At one point in time – and not that long ago either – burgers were restricted to the status of grease-heavy, artery-clogging fast food, something unrefined and wildly bad for you to be enjoyed only once in a while. But along with beer, beards and jams that has all changed. Burger making is a legitimate art form nowadays; indeed, I know a lot of people (myself included) that get annoyed when a restaurant doesn’t have a burger option on the menu. How better to test a chef’s skills than give him a meat-and-bun formula that all others have to abide by and see what he can do with it?
With burgers being part of their own culinary revolution, specialists have started popping up – you don’t have to walk far in any city to find them. The Scottish capital has embraced the burger fad wholeheartedly (as well as the craft beer movement), and there are burger joints on literally every other street. Seriously, there are hundreds. And you might think it’s hard to find the best one amongst the many, but it isn’t. The best one is Cambridge Bar on Young Street, Edinburgh. And here’s why:
For starters, the sheer amount of choice is staggering – everything from burgers with Cajun spices to burgers with beetroot and a fried egg. For every option you also have a choice between chicken, beef, veggie and even buffalo. The really impressive thing about Cambridge Bar’s menu is that no one choice supersedes another – every burger is as well-made and delicious as the next, and there’s not one option that makes you feel like the chef doesn’t know how to make it that well.
So what to have? You can go for a classic BBQ or maybe a pulled pork burger, but my personal favourite is the Italiano: a burger topped with homemade pesto and mozzarella, which may seem like a weird choice for a burger, but it totally works. The pepperiness of the pesto matches so well with the rich coolness of the mozzarella, and then balances nicely with the natural flavouring of the meat.
To top off Cambridge Bar’s status as members of the burger revolution, they’re also members of the craft beer movement. They have an enormous choice of craft brews from all over Scotland and the rest of the UK. There’s a pervading idea that artisan burgers and craft beer go hand-in-hand, which is totally correct because they very much do.
So take this as a time-saver: if you’re in Edinburgh and want a truly outstanding burger, ignore the high streets and make the journey to Cambridge Bar. Thank me later.