Back in the days when I ate the maximum amount of junk food I could get away with. The only variation was whether I would have chicken fingers, a hot dog, or a hamburger. Today, I still look forward to these things but pretty much only enjoy them when I'm in America. I just don't really enjoy fast food here in the UK. Maybe it's the growth hormones in the American beef, but most beef burgers here seem to have a strange aftertaste. There are only three burger places in the UK (Edinburgh, Belfast, and Glasgow) to date where this has not been the case and I've gone all giggly and smiley (ask the boy) at how wonderful and American the burgers taste.
Last week the boy and I went to Edinburgh for a day out. I will admit that the main focus of the trip was to make a pilgrimage to Wannaburger. A few years ago when I was in my second year of university I went to Edinburgh on a day trip and stumbled across the Wannaburger on the Royal Mile. It was hip-looking. They were friendly. They made amazing milkshakes with Mackie's ice cream (for you Americans, this stuff is the creamiest most wonderful ice cream ever!) and of course fabulous burgers that tasted like home.
Flash forward to last week. We had some time and decided to finally make the burger myth (I've ranted and raved about the burgers for months to the boy) a reality. We went to the aquarium first and stopped by Harvey Nichols to oogle more wonderful victual pleasures mainly to be able to say that we had done more than just go to eat at Wannaburger and then headed from the train station to the Royal Mile tired, hungry, and full of anticipation. And we couldn't find it!
To make matters worse, the boy's phone died and I lost my 3G connection so we walked around like idiots trying to figure out who to ask for help. I'll even admit that the boy was pushing me to ask and I refused because I was so sure I had enjoyed my burger on the Royal Mile.
With threats of McDonalds looming (we were that hungry) we headed to the location listed on the website which happened to have been 25 minutes in the direction we had walked from before. When we arrived, I became even more confused. Somehow, in the time between when I had last eaten there and now it had become some sort of ultra-hip, eco-friendly, self-service restaurant. It didn't deter us. In fact it all looked much cooler than I remembered. After finding a seat and scoping out the menu (which also features veggie options and hot dogs) we settled on the following battle plan:
The boy ordered:
Double cheeseburger, cajun fries, and a chocolate milkshake (along with three complimentary homemade BBQ sauces)
Double hamburger with red onion, regular fries, a chocolate milkshake, and for a bargain 30p a giant pickle
After establishing that there had at one time been a Wannaburger on the Royal Mile, we settled down to wait for our burgers. The food was quick and cooked to perfection. The service was good too. I forgot to show them my matric card and went back up to ask if I could still get the discount. They gave it to me (they normally don't apparently) which was super cool.
I don't even know where to begin with how tasty it all was. The burger was juicy and succulent and tasted like the burgers you see in hunger-inducing burger advertisements on television. The milkshake was rich and thick with small chunks of chocolate that enhanced the already creamy chocolate taste. The fries were the perfect complement (the boy loved the Cajun fries but they were a bit spicy for me) and the pickle...OH MY GOD! The pickle was JUST like the Spreewald Gurken (a regional pickle from close to Berlin) I used to get at the Viktualienmarkt in Munich. I've been lusting after them ever since I left. It was so good that I bought one to take home to eat for lunch the next day. My only regret was not trying the coleslaw. The barbecue sauce was also fantastic (and I'm not even a huge fan of the stuff) and the boy managed to consume nearly all three pots!
Wannaburger did not disappoint. The memory from nearly four years ago was put to shame. I remember it being good but this was a whole new level of loveliness. The only way they might improve themselves would be to bring Wannaburger to Glasgow!
With a super-friendly staff, good prices (18-ish GBP for two), American ESPN, and of course amazing food this is one place you shouldn't miss. I have no shame in saying that I would go to Edinburgh again just to eat there...
7/8 Queensferry Road
Edinburgh EH2 4PA