Building my own burger again

We popped out for lunch just before we were to send Lucy off on a residential school trip to the Lake District.High Park Burger sm

High Park Burger B smThere seems to be a real trend towards Sweet Potato Fries at the moment. They’re everywhere. I guess it’s a sweeting-tasting alternative to the blander, regular fries.

They’re quite moorish already, but I wonder what they would be like with a sprinkling of paprika on them?






High Park Burger A smI had to go for my favourite Build-Your-Own-Burger option from the menu.

(I actually added in a Black Pudding too, but that didn’t really work out for me, so i took it out)

It’s been a while since I’ve used biro in my drawing as well as my regular uni-pin. It’s really useful for getting in the finer shades of grey into a sketch, but most definitely not to be used for anything work that’s going to be displayed in light; as the biro fades over time.



High Park burger – number 5

High Park 5 smAh me! Another day, another burger.

(You do realise that these burgers aren’t all eaten in quick succession, don’t you?)

The beef burger is my achilles heel, I suspect. As a food form I feel it’s got so much more to offer than we presently see. I think it’s still trapped in the stereotype of the fast-food franchise. Some restaurants are trying to change that, but it must be difficult to alter the public’ perception when it so deeply ingrained. The fast-food chain White Castle started in the early 1920’s!

There’s nearly a hundred years of this form of food being served in the this specific way. It’s really only in the last fifteen years, or so, that we’ve started to see a change in the on-street presentation of the beef burger.

I relish the idea of it evolving into something greater.

After all.

It is only a hot meat sandwich.

The High Park – Burger No.4

High park no4 smSo, Lucy and I ordered our meals – I opted for this burger combination form the Build-Your-Own-Burger menu, while Lucy opted for a chicken burger.

As we waited we challenged each other to come up with meal combinations from the menu for different characters. Trying to find food that had a connection with a real or fictional character.

(At first we started just choosing things from the Build-Your_Own-Burger menu, but quickly started picking items from the whole menu)

For example:

What would Cinderella order of she came here? Pumpkin soup starter and Meatballs (meat-balls!) and Spaghetti for her main course.

What would Ariel, the Little Mermaid, choose? Crab Pate  starter and then Calamari (which she would eat with a fork!)



High Park – Build Your Own Burger

High park burger smI’m not sure that this is what Caroline had in mind when she told me that I had to sort out Lucy’s tea for her.

It is sometimes a little too convenient having a gastro-pub just across the road.

We had fun building our own burgers.

It’s great being able to have a little control of putting it together. A gastronomic construction kit.

I’d like to see a bit choice in there to be honest. Hey, we’re in Yorkshire, so why not, say black pudding (A baked blood sausage). Why isn’t there a more fish-orientated patty? Or some more eastern-orientated sauces, such as teriyaki or hoisin.

I’d love to be able to build my own Mexican themed burger, or Indian curry themed burger.

I vote for more options on the “Build Your Own …” menu –  so they can go off into very esoteric, and idiosyncratic, directions. All Lucy came up with were pretty similar burgers to ones we’d had in other places. While it was fun having a bit of control, it would have been even cooler to have been able to create something with a more unique feel.


Eating Inn – Building my own burger

It’s lovely living just opposite a pub.

Eating Inn - Burger smWell, I say ‘pub’, but really I should say gastro-pub, which is what a lot of traditional old pubs have been adapted into to survive. Long gone are the days of pubs being crammed with burly working men after a hard days work. Nowadays one is more likely to see suits and ties, than flat caps and cigarettes.

Many of the pubs in central Brighouse, near where I live, have either recently closed or been transformed into something more than just a pub. A few years ago I draw about fifteen of the pubs in central Brighouse; it would interesting to revisit and see how many still resemble the slightly run-down interiors which they had back then.

I can think of at least two which have been transformed into either restaurants or gastro-pubs and at least two which have closed totally. The surviving numbers have had refits and change-overs in staff to try to tempt more people in.

Mind you, the pub across the road was built as a gastro-pub.

It’s got a pretty good vibe going on; the menu changes every so often and the staff are always bright and friendly. Now and again I even pop in for a drink on my own; something I would even have considered doing before I started drawing again.

