Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Great Handmade Burger Conspiracy Part One: An exploding bus, a homeless Noel Edmonds, and a picture of a pineapple.


How's it goin? 

Continuing in my new series of posts featuring restaurant reviews, today I'm gonna talk about Handmade Burger. I have done a review on them before, when I wrote about the new Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen.

Last week I went to Handmade Burger with Althea. We've been a couple of times before and it's always good. And we had a voucher giving us two for one which expires in just a few days, so it would have been stupid not to.

On the bus to town Althea's banter was once again on top form. These are the top three comments from Althea last time we were on a bus together.

"I'm so hungover I think my head is going to fall out"

Althea: Give me smints! 
Andy: I just gave you smints. 
Althea: Give me more. 
Andy: Why? 
Althea: To concentrate on so I'm not sick. 
Andy: Fair do's

After about 5 minutes on the bus, it started making very strange noises. We were convinced it was going to explode and kill everyone on board. Althea said this,

"Andy, if we die, I just want you to know..........."

"...You're a SPAZ!!!"

On this particular day, amazingly neither of us were hungover. The conversation turned to a newly married mutual friend who we have not seen for a while.

Althea: I've not seen her in ages.
Andy: Me neither. I suspect she's off enjoying married life.
Althea: Yeah. Oh she might still be on honeymoon, they were going away for like a month or something weren't they?
Andy: I think so, but they got married in August, it's now late January.
Althea: Shut up!

After arriving in town, Althea insisted on going to get her eyebrows waxed/plucked/stripped. Whatever the hell it is that girls do to eyebrows, she was going to get it done. Afterwards she asked me how it looked, I didn't notice any difference, they looked the same, except the area was bright red.

Althea: It's really soar, do they look really red?
Andy: Ermmm a little, but only if you look at them.

She then attempted to walk around with her hair in front of her face to hide the fact that she had bright red eyebrows. 
I pointed out that she looked like Cousin It from The Addams Family, and she was very likely to walk into a door. She then moved her hair and walked around with very red eyebrows.

We arrived at Union Square and made our way to Handmade Burger, I was clutching my voucher ready to hand it over and enjoy a top quality discounted burger!

Cheap meal here I come!!

We slowly approached the restaurant, I noticed something a bit odd. There was no queue. This is a Sunday afternoon. The place should be packed.


We approached the front door and realised what was wrong.

The place was filled with smoke.

Oh dear god no!

The place is gonna go down in flames!

And I haven't used my voucher yet!

I was relieved to discover that the place was not on fire, but they had a problem with the ventilation. The guy at the door said someone is trying to fix it now, but no guarantees and they are not taking in any more tables until it's fixed. He said to try back in 20 minutes, but couldn't promise anything.


I wanted my free burger!!

I was gutted.

I bet the staff were loving it. Having spent several years as restaurant management, I have developed a hatred for the public. And there is no better feeling than when you turn people away!

It's just awesome.

It means the staff can take it easy and maybe get away early.

Lucky bastards.

If I would have been working there, I would have been praying for it to be irreparable damage.

We moseyed along to Starbucks and had a couple of coffee's while we waited. I have developed an appreciation for Starbucks lately. I quite often go there with Laura who seems to be ever so slightly addicted to the place. I went there a lot during December and was a big fan of the festive coffees they had on offer.
  • The Gingerbread Latte
  • The Toffee Nut Latte
  • The Peppermint Mocha
They were all very good, and the only reason I bought any of them in the first place was the fact they had a big bright red poster advertising them. I'm the highly suggestible type. Shove something in my face and I'll probably buy it. Sadly christmas is over and apparently so are the festive coffees. 
One thing that confuses me about almost all coffee shops, is the way they label the sizes of cups. In Starbucks the smallest size available is Tall. Which doesn't make sense to me. If someone is tall then they aren't really small are they?

That's mental.

After Tall is Grande. Which is understandable I guess. But then the next size up is Venti.

What the hell is a Venti?

I thought perhaps this was some kind of in joke due to the ventilation problems at Handmade Burger. Was this some kind of cunning ploy cooked up between Handmade Burger and Starbucks? No tables for 20 minutes so why not go grab a Starbucks while you wait?


Evil Genius, but still genius.

I doubt this is actually true, but you never know.

Anyway, I joined the queue and waited to order my coffee, the guy in front of me was looking at the sandwiches, but not just looking, he was giving every sandwich a very thorough inspection. I wondered if perhaps he was from trading standards, but he was wearing a jumper like the ones Noel Edmonds wore in Telly Addicts in the Eighties but it was really shabby and worn. He looked essentially like a homeless Noel Edmonds circa 1989.

He picked up every single sandwich on display, looked at it from every possible angle and then put it back down on the shelf. I tried to go in front of him as clearly the simple task of choosing a panini was proving too difficult and was going to take him another 7 hours. He then looked at me with the evilest of evil looks I have ever seen!

"Excuse me, I think you'll find that I'm next!"

He said in a voice which made him sound like a bad guy from Harry Potter, but one with special needs, and that looked like a homeless version of Noel Edmonds. He then put down the sandwich, ordered a cup of tea and wandered off. He didn't even order the sandwich, I guess that none of them met with his very high standards.

Maybe he just likes to day dream about the wonder that is, the steak and cheese panini from Starbucks.I eventually ordered a caramel latte and Althea had a double espresso.

Admittedly in this picture the Tall mug does indeed look very Tall. But it is next to an espresso cup. So of course it does! You muppet.
It's not just Starbucks that have weird names for coffee sizes. It's everywhere. When I first moved to Edinburgh in late 2008, my good friend and flatmate Richard P was manager of a coffee shop. It also had weird names for sizes, if I remember correctly they were:

  • Wicked
  • Totally Wicked
  • Radical

I could be misremembering that, but it was along those lines. What's wrong with small, medium and large?

When I arrived at the table Althea was distracted by a baby sitting at a nearby table. The baby was wearing a pair of shoe's with lights in them, and Althea thought this was quite possibly the coolest thing she has ever seen. Little does she know that when her and Ivano eventually have a baby, one day I know they will ask me to babysit. And I am gonna dress that kid up like Indiana Jones, and THAT will be the coolest thing ever!

We then had a conversation about what actually are the coolest shoes ever. Some people think it's those trainers that have the wheel in the heel, while others believe it's shoes with lights in them.

During our time in Starbucks, Althea and I also had this conversation.

Althea: I think my contact lens's aren't working. But I'm not sure.
Andy: Why do you think that?
Althea: I can't see anything.
Andy: Probably right then.

Fooking hell, this post is truing out to be a bit longer than I had expected, and not nearly as interesting or funny as I would have hoped.

I think I'll break it into two parts.

So ends part one.
  • Will Andy and Althea make it to Handmade burger?
  • Will Althea ever be able to see again?
  • Will Handmade Burger ever clear out all the smoke?
  • Is anyone actually going to read all this crap?
  • And why is Andy so happy that he's holding a Pineapple?
Tune in tomorrow.
Same crap blog time, same crap blog channel.

Here's a sneak preview.
  • Decorative citrus fruits!
  • I invent an x-rated drink.
  • The international hand gesture for "Am I in a gay bar?"
  • Althea tells the tale of when she beat someone up.
  • We uncover the Great Handmade Burger Conspiracy!

That's All For Now 

Until Next Time 

Have A Nice

Andy G

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