When somewhere called “Burgerfest” opens on your home town and you’re as into burgers as I am it’s a no-brainer to want to check it out. You probably don’t realise this but it’s owned by the Lifestyle and Hospitality Group, these are the guys that own Mambos and also the Apple and Parrot so you’ll be familiar with their brands as they grow across multiple verticals in the South West.
So, on a Friday evening myself and fellow Burger reviewer @russt gave them a call, asked if they had a table in 5 and rushed to the ex-dellars-koko-okoko establishment.
This building is more suited to a trendy burger restaurant than a nightclub. The exposed flooring and ceiling etc. give character, the views over the river will be great when the summer arrives and the graffiti murals that line the walls add a youthful freshness.
Interestingly, and bizarrely, the youth that are attracted here are young attractive females, no lie, the ratio is about 5 to 1, no good for me a married old man but good to know if you’re a trendy young buck wondering where the new IRL pickup opportunity is. Odd considering the place is all burgers and beers.
The format is simple and similar to say Byron Burger, pop culture themed burger names with interesting ingredients to suit the tone. Add to this draft US beers and milkshakes and you have a diner feel. The best bit is you go up and order and pay prior to service so once you’re done, you’re done.
They also serve a savoury + sweet donut burger, we’ll get to that in a minute.
All burgers are exactly the same price – £7, with exception of the £25 challenge burger and the double “Bad Boy” which is £9 – two patties. All fries and sides are reasonable as is the beer.
Lettuce and tomato
Ketchup and Mayo
The Burger was cooked well (despite the menu saying ask for it this way, implying a medium standard) so not the best but it was REALLY lean, surprisingly so.
The Brioche was kinda dry, although fresh, I can only imagine more to the recipe than the freshness which is fine, but it needed more sauce in that case as with the lean patty was a little difficult.
Saying all that the meat was great tasting and the thin slice of pastrami added some nice flavour. For £7 I was happy and when finished the lack of any kind of grease actually made me feel like it was kinda healthy!
The Smokey Joe
Lettuce and tomato
2 x Onion rings
Again cooked well, but with the addition of onion rings and also fatty bacon / BBQ sauce was a lot more moist.
Considering this was the same £7 it did look a lot more substantial than the Soprano, but I guess Italian ham is expensive.
So we saw the Bronut on the menu, wasn’t sure about eating a whole one but decided to share as a kind of Burger desert.
This was a brilliant idea.
Now, I was prepared not to really like this, it’s a savoury burger with the filling of a PB & J sandwich FFS! but as i sliced off a sliver and popped it in my mouth something wonderful happened. It went: Sweet, Meaty, Slimy Cheesy, Sweet and crunchy, Sweeter again and fatty sweet nomnomnom.
What should be horrific was actually a real revelation, a bit like my first battered Mars bar.
Now I’m not sure about it as a main, as it’s kinda small and really rich but as a treat or a sharing side it’s delicious.
Russ however wasn’t so convinced, giving the puzzled expression of “what is that” I then found out he didn’t actually know if he liked peanut butter, and this probably wasn’t the vehicle to pop a peanut butter cherry. I think the consistency and overpowering flavour may have marred it a little for him. But I bloody loved it!
I love sweet potato so there was no decision to make, but upon ordering we were offered a dirty sweet potato fries, the fries covered in cheese and jalapeños.
Let me just say this was by far the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had, even without the toppings but with it, OMG it was mind blowing. For £3.50 a real bargain, I’m almost afraidf to say that in case the price goes up.
Overall this was a great start to what I hope will be a lasting relationship as I clearly love burgers and this has all the trappings of a good burger restaurant in my home town.
It’s not perfect, but with a few refinements to the cooking of the food and the bread it would be truely fantastic, especially at this price point.
Of course it will do well whatever, it’s below a nightclub in a very youthful area of town, already surrounded by bars and eateries. Hopefully that will spur it on to really stand out as a higher quality establishment than settle at average.
p.s. There is an N64 setup with 4 controllers, and a cool table version of Pacman for you retro gaming folk.