This newcomer to the Auckland burger scene is already drawing the crowds.
When launching a new restaurant, there are always going to be a few bumps and hurdles to navigate as you find your feet. Running out of food on two separate occasions during your first week because you’re too popular, however, is not usually one of them. For husband and wife restaurateurs Peter and Pene Barton, that’s exactly what happened when they opened the doors to their new Symonds Street takeaway joint, Burger Geek. Serving up handmade burgers, wings, sides and soda, we visited the newest member of the unauthorised Auckland burger collective to see what the fuss and the lengthy queues were all about.
Though it’s fast food, there’s nothing hasty about Burger Geek’s prep, with all ingredients (sans buns and ketchup) being prepared by hand, on site. The beef patties for instance, are a house blend of Wagyu and Angus that are ground fresh each day then ‘smash grilled’ (an American-inspired technique that sees them smooshed firmly onto the hot plate) to, as Pene tells us, “give more caramelisation and more flavour”. The bacon is shown similar culinary love, with Peter curing it for a week before it’s smoked with applewood then slipped into the middle of one of the Geeky creations.
With four unique beef burgers, a couple of buttermilk fried chicken numbers and two substantial meat-free options on the menu, deciding on a main is tough — but one thing we have to stress is that you must leave room for sides. Managing to exercise some form of control, we held back from simply ordering one of everything and settled on the honey Sriracha hot wings, taco egg rolls (a sort of Mexican spring roll) and rosemary shoestring fries — all of which we can certainly recommend. Similarly, the onion strings were light, crispy and seasoned just as we liked, making us feel genuinely sorry for the next fried onion that even attempts to measure up.
Open for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner all week long, we’re already eyeing up the mac ‘n’ cheese balls and Mustang burger for our next visit. If the inaugural week has been anything to go by, we just have to remember to get there early.
Monday to Friday: 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30-9pm
Saturday & Sunday: 5.30-9pm
175 Symonds Street