46-49 O’Connell Street
This week’s meet-up was different – we had three extra guests and a ton of presents. Yes folks – the gift-giving of 2016 has officially started. We all decided to meet up in Wings Gourmet Burger on O’ Connell Street this Sunday for burgers, gift exchanging and festive cheer.
Before I go any further – a quick kudos to Ryan for gifting me with this beauty. Hours and hours of fun and knowledge about a fictional world that I care about more than my own life. Yes, I am pathetic. No, I am not ashamed. Gryffindor’s unite!
Anyway, back to the serious stuff. Wings GB is a little burger shack on O’ Connell Street, not far past the Spire. You know that big useless chunk of metal that’s 120 metres high in the sky that has no real relevance to Dublin whatsoever? Yeah, just there.
Wing’s has been around since April 2014, but whilst new, it’s pretty established. The restaurant itself looks pretty big from the outside but when you go in, it’s much smaller than you’d have first expected. There’s room for maybe 35-40 people to be seated (In fairness, I could be wrong. I’m pretty bad with that kind of thing).
According to their website “The name Wings comes from the wings of an angel who will face any problems & will pass through all hard times.” So, I think that’s exactly where we should start. The hard times. Between us all, we had a fair variety of the menu. The bacon cheeseburger, The Hell and the Soldiers – alongside skinny chips, chunky chips and onion rings. With some pints. But only some. It was fine – nobody tried to climb the Spire and I feel that’s the real accomplishment here.
So we’ll start off with mine. The Bacon Cheeseburger (surprise surprise) with skinny chips and a Coke. €9.99. No complaints price wise. Burger wise – I wish I could say the same. It left a lot to be desired. The bun was nice, it was toasted and crispy. The bacon was erm, undercooked we’ll say. In fact just as I was about to shovel into my mouth I’m pretty sure it oinked at me. And the actual patty – well, there’s no nice way to say this, but it sucked.
The burger itself was tasteless. To be fair, I don’t eat salad on my burgers – I never have and I never will. So when I took the first bite and tasted how dry it was, I was willing to make allowances. So, out came the tomato ketchup and I went to China Town on that bad boy. The second bite? Still disgusting. You know when you come home drunk and you fall asleep hugging your McDonalds? Okay – that may be just me – but the point is, it tasted exactly like a leftover McDonalds would look. I didn’t make it to a third bite. The burger was left on the plate, never to be tasted again.
At this stage, the remaining lads and ladies at the table were shovelling their burgers into their mouths, so I thought maybe I’d just gotten a bum deal. Until I heard Ryan say that the only thing he could taste was Blue Cheese. The rest of the burger was tasteless and really dry. So much so, that towards the end of the burger, he took it from the bun and tasted it on its own and said it tasted like nothing. With that, I think he hit the nail on the head – there was no taste whatsoever. It reminded me of Bear Grylls and eating to survive. It wasn’t something you actively went looking for. You ate it because you had to.
Kirsty decided to try the Hell burger, which on the menu very clearly stated there would be chilli on top. Unfortunately, Kirsty was handed dry mince on top of a dry burger with no cheese or sauce. She described it as eating meat flavoured sand (I’m sure that’s an assumption – as unconventional as our Kirsty is, she doesn’t make eating sand a regular habit).
There were seven of us, all of us came to the same conclusion. The meat itself was flavourless – it needed some sort of seasoning to add a kick of ANYTHING. The burgers were too dry (I’ve never been handed a burger without some sort of sauce on it – except that one time at the Eatyard, but we won’t talk about that). Kirsty’s was not “structurally sound” – ie, it fell to pieces. Suzy’s general consensus was the same – dry and flavourless. The chips went cold fast (and they weren’t handmade, they were cooked from frozen) but Suzy felt that the crispy onion rings softened the blow slightly. Some of the guys ordered the coleslaw fries, which you would imagine, are fries with coleslaw on top. Nope – fries, with a side of coleslaw. If I wanted that I’d have ordered a side of fries and a side of coleslaw. Just put the coleslaw on my chips and be done with it!
Now, we get to the desserts (which was spelt wrong on the menu. Apparently, we were having “deserts” which would have been more appropriate for the burger side of the menu, but we’ll carry on). I got mint ice cream – it was fine. Standard ice cream, nothing to write home about. Banoffee pie was also on the table, and at one stage I heard Suzy say “are bananas normally black?” and Ryan say “Doesn’t banoffee normally have banana in it?” They were less than impressed. Kirsty tried the cheesecake – lumpy she said. And Louise had the chocolate brownie. Louise didn’t have to say much, her face said it all.
I do just want to make a point here, and that is that the service was fantastic. I couldn’t fault the staff at all. So friendly, quick off the mark and nothing was too much for them. Anyone we dealt with was really nice and approachable, which is exactly what you want when you’re eating out. The actual restaurant itself is also nice, the atmosphere was lovely, but again, that was probably down to the staff. The only thing I have to mention (because I’m a nit-picker) is the fact that at least two almost whole burgers & two whole desserts were left on a plate, barely touched, and staff didn’t pass comment on it or ask was everything okay. Something really minor –but is generally common practice.
All in all, the food was super disappointing. It’s not often I leave anything on my plate, but I actually managed to have more left over on my plate than what I actually ate. Some seasoning on the burger, maybe cooked for slightly less time and more sauce, and it could have been a completely different experience. And unfortunately, it wasn’t just me – all seven of us came to the same conclusion.
The sides were fine, they were bog standard. Suzy did seem pretty happy about the onion rings and I quite liked my skinny chips.
As I said above, the service was excellent – so I think that may have been Wings Gourmet Burger’s saving grace.
Burgers – 2/10
Sides – 3/10
Service – 9/10
Overall Rating – 4.5/10