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Burgers He Wrote Review: The Poplar Farm

Get ready for a mouth-watering adventure as we team up with the passionate and discerning palate of “Burgers He Wrote” on a quest to find the perfect burger! But that’s not all, this journey is about celebrating more than just the delicious bites; it’s about shining a spotlight on the incredible businesses we have right here in Andover.

If you’re a food lover and a supporter of local establishments, you won’t want to miss this thrilling blend of culinary exploration and community appreciation. Get ready to savour the flavours of Andover and fall in love with food all over again – because at Love Andover, we’re all about celebrating the best in food and our amazing community!

You can follow Burgers He Wrote on social media and keep updated with everything that is happening on the food scene. Facebook & Instagram.

Signature Burger – Prime steak burger, loaded with Maple glazed pulled beef brisket, streaky bacon, Monterey Jack Cheese, Cheese sauce and crispy Tobacco Onions! Served with your choice of Fries or triple cooked chunky chips, a gherkin, and a pot of burger sauce on the side! – £17.75.

Buttermilk Chicken Burger – Tender fried chicken with chipotle chilli jam. Served with fries or triple cooked chunky chips, a gherkin and burger sauce on the side. – £16.50.

Vegan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Burger, served with Vegan cheese, a gherkin and fries or triple cooked chunky chips. – £15.50.

Not enough? Why not add extra patties, Halloumi, Jalapeño’s, or extra bacon? Maybe not bacon if you’re opting for the Vegan burger. Also, Poplar’s scran is available for home delivery via Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats. * Delivery areas subject to courier terms. 

That was a mouthful and I’ve not even started the review yet.

Welcome one and all, to another insight into the mind of one man, and his unhealthy obsession of finding Andover’s best burger!

Where do we start then! Unlike Mary & Joseph’s plight, there’s plenty of room at this inn, with square footage in ‘a bun dance’. So should you wish to have a nice quiet meal with your family, take someone on a date, or meet that last minute deadline for work, these guys put the thought into comfort.

If you are indeed under pressure, to frantically type out that crucial report for your boss, why not throw in a few whiskies whilst breathing through a harmonica, that should really spice up your panic attack. I don’t condone the latter really, my point is that it’s such a lovely atmosphere in here where you’re not sat on top of each other, but also one that’s busy enough to fill any awkward silences you may experience, like on a first date for example…

Just looking at the menu at the moment?


What did you watch on telly last night?

I didn’t watch telly last night; I watched a DVD.

I watched that ‘Peak Practice.’

Yeah? I’ve never seen it.

Bloody repeat.

That’s annoying, isn’t it?

Not for me. I hadn’t seen it…Boring, isn’t it? Just staying in watching ‘Peak Practice’ with your life.

Mmm, yeah.

Not for me. I like it… 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a morgue in here, you can’t hear a pin drop or anything, but it’s got the choice for you to either sit at a table where you can let everyone know you’re about it early on, or alternatively, tuck yourself away in a cute little cubby hole, should you have the tendency to suffer severe bouts of anxiety, like myself. 

Whatever the mood is, this place can cater for it, unless you’re wanting a hedonistic swingers party, and in that case, you might just be out of luck. 

The Poplar has been under current management for just over 14 months. I can’t tell you that the previous management ruled with an iron fist, to draw any comparisons as if I was playing a game of Pictionary, but what I will say is that the current manager Ben is nice, kind, hardworking, and a relatable soul, and I’d like to think I’m a relatively good judge of character. I’m pretty sure I’m the antithesis of all those adjectives, but hey ho, on I march in the hope that one day, I right all the wrongs, like Earl did after winning the lottery. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and Karma, well, that’s an entry level curry, isn’t it?

In Ben’s own words, this is a classic country pub, offering dining 7 days a week, with classic pub food, and adding their own twist. They have a large dining room and lounge area with an open fireplace, and a casual bar area for drinks and bar snacks. There’s plenty of choice of real ales, fine wine & spirits, and premium soft drinks. The whole pub is dog friendly, and they even have a dog menu which is incredibly popular, also regularly hosting quiz nights and live music. 

In my words, “Seems legit”. 

On the topic of live music, I’ve seen that this Farm often hire local band ‘Tractor’, to perform there. You just can’t write it can you? Well I can, and I did, soooo…

This place came out as one of the top recommendations to find the best burger in (or around) Andover, proving somewhat ‘Poplar’ with the locals. I guess I’ll be the judge of that, shall I?

First, here’s a joke for you:

What have Andoverians and Burgers got in common?

They’re both inbred. 

Calm down! I’m from Andover, born & raised, so I’d only be insulting myself, it’s just one of those derogatory insults that big city folk like to throw about, willy nilly. Sure, we might have webbed feet and extra digits, but put it this way, at least we’ll survive the polar ice caps melting, when the water level rises. I’d like to think of it as being like Mariner in Waterworld, so the jokes on them. 

