Burgerlympics Round 6: Great Burger Company, Illovo

GBC first opened in Fourways a while back and their second store opened in Illovo shortly thereafter. Gary and I gave it a try last year (not for burgerlympics) and we thoroughly enjoyed it. So when Team Ta-Da nominated it as their choice, we were thrilled.

GENERAL

Décor:

GBS is going for a diner vibe in their signature colours of white, blue and red. It has a distinctly American feel to it (obviously), which is cool but maybe slightly over done by now. Nothing stands out but I was going there for a burger not a lesson in interior design.

Vibe:

We were seated upstairs on the outside balcony. It felt a bit secluded (which I guess could pass as private) so I can’t really comment on what was happening in other parts of the restaurant. It was a Saturday afternoon in Illovo so I’m going to say it was “vibey”.

SCORING

Patty:

A choice of beef, chicken, veggie and tuna (ahi) –  so all your bases are covered. Obviously I ordered the beef. It was big, flavourful and cooked perfectly. You could tell the meat was good quality and that lots of herbs and spices had been used. On my last visit, I had the ahi tuna burger and it was amazing albeit a little small. My only bone of contention is that I wasn’t asked how I wanted my patty cooked. I think all burger joints worth their salt should ask you how you want your patty cooked. GBC were fortunately saved by the fact that my patty was cooked a perfect medium. A few fellow Olympians mentioned that their patties were slightly overcooked.

Average score – 9/10

A coupla’ comments – “big and juicy”; “top notch”; “slightly overcooked but good”; “delicious, well-seasoned and tasty but didn’t ask how I wanted it”; “perfectly done, spiced nicely”. 

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Toppings/Combos:

GBC is predominantly a “build you own” burger place, although they do have their own combinations for those who are super indecisive. There is every possible topping on offer and a lot of them are free.  You can even choose your own roll (I didn’t see anything “banting” but who cares). I think most of us built our own burgers. I went for my usual of avo, bacon and cheese – this time blue – on a seeded roll. I also added pickles because it isn’t a burger unless it has a pickle on it.  Unfortunately, my burger arrived minus the bacon but this problem was quickly rectified. The topping ratio was spot on and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

There is quite a wide choice of sides, including curly fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings two ways. I had sweet potato fries and onion strings – both were awesome. Suggestion: order a sauce on the side for your fries… there is a huge choice and I was disappointed that I didn’t.

Average score – 9/10

A coupla’ comments – “monkey gland sauce was good but not as good as Gourmet Garage”; “nice options on sliders”; “great choices to make your own burger”

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Ease of consumption:

I always cut my burger in half. My mouth is just too small to manage otherwise. Even though I cut it in half, it still fell apart a bit. I blame the avo. Like I always say, mashed up avo is better than slices as slices cause the roll to slide off. Not the end of the world, of course. Notwithstanding bun malfunction, the patty held up perfectly and the bun to patty ratio was spot on.

Average score – 8/10

A coupla’ comments – “ate with a knife and fork”; “a little difficult to eat awesome”; “fell apart, not just mine”; “easy peasy”

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Service:

Hmmm, this is where GBC fell down slightly. We had made a booking for 14 people but when we got there, there was no table for us. The staff were quick to sort out a table  but had the restaurant been packed we would have had issues. The manageress who took the booking was very apologetic and we got 2 jugs of berry daiquiri on the house to make up for it. Our waitress was attentive but I did have to ask for ice three times. Considering you tick the boxes and place your own order, there isn’t too much to mess up from a service point of view. Hats off to the kitchen for getting all our burgers out at the same time and (barring my bacon mishap) correctly.

Average score – 9/10

A coupla’ comments – “A smidgen slow but not too bad”; “very friendly”; “friendly and nice”; “very attentive”

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Awesomeness:

I think there is some competition between Roccomammas and GBC when it comes to which is the better “build your own” place. I love Roccomammas but they are not willing to take a booking (even though we’re guaranteeing them a table of at least 12 people) so my vote has to go to GBC. I love the massive selection of patties, rolls and toppings, I love the free popcorn on each table and I especially love the fact that they will take a booking.

Average score – 9/10

A coupla’ comments – “I’ll be back”; “we could smoke inside :)”; “nice vibe, tasty burgers, very good”; “popcorn”; “brilliant”.

Overall: 44 out of 50

As I was devouring my burger, I knew GBC would be a contender for first place. And I was right. Their burgers are really amazing. I’ve been twice and I’ve left happy twice. I’ll definitely be going back very soon and I would highly recommend it. I have a sneaky suspicion we’ve found our winner.

GREAT BURGER COMPANY

SHOP B ILLOVO JUNCTION

CORLETT DRIVE 

ILLOVO

TEL: 011 268 2189

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