October 31, 2014

Money CAN buy happiness

Pin It

Butcher's Club Burger has generated a lot of buzz in the months since its opening, with its staple of dry-aged beef burgers along with a bunch of off-menu items on their "Secret Menu".  It's also been running a series of "Burger Takeover" offerings where different chefs around town come in and do their special versions of burgers for a limited time.  I liked the burger (actually, half a burger) I had the only time I went, and even though I was mostly drunk at the time, I remember being impressed.  Unfortunately all I've heard since then was that the lines are simply too long at regular meal times, so I never went back for another bite.

A few days ago I found out that the latest Burger Takeover features a burger put together by Gregoire Michaud, who also put together some very sinful looking bacon profiteroles that I saw pictures of.  After a few of my friends went and provided positive feedback, I figured it was time to make the trek and grab one for myself.

So it's Friday night, OF COURSE there was gonna be a hungry crowd!  This would have been a good time to pull out that Food Writer Card and skip the line, but alas, I don't have one...  So I dutifully walked up to the cashier and tried to place my order.

Me:  I'd like to take the special burger.
Marcin at the cashier:  Which one?
Me:  Well, the new one from Gregoire.  I can't remember the name off the top of my head.
Marcin:  Well, I can't give it to you unless you can tell me the name.  That's how it works around here...
Me:  Oh come on!  Don't make me look it up on Facebook!  *takes out phone and starts looking for the name*

I was getting a little annoyed at having to play this little game, but eventually Marcin relents and let me order without telling him that I wanted the Hamburguesa.  I also get a can of root beer and retreat to a corner and wait for the number to be called.

A couple of minutes later, Marcin calls me over and gives me the bad news.  They've run out of Manchego for the burger.  The chef comes over and asks me what I'd like for him to do.  They can substitute plain old cheddar and still serve me the burger, although it wouldn't taste exactly the way Gregoire intended; or they could offer me a different burger.  Well, the reason I trekked all the way here was for Gregoire's Hamburguesa, so I decided to stick with it despite the cheese substitution.  I'm a little more annoyed than I had been while ordering, but shit happens and I've already paid for the burger.  I didn't want to leave on an empty stomach and come back another day.

As I sat at the very end of the counter by myself and waited for my burger, Marcin comes over again to check my order number.  He then opens up the cashier, takes out some cash and puts it down in front of me.  He said he felt bad that I couldn't get the burger exactly as it should be, so he was offering a 50% refund (including the drink).  I thanked him and told him that it wasn't necessary, since it was "just a piece of cheese", but he insisted.

So in a matter of seconds, all the annoyances I had felt in the last few minutes just magically disappeared.  Poof!  Thanks to this kind of good service - where restaurants offer a little discount as a gesture of goodwill towards a customer who may or may not feel slighted - I was now perfectly happy with my situation.  While HKD 210 for a burger and a can of soda felt like a (perhaps justified) premium, having it at HKD 105 was without a doubt a real bargain!

So I guess happiness CAN indeed be bought... and in my case for a mere HKD 105.

After it arrived, I grabbed a knife to cut my burger in half, and started chomping.

This was definitely a serious burger.  The patty is made with iberico pork, smoked bacon and chorizo.  I could definitely taste the acidity and the spices coming from the chorizo, and of course the smokiness of the bacon.  The cheddar neither added to nor detracted much from the overall package.  The layer of quince paste on top added some sweetness to go with the pork, while the layer of tomato tapenade at the bottom kinda pulled things away from the quince in the opposite direction.  Then there was the pickled chili pepper on top, which I chose to nibble on separately.

That was a very good burger, and at half price, it was an immensely satisfying burger.

Halfway through chomping, Marcin came over and wanted to offer me some Bourbon, as he said something about "hate to see you sit there and drink alone"... (I was drinking my root beer from a can, by the way)  I must have looked fucking pitiful... sitting alone in a corner on a Friday night, with nary a friend in sight.  That was a very friendly gesture, and while I very much appreciate this I turned him down.  Happiness level went up again, and this time I didn't even take anything.

This was a pretty quick in-and-out for me, and on my way out Marcin told me to come back the next time I felt like drinking some Bourbon with him.

I strolled down the street and headed for the subway station, but stopped at an outlet of Cali-Mex I hadn't seen before.  I wasn't interested in anything savory, but glancing at the menu I noticed that they have churros.  Now THAT is something I haven't had in a while... so I ordered one up.

These were pretty long sticks, and because they were freshly made the centers were still a little soft.  I definitely tasted a little cinnamon in the dough, and proceeded to soak up as much of that caramel sauce as I possibly could - despite knowing that it wasn't pure caramel but made with some oily, possibly artificial substance.  It didn't matter.  I wanted something sweet, and I'm usually too full after dinner to go out of my way for some churros.  These sticks did their jobs very nicely.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map