Review: Honest Burgers, Covent Garden

I subtly alluded a few weekends ago that I quite like a burger.

 photo Honest Burger_zpsgd83mpms.jpgScratch that, I pretty much shouted from the rooftops about my love for burgers. This year I’ve made it my mission to find my ultimate burger. I’ve got a meat grinder attachment for the KitchenAid to try and make my own. I have an ever-growing list of places to try (and please, please feel free to add your favourite burger to it!). I even, much as I am ashamed to admit it, day-dream about burgers. Please tell me I’m not the only one?!

When we moved to London Honest Burgers was top on my list of places to visit, but despite my office being literally on top of one, it took me until November to visit. Then I went again in December. And again since. It’s taken me until now to pen up a review, and I’m not entirely sure why. Because, quite simply, I could have summed it up with a simple Instagram post and a “Yum” #thumbsup.

 photo Honest Burger Review 1_zpsgeseavtn.jpg(Fun Fact: my flatlay of Honest burgers was my first Instagram photo to smash through 100 likes).

We visited after a few drinks, and before more drinks, with a small-ish group of friends one Saturday night. Despite going to the small Covent Garden branch, we maybe waited 20 minutes for a table (heading off for more drinks whilst we waiting for the all important phone call!) – definitely not the wait we were expecting!

Between us we probably ordered most of the menu. A couple of cheeseburgers, a couple of “plain Jane’s”, a couple of Tributes, a chicken, the special at the time (some with black sesame seeds and kimchi) and my “Honest” burger. Everything comes with chips (a nice surprise!), and we also grabbed a couple of buckets of onion rings to share.

 photo Honest Burger Review 5_zpsn4fklxkd.jpg photo Honest Burger Review 10_zps7nbor936.jpgI always think that if a restaurant names a burger after themselves, it’s got to be a bloody good burger. Byron made that mistake (it was a bit disapointing), but Honest really nailed it. For one, it didn’t contain tomatoes. At all. It’s rare I can enjoy a relish, or even not have to trust them to not put a sneaky tomato slice in, but this was pure tomato-free goodness. A thick meaty patty cooked just right (plenty of oozy pink, but nothing too slime-ily raw about it), seasoned well and actually tasting of beef. Lots of oozy cheese. A good spoonful of onion relish, but not too much it took over. Crisp but not tooth-shatteringly so bacon. A token bit of salad. Some gorgeous lightly picked cucumber – slightly sharp, still crunchy and adding a gorgeous refreshing element. All held together in one of the best brioche burger buns I’ve tried. Despite the juiciness of the patty it held together pretty damn well. I didn’t get it all down my front at least…

 photo Honest Burger Review 3_zps3wha0un7.jpgOther burgers got similar reviews. W had the kimchi special, which I didn’t try (I’m not a fan of kimchi or sauerkraut flavours at all) but it did look and smell good – and disappeared in super-quick time. The chicken burger also looked damn good, even if I never order them. And whilst the cheeseburger did look good, when you can add bacon and relish I’m just not too sure whether I’ll ever order one…

The chips were also a revelation. I’ve become used to disappointing chips, and nothing is worse than a limp fry – but these were stunning. Chunky, almost chip-shop style, but with lots of crispy bits. Drenched in a rosemary salt, they were incredibly moreish and I hoovered up the massive portion size. On my second visit I went after work in my tightest pencil skirt. Bad decision. I forced the chips down and then couldn’t sit down on the tube to get home.

 photo Honest Burger Review 7_zpscwpzqxr3.jpgIn fact, the only dud were the onion rings. And I was super disappointed. One, because I bloody love onion rings (number one place so far has been Burgers & Cocktails, followed rather closely by Ed’s Diner). Two, because I’m heard so many people raving about Honest’s onion rings. Sure, they were reasonably crispy, but the onions inside were watery, and the batter thick and almost doughy. A raw spice taste to them too – despite only two portions between 7 of us, they were the only thing we failed to polish off…

 photo Honest Burger Review 9_zpshsqynyy2.jpgOnion rings aside, Honest Burgers jumped straight to the top of my ‘favourite burger’ list. Excellent meat, good buns, supremely moreish chips. They’ve recently had a ‘Sunday Roast’ burger special with bacon gravy (!) and roast potatoes that I’m desperate to try, and I’m only gutted I didn’t manage to grab one of their Christmas specials. This year, this year.

