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Burger Masters – Wholly Cow, Galway

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

The simple things are the hardest to get right. Val Lynam knows this, which is why he invests so much effort into getting the burgers in Wholly Cow, on Galway’s Newcastle Road, just right.
Mr Lynam is a pretty obsessive dude: he worries about the provenance of his beef, his buns, his pickles. He fusses over his kimchi and his barbecue sauce. He agonises over the dry matter of the spuds he uses to make his fries. He frets over his environmental footprint.
The result of all this brow-furrowing – the Wholly Cow burger – is a burger so fine that it stops you in your tracks. Mr Lynam’s deep research and attention to detail produces a hamburger that hits all the flavour points with an assassin’s accuracy. It’s a deliciously tactile confection of contrasting elements – sweet beef; sour pickle, molten cheese; yeasty bun, spick-and-span sauce – that slays the appetite.
Best of all, the Wholly Cow burger keeps on giving: the last bite is just as involving and satisfying as the very first bite of this umami bomb, something that can rarely be said of the vast majority of the burger pantheon.
And it’s not just the beef that will draw you to the Newcastle Road. The WC chickpea and coriander burger is a vegan masterpiece, sweet, yielding, soulful and utterly scrummy, and there is also a chicken burger on the short menu – served with purple slaw, rocket and secret sauce. The beef dripping fries are benchmark good, and never better than when dunked into the house garlic mayo.
Wholly Cow is the modern burger, made better.

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