“The South” is a lot of things to a lot of people. Hats, horses, sayings and food. Good food. The kind of food that gets messy and tastes mighty fine! If you equate any food to the south you better make damn sure “your mouth ain’t writtin’ checks your butt can’t cash.”
I didn’t choose the “Dirty South” burger, at Cardiff’s Got Beef with the intention of “stompin’ a mudhole and walking it dry,” as the saying goes. I had no notion that the burger would be authentic southern style and be delivered with a “Yee-Haw,” but I was fixing to have me some flavour of the holler or even BBQ. I chose it because, as a first timer to the Kitchen, the description and ingredients leant toward my spiced palette:
- BBQ Sauce
- Cajun Mayo
- Cajun Onions
- American Cheese
The Dirty South burger is a near-perfect balance and this balancing act is precarious. BBQ sauce is strong. You either commit to it and slather it in – a la ribs – or you bust just enough to enhance or add a softer edge. Otherwise you pretty much just end up with BBQ-Sauce-tasting textures. There’s just the right amount here. Similarly onions can threaten to take over and de-rail the whole thing. The mayo – Cajun tinged or not – could easily get lost, along with the odd stab of Jalapeno.
However, the Dirty South burger is a subtle triumph. More than the sum of its parts. All thanks to a little bit of care taken to unify the flavours. Understand, this isn’t just a mixture dump-trucked onto the taste buds. Each chew brings these little outlaw ingredients to the party. You can enjoy the whole gang or savour them individually.
If there was a criticism that could be levelled at the Dirty South – or indeed the Kitchen – it’s that the burger meat holds it back a little. While it certainly is no travesty you’ll be wondering “who left the gate open?” It’s not tougher than a 2 dollar steak, but it lacks the freshness I expect from a burger priced at £7.95.
4* – Like the monkey makin’ love to the skunk; didn’t get all he wanted but got all he could stand