Have you ever been to Honest Burgers? What did you think? Where’s your top burger in London?

 

Food: The Year of the Burger

Forget Chinese New Year, and the year of the rooster – for me it’s all about the year of the burger.

 photo Burgers and Cocktails Review Brighton 1_zpscaakdr4r.jpgIt’s clear from both my Instagram and previous blog posts that I’m a massive lover of burgers (as well as runny eggs and pretty houses!). I’ve tried burgers than are pretty much steak in a brioche bun. I’ve tried “London’s Best Burger.” I’ve had McDonald’s and other fast food burgers. I’ve had fun toppings, plain Janes and pretty much everything in between. I’ve suffered allergic reactions (thanks Byron for just removing the tomato slice then handing the burger back!), felt too stuffed to move. I’ve eaten more than my fair shame of bad burgers, but equally I’ve eaten some bloody damn good ones!

 photo Burgers and Cocktails Review Brighton 5_zpsbhtsdznk.jpg photo Burgers and Cocktails Review Brighton 4_zpsjpvojda6.jpgProbably the most inventive place I’ve been for burger toppings is Burger & Cocktails in Brighton. The burgers themselves were thin patties cooked well-done, but quite flavourful and juicy – and they really let the toppings shine. I went for a mac’n’cheese and bacon combo (carbs on carbs, and adding bacon is never bad), whilst W enjoyed a spicy, oozy, cheesy number. Sides were also excellent, with the onion rings being the best I’ve ever had. And I don’t need to say more than this: alcoholic chocolate orange milkshake.

I’ve also enjoyed GBK, though I was gutted that the Camembert burger seems to have disappeared. Beef patty, Camembert, onions, bacon and shoestring fries allllll inside a bun was pretty much a party in my mouth. I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the other burgers on the menu, though with my new found love of beetroot their signature is now high on my list to try!

 photo Honest Burger Review 1_zpsxg6a81ra.jpg photo Honest Burger Review 9_zpsno3bkbbe.jpgIn terms of the best burger patty, the winner so far has to be Honest burgers. My review is due to go live in a few weeks, but here’s a sneak peek: excellent meaty flavours, well cooked, an soft but robust brioche bun and the BEST chips. I also love that I can pretty much eat everything on the menu as there’s no tomato slices and no cheeky relish lurking. I’m also a big fan of the pickled cucumber…

Five Guys is also close to my heart, though I’m still unsure as to whether it’s worth the rather high price-tag. I do love it for a quick lunch, but at £12+ for a chip-burger-drink combo (I can’t resist the still peach fanta – and it’s double-cheese-and-bacon or go home!) it’s pricey. Unlimited free toppings helps though – my go-to is grilled onions, mustard, mushrooms and lettuce. Yum yum.

 photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 6_zpswsobxllt.jpgOf course, I can’t not mention Mac & Wild. It’s Veni-Moo was voted London’s best burger of 2016, so obviously I HAD to try it. I loved it, but I’m unsure if it’s worthy of it’s title. It was bloody good, with juicy patties, runny cheese, cream Bernaise, pickles, mustard, a decent bun, candied bacon. But it was just too big. It was impossible to eat as a burger, definitely a knife-and-fork job, and even then it had to be eaten element by element. Just not quite there for me, I’m gutted to say. Though I’ve since been back and gorged on venison Chateaubriand. Pricier, but worth it.

But this is the year I try new places, branch out. I have SO many burger places I want to try. Shake Shack has been on my list for what feels like years, and now new branches are popping up I can avoid the huge queues in Covent Garden. As a black pudding lover, Bleecker St is somewhere I NEED to visit asap. With Spitalfields being one of my favourite weekend haunts, I’m not too sure why I’ve not visited yet. Then there’s Patty & Bun, which again seems like somewhere I need to visit. There’s Smashburgers which has opened up in MK and Brighton, a new concept which I’d love to try. And of course, I’m also open to finding the best fried chicken burger too…

So now it’s over to you. Where is the best burger you’ve ever had? Where do you recommend? Don’t just limit it to London, I’m willing to travel for the perfect burger…

Restaurant Review: Mac & Wild, London

Scotland is somewhere super-close to our heart. And I love burgers. So when we found out about a Scottish restaurant who made London’s best burger of 2015, there was no question about where we were spending our anniversary. We donned some fancy-ish clothes (me bringing out a dress I love, but is too dressy for every-weekend wear, too low-cut for work), I whacked on the date-night makeup (because wearing Mac Diva is great for eating a burger…) and we headed out for a much anticipated evening.

mac-wild photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 1_zpsykqkcpjl.jpgAnd it didn’t disappoint.

