In my experience of reading food blogs – and I feel that I can speak with authority on the subject, having read as many as three – I’ve noticed an absence of reviews for takeaway places. It makes sense really, reviewing something in your own home takes what little glamour there is in food blogging, strips it down to loungewear of ambiguous cleanliness, and plonks it on a sofa in front of Netflix. There’s the ratings section of JustEat of course, but comments sections on websites tend to be the domain of angry loners and Illuminati-theorists; not the type of people you can take a reliable restaurant recommendation from. Never one to shy away form suffering for my art, I’m going to step up to the plate* and offer my services. First place up for review: Mr. Nice Guy’s
Opening last year as a spin-off from the wildly successful Get Baked, Mr Nice Guy’s was one of the first places in Leeds to offer American-style burgers; dripping fresh patties, shiny buns etc etc. Anybody who knows about Get Baked (Which is absolutely everybody, by the way. Their social media game is on point) knows that they’re passionate about their product, it shows in their enthusiasm for the business as well as the reception from customers; these are the type of people you want to be making your food.
The combination of wild popularity and an admirable dedication to making everything fresh means that waiting times can be higher than you’d expect from a burger place – their website advises it can take up to an hour and a half for delivery. Being starving and impatient, I sat poised at my laptop from 17:58, refreshing the order page until it came online at 6pm, placed our order of a Nice Burger (£6), Ohio Burger (£6.5) and Jalapeno-salted Fries (£2), and played the waiting game.
The waiting game sucked, but luckily we received a call a couple of minutes later telling us that our order was on the grill and would be sent out soon – which was a nice touch – and within half an hour a cheerful delivery man was at our door with bags of burgers.
I went for the modestly-named Nice Burger first, Nice Guy’s take on a bacon cheeseburger, with the addition of their signature Nice Sauce. Unsheathed from its double-wrapping I noticed that in transit the juices from the patty and the melted cheese had made everything inside the bun kind of congeal in the best kind of way, meaning that each element of the burger was present and correct in every mouthful. I’ve been spoilt rotten this week with burgers, this one being the third I’ve eaten, and it was probably the best. While the patty was a little overcooked for my liking (When it comes to patties I’m with ODB: Baby I like it raaaaAAAaaaw), allowing it to sit and harmonise with the rest of the ingredients for ten minutes inside a wrapper gives it the edge. I would never be able to sit and watch a burger for ten minutes if it was in front of me, regardless of how cohesive the ingredients would be by the end of it. The Jalapeno-salted fries were alright, but could have done with more Jalapeno salt. Decent sized portion though for the price, we had one between us and it was plenty.
Next up was the Ohio, which contained bacon, cheddar, and a smear of peanut butter to glue everything together. I swapped the bacon for candied bacon, but also added lettuce because my body is a temple, son. As much as I talk about the virtues of a simple, gimmick-free burger, I can be a sucker for feature-pieces like this and Red’s Donut-Burger. Much like crystal meth and dance music, I feel they’re something I need to indulge in while I’m still relatively young and hip, before they can cause any irreparable damage or cause me to look like a fat wheezing slob in public, embarrassing myself by trying my hand at a young man’s game. The Ohio was good, but not something I’d order again. Without the sweet and sharp Nice sauce cutting through the flavour landscape (can I get away with saying that? Ok, just this once) it became a bit difficult to eat, but this might have been accountable to the fact I’d already eaten one burger by this point. I’d recommend you try it once, but the Nice Burger is your best bet for a classic burger.
In the end I had to have a little walk around the room and stoke the fireplace (not a euphemism) before finally, heroically finishing the thing. Perhaps I’m more suited to blogging from outside of the public eye after all…