Despite an ostensive Irish theme, Belfast Love’s menu is pretty much all generic upscale pub — thin crust pizzas, fancy salads, the obligatory chicken and waffles (at what point did chicken and waffles graduate from an occasional novelty to something that’s 100% obligatory for every restaurant with an unfocused menu like this one?). And there’s a burger on the menu. Because of course there is.
Well, a cheeseburger, to be specific. “House ground chuck, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, mustard mayo.”
It looked good, I’ll give it that. And I liked the toppings — the melty American cheese, the fresh tomato, the crunchy iceberg lettuce, and the mayo/mustard combo all worked quite well. The patty itself, on the other hand…
I’m always afraid that, the longer that I do this, and the more and more that I obsess over the minutia of what makes a burger great (and vice-versa), I’m becoming increasingly out of touch with how normal people (i.e. people who don’t think about things like grind coarseness and beef-to-bun ratios on the regular) experience a hamburger.
So it was nice when my dining companion echoed my sentiments on this burger exactly, confirming that I’m not being an overly picky weirdo (at least not in this particular case).
Because no, this was not a good hamburger. The texture of patty was downright weird — dense, with an oddly chewy, vaguely sausagey texture. I suspect they’re mixing salt in with the ground beef, which tends to make the texture of a hamburger sausage-like.
It probably didn’t help that the griddled patty was cooked to well done and then some, but I suspect that even perfectly cooked, this would have been a funky patty.
The taste wasn’t much better. Whatever flavour the beef might have had was completely annihilated by the downright insane amount of pepper. It was so peppery; it was nuts. Literally the most peppery-tasting hamburger that I’ve ever had. I don’t know if the pepper was mixed in with the beef along with being used as seasoning on the patty, but the flavour was everywhere. It permeated every bite; there was nothing else.
The bun was fine, though it was slightly too dense, and cold throughout despite being toasted.
As for the fries, they were great. Easily the highlight of the meal. Not too thick, not to thin, perfectly cooked, just the right amount of salt… good stuff.