I could just finish the review of Mac & Wild here, by telling you to go, to go book a table, eat plenty of meat, drink lots of whisky and feel very merry, very happy and very full. It would sum up exactly how I felt about the place. But obviously I’ll have to tell/show you exactly why you should make the effort to get to this Scottish gem in the heart of London.

It’s small, it’s cozy, it’s ‘trendy’ lighting didn’t make for great photos. Walls were adorned with stag’s heads and rather graphic photos. Staff were outstandingly welcoming and friendly, taking the time to talk us through the menu and ask about our days. And the food was damn good.

 photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 2_zpshnhr7kff.jpgWe started by splitting a ‘lighter’ choice alongside a heavier one. The Bone Broth was deceptively heavy, in a good way. Rich, unctuous, this is the kind of thing you crave when ill. I’d happily bulk buy and store in the freezer. The Scotch Egg was a heavier choice. A perfectly cooked egg (no set yolk here), encased in wonderfully flavourful venison meat, covered in crisp breadcrumbs and served with a mustard so perfect I’m tempted to contact Mac & Wild and find their supplier. I was a little wary that the meat was rare, but it was piping hot, tender and worked well all together. Definitely a filling portion!

 photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 3_zpsenykwgk9.jpgW went ‘date-night suitable’ for his main, choosing the Venison Steak with Bearnaise. The steak arrived pre-sliced, and cooked as it’s meant to be cooked (there was no choice given upon ordered, so be warned if you aren’t a fan of rarer meat!). It was gorgeous – extremely tender and beautifully rich in flavour rendering the silky and buttery Bearnaise unnecessary. I stoke a piece and almost, almost regretted not suggesting sharing a Chateaubriand.

The reason for not regretting? Well, London’s best burger of course…

 photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 5_zpsgn6iiev0.jpg photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 6_zpsz7at3wrc.jpgWhilst I’m not quite sure it deserves that title (more research needed, you see), it was a damn good burger. Both patties were cooked well – tender and moist, a slight hint of pink to the beef. They were well-season whilst remaining a good ‘meat’ flavour; you could tell which was which. The Bearnaise added moistness and richness, the cheese and mustard (more of that addictive mustard!) adding a salty kick. I usually pick the pickles out of a burger, but here they worked perfectly to add a much needed tang. I added the Candied Bacon, but honestly I’d say it’s not really necessary (shock horror!) – I found it got a little lost amongst all the flavours, and wasn’t quite crisp enough to add an extra texture. The bun held it all together, but the big issue with the burger? It was just too big. It was impossible to eat all elements at once and ultimately I felt it suffered. And date-night suitable? Definitely not. My lipstick was down my chin before I was halfway through the burger…

 photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 7_zpspossdcak.jpg photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 4_zps2xqiqurt.jpg photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 8_zpseuo5yvwv.jpgWe both went for sides of Haggis Mac & Cheese. I’m a huge mac’n’cheese fan (if you hadn’t already guessed), and haggis is a major foodie love of mine. The two together was something I’d never considered (though I’m now anxiously awaiting Burn’s Night) – it’s a pretty good combo! The Mac was cheesy and rich, the haggis moist and peppery, and the crispy topping by far the best topping on a restaurant one I’ve tried. My only complaint? It was a little dry, though I saw ones at different tables that looked a lot looser and creamier. I was a bit jealous if I’m honest!

 photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 10_zpsril5vxv3.jpg photo Mac amp Wild Restaurant Review 9_zpscejbwlag.jpgPuddings were also a success. The Cheeseboard came with a good selection, though we were a bit perplexed at the lack of biscuits considered one of them was a softer cheese. My desert, however, was the winner. The “I Shouldn’t But I Will’ was a dark chocolate Nemesis, salted caramel sauce, orange, almonds, & taffy crumble base. I was recommended a side of salted caramel ice-cream; I declined but rather wish I hadn’t as the portion did need something to break it up a little. That said, we both enjoyed it – I just preferred the savoury options and rather wished I’d tried the Haggis Pops instead!

