After expressing his mild disgust at Stray promoting something as “mainstream” as Fergburger on Facebook*, our driver-guide Rob took to the country to prove there were other burgers… and these burgers were off the beaten track.
Here’s how his challenge went in the North Island…
Day 1 of Rob’s burger blog was a “build your own” special in Raglan – nothing like a big feed after a good surf! Everyone on the bus nominated an ingredient to go in the burgers and in the evening he prepared the fillings, cooked the patties, bacon & eggs… and the feasting began.
For the burger building there were patties of beef, chicken & vegetarian. Fillings of bacon, eggs, pineapple, cheese, lettuce, carrot, tomatoes, gherkins and of course (because we are in New Zealand) beetroot. Top it off with mayo, mustard, tomato and BBQ sauce, and everybody’s taste buds were satisfied.
The cost was $7 per person for 2 burgers! Bargain!!
Ok so yes, Rotorua isn’t that much off the beaten track… but our overnight stay at a Marae definitely is! The crew were treated to a traditional Maori hangi feast that night, so alas, no burgers. Nevertheless, after relaxing in a thermal hot stream in the morning Rob took them New Zealand’s answer to fast food chains, that is, Burgerfuel.
Before you judge, Burgerfuel kicks the other fast food burger chains’ asses any day!
Day 4 of Rob’s journey took the Stray Burger Tour right off the tourist trail to the remote back country sheep and beef station of Blue Duck Lodge in Whakahoro. All the food was cooked for them, sourced from the farm or the bordering Whanganui National Park. The venison used in the burgers was found in the park just a few days before our arrival. Fresh!
Eamon the Irish chef BBQ’d the venison steaks and topped it with cheese, caramelized onions, lemon aioli, beetroot and lettuce fresh from the farm garden. Accompanied by home made wedges and coleslaw, these meals were enough to fill any backpacker.
After a night off at National Park, the crew arrived into Nomads hostel in Wellington. Bar manager Stacey let them upgrade their meal to a burger with fries for $12 and even threw in a few of his famous onion rings with Chipotle sauce. The gang arrived to a table “reserved for Rob and the burger crew” and Ciara created a vege pattie for a late-entering vegetarian. Everybody else indulged in lamb burgers containing a Dukkah rubbed pattie with beetroot relish and salad greens. What a pattie! Both vege and lamb were amazing and with Ciara’s home cut fries you can’t go wrong. Boom!!
The guys (unsurprisingly) were a bit burgered out by the end of the North Island so we put the South on hold… Nevertheless Rob is doing another South Island trip soon so stray tuned…
You can visit the North Island locations above with Stray on our Peter Pass.
*we still love you Ferg!