You could kinda say that Annie’s Burger Shack has become the pride of Nottingham over the last couple of years (after Robin Hood, the castle, and the equal parts terrific and terrifying ‘beach’ in the summer) The FOOD pride of Nottingham, anyway – which is funny, seeing as it’s homegrown in the good ol’ US of A.
But this is not your standard American export – far from it. The Annie whose name sits above the door stems from Rhode Island, the supposed home of the original diner restaurants, and her goal was to bring traditional handcrafted burgers to Nottingham. And boy, did she do that. A menu spanning no less than 32 burgers, each one has its own flare and personality, the likes of which you’ll struggle to find anywhere outside of London.
However, the most extraordinary thing about Annie’s isn’t its extensive choice of different burgers, but rather the fact that you can have each and every one as a vegetarian or vegan option. Pretty game-changing!
It doesn’t take much to convince my friends of a food outing, especially when it’s a precursor to a night of drinking. Always busy, we arrived anticipating a wait (a little under an hour, as it happened) This isn’t such a big deal when the place houses a basement bar – Annie’s Ocean State Tavern offers a good selection of real ales and is the perfect place for punters to kill time with some chilled music and classic board games.
It’s a well-oiled machine here so the service is always speedy and enthusiastic, and before long our burgers had arrived. Let me give you the lowdown…
Melted cheese, Mississippi burger sauce, black olives, jalapeños, onions rings
This was my burger of choice, and it was the perfect twist on a classic. A meaty patty and melted cheese, it’s given a killer kick with jalapeños and a mayo/chilli sauce combo, finished with a crispy onion ring to boot.
The Peppino Pizza
Marinara sauce, melted cheese, pepperoni, parmesan, Italian herbs
Yep, a pizza burger. A gooey, molten mess atop a meaty burger. The saltiness of the pepperoni and the sauce made the accompaniment of the fries even more delicious.
Rashers of bacon, ‘Velveeta’ cheese, homemade hash brown
The hangover cure for the masses, I imagine – mixing fry up with fast food, it’s the double carb dream. Didn’t get much of a review except for a lengthy silence and a thumbs up, which you can take as a positive.
The New England Yankee Brisket (Veggie)
Sliced brisket beef, melted cheese, dipping pot of beef jus
The only one ordered as a veggie version – the patty itself isn’t vegetable or bean-based, but rather akin to Quorn, meaty with a smoked paprika taste to it. The veggie ‘brisket’ wasn’t quite distinguished enough in flavour but the burger as a whole still tasted pretty good.
The best thing about Annie’s is that you could come every single week and never get bored. There’s just so much on offer and the atmosphere is always thriving – a little taste of America, right in the heart of the midlands. Tell your friends.