We paired our food courses with whiskies, generally going with their suggestions (apart from my desert; I was recommended a smoky Islay whisky of which I’m not a fan, so went with my favourite tipple). All were deliciously drinkable and did complement the dishes perfectly. We left clutching our stomaches and swaying slightly…

Mac & Wild definitely impressed us, and it’s certainly left us wanting more. I know without a doubt I’ll be back to sample more. Their Sunday Roasts sound rather intriguing, they have a delicious sounding brunch menu, and their Dirty Buttery Mash sounds too good to miss.

Have you ever tried Haggis? What’s your favourite London restaurant?

Review: Handmade Burger Co, Leicester

I have a few major loves in my life. Family and friends, obviously. My dog. Burgers come very close behind.

I’ve talked about my love of burgers before, I’ve moaned about how difficult it is to find a good one. I’ve since made it my mission to try as many burgers as possible (hell, it’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to move to London later this month!), to try and find my ultimate burger.

 photo Handmade Burger Co Leicester 5_zps1hrdwp51.jpgIf I’m honest, my American Cheese from Handmade Burger Co came close. Their beef patty was definitely one of the best flavoured beef patties I’ve eaten. Properly meaty, a good beefy taste, an almost crunchy outer and soft inner – but it was served well-done, with no option for to-order cooking. A medium patty would have had this burger at near perfection for me.

The restaurant itself is huge, and located around the corner from Highcross it needs to be. It has been rammed full on each of our visits, though the service has always been quick and, if not friendly, very efficient. Modern, clean, it’s perfect for a quick pit-stop when shopping. We ordered a lot, making the most of my student discount before (sob) it ended. Luckily W’s will start again relatively soon, and once I begin studying professionally I’ll be back in possession of an NUS. But for now? I’m missing it. On our table we had four very different burgers, and three very different portions of fries.

 photo Handmade Burger Co Leicester 6_zpsowjnnzsk.jpg photo Handmade Burger Co Leicester 3_zpst6h14wwg.jpg photo Handmade Burger Co Leicester 2_zpsgxyhxbxr.jpgMy American Cheese burger was slathered in plenty of cheese, topped with a couple of gloriously crispy onion rings. With the burger being well-done it was a little dry, though nothing that wasn’t solved by a quick drizzle of mustard. I’d recommend adding bacon to this, and certainly will be doing next time. The Peppered Beef (Onion rings, flat mushroom, caramelised red onion relish, peppercorn sauce, mayo, rocket & red onion) was loved by my cheese-hating mum, the first time she’s had plenty of choice from a burger menu. My sister’s chicken burger (I forget whether it was Peri Peri or Cajun) look delicious and certainly disappeared quickly. Dad made short work of his Mexican (Handmade Mexican salsa, hand crushed avocado, fresh tortilla chips, jalapenos, chipotle sauce, lettuce, tomato & red onion) and I have to say, it gave me huge food envy. Damn allergy.

 photo Handmade Burger Co Leicester 4_zpsxb3ebxnb.jpg photo Handmade Burger Co Leicester 1_zpssvmuwpek.jpg photo Handmade Burger Co Leicester 7_zpsxkggapdd.jpgThe fries were also good. Their standard fries come with a moreish and rather addictive rosemary salt. The sweet potato fries, once seasoned to taste, were crispy without being burnt. And the best? The Hipster Chips (handmade chips topped with jalapeño slaw, finished with Sriracha mayo & fresh spring onions). A great combo of spicy, crunchy, salty. Just yum. And so, yep, I highly recommend the Handmade Burger Co. Let’s just hope they offer medium-cooked burgers soon!

Burger time!

A photo posted by Chloe Ellen (@ninegrandstudent) on

UPDATE: We visited a few weekends ago, after penning this post. We found the service to be terribly slow, with a milkshake arriving after the burgers. All five burgers were overcooked and dry, though not inedibly so, but it was definitely a bit more disappointing! Having said that, apparently the Peanut Butter burger was pretty yummy, and I loved the Rosemary Salted Fries…

I do, however, highly recommend the Oreo milkshake. Just don’t order if you have to have a quick meal. Or tell my wedding-dress-maker…

What’s the best burger you’ve ever eaten? What are you favourite burger toppings?

