Until the weekend, I was a Hard Rock Cafe virgin. I’d somehow managed to avoid them despite the one in Edinburgh being in a prime location and a seemingly very popular chain.
I was invited* to try out their new World Burger Tour for a bloggers evening but I wasn’t able to make it. They then very kindly offered to have me at the weekend when I was free for a complimentary meal.
I’ll admit, I’d written Hard Rock Cafe off as a standard chain which would be serving up average food at over inflated prices so we went with the hope of being proved wrong.
Firstly, the staff were amazing. Really attentive, with a good bit of chat and they were really accommodating when we turned up with two extra people (they of course paid for their own meals) on an extremely busy Saturday afternoon.
The place was packed to the rafters with locals and tourists alike, hiding in their cavernous restaurant from the rain. The restaurant is old school glamour – how I imagine Elvis and pals to have been dining back in the 50s. There are loads of slick photos and music memorabilia adorning the walls and screens which play out music from all eras.
After a drenching, we settled into our cosy booth to look through the extensive menu. And after a lot of debating, we went for two options from the World Burger Tour and two from the regular menu. Was our perception of the Hard Rock Cafe correct? Find out…
Tennessee BBQ Burger
Billed as the Memphis burger, this half pounder came with slaw, pickles, pulled pork, barbecue sauce, fried onions and cheddar along with a tangy BBQ sauce on the side. Phew. It was really flavoursome and the eater (my mum) demolished every morsel. She had no complaints.
Tango Salsa Burger
The Argentinian burger. I knew immediately upon inspecting the menu that this was the one for me: a burger, topped with spicy sausage, salsa, aioli, Monterey jack, aragula and a fried egg. Oh, to see that yolk running down the side when it arrived at the table. The burger was nicely charred on the outside with some pinkness on the inside, the sausage was really tasty and the egg and salsa worked really well. What I really liked was the sauce was served on the side so you could add as much or as little you like.
My boyfriend went for the duo combo – with ribs and pulled pork. When I say he ate every crumb on the plate, those who know him will know how good it must have been (he’s got a teeny tiny little belly). Those crispy onions are the stuff of dreams.
Chicken Club Sandwich
My not so little-little sister absolutely annihilated this chicken club sandwich. It was massive. She is 11. This confirms we’re definitely related.
I was so pleasantly surprised by Hard Rock Cafe that I feel bad for having written it off for so long!
Now it’s never going to be a boutique gourmet burger place due to the sheer volume of covers they have. For the business model, the price, the setting, the staff, you can see why they’ve had a good thing going for many years and I’m sure this new menu theme – which is due to change month by month in order to fill out a burger passport – will only strengthen their image and reputation.
💛 the wee food blogger