A brand new American restaurant in Chatham. Kent. A little town with not much going on... Well, this sure spiced things up.
As someone that's recently relocated to Kent I have found it extremely challenging to find various restaurants in comparison to my upbringing in East London and Essex. So to hear there was a new 'burger joint' in town, got me excited.
My aim was simple, to pass by on a Sunday, cut out the Sunday roast and get a burger and see what else was on the menu... And this is where the challenge began for me. So many variations of burgers, could be expected by my eyes tweaked when I registered there we hotdogs also on the menu. This dilemma was quickly solved (...or so I thought), "I'll get a burger and hotdog and cut out the fries", I said, until my eyes panned from left to right and I realised they served poutine. Yes, poutine! So what was I going to do? As my eyes continued to inspect the menu, I noticed the sides and my Achilles heel was noticed; 'Mac 'n' Cheese'.
So what was supposed to be a chilled, casual Sunday bite to eat turned in to a decision that took me back to when I had to choose which subject's I was going to pick for my GCSE's.
In typical Shayne fashion I decided to just throw it all in the mix and deal with the consequences later... And in this case, the consequences were the calorie count.
So I opted for the 'Mac & Cheese Dog', this was a no brainier! Not only did I have the luxury of adding 'Mac & Cheese' to a hot dog but it came with bacon. At this point my mouth was watering while I was deciding what burger to choose so I went in to default mode; "What is the biggest and most expensive burger on the menu. This is my way of testing a restaurant and finding out what it's signature piece is. And in the case of Burger Priest, it was 'The David v Goliath'. I instantly heard the voices in my head screaming "do it, do it, do it!" and who am I to ignore those voices when they're just thinking of my succulent pallet.
So I had my burger and dog selected, so now we move on to the poutine. This was pretty easy for me as from the three choices, one was simply names 'The Ultimate Poutine'. Over thinking this was simply wasting time between me placing my order and it being in my mouth. Fries with sweet cure bacon (which was cut extremely generously and thick) sautéed onions, spring onions, real cheese curds topped with gravy.
To drink? Well I had to decide between a bottomless soda or a milkshake... Yes, you guessed it. I chose both. But to justify this, it was a lot of food and I would naturally need something to wash it down with and as soon as I noticed the Mint Choc-Chip shake made with ice cream I couldn't resist.
So now it was time to go up and make my order. Pay first and then return to your seat to be served. The kitchen is open plan so you can see your food being prepared and as you read back the menu and mentally taste what's coming, you can't help but start to give the chef the "hurry up with my food" glare. I'm sorry, I couldn't help it. And with every tray that left the kitchen I got excited hoping it was mine, to be disappointed. But then it was a decent sized order... And then it came.
The service was good and the staff were friendly and on point. As I set my stance to take the obligatory Instagram picture, I was torn between my camera and planting my face directly in to the tray which the food is served directly on to.
The burger is usually my 'go to' and this one had 4, 100% Aberdeen Angus patties, layered with Monterey Jack cheese, filled with toppings (salad) served in a brioche bun however the hot dog looked visually perfect. It was looking up at me and I could see the crispy bacon glistening between the Mac & Cheese and before I knew it a single bite soon turned in to its demise. I barely remember the second bite as the first was so mesmerising. The rest is history.
At this point my milkshake hadn't arrived yet so it was time for a very quick sip of my Fanta to clear my pallet before my fork pierced through the fries ensuring I had a perfect ratio of bacon and mixed onions to compliment the serving. Again, it was so good, I immediately went back for more. Now it was time for the reason I left my house for the day; The burger! 4 patties and cheese and I was going to sink my teeth in with one bite ensuring I tore through each layer.
I feel my day was complete as by this point, my milkshake had arrived. I felt like I was in an American diner for the moment and I'd tasted the American dream forgetting I was in Dockside, Chatham.
With all of these flavours inside me as I go back and further between my burger and the poutine I began to think. How does this rate on my burger experience? And I've experienced a LOT of burgers. I can honestly say that the poutine is one of the best I've ever tasted, if not, the best. A bold statement. The hotdog, was a dream, I could have happily had a second. But the burger... I'm not sure I can rate it in my top 10. Despite there being 4 patties, the burger to bun ratio was not there. The patties were dry in comparison to the other dishes I'd tasted but I could forgive it. It was certainly the best burger in a 10 mile radius which meant, it is the place to be for fast food in the area.