It's a simple principle – everything's better with bacon. First came the hamburger. Then the cheeseburger. Finally, some madcap rebel genius came along and bundled bacon on top. You can't argue with science.
The foundations of a bacon cheeseburger speak for itself – burger, cheese and crispy bacon. But these days, it's a more complicated affair. Once a simple fast food staple, burgers are now dressed up for some serious gourmet fine dining.
And best of all is the variety of cheese that appears, draped over the patty like a well-worn kimono. Cheddar cheese is a classic, but many more have been invited to the cheese party. Emmental. Havarti. Our beloved manchego. Goats' cheese, blue cheese, deep-fried brie. And Italian favourites, like gorgonzola, parmesan and buffalo mozzarella.
Like many other internationally adored dishes, countries around the globe have had a good old-fashioned food fight about who invented it first – metaphorically, of course, or there'd be carnage.
The word 'hamburger' came from Germany's Hamburg, but it's generally believed that the Americans came up with the business of packing a meat patty into a bread bun.
The addition of cheese came about in the 1920s – though we'll not get into the bickering over who first invented that, too – and bacon is thought to have been first added in 1960s California. So the Golden State deserves our eternal thanks.
At La Bourguesa, one of the most popular choices is its namesake, the Burguesa – a succulent 170g beef burger topped with melted goats' cheese, fried onions, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato and a sticky honey and mustard sauce. The Club is another of its classics, with all the usual suspects plus Emmental cheese and a seasoned fried egg between the bread.
At Central Hamburger, towering burgers have gone super-trendy. The Central sees beef burger meet a generous amount of streaky smoked bacon rashers. It's then topped with a sweet onion confit, fried brie, and the all-important pickled gherkin – do you leave it in, or take it out?
As you'd expect from New York Burger, it has a colossal menu of burgers, each named after a different part of New York City. The Soho burger is topped with cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, onion rings and its barbecue sauce, and you'll find the Williamsburg burger topped with Havarti cheese, sautéed onions, streaky bacon and a pepper sauce. Each one gives you a real taste of NYC.
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