The Burger Joint all but saved the day last Tuesday from what could have otherwise been hailed as a dinner-time disaster. I think it speaks volumes that my friends and I opted to trek all the way from Gloucester Road, in no less than monsoon-style conditions, from the venue initially chosen for our natter and nosh up. Although our 'first choice' served up a catalogue of errors which caused us to jump ship, the pull of The Burger Joint's undisputed reliability factor led to a burger-based pilgrimage across town and will no doubt underpin the (rather gushing) review that follows...
Date and Time: Tuesday 7th August 2012
Name of Establishment: The Burger Joint*
Location: Cotham Hill, Bristol
Reason for Visit: A trustworthy tummy tantaliser!
Intimately inviting, The Burger Joint hints at an American diner theme and yet ditches the tried-and-tested 'retro' effect for block-colour and sophisticated simplicity. It fathoms a similar appeal to that of a friend's gaff in that the venue's established neighbourhood-favourite badge has been channelled through its closely-arranged furniture and friendly ambiance; the latter clearly securing a strong following in that it can sometimes prove difficult to bag a table at all. In fact, this is perhaps the primary reason for the hotly anticipated re-location of The Burger Joint whereby owner, Dan and his crew will be swapping premises with the Whiteladies Road branch of Planet Pizza in the Autumn of 2012.
On to the menu and first of all, I have to commend the novelty-factor of ordering from tick-lists; checking the boxes that correspond to your chosen content; toppings, sauces and side-orders. I almost always opt for the grilled chicken burger as it ultimately constitutes a free-range, amply-sized and juicy chicken breast which, coupled with crispy bacon and slathered with melted Swiss is simply delicious! Besides chicken, you can choose from the likes of 6oz prime beef, lamb and mint, pork sage and apple, mixed mushroom and even venison – on the large part, burgers have been priced at £7.50, though there are often 'Voucher Cloud'* deals to be had to satisfy the spending-savvy amongst us!
Toppings, at 70p each or three for £1.80, are positively plentiful and you're encouraged to unleash your creativity with a multitude of available combinations; in fact, a friend of mine once ordered the unthinkable and 'doubled up' his burger via an unusual multi-meat approach; sandwiching chicken with beef with a buffer of onion rings - tasty? We can only take his word for it...! Extremities aside, there are four varieties of cheese on offer including the aforementioned Swiss as well as Brie, Cheddar and a good-quality blue. There is also the option to add chorizo, roasted peppers, grilled red chillis, sautéed mushrooms or even a free-range fried egg! Sides (the first of which is free with your burger) are as equally abundant; the hand-cut chips proving thick and moreish and the home-made coleslaw, flavoursome and creamy. That said, the absolute winner for me has to be the sweet potato fries which are by far, the best I've ever tasted given their well-executed composition whereby a crisp exterior suitably encases the distinctive soft, earthiness within. We're also talking thirteen different sauces - two of which you can choose for free - which include all the usual suspects. These can can either be added to your burger or provided in rather lady-like dipping pots on the side of your plate! When it comes to the bap itself, gone is the doughy, anaemic-looking bloat-provoker that can so often be cheaply sourced elsewhere and instead, ciabatta rolls have been facilitated from a nearby artisan bakery. It is also worth mentioning that lettuce, red onions, sliced tomato and slithers of (the dreaded) gherkin are added to each burger as standard and so if any of these ingredients don't particularly float your boat, it is best to add a brief sub-note to your form, (complete with smiley face as let's face it, it always pays to be polite). Finally, you can remove the carb-component altogether in favour of the burger salad which is exactly what it says on the tin – your choice of burger, with all the trimmings, sans bread!
|Grilled Chicken Burger with all my favourite trimmings!|
|Check out those sweet potato fries!|
As a licensed venue, The Burger Joint offers a compact yet thoughtfully arranged selection of beers, wines and cider which, in my view, stand at prices outside of the usual Clifton-style spectrum, (vino coming in at just over three quid for a medium-sized glass). Alcohol aside however, the milkshakes (at a mere £2.60 each) are definitely where it's at given their thick, rich-tasting appeal; the caramel edition in particular proving especially decadent. This also makes up for the limited line-up of puddings which, to be fair, I've never had room to sample!
In conclusion, I really can't recommend The Burger joint enough; if the premise of tasty, build-your-own burgers doesn't move you, nor the notion of fresh, locally sourced ingredients whereby an 'emphasis on quality' denotes that everything is hand-made in a cutesy home-from-home style kitchen, then surely the timely money-saving deals, in addition to the option to order your din dins 'to-go' so to enjoy it from the comfort of your own home, will swing it for you! Yes, it may not be considered gourmet cuisine but The Burger Joint is definitely the best of its kind in our beloved Bristol – get involved...you'll definitely be glad that you did!
And now for the second opinion...
My fellow diner, the beautiful SM, gave The Burger Joint an impressive 10/10 and in three words, summed up her experience as 'satisfying', 'delicious' and 'consistent'.