Outcome: Majority Verdict
Ratio decidendi: Pound for pound the best burger joint on the Wynyard-end of the CBD. Not in the same league as Rockpool but it’s not trying to play in that space. On that note, The Burger Project would probably benefit from a few pointers from this hidden gem.
Salient features: Smokehouse North’s Burger ($9.90 +$0.60 for brioche bun option)
Case note: When I tried to google “Burger North” last year, the only hits I’d get would be related to Justin North and his burgers. To find this joint stand with your back to George St on the non-Mcdonald’s side of the Bridge St intersection. Head down the first flight of stairs you encounter on your left, and it’s at the end of the corridor. If you visit during peak lunch hour times, it won’t be uncommon for there to be a long line up the stairs and onto the street (but that’s for the related North’s Sandwiches which makes a mean and generously sized spicy Portuguese chicken sandwich). I could have told you it’s in the same corridor as North’s Sandwiches but I suspect if you knew where that was, you wouldn’t need directions to this place either.
Just to manage your expectations now– Burger North isn’t going to be the best burger you’ve ever tried. But it sure will be satisfying, and if you work on this end of town you’re going to struggle to find anything better at a comparable price point. My go-to burger is the Smokehouse which comprises spicy beef patty, chipotle bacon, tasty cheese, pineapple, tomato, lettuce, house-mayo and relish encased in your choice of bun. Each element is well proportioned, collectively serving as a stellar supporting cast for the well-seasoned and grilled beef patty. The addition of pineapple amplifies the juicy-ness of the burger without making it overly sweet nor soggy. All in all – downright tasty. Apologies, the picture really does not do it any justice.