Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ongoing Discussions About Food Icons: The Bacon Cheeseburger: McKibbin's Irish Pub review

McKibbin’s Irish Pub
McKibbin’s is a typical looking Irish pub. The downtown location is housed in a turn of the century house that fits with the Irish kitsch on the walls. For a downtown location is it surprisingly empty during lunchtime and a calm, quiet place to go for some respite from the office. There are even tablecloths on the tables. Being a pub the main attraction is obviously drinking and McKibbin’s seems to be about consumption challenges. The most famous challenge seems to be the Rim Reaper. Basically, if you can down 12 wings made with Bhut Jalokia, the hottest peppers in the world according to Guinness, you get a t-shirt. Eating challenges are part of the decor at McKibbin’s at least that is what went through my mind when their burger was placed in front of me. 


In a word big, the McKibbin’s burger uses a half pound of meat. The large meat disc sits on a giant kaiser like roll. The roll itself is nicely toasted on the grill and the condiments include a big slice of pickle, lettuce, red onion, sauteed mushrooms, cheese (wow, it is not orange) and bacon. A condiment basket was full of ketchup and mayo packets but there was no mustard. The “deluxe” burger at McKibbin’s, the one with the bacon and cheese, will set you back almost $12 so this is not cheap pub grub.

The Verdict: 

The fact they do not use a thick burger is a-plus when using this much meat. I know we have complained that too much condiments can be a way of disguising cheap meat but in the case just a little more condiments might be a good idea because there is so much meat. A tomato slice perhaps and a bit more pickle also because the condiments are good quality a little more would be nice. The bacon was chewy and the meat patty juicy with some charring from the grill. Because there was so much meat it is the predominate flavor. The meat is very seasoned, so much so that you taste it before biting into it. You can really smell the meat before biting into it. The seasoning however is very salty, a bit peppery and a few bites of the meat do come off as slightly rubbery. Judging by the uniform shape of the burger and the strong, salty, seasoning this patty does seem pre-made. 


The McKibbin’s burger is made by people that have a clue about food. This is evident with their use of ingredients and their condiments alone prove the point: sauteed mushrooms, red onion, and white cheese. Despite being a very big burger this is not crude food but once-again it all boils down to the meat. The patty should sacrifice some size for more quality. A smaller burger with good meat and the same condiments would-be a winning formula in fact it could be McKibbin’s pot of gold. 

P.S. I have one of the t-shirts for eating the spicy wings at McKibbin’s but that is another story. If you would like a preview this video is rather similar to the experience.

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