“ Enjoy fresh chargrilled gourmet burger at any three locations in England. „
There used to be a lovely restaurant called LSQ2 at my local shopping centre The Oracle in Reading. They did a fantastic Sunday roast for a tenner and always had live music, which set it apart from the other mediocre food outlets in the area. Unfortunately, probably due to the recession, it disappeared a few months ago and was replaced by a Handmade Burger Company. I'm not a big fan of burgers so I had given this place a wide berth until last weekend when we took our son to the cinema for his birthday treat. After a thrilling evening watching Fast and Furious 6 we emerged blinking and slightly deaf into the fresh air and our son announced that he was starving (not an uncommon statement from him to be honest). As it was his birthday he got to choose where we ate and he chose the new burger place.
The restaurant itself is fairly small and we joined a queue for a table with about six people in front of us. A member of staff handed us a menu to look at and informed us that we would be seated in five to ten minutes. My husband is not good at waiting for anything and suggested that we try somewhere else but our son wanted a burger. So we waited.
After about five minutes the people in front of us gave up and left so we were next to be seated. I was unimpressed to discover that we had to order our food and pay for it in advance, I don't think that you should ever have to pay for food before you eat it, but I kept my thoughts to myself and we were shown to a table in the middle of the room. The kitchen is at the end of the building and the smells coming from it were quite appetising so we perused the menu and decided what we would like.
The menu was extensive with almost thirty types of burgers and a range of sides. The only option for dessert was ice-cream which was disappointing. The restaurant boasted extensively about its hand-cut chips, twice fried to be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. There were two versions to choose from, regular and seasoned. Now I am a fan of a good chip so I was looking forward to trying them. The burgers ranged from the usual cheese and bacon to more unusual varieties such as lamb and mint or chicken tikka. There was also a range of soft drinks, milk shakes and alcoholic beverages.
Typically it fell to me to go to the desk and order our food. The staff were all young and enthusiastic but it was very noisy in the restaurant so I had trouble making myself heard. I ordered a chicken breast burger with cheese and bacon for myself, a cheese burger with no salad or relish for my son and a blue cheese and bacon beef burger for my husband, along with three lots of chips and a side of coleslaw. Our drinks were "refillable" but I was simply handed three plastic beakers and instructed to fill them myself from the machine in the corner! Again, not impressed! The bill came to just over £40 which is reasonable I suppose.
After navigating the ice machine and filling my three tumblers with Fanta I found my table, inserted the number I had been given into the wooden holder on our table and we waited for our food. Everything is cooked to order so we waited roughly 25 minutes whilst sipping on watered-down fizzy drinks and trying not to eat the napkins.
A waiter eventually brought the food to our table, we had to ask for cutlery and we were not offered any sauces but he was pleasant enough. The food was served in cardboard boxes but we were given proper plates as well. The burger was good, nice soft bun and the chicken was chargrilled. There was plenty of fresh salad in it and it was huge! My son's burger was plain as requested and he managed most of it and my husband polished his off without complaining. The chips though were a major let-down. They hung forlornly over the edge of the box as if contemplating chippy suicide, pale and limp. Some of them were undercooked, meaning that they were soggy on the outside and hard on the inside. Not good. There were enough chips in one portion for all three of us but none of us ate more than a handful each. Cooking chips is not rocket science, they just need to be crispy and golden, even I can do it!
Overall, the burgers were okay, and the coleslaw was really nice. I used the toilet after our meal and it was clean. It was just average but I won't be visiting again.
I'm a devote Nando's fan and almost always end up in the when I go out for dinner or when I'm in town. My daughter persuaded me to try the Handmade burger Co when we were in the Bullring yesterday. I like a burger from time to time but I never have one in a restaurant as it's not really restaurant food is it, I've always considered burgers to be fast food.
The restaurant is in a really good place, right outside the bullring so you don't have to walk far in the cold. I thought it might be quiet in there as there's a Nando's, pizza hut and other restaurants within a 30 second walk from it but it was really busy.