“Some of you seem to have got off on the wrong foot with me. You didn’t like some of the jokes I told earlier. You’ve got to chill out, yeah, trust me, this is what I do, all right? You will never read reviews like this again. This is brilliant – fact. And you will never have another reviewer like me. Someone who’s basically a chilled-out entertainer.”

My mate ‘Roadside’ didn’t enjoy the burger he ordered from here via Just Eat, but then again, he also gave Burger King a 9.5, so you’ll forgive me when I took that with a packet of salt. I jest, his opinion’s always been important to me, but it got me thinking, is this the type of burger that travels well as part of a delivery?

In my opinion, this is a burger you sit down to eat, and probably with a knife and fork, if you’re an olive short of a pizza that is, but be that as it may, food experiences can vary so much, that you might end up as unlucky as ‘Roadside’ was, falling head first into a barrel full of t*ts, coming out sucking his own thumb.

We base judgement off our own experiences, and mine, but if you do ever have a bad one, give it another go, then judge. My guess is due to the aforementioned ‘dine in’ style cuisine, not necessarily translating to takeaway, but I’d also hedge my bets that it wouldn’t be like that again, with the team working here striking me as those who would pride themselves on consistency. As stated, I know first-hand how this place operates from both visits I made in the last week, and everyone can have an off day right.

All that being said, the food on display here was fantastic! Both visually and taste wise. By the end of this review, I’ll probably run out of synonyms to describe how good it was, but I’ll give it a bloody good go!

Let’s begin with every Vegan’s favourite subject, themselves, nah not really, just their food, probably a bit hypocritical coming from me I know. I started with this burger thinking it would be a case of clearly going from worst to best, but I was pleasantly surprised at how superb this turned out to be.

Gone are the days of frozen, spicy bean burgers. Now you’ve got fresh Lentils, Pulses, Legumes…you know…Sessions. My son Harry asked me what a Butternut Squash was, and in my head, I was thinking “Don’t say it looks like a giant phallus, don’t say it looks like a giant phallus”, so instead I told him it looks like an elongated Pumpkin, that’s much better.

I’m glad he also didn’t say he’s never seen a Chickpea before, I don’t think I’d be able to contain myself on that one.

Anyway, this was nicely spiced, albeit subtly, with a crispy coating, and a congenial filling. Howzat for a Synonym. I wasn’t exactly knocked for 6, or bowled over, but it’s something I’d glance at again, perhaps leaving me stumped over whether I’d choose this vegan option in future, instead of going out for a Duck. One-Day maybe. Cricket Bars! I don’t even like Cricket, ‘I loveeee itttt’. I don’t really, it’s just bat & ball innit.

The nutritional info says this, May Contain: Other Cereals containing Gluten, Sesame, Soya, Tree Nuts. 

Vegans are willing to do everything they can to stop harm coming to animals, but seemingly don’t mind if a tree has its nuts chopped off though.

I’d even go as far here, to say that I didn’t mind the vegan cheese, and I’ve tried Violife before. Perhaps it’s better when it’s melted, who knows, but did you know this, there’s wronguns out there who don’t like normal cheese, unless it’s melted! If you too suffer from the same affliction, please get help before it’s too late, support is out there! 

This Vegan burger is certainly one of the best options for the lettuce munchers, and that’s not coming from experience.

Quick pitstop at the Potato based sides, Triple Fried Chips for the win! Crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, the perfect dipper for their very own Burger sauce, which I’m also told is Vegan. I’ll be protesting ‘Stop Oil’ before I know it! All jokes aside, I am conscious of the damage that’s being done to this planet, and the carbon footprint I myself leave. You’re waiting for the punchline, aren’t you? Whale Oil Beef Hooked if I could think of one.

Ben sent over a description, and within, it said, “On the side, Halloumi Fries is a real winner”. Now this kind of thing is normally porkies, but he was only bloody telling the truth weren’t he! These were the best Halloumi Fries I’ve ever had, no joke, and you’ve seen me, I’m no slouch when it comes to ordering additional sides. The mere thought of them now leaves me salivating at the prospect of returning to The Poplar, and on that note, I’ve heard The Roasts are great too!

Next up, the Buttermilk Chicken. First comment from Harry was asking what the sauce was, talking about the Chipotle Chilli Jam, which, may I add, was decidedly boss, adding a sweet, spicy, smoke to proceedings, a bit like a warmonger of Jack Herer I’d imagine. It could do with being smothered, as could most of the current government.

The Chicken itself was so succulent, and as described, tender. I don’t think you can really slag this off, it’s pleasant. Affluent landowners out there right now, getting triggered as they hear the words ‘pheasant’ or ‘peasant’, either way they’ve unlocked the gun cabinet, so I’d better run. 