 

Review: Burger Brothers, Deal

Burgers are one of my ultimate guilty pleasures. I don’t eat them often, but when I do I want juicy, well-seasoned meaty meat, a soft tasty bun, gooey melted cheese, and good quality ‘extra’ toppings. I don’t want a dry, overcooked patty, I don’t want verging-on-stale bread, I don’t want limp lettuce leaves and fridge-cold cheese.

 photo Burger Brothers Kent Review 4_zpspieutvz8.jpgWith my ‘burger pickiness’ it makes trying out a new place rather difficult. I’ve gone off Bryon after finding my last few burgers completely overwhelming (and an issue where they simply removed a slice of tomato rather than cooking me a fresh burger put me off completely!). I find GBK can give me a little bit of a ‘delicate’ stomach, though it’s currently my favourite, and the ailment may be entirely down to the amount I eat…

A fair few weeks back on our visit to Deal, me and W earmarked Burger Brothers as our lunch venue of choice. It had a lot to live up to, with some fabulous reviews, and although I agree the service was questionable, the burgers were pretty damn good…

 photo Burger Brothers Kent Review 7_zps4qnpausn.jpg photo Burger Brothers Kent Review 6_zpshgyzlalq.jpgW ordered the Cheese’n’Jam (Beef patty, choice of Kentish Blue, Swiss, Cheddar or Jack with a dollop of bacon jam), and I have to admit it looked amazing. Plenty of cheese, a good salty-sweetness from the bacon jam, this disappeared rather quickly! We were a little disappointed with the Mac’n’Cheese though – a little dry and lacking in flavour, though improved considerably with a good dosing of black pepper (I also dipped mine in mustard).

 photo Burger Brothers Kent Review 8_zps6vvoio6p.jpg photo Burger Brothers Kent Review 5_zpsytegfkjo.jpgI was crafty with my order, and went for something W wouldn’t touch – no sharing for me! The Mushroom Swiss (Beef patty, sautéd Shitake, Chestnut & Oyster mushrooms, mushroom salt, mushroom ketchup and melted Swiss cheese) was filled to the brim with mushroom-y goodness, and as such repelled a usually greedy fiancé. I did notice a lack of ketchup on my burger (possibly due to it containing tomatoes?!) however I didn’t really miss it. The beef patty was well seasoned, the mushrooms tender but still with a bit of bite, the cheese glorious. An unusual combination, perhaps, but one that really worked. I’m of the thinking that it could have been improved with bacon, but then what can’t?! My bun was a little burnt, and this seemed to be a common problem on the day – seeing as the smoke alarms went off twice during our visit.

Again, my side was a little disappointing; although crisp the sweet potato fries were horrifically underseasoned and served a little on the cool side.

The biggest disappointment though? Neither of our burgers, nor any we saw coming out to other tables, were cooked the advertised medium. Now, I don’t mind a ‘well-done’ burger as long as it remains juicy (and my pinafore bore evidence to the fact that these were definitely juicy). But I do mind not getting a medium burger when the menu prides itself on serving them. I reckon just a little less firmness in my patty (and a non-burnt bun) would have made mine perfect!

 photo Burger Brothers Kent Review 1_zpsdhgodzke.jpg photo Burger Brothers Kent Review 2_zpswfxmfiqf.jpgWe didn’t stay for desert, though the ice-cream sundaes were certainly tempting…and I’m pretty sure I will be back. The French Dip burger (Beef patty, sliced rib of beef, American cheese and horseradish cream served with a side pot of beef dipping jus) has my name on it! And how could you resist eating what was a pretty good burger with a view like this?! Beats substandard fish’n’chips any day!

Are you a burger fan? Where do you recommend this burger fanatic to try next?!

Lifestyle: Overload at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Canterbury

You know me, I love a good burger! My ultimate burger definitely includes cheese, quite possibly bacon, and I can’t resist some soft, beautifully caramelized onions either. Just the thought is making my mouth water to be honest!

 photo Gourmet Burger Kitchen Review 8_zpsx5hxvgf9.jpg photo Gourmet Burger Kitchen Review 2_zps7qg4ynqn.jpgBurgers are a pretty simple thing, but they’re rarely done right. I’ve loved offerings at Byron before, and I love Five Guys for the ‘so bad but so good’ junk food fix. Unfortunately though I’d had some really terrible burgers. Patties so overcooked they’e bypassed pink, sped past just-about-appetizing and firmly entered grey’n’tough territory. Stale bread rolls so dry they actually crunched (and nope, they weren’t toasted). Bacon that was barely fried, let alone crisp. Fridge-cold onion (raw onion is fine, cold fried onions is a no-go). Some might call me fussy, but all I want is a well-cooked burger, preferably medium but I don’t care as long as it is juicy, some gooey cheese, a fresh bun, a bit of crispy bacon, basically a bit of love going into my meal.