It also makes for a very convenient stop-off for Lucy and I when Caroline’s working away and we want a quick and easy bite to eat. Today was a bit snowy and we voted as a family to trudge across the road for the cosy fire and meeting up with friends who live round the corner.

The Bivouac – Venison Burger 2

The Bivouac - Venison burger 2 smI’ve uploaded the other pictures from our weekend stay at The Bivouac before.

Towards the end of our weekend I just had to end my meals at the cafe with the meal that I’d started with; so I had another Venison Burger.

It’s always great to eat somewhere that knows what it does well and sticks to that.

With a very limited menu, The Bivouac succeeds in satisfying with heartwarming homemade cuisine.

When something tastes this good, there should always be room for more.

Previous Bivouac Posts:


Venison Burger No. 1

Falafel Burger

Sticky Toffee Pudding





“Hamburger Gourmet” by David Japy, Elodie Rambaud and Victor Garnier

15 - Hamburger Gourmet smI haven’t really written anything of cookery books here before, so please bear with me.

I am attracted to the idea of the burger. Not the franchised rubbish at the fast food outlets. I mean, that I like the idea they could be so much more than people generally take them credit for currently.

A burger is essentially a warm sandwich, and look where the humble sandwich has travelled and it’s many different forms and guises.

This book isn’t simple a re-hashing of The Burger as ‘The Great American Fast Food’. Instead it is reinventing the burger form into something more global. Not surprising that it is an internationally, rather than American, based restaurant, Blend (in Paris), which has developed recipes which somehow seem more international and, yes, gourmet.

This isn’t to say that ingredients have been gourmet-ed up. On the contrary, the ingredients are all accessible and down to Earth. It’s their execution that raises the bar of this particular recipe book.

The majority of the burger patty recipes are 100% meat and nothing else (excepting salt), which is a novel change, and go from the usual beef and pork to lamb, veal, salmon and cod (and the rest).

As I’ve said, sauces are simple and easily made. (The only spice I’d not heard of was ‘Ras el-hanout’, which sounds Middle-Eastern and can be very easily mixed; cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, black peppercorns, turmeric and saffron.

The Bivouac – Venison burger

This was our first meal at The Bivouac. We’d travelled up, on the Friday evening, after work, . Collecting Lucy from school en route.

It only took us an hour or two to get there, which was cool.

The Bivouac - Venison burger 1 smOnce we’d been shown wooden shack and unpacked, we trooped down to the on-site cafe, which was lovely.

Everything well-thought out and beautifully presented.

And I’m not just talking about our meal – the cafe was on two levels, with the lower one acting as a family room with a slew of things to entertain toddlers and above. Lucy particularly enjoyed the sticker books.

The Bivouac – Falafel Burger

The Bivouac - Falafel Burger smWe recently stayed at The Bivouac a fantastic retreat in North Yorkshire. We stayed in one of the 7-berth woodland shacks. No electricity and the only heat was from a wood-burning stove in our one-room shack.

Fantastic weekend.

Our first day we spent kicking back and relaxing – to the point where we even visited the on-site cafe for a splendid lunch.

I tried the vegetarian Falafel Burger with Red Pepper Marmalade


Red Pepper Marmalade


150ml 1 cup bell pepper, finely diced (no stem and seeds)

120ml /1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

120ml / 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon dried chili flakes


Place all the ingredients in a pan on medium/high heat.

Once it starts boiling, bring the heat down to low – stirring regularly.

Cook for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates and becomes a thick syrup.


The Bowes Museum – a miniature V and A

Bowes Museum Restaurant

Bowes Museum - burger smWe’d spotted some information about The Bowes Museum on a leaflet and set off today, as there was rain forecast.

What a lovely surprise this museum was.

It is located in Teesside, in the North of England, and is well worth a days visit.

The museum was founded by the Bowes family in the Victorian period; they were a philanthropic couple who collected all manner of items pertaining to the arts and crafts movements and as a result the exhibitions are akin to the V and A museum in London, albeit on a smaller scale.

Pride of place is the silver, automaton swan which performs at 2:00 very afternoon.

The museum itself is housed in a purpose-built, French- chateau styled building , at odds with the stone and brick of it’s nearby outer suburbs of Barnards Castle,, it’s nearest town.