Burger #63 – The Smoke Burger (Durty Nelly’s)

Way back in 2014, when Life of Burgers was still pretty new, I paid a visit to Durty Nelly’s one evening where I found a burger that thoroughly impressed me. It was called the Whiskey Smoke Burger, and between the onion rings, the whiskey apple BBQ sauce, and the Guinness honey mustard, it quickly became one of my favourite burgers in the city.

However, it is normal for restaurants to change up their menus from time to time (which can be either really great or a swing and a miss), and unfortunately the Whiskey Smoke Burger didn’t make the cut during one of these changes and I had to say goodbye to a burger that treated me right.

While that one may be gone, it just so happens that there is another burger on the menu that has many similarities to the old one, with a few changes. I stopped by to try The Smoke Burger, hopeful that it would be just as good as the one I had 4 years ago.

Stats

From the menu: “Smoked garlic aioli, bacon, smoked cheddar, BBQ sauce, lettuce, pickle, onion rings”

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Appearance (7.5/10)

Held together by a steak knife skewer, this burger is served up alongside a basket of fries, and appears very clean on the plate. The onion rings were placed on top of the bun to spruce up the presentation, and there was plenty of bacon peaking out, which I can only assume is to excite a meat-lover like myself.

While the appearance of The Smoke Burger didn’t exactly ‘wow’ me, it also didn’t give the feeling that it was just haphazardly put together without any care, and I was eager to get down to business.

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Taste (5.5/10)

After relocating the onion rings to the inside of the burger, I was ready to take my first bite and see how the burger stacked up against it’s predecessor.

The first thing I noticed was the ample amount of both bacon and pickles, which may have been a bit much for certain people, but as someone who is a big fan of both, I welcomed the large portions with open arms.

The Smoke Burger is also not afraid to get a little saucy. The smoked garlic aioli had a great, savoury flavour, and paired well with the BBQ sauce, which gave the burger a bit of a punch. I wouldn’t have said no to a bit more of each, but not having to grab a napkin after each bite was nice.

Where this burger fell short was the patty. Finding a perfectly cooked patty in Halifax can be a challenge at times, and while everyone has their own preference about how well they like their’s cooked, there is a limit. Unfortunately, my patty was VERY well-done, and the beef was dry and underwhelming. I hate seeing a poorly done patty in a burger, and this one definitely missed the mark.

Cost vs. What You Get (5.5/10)

The Smoke Burger rings in at $16, which isn’t a horrible price for a burger, as long as it’s cooked properly. In this instance, where the beef was overcooked, it is more than I would have liked to pay. Where the protein is usually the most expensive component of a burger, making sure it is done right is essential if you want it to be worthy of the price tag.

Overall (6.17/10)

I’ve had many great burgers at Durty Nelly’s over the years (shoutout to some of those tasty Burger Week creations they come up with!), and I was really hoping that this one would live up to the deliciousness of it’s predecessor, the Whiskey Smoke Burger. It wasn’t the worst burger I’ve ever had by any means, and there was things about this one that I did really enjoy, but it is hard to look past the state of which the patty was served. I’d love to see this problem addressed and get a tender, juicy patty in there, because I do think that this burger has potential!

Durty Nelly’s
1645 Argyle Street, Halifax, NS
Website

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