With my burger-love it was with some trepidation that I accepted a invitation to review the relatively-newly opened Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Canterbury. A fellow burger-love, Libby joined me (she was extremely gutted the Satay Chicken wasn’t available the day we visited, though it gives us an excuse to go back!).

 photo Gourmet Burger Kitchen Review 5_zpslabnnqep.jpg photo Gourmet Burger Kitchen Review 6_zpsrgb2marh.jpg photo Gourmet Burger Kitchen Review 4_zpsryegwdjg.jpgWe both opted for a side of Sweet Potato Fries with Baconnaise. These fries are some of the better ones available (Ed’s are so far the best I’ve tried, but these are infinitely better than Bill’s!) – and the baconnaise is addictive! Salty, intensely savoury, with a mild but pungent garlic flavour. So good. 

Onto the burgers, and Libby went for a Taxidriver. Beef patty, American cheese, house onion ring, Cajun relish, smoked chilli mayo, dill pickle, salad, brioche bun. It looks amazing and she seemed to enjoy it – and I certainly wish GBK offered brioche buns on more of their burgers.

 photo Gourmet Burger Kitchen Review 9_zpseb1vc9yr.jpg photo Gourmet Burger Kitchen Review 7_zpslnoxjgot.jpgI opted to ‘Build my Own’ using a starting point of a 6oz Patty with Smoked Applewood, and adding bacon and onion rings. Unfortunately there was a slight mix-up with my order, and despite them noting my allergy and removing the tomato it came coated in a tomato-relish – oops! They were lovely about it and quickly made me up a fresh one, though I was quite concerned to be told that it was lacking salad as that comes pre-prepared with tomatoes (I’ve always had salad in my burgers there before, so if this is the case I’ve been lucky not to have a reaction!). My burger was huge, perfectly cooked, full of melty cheese and plenty of mayonnaise (that wasn’t fridge cold either!). The bacon could have been crisper, but the extremely crunchy onion rings more than made up for it – a delicious lunch that I struggled to finish!

*Disclaimer: I was invited to review GBK and received a voucher as part-payment. The restaurant did not know I was there to review (though they may have wondered about the camera!) and all opinions are my own. I genuinely really, really, *really* love burgers…

Are you a burger fan? Where’s the best burger you’ve ever tried? What are your ultimate toppings?

 

Restaurant Review: Just Burgers & Beers, Edinburgh

We’d planned to have a ‘dirty’ meal at The Filling Station one night of our holiday – tasty, greasy, bad-for-you American style food, as opposed to local Scottish ingredients and a more romantic environment. We found it to be closed for refurbishment, and we’re particularly taken by other menus especially as we try to avoid big chain restaurants. Then we spied this place over the road…and headed on over to have a menu browse. Within about 30 seconds we’d confirmed we’d be visiting, and the second night of our holiday saw us scurrying up the Royal Mile for a burger fix. The actual restaurant is just lovely, really roomy, far from crammed in, light, perfect level of music, and the decor is just amazing – I took the above photo from their facebook page as it show perfectly both the amazing food and amazing room. The menu is so, so simple – it is pretty much burgers and beers!

 photo 2014-06-18191945_zpsea29c46d.jpgThe drinks list is presented on a clipboard, and is four/five pages of beers, then a page for soft drinks, ciders and wines (red or white). My boyfriend opted for a sweet Coconut Beer, which he really enjoyed, and which seems to be hugely popular with their customers. Personally I felt it smelt too much like shampoo to even try, but I’m far from a beer-girl. Cider was calling my name, so I went with the unusual Old Mout Kiwi & Lime – it was delicious! Its actually (quite embarrassingly!) the first time since my operation that I’ve drank a whole bottle of cider, the other ‘first’ time actually involved secretly disposing of some down the sink! This is the perfect cider for those who like less dry drinks, its also not as fizzy as some, however its not as sweet as it sounds. They also do a Passionfruit version (they’re available in Tesco!) which I’ve also enjoyed since my holiday.

