It’s a tricky thing calling yourself a gourmet burger joint, actually gourmet-anything comes with the expectation of Insta-worthy food packed with flavour. Especially at the price point, because anything gourmet is not cheap, but I feel The Wagon is OK value for money. I’ve certainly never left hungry, and that one time I ordered fries with that, I felt gluttonous to say the least.
Walking into The Wagon reminds me of a burger place you would find in a coastal town somewhere on your summer roadie. The combination of the low and high tables has that American style diner you see in the movies, mixed in with that Kiwi beachfront, laid-back attitude. But we’re not by the beach, yet they’ve kept that chilled vibe, where barefeet and boardies wouldn’t look out of place at all.
I’ve had two burgers from the menu so far and I haven’t been left disappointed. You can choose from beef, chicken and vegetarian options. So far I’ve tried the Avo-Lunche (beef) and The Flying Beast (chicken), and both have been pretty good. I had the Avo-Lunche with the sesame bun, and The Flying Beast with artisan bread. I feel people go with sesame if they want the bread without too much bread, and artisan if you want to go the whole hog.
Recently I’ve also come to expect that when I order a burger, I can eat it with my hands. Isn’t that the whole point of a burger? These burgers are massive by the way, so if like me, you want to feed your mouth and not your face, I recommend cutting them in half it so that taking a bite becomes more manageable.
Do you want fries with that? That is the question. Here’s what I’ve learned...you can order the fries, but prepare to suffer for it because I felt that burger and fries filled up in every inch of my five foot body with 'eyes bigger than my stomach' regret. Too much of a good thing is well, not that good for you! If you do insist on the fries, maybe share them, or go for the Kids’ burger which is a smaller portion.
The Strand, Whakatane | Dine-in or Takeaway
RonnaEats: 3.5 Spoons
Ambience: 5 Spoons
Who is RonnaEats? Ronna Funtelar runs this independent foodie blog, with a philosophy to eat and write about food we can rave about. We don't ask for free meals or collaborate with our reviewed eateries, so you can be assured the reviews are unbiased and all for the love of food. Whether it's a food truck, a hole in the wall eatery, street food, local hangout or fine dining, we want to know where to head to for our next food adventure.