The humble mince patty has grown in stature since way back in the 12th century when the nomadic Mongols carried food made up of several varieties of milk (kumis) and meat (horse or camel during their journeys. During the life of their leader Genghis Khan (1167–1227), the Mongol army occupied the western portions of the modern-day nations of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, forming the so-called Golden Horde. This cavalry dominated army was fast moving and sometimes unable to stop for a meal, so they were often forced to eat while riding. They would place a few pieces of meat in the form of fillets wrapped in skin and placed under their saddles so that it would crumble with the constant jogging and be cooked by the heat from the animal. This recipe for minced meat spread throughout the Mongol Empire until its split in the 1240s, thanks to Wikipedia for this small part of ‘burger history. Moving forward in time to when it was served on the Hamburg/USA liners crossing the Atlantic to America and then finally the USA adopted the mince delight as its own, thus was born a global culinary phenomenon.
With this all in mind I headed to Hudson’s Burger joint in Claremont to try their “gourmet” patties. On finding a table on the terrace on a beautiful warm summer day i was attended to by a smiling toothy young check shirted, miniskirt-clad waitress, a first for a long while, smiling that is. First big points to the venue, that turned to a huge minus when the menu was presented, a rather scruffy paperboard menu, which had seen better days a long time ago. I took my time perusing the dirty hard to read menu. It’s was a rather large menu offering a number of other types of grub, but it was a ‘burger I was after. There are a variety of 20 either 180g or 250g ‘burgers on offer plus a selection of 60g Sliders to choose from. After finishing my first cola and ordering another, no beer as I was driving you see.
I decided on a slider selection, as I could not make up my mind of what to order. On offer was The East Village, Harlem and TriBeCa selections each consisted of three 60g mini burgers with different sauces. I chose the East Village mini ‘burger selection made up of The Cheese topped with tomato relish, onion marmalade and cheddar cheese, The Wiseguy topped with tomato relish, fresh chilli, jalapeño and rocket and The Original Royale topped with bacon, cheddar, chilli and battered onion rings.
Enjoying the sunshine, the cola, damn on a day like it was a craft beer would have been better but hey I took an oath to myself that I would not drink if I was driving and was going to be at a place for less than an hour. I figure one beer would be ok if I was going to spend more than an hour and a half at a place, time enough for the alcohol to dissipate me thinks. Anyhow back to the mini meal.
The three ‘burgers were presented on what can be best described as a plank which like the menu had seen much better days, now I don’t quite like the idea of any food being served on anything wooden for sanitary and health reasons. The one I got with the ‘burgers had a piece of paper on top of the board and showed many bacteria filled knife cuts through the varnish and was quite beat up, ugh!
Now to the mini ‘burgers, each with is sauce was atop three tiny stale bread buns which were much smaller than the 60g meat patties, worst of all the bottom half of the buns were a wet and soggy mess, very unappetising. The mince patties were overcooked and very bland with no seasoning, I think the chef thought that no one would notice the missing flavours, relying on the relish and chilli to cover that lack of flavour. The battered onion ring on the Royale was totally soggy, ice cold and awful. What was served show a totally lack of respect for the paying customer and worst again a total lack of respect for the food by the cooks concerned. Our Klutz in the Kitchen doesn’t miss a trick; everything is checked when reviewing any venue’s menu and meals. I did enjoy the tomato relish with the chillis and the onion marmalade wasn’t too bad at all but that all, with all that said it was an unsatisfying time spent at Hudsons Burger joint in Claremont.
The Klutz can only rate the venue ★★★ = Middling, tolerable, almost acceptable to adequate, could be still better.
The Klutz in the Kitchen pays for all food and drink consumed when reviewing venues, and all visits are unannounced and never booked at all. The Klutz will visit Hudsons Burger Joint again in a few months to see if any improvements have been implemented and will again review the venue.