh boy. These burgers. Are crazy.
(Song pairing: Moldy Peaches: These Burgers).
Google this. I did when I returned from Queenstown, and apparently everybody else in the world thinks the same way I do. My partner was fascinated by everything about it. The burger, the brand, the people who love the burger. The walls inside the small Queenstown store are peppered with framed photographs of fans. My partner was especially tickled by one, a black & white image taken of a man and his bulldog, captioned: “Me and Arsehole”. He also learnt, and told me, that someone once dislocated his jaw from trying to take a chomp out of an entire burger.
The queues in Fergberger get really crazy during ski season, when everybody descends onto the town. We spent a day a half in Queenstown, and ate Fergberger for our dinner, dessert, and supper. There’s only one store in all of New Zealand, bless their heart. We tried the original Fergburger, Cocakadoodle Oink, and the Bulls Eye. In memory it seems like we may have eaten much more than that, but that’s the Fergburger experience.
An impressive chain is Velvet Burger, whose brand is quirky, whose own history boasts a hilariously fictional heritage dating back to the birth of the Long White Cloud. When in Auckland, we fell hard for their burgers, trying the Velvet Burger (venison) where we substituted the pineapple for beetroot instead; and the Goneburger.
Fergburger gets the top dog position for having not only tasty, ingenious fillings, but also excellent buns. Those buns are the stuff that fantasies are made of, and no – ahem – not those types of fantasies. But any burger that makes a good bun to hold its stacked load, and still hold its weight in taste and texture, really has my vote. The Fergburger is solid. Firm, and solid. The Velvet Burger choices were smaller, and their buns were softer and tasted more generic. For our next trip to Auckland (to watch the qualifying round, Rugby World Cup!) I’m more keen to look into niches or hole in the wall cafes where similarly indulgent burgers can be found. I wonder if the same can be said of a New Zealand staple, the fish and chips, which just seems to be crazy good everywhere.