THE HUMBLE burger is a simple concept.
Done well, it’s a meaty, juicy slab of pure heaven on a plate.
But executed badly, and it soon becomes a greasy, sloppy mess of a meal.
With this in mind, Oliver paid a somewhat wary visit to Aire Bar on The Calls, where the Twisted Burger Company has recently set up shop.
The Sheffield-based business has joined forces with the bar to take over the dining area at the back of the venue.
Aire Bar has a bunker-type feel, with low, arched brick ceilings and squidgy leather sofas.
It’s a bit dark inside, but there’s the option of sitting outside and soaking up the views of the river if you prefer.
Due to the usual dreary Leeds weather, Oliver opted for a seat just past the pool tables.
The high bar stools weren’t the most comfortable option but most of the sofas were already taken.
We were immediately handed menus by a friendly waiter, and took our time to decide.
The menu makes several 90s references, which was a pleasant and nostalgic surprise, and is designed in a cartoon-style, adding to the relaxed, informal setting.
Each burger is jam-packed with toppings, from the Baby Got Guac (stuffed with guacamole) and Return of the Mac (topped with macaroni cheese).
Prices range from an affordable £5.50 to a very reasonable £8.50, with the choice of adding extra toppings for 85p.
And there’s a decent range of sides to choose from too, from ‘Hellfire Fries’ with ghost chilli spice and Asian Slaw – without mayo, all priced from £1.25 to £3.75.
I eventually opt for the Holy Cluck burger – a double chicken burger topped with chorizo, American cheese, guacamole and jalapeño salsa, for £7.50.
The food arrived within minutes and at first sight, I was impressed.
The burger, served in a tasty looking brioche bun, was juicy and full of flavour.
But on closer inspection, I realised the two chicken burgers were actually patties.
It didn’t explain on the menu that they were patties, and I expecting chicken breasts, so was slightly disappointed.
Nonetheless it was tasty enough.
My dining companion, however, definitely chose wisely.
He opted for the Pig Daddy Kane – a tower of two beef patties, topped with pulled pork, American cheese, BBQ sauce and chorizo and apple jam.
The burger was incredibly fresh and juicy, bursting with flavour, and the toppings complemented it perfectly.
But we both accidentally ordered two portions of sharing fries, which we couldn’t finish.
My sweet potato fries were £2 extra, so came in at a rather hefty £4.75 – almost as much as some of the burgers. But without the mix-up, the prices were extremely reasonable.
For two drinks, two burgers and two (accidentally ordered) sharing fries, the bill came to £26.45.