Review: Peppers Burgers

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As I approached this burger joint on Walton Street in Jericho, I couldn’t help but be struck by the incongruity between the neat, upmarket minimalism of most of the bistros and delis I’d just passed and the stoner paradise I’d had so strongly recommended to me, by a stoner, shockingly. This is not necessarily a negative: the backwards clock, holographic images and mind warp poster provided great amusement as I queued to order, though I found the large picture of a pizza particularly perplexing, since they don’t sell them.

Despite this, their menu is impressively varied: they offer at least three different kinds of meat, as well as a decent and not from-frozen vegetarian option, as either quarter or half pounders. You are encouraged by graphic neon chalk art on a blackboard above the counter to pick two of the long list of sauces available for your burger, which included alongside the classics some more adventurous options, like tandoori, horseradish, and white shark. I was childishly hoping that the latter was actually made from white sharks, in spite of my PETA-ish leanings, but was informed by my laughing stoner friend that it is just a very hot, hot sauce. I eventually decided on blue cheese and ketchup and returned to staring at the mind warp poster.

When it came to ordering, our server was calm and friendly, entirely unfazed by the bustle of customers on our side of the counter. My friend realised he’d been too busy enjoying the posters to actually pick something, but our grinning server assured him that he had “all the time in the world, man”. Fortunately, it didn’t take that long, and we squeezed into the wooden chairs between the counter and the window and watched as another guy took fresh-made burgers from the display and slapped them on the grill. It was a longer wait than you’d get at most chain fast food places for a burger, but I don’t mind waiting a little longer for cooked-to-order, good food, especially when it’s as cheaply priced as Peppers was.

When the burgers arrived, I found the mushrooms I had asked for as a topping were conspicuously absent, meaning I can only speculate about how well they would have gone with the blue cheese sauce (bitterly, I suspect the answer is very well). Instead, I had been given onions and jalapeños, which were at least very easy to pick out. I was impressed with both the quality and quantity of salad in the burgers, despite the mix up, especially considering I didn’t even have to pay extra. We decided to have them as take out; the wooden chairs were actually more comfortable than they looked, but the combination of customer traffic and blaring 90s shit-hop and school disco bangers somewhat dampened the burger bar experience.

Although not the best burger I’ve ever had, it effortlessly surpasses anything in its price bracket and is considerably better than anything from a supermarket. The range of fresh and largely healthy toppings was a nice touch, and really made it worth the walk to Jericho.

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