They use the same buns for all their burgers, which are a unique shade of colour, kind of a brioche, but all the menu and website say is it’s a toasted bun, wish I’d bloody asked more questions now, that’s gonna haunt me to the grave. 

Now for the real star of the show, the John Hancock of Burgers! I’ve grabbed my pen, and I’m ready to start signing some autographs! If this is how they’re signing off, it’s certainly in style.

The first thing that hits you, smack bang on your taste receptors, is the Beef Brisket. I pulled a face like a discombobulated axolotl, and Harry didn’t know what had hit him. After fighting off the invisible man, he asked what the sweet taste was, “Is it Chocolate?”, he waffled, so I explained it was the Maple Syrup. Now I’ve had a lot of Maple glazed things before, probably from things containing tree nuts, but I can’t recall having it on Beef Brisket, more so Pork products, like Bacon or Pulled Pork or sommat, but this really blew my mind, and I’m not even joking. It genuinely was a real treat.

As stated in my last review, smashed patties are my general preference, but both The Hare & Hounds, and now The Poplar, have got me thinking about it in a lot more detail. This Beef was delectable, and most definitely Prime Steak mince, cooked to perfection, as had been everything else on this occasion. It’s loaded with all the fixings to be a wondrously special burger. Bacon is always a go to, but that rich cheese sauce complimented the smoky Maple, and the Tobacco Onions were texturally, the cladding on the roof. 

Wanna know why they’re called tobacco onions? The name was coined as far back as the 1980s by famous chef Dean Fearing. While working at the Mansion restaurant on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas. He named the recipe because the curly, brown, dried onions looked like dried tobacco leaves. These reviews are also educational.

Abbots’ Ann sounds like you’d begun a drinks order at the bar, wanted a pint of ale, then forgot what else you were supposed to get. The surrounding villages to Andover are very blue in their political stance, which is statistically accurate, and not slander. The colours associated with political parties are all a bit ‘Primary’ school, aren’t they? Bloods & Crips? More like ‘Floods & Drips’.

Anyway, their Signature burger should be a secret, like it’s part of the Freemasons, which I suppose is a bit like Fraternity’s in the US, you know, they’ve got Delta Kappa, Beta Theta and all that mumbo jumbo. Well, this could be called The Signa Tory. I could do with some Right Wings now; I meant wings right now. 

Obviously, I haven’t mentioned any real negatives thus far, and in truth there aren’t many. The biggest for me is probably the price point, at about £4 – £5 higher than most places locally, at least. This is of course, reflected in quality, and I’m not an uncultured swine, I appreciate what you pay for, it’s justifying paying this, which perhaps reduces accessibility for others, but I guess the real question is, was it worth it? Absolutely! So I guess that’s your answer.

Otherwise, any other negatives would be nitpicking, they’re maybe a bit generous with the accompanying salad items, with more tomatoes on display than Del Boys fridge had, but as stated, it’s nitpicking, you can remove any excess salad, much to a vegan’s distaste. 

Is farming popular? The Poplar Farm is.

I know I’ve got 3 burgers to consider here, but I’m scoring based on the best one, and taking everything into consideration, from price point to experience, and my own preference. I still firmly believe a smashed patty is best, and I do wonder how much of their own twist can be added to a pub chain that has 186 venues (at the time of this review). These guys will undoubtedly come out on top of some other categories, and as mentioned, I wanna see what their Sunday Dinner is saying. Booooom! Roasted!

My overall experience was fantastic, the produce was premium and the cookery and service all tiptop. I’m neither clouded by others’ opinions, nor hyped up by them. I’m giving The Poplar a solid 8.7, catapulting them straight to the top of the current leaderboard, after 5 reviews inn! I’d love for you to go out and try their food, and always remember…

“Don’t say I didn’t tell ya!”

And one final thought, please take what is said lightly. We all are entitled to an opinion, and we are all entitled to feel offended, but it doesn’t mean we’re right. A LOT of what is said, is observational, meant to be tongue in cheek, and some wiggle room for freedom to express one’s self. The rest is utter codswallop, so I’d just ignore it.

These burgers were premium, Blue Chips if you must, whilst the Vegan may have possibly been a Nasdaq, there were no Pink Sheets at least. I’d been a bad boy and they made sure I’d been told all about it, reminding me just what I’d been missing. I’d run out of words to say how much I enjoyed my night with them, so I’ll just say it was foursome! Time for us to relax on my Waterbed, the height of aristocracy in the 80’s.

Yours Sincerely,

Freddie’s Funny Story:

My partner was telling Fred how much she really wants to see Ne-Yo in concert next year, and that Mario is supporting. I’m sure you can all guess what comes next, but it only goes to show how much expectation is put on his shoulders at such a young age, only for him to always deliver, as he says, “What about Luigi?”.