Hard Rock Cafe’s Limited-Time World Burger Tour Is Back
Limited-time burgers fascinate us. It’s why we keep such close tabs on Burgers of the Month. When creations are temporary, it allows for much more risk taking. And we love risky burgers.
So naturally, when we got word that Hard Rock Cafe was featuring a lineup of special, limited-time burgers during its Hard Rock Cafe World Burger Tour, we scheduled our appointments with the fleeting collection immediately.
The World Burger Tour, running through the end of June, features eight burgers curated from more than 160 of the Cafe’s chefs from around the world who were tasked with creating these burgers for the special promotion. The four making the cut here at the D.C. Hard Rock Cafe include London’s English Breakfast Burger, the Java Lava Burger out of Seattle, the Jamaican Jerk Burger straight from Montego Bay and the Tandoori Jerk Burger courtesy of Mumbai, India. And because we’re an indecisive group here at Burger Days, rather than pick just one, we went ahead and ate all four.
In addition to the meat, Hard Rock Cafe also created a selection of cocktails to compliment their World Burger Tour goodness. Obviously, we drank each and every one of those, too. Because, you know, research.
English Breakfast Burger
It’s hard to find a more filling and satisfying way to kick off the day than with a full English breakfast. Now, throw a half-pound of ground beef into the equation and you’ve got a meal that’ll last you well into tomorrow. Hard Rock Cafe’s London representative comes to the plate packing arugula, tomato, sliced ham, a couple of thick, meaty grilled portabello mushrooms, a disc of breakfast sausage, a slathering of mayo and one fried egg. Oh, yeah, AND A BURGER.
Abandon all hope of eating this one in a dignified fashion. This unwieldy monster requires two hands, a snake-like jaw and a whole stack full of napkins. We had a tough time keeping this burger in one piece during our wrestling match of a meal as the massive mound of meat kept falling apart in our hands. This is definitely a case of sticking your face into the burger, rather than sticking a burger into your face. It’s that big.
Java Lava Burger
The U.S.’s contribution out of Seattle is one of Hard Rock Cafe’s more traditional takes on the World Burger Tour, taking a classic bacon cheeseburger and dressing it up with a few extras.
The Java Lava Burger has cheese – melted cheddar crowning an espresso-rubbed beef patty –along with a pair of bacon strips, arugula, tomato, crispy fried java onions and jalapeno lava sauce. And, like a feather in its beefy cap, a fried jalapeno comes skewered through the top bun. The bacon-cheese-LTO combination is a burger no-brainer and the added flair did nothing to get in the way.
To those wary of the spice, the “lava” moniker is a bit of a misnomer – the mayo-based sauce doesn’t pack much heat, but we did appreciate the jolt of flavor it added to the mix. So much so, we upgraded our burger by tossing on even more of the sauce (fortunately, it also comes with the fries so it was an easy addition).
Jamaican Jerk Burger
Now this one brings the heat.
Our favorite burger of the quartet, the Jamaican Jerk out of Montego Bay hit our faces like a hot-and-spicy 2×4. One of the simplest creations on the World Burger Tour, the burger sounds approachable enough – a Certified Angus Beef patty with banana peppers, iceberg lettuce, a mango and jalapeno-infused cream cheese and jerk mayo – however, one bite in and whatever meat coma we may have been sliding into was instantly averted, as our eyes and sinuses simultaneously snapped open.
It’s not often peppers are used to distract from the heat, but the banana peppers did just that, with their tart acidity contrasting admirably with the inferno provided by the cream cheese. The addition of mango was appreciated, too, but its sweetness was no match for the jalapeno. We went through many a napkin during our dance with this one– not because it was messy, but because we needed a wipe down after all our sweating.
The Jamaican Jerk burger is blazing and totally in a good way.
Tandoori Chicken Burger
Finally, the representative from India, understandably, nixes the beef and instead goes the poultry route with a spice-and-herb-seasoned dark meat chicken patty covered in Monterey Jack cheese and topped with crisp cucumber planks, iceberg lettuce, tomato and a slather of mint mayo.
If red meat isn’t your thing, this is the option for you. However, we’re high on that beef train here at Burger Days so this was our fourth favorite on the day. With a collection of veggies on chicken, we consider this the burger-version of a salad. In fact, this would be a perfectly suitable warm-up meal before moving on to its cow-based siblings.
To wash down all that meat, we threw back all five of Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world cocktails – four boozy versions and one non-alcoholic – created to compliment the World Burger Tour.
All of these drinks are sweet, so you may want to skip dessert afterwards. The Crisp Sipper featuring Hendrick’s is inspired by the Aloha Burger and packs a hit of cucumber thanks to Monin Cucumber syrup and comes with a potpourri of garnishes including rosemary, thyme, lemon, orange and raspberry. The Melonpalozza, designed to complement the Greek Burger, a beacon of neon green reminiscent of Hi-C’s recently re-issued Ecto Cooler, is heavy on the coconut courtesy the Malibu Rum blended with Midori Melon and Hard Rock Cafe’s house-made sour mix and pineapple juice. Their other fluorescent cocktail, the Sweet & Fiery, inspired by the Atomic! Burger, is a twist on a Moscow Mule, and mixes Absolut Peppar Vodka with Canton Ginger Liquor, lemonade and ginger beer, though the Blue Curaco in it makes for certain you’d never confuse the two.
Rounding out the spiked drinks is the All Jacked Up and the drink you should choose if catching a buzz is your goal. The booziest of the bunch, the whiskey-centric cocktail combines Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, pineapple juice, lime juice and Orgeat. Hard Rock says this drink was designed to balance out the smoking hot Jamaican Jerk Burger and we agree – the booze definitely distracts from the heat.
And finally, for the teetotalers, the virgin Black Cherry Melonade skips the alcohol for black cherry and cucumber syrup-mixed ginger beer.
Hard Rock Cafe’s World Burger Tour 2016 runs now through Thursday, June 30 at various Hard Rock Cafe locations around the world. Be advised, though, the World Burger Tour menus vary by location so the above burgers may not be available at all Cafes.
(This is a sponsored post and Burger Days was financially compensated for it. All opinions are that of Burger Days and based on the writers’ experiences.)