I had been waiting to try a Cow N Bun for literally months but it was always difficult for me to find a way to eat one as a meal, and all the photos, and reviews I’d seen indicated this really was a meal.
You see, I live in Taunton but I’m originally from Bridgwater. My parents still live there so I’m there all of the time, but if I’m visiting then usually I’m going to be eating a roast or something else delicious at the parents.
Anyhow, an old pal was back visiting from Australia, I’d taken the day off to go for beers, it was nearly 4pm (cow n bun’s) opening time… The moons had aligned. It was happening!
At about 4.05pm last Friday we entered the humble establishment. Two burger chefs greeted us and there was already a regular, perched on a stool. Quickly realised this guy was the bossman. OK, adds a little transparency to the visit.
Immediately I could see one of these chefs was super enthusiastic. He’d literally just started his shift, massive smile, loads of enthusiasm, something very welcoming about the guy.
Edit: This guy’s name is Steve-O and is apparently known for his enthusiasm and work ethic. Good work dude.
So, to start the review I did my usual, ask for something as close to a cheese burger as possible (it’s kind of my scientific baseline, my control). Oh no, not here. Everything here is a bit crazier than that and after working out what i could get and then subtract to get there I thought F it and went with the suggestion shouted out by the bossman, “double bacon stack”.
OK everything is super exposed so you can see exactly what’s going on. I would have taken photos of the process but I wanted a proper customer experience.
The patties were freshly removed from the fridge, very thick,
clearly from a butchers. There was plenty of white chunks visible, maybe 40% fat. Remember fat is flavour, don’t ever think that lean necessarily means better (unless you’re going for a ground steak experience).
OK, here’s where I knew this was going to be good, as the patties were added to the hotplate, they were doused in oil again but then coated in seasoning from a shaker (a pro move). I could see this wasn’t just salt as it had a brown colour, I assumed a salt / pepper mix but could have easily added some cajun or maybe another mix. Hard to tell at the end as there was A LOT of flavour but either way, seasoning is no joke here, and nor is the moisture of a burger.
Edit: I got a reply from Mark (AKA Mr Bossman). I stand corrected, somehow these awesomely juicy burgers are lower in fat that they appear – so are actually quite a bit healthier than I imagined (but probably still not ideal for dieting 😉 ) Thanks Mark:
“we hand make all burgers in store daily (we never get anything pre made) using award winning beef (voted best beef in southwest last 2 yrs) that’s hung for 28 days, and is our choice of cuts which is chuck and brisket 15-20 % fat hence what enhances the flavour, along with our 5 blend house seasoning we use (but I’m not gonna give that away haha) “
Both patties were frying and out came some bacon. Lots of bacon, already part cooked and covered in some kind of glaze. As this hit the plate the smell and sound of caramelisation. Excitement was building. They actually call this “Candy Bacon”.
Officially the cheese used here is “Jack and Mozza”, which I assumed meant Monterey Jack and Mozzarella. That may well have been added but there was A LOT of cheese going on. Interestingly I saw the chef using smaller cheese slices (2/3 of the size of a normal slice). Looked like burger cheese (kraft) and that may have been because my original request was for a cheeseburger. I didn’t get the spice of Monterey Jack, I didnt see the familiar tutti fruity like speckles of chilli in the cheese of Monterey Jack but I did get the creaminess of Mozzarella. That’s not to say the cheese was in any way a disappointment.
The other saucy side of this burger was what was listed as “Bacon Relish”. Now the burger obviously had a lot of flavour and a lot of bacon,anyhow, so hard to decipher if the relish had any bacon flavour. However, this relish, this relish is sublime. It’s super sweet and super chunky like a really good relish from childhood memories of family BBQs on the Quantocks. Surprisingly the relish flavour really popped over all the other flavours in the burger and added a complementary sweetness to the bacon but an acidic quality to cut through the creamy dairiness of the cheese and dampen the spice of the burger.
When the burger was complete, with the patties being cooked to medium, the entire burger was built but then placed back onto the hotplate. A bowl was placed over the burger and a clear liquid poured inside which immediately turned to steam. I joked that it was a clever idea, make everything super soft by steaming it! Bossman then joked back that it was actually Vodka for flavour! I was amazed and intrigued but quickly realised he was joking, but he did seriously tell me that they do a burger that is steamed in whisky and for a Bourbon lover like me, that has me hooked for a review for another day.
OK so let’s finish this up, what was the overall burger like (TL;DR: Bloody awesome): We have a very tall very soft, very juicy burger in general (do not eat this at lunch with a suit on).
- The bun is fresh and delicious and very soft due to being steamed.
- The burgers are thick, fatty, seasoned and juicy.
- The candy bacon is thick, streaky, fatty and super sweet.
- The cheese is ample and creamy and delicious.
- The relish is stand out, super sweet, chunky, complex, acidic and really really nice.
I can’t wait to revisit. No joke this is now the BurgerReview.co.uk burger to beat. Bravo.