Saturday, 2 August 2014

Byron Burger - Manchester

I hadn't been to a branch of Byron for several years but was off down to a First Chop brewery social and found myself on that side of town in a dire situation (Fire and Salt BBQ had just announced they were cancelling serving food down there last minute);  therefore in a desperate panic for some fatty carbs before drinking any beer. So, would Byron save the day?  
It was a lovely summers day and they were making the best possible use of the huge space they have with the outdoor tables on John Dalton Street well filled. The huge doors on the side of the restaurant were wide open which resulted in a lovely breeze within the restaurant, it was a really genuinely pleasant spot to sit off at.

330ml cans of beer for just under a fiver always feel like a bit of a piss take, I know it's only a little shy of the 375ml in a bottle but cans just feel so cheap. I got stuck into the Byron Pale, which is brewed by the Camden Town Brewery and was perfectly serviceable but nothing particularly special - it really reminded me of a slightly watered down very of the Camden Town Pale.

Burger wise this time I tried the Classic Byron which features the Byron meat patty with cured bacon, a slice of mature cheddar and the usual garnish (lettuce, tomato, red onion) and sauces. A well balanced burger that wasn't so overloaded that it didn't hold together under eating pressure but that still felt like substantial. On this evidence for a chain they're doing things right and sticking to their principles of doing 'proper burgers' well.

One thing that I was surprised about was that they wouldn't cook my burger rare; medium or well done being the only options. I just had a look at the website and there's a message stating "We believe hamburgers taste best when cooked medium, but have also been happy to cook them however our customers want upon request. However, following the intervention of one local authority, we’re now going to have to say ‘no’ to the small number of you who want your hamburger rare." A real shame, a rare burger for me is a thing of beauty whilst I appreciate there are risks involved (however minimal) I just prefer the taste of a blue burger - perhaps this is something i'll just have to get used to when not in control of my own meat.
The Special at the time of visiting was the Miami Slice and was made up of the standard Byron burger, covered with a handful of crispy potato fries, what tasted like the standard Byron American cheese and hot sauce that was apparently created by a thin layer of melted Nduja tucked away that gave the whole burger an oily but not unpleasant finish. The bun was a sourdough bun but was very floury, more like a bun from a traditional british bakery than a typical burger restaurant. The contents of the burger was very good, I really enjoyed the kick of heat and the fine crisps on top gave an aditional crunch that would've been missing without the standard Byron bun. It was served with a small portion of pork scratchings, i'm used to the cheap ones in the pub and these were a more delicate version of those - pleased to report no hairs in sight either. Overall, a take on a burger that was new to me and that I enjoyed very much.
Courgette fries were a mistake - long slices of courgette that I presume must be dried before deep frying but that still just tasted really watery. The batter was crispy but pretty bland and when they were dunked in sauce to add flavour bits of the batter started coming away just causing a right mess. Some vegetables are just not made to be deep fried and watery courgette is certainly near the top of that list for me.

The classic Byron was a very solid 8/10 burger and the "burger of the month" was a tonne of fun. Quick shout out to the serving staff who were all extremely up-beat considering it was a busy Saturday lunch time, the service was fast and efficient. I feel like i've slightly overlooked Byron and will be keeping an eye more closely on their specials in the future. I do think that at just under £40 for two burgers, two beers and a side of courgette fries it was a shade more expensive than Almost Famous so they'd still be my preference but the standard of the food and imagination in the special can't be disputed. 
Byron Burgers on Urbanspoon

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