 photo 2014-06-18192823_zpsf34efe11.jpgHaving not been particularly well the night before (overeating on top of a five hour train journey, never good!) I was meant to be sticking to something smaller, something a bit more sensible, like a plain old burger, or even one with a little cheese. Did I follow my self-imposed rules? Nope, I went for The Mac Attack – the menu puts it better than I can, but basically its a cheeseburger with mustard and a mac’n’cheese fritter. Sounded like my idea of heaven!

 photo 2014-06-18193830_zps6fdae70a.jpgThere it is in all it’s glory – it was massive! No way were we picking this bad boy up and eating with hands, it was a cutlery challenge. I’m afraid to say I actually ended up taking the fritter out and eating it seperately as I wasn’t a huge fan of it in the burger, but on its own every element was delicious! The burgers were cooked lovely and pink (love a pink burger!) and were so meaty, flavoursome and juicy. I also loved the beer mustard – I have a thing for mustard at the moment anyway, but this was amazing. It also paired well with the fritter – which was good although I think our were a tad overcooked as they were very solid. Overall I reckon the burgers could have done with a bit more ‘goo’ as everything was a little solid, but it was a damn good burger. Can’t say I was overly impressed with the chips as they were a little dry, I was having major food envy over other tables onion rings though!

 photo 2014-06-18194237_zps3c745b4d.jpg‘Fraid to say I got in a little bit of a mess eating mine…I loved the fact there was complete freedom to make up your own burger – I was so tempted to do that! Their Dirty South burger sounded stunning (I couldn’t deal with the hassle of checking tomato content of the pulled pork), my dream burger would probably be a medium-cooked beef patty, topped with a little pulled pork, some spicy-ish sauce, a little cheese, with some onion rings on the side. Mmm…
 photo Wills_zpsf651aa0c.png

I’m now craving a burger – what would be your dream burger?

Restaurant Review: Byron Hamburgers, MK

 photo 2014-04-19131504_zpsaea25213.jpgAfter reading that a new burger chain was opening in Milton Keynes (reasonably local to my non-term-time home) I’ve been planning a visit. I finally managed to visit Byron last Saturday, and can honestly say it was worth the wait!

 photo 2014-04-19131436_zps51fbadfa.jpgWe’d done a little bit of shopping beforehand, and were rather hungry for our lunch!

We ordered quite simply – drinks, a classic burger and fries each, and a coleslaw for me. What really impressed me was how well they dealt with any special requests – I wanted my burger without the tomato and my boyfriend requested his without the mayo. Both of these were done without question, and my allergy was noted on our tables ticket.

Fortunately the food arrived quickly.

 photo 2014-04-19132652_zps0cc67fc6.jpg

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 photo 2014-04-19132700_zps5bee01b4.jpgFirst of all – the fries and coleslaw. Its been a long time since I had fries as good as these, and to be honest the only fries I usually have are KFC’s. These were 100x better – crispy, light, well seasoned (although still improved with a sprinkling of salt!) and there was plenty of them. I definitely didn’t need a whole portion to myself, but I’m not sure sharing was an option given how quickly my other half polished off his! The coleslaw was some of the yummiest I’ve eaten, finely sliced veg and a thin dressing meant this was light and crisp against anything else.

Now the burger. As a picture speaks a thousand words, I’ll start with showing you this…

 photo 2014-04-19132912_zps5f8f6e7d.jpgPerfectly cooked for me (I’m sure some would disagree, my mum was disgusted when I spoke about a pink burger!), in a proper burger bun. Too many places have been serving burgers in ‘posh’ buns, but nothing beats these! The bread was soft, not at all stale and (most importantly) held together perfectly when eating. The meat was tender, juicy and wonderfully flavoured – you could definitely tell this was high quality beef!

I’ve been craving a properly cooking pink burger for months, I have a list of burger joints in London I want to visit, but Byron definitely satisfied my craving – proper meaty goodness at its best! I could never be a vegetarian…

 photo 2014-04-19131426-1_zpsaf6d490a.jpgWe were definitely very satisfied eaters! Despite being tempted by the Banoffee concoction, neither of us had room for pudding. Just another excuse to go back!

 photo 2014-04-19134551_zpsb6550ca6.jpgYou can tell from that photo how happy my boyfriend was with his meal! Our bill came to just over £25, which we thought was really reasonable for the quality and quantity of food. We’d have spent roughly the same on a Nandos (the queue for which is usually 45 minutes + in Milton Keynes for Saturday lunch!) and I personally enjoyed this far more. I’ll definitely be back, I’m now craving a cheeseburger!

What burger restaurants do you recommend?