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You are here: Liverpool ConfidentialFood & DrinkBest Of Three.

Best of three

Our intrepid tasters wander the city at random to find restaurant and pub takes on classic and favourite dishes. This time: Burger and fries

Published on June 22nd 2007.

Best of three

What makes a good burger? Is it the bun? Or is it the meat? Should it be minced or hand-chopped? Should there be anything blended into it or should it be beef with nothing more than salt and pepper? What about a bit of pork in your patty? Ketchup or mayo? What kind of cheese is best? Just how many toppings should the burger have? Should you be able to pick it up in your hands and take a bite without it collapsing and making a big mess?

Questions, questions. Here are three we've tried out recently.

MARANTO'S CHEESEBURGER (£7.25) Maranto's, Lark Lane, L17.

Meat in the sandwich? “Home-made, ground prime beef, char-grilled, thick and juicy, just as you like them,” says the blurb.
What about the bun? “Freshly” toasted sesame.
Anything else? Salad garnish, french fries (although they weren't) and a

slice of cheese, melted.
The verdict: Basic fare. The raw materials, ie the meat, being the main let-down and not much imagination in the add-ons. Chips, although bought in, livened it up. 5/10. Cheesy does it.

HA! HA! GOURMET 8oz BURGER (£8.50). Ha! Ha! Bar and Canteen, Albert Dock, L3.

Meat in the sandwich? Prime, organic British beef, simply seasoned and fashioned into shape on the premises.
What about the bun? Plain toasted bap when we went (this has changed to a posher rosemary focaccia for the summer menu).

Anything else? All Ha! Ha!'s burgers are dressed with plum tomato, baby gem lettuce, mayonnaiseand served with skinny chips, red onions and ketchup for dipping. Optional extras include onion rings, a fried (free range) egg, mushrooms, prawn skewer or bacon.
The verdict: The most “home-made” tasting burger and the easiest to negotiate. The bits it came with were fresh and flavourful. Better fries and it would have been the winner. 6.5/10. Ha!-hum.

WINNER: ULTIMATE FLY BURGER (£8.95), Fly In The Loaf, Hardman Street, L1.

Meat in the sandwich? Indeedy-dee. Two 6oz burgers, in fact. Bought in, though, from Barton's butchers in Southport, with a lot of added seasonings.

What about the bun?

A big floury barm cake manfully holding everything in, and all speared with a long wooden skewer, just to make sure.

Anything else? More like everything else. The Ultimate Fly Burger also contains tomato salsa, back bacon rashers and hash browns, yes, hash browns, and a double helping of cheese. There's probably other stuff too and the thick chips are “hand cut”. The UFB is not made every day: chefs Kevin and Kat have to be in the mood. When they are, the burgers “fly” out of the kitchen.

The verdict: This is the burger if either a) there are two of you; b) you were Elvis in a past life; c) you are Elvis in your present life. A huge, well presented package of food, nevertheless, and for imagination alone it gets 7/10. Burger me!

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

paul paulsJune 18th 2007.

You weren't tempted by Caesar's Palace then?

Helen TebbutttJune 18th 2007.

I agree Gemma the Blackhouse Kobe beef burger rocks the world of burgers, its amazing!!! The king of burgers if you will... the other burgers delicious too! Not that I have a burger fetish I also enjoy to get my 5 a day in liquid form at the grill wth a yummy smoothy (with a healthy shot of vodka included) yum :-)

Darren SparksJune 18th 2007.

I go to Eddie Rockets every Saturday night with my friends on the way home from the clubs to soak up the ale. It's much better than getting a kebab at that time of night or McDonalds but you don't get a Shrek doll unfortunately.

Angie (Ed)June 18th 2007.

Good point, Jay. Answer is we're probably going to cover the offerings of the lovely Eddie Rockets and Fargo on another day as full restaurant reviews. Both these places have got quite a lot to say for themselves in terms of service and atmosphere, and we'd like to tell you all about all of that in full, and not just single out one food item in a snapshot article. Same for the Restaurant Bar and Grill, the River Cafe and all the other places we haven't mentioned here in our non-exhaustive list. Oh, and in the interests of fair play, I won't be writing the Eddie Rockets review because I've already declared my opinion. Damn.

GemmaJune 18th 2007.

Oh my goodness you must not have been to the Blackhiuse grill, not only are the burgers fresh but they do a Kobe beef burger - from a cow fed on beer... FANTASTIC!!! You just have to try one, it melts in your mouth!

Supersized meJune 18th 2007.

Olive Press do a good one, and it's dark in there so no one can see you filling your face. But there's nowhere like New York for a burger. I should know, I got food poisoning of a ketchup fountain there last time!

AnonymousJune 18th 2007.

The burger and fancy chips at Heathcotes is very special indeed.

JayJune 18th 2007.

How can you do a best burger column without going to the only burger bar in town, Eddie Rocket's.Or if you're going out of town how about Fargo.

AnonymousJune 18th 2007.

I know it's meant to be the best pub in the country and all that, but I won't be going in the Fly and the Loaf to eat until after the smoking ban comes in. The carpets in there are minging.

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