We got to the restaurant and had to wait outside for a member of staff to come and find us a seat. He was really polite and friendly though. This was a bit disappointing as it's cold out and he said we'd be waiting 5-10 minutes because it was busy. After about three minutes though, he came back to show us to a seat. The restaurant is a really unusual shape as there's a few seats outside and inside then you go down the stairs to a large seating area. It was very busy which is to be expected on a Saturday evening. The seats are very close together and our table for two was about two inches from the table next to us which isn't great for a romantic or important meal. It also makes getting your coat off quite tricky without elbowing someone in the face. The lady who seated us was lovely and asked if we'd been to the Burger Company before. She proceeded to tell us about the burgers, recommended one of the beef burgers and told us where to order when we were ready. She was really cheerful and polite which is nice in a restaurant as I usually end up with a bored teenager mumbling at me.
It says on the wall that every burger is handmade and the beef comes from traditionally reared, grass-eating cows. This is quite reassuring, especically with the horse-meat scandal that's just come out. The restaurant is very clean and tidy with good lighting so you're clearly able to see what you're eating. It's nicely decorated and I love the counter that the food comes from. It's open so you can see the food orders being put on the side and you can see into the kitchen.
I was amazed when I opened the menu to see it was full of different burger varieties. There's a large range of beef burgers with different toppings, chicken burgers, lamb burgers and vegetarian bean burgers. They also have a kids range so you don't have to pay the same as adults if they're not going to eat a large burger. There's a variety of side orders you can have with your burger including chips, handmade coleslaw and corn on the cob. When we were seated, the waitress said we had to go over to the counter to order and pay for food which I thought was a bit of a pain, maybe because I'm a bit lazy, but you sit down comfortably, choose what you want then have to get back up to order it. It'd be a lot better to have a waiter come and take your order, especially in a busy restaurant that's not the easiest to walk around.
I opted for the Beef and Bacon burger which is a normal beef burger with cheese and burger relish with red onion and pieces of bacon with a side of chips and a diet Coke. The drinks came first, a glass bottle of coke and a glass which I quite liked as I think it taste better from a glass bottle than the drink 'taps'. They give you a litle stick to put on the table with your table number on so they know where to take your order.
Once you've ordered your food, they come and take the menu away and the tray that the drinks come on which is good as the table was really small so the space was needed for the food. The burger came out on a small white plate then she went to fetch the chips which were in a white bowl. There was a generous helping of chips which I was glad about as the burger didn't look that big so I assumed I'd be wanting a dessert.
The burgers aren't very wide but are quite tall meaning I needed to squish it down a bit before tackling it. Even then, it was still tricky getting my mouth around it as it was still large. The beef burger was very thick, about an inch and a half so you get a lot more meat than you do on a normal burger from a fast food restaurant. You can see it's handmade and seems really fresh. There was two slices of cheese, two slices of tomato, a handful of red onion, a few strips of bacon and burger relish on the top. I took the tomato off as I don't like it but left the rest on. I'm not really a big fan of burger relish but I'll make an exception for theirs as it was beatuiful. The burger is thick, chewy and tastes amazing. It is the most tasty burger I've ever eaten. You can taste the high quality beef and melted cheese mixed with the slightly more chewy bacon. The bun is lovely and soft and fresh so it's easy to bite into. I wanted to eat the burger but also wanted to savour it as it tasted so good.
As well as my burger I had my side of chips which didn't seem to be going down despite me eating them. I think the chips are hand-cut as they're not like frozen chips that I have at home. They reminded me of the chips I had years ago with the old chip pan. They were really soft and tasted fantastic after I'd put plenty of salt on.
I'm not sure what I thought of the toilets. I walked to the sign saying 'washrooms' to see about six doors with a male And female logo on. I looked in to see each cubicle has a toilet, sink and hand dryer in so they're unisex. The toilets were very clean and tidy and smelt like air freshener which was nice. I quite liked having a private toilet where you can wash and dry your hands. I liked the toilet but wouldn't be keen for a child to go on their own as I think it's a little bit dangerous having unisex toilets. In saying that I always accompany my grandson to the toilet and he's almost 7 as it's better to be safe than sorry.
I thought it was a little bit pricey when we paid, it came to the £30 mark for two burgers and chips and two bottles of coke. I felt a bit robbed until I'd finished eating when I realised you're paying for quality and quantity. I only just about managed to finish all of the chips and burger and didnt' feel hungry again all night. It was lovely food and on a completely different level of quality to the burgers I've had from other restaurants and fast food chains.
Overall, I loved the food with a passion, it's something I think I could eat every day as it really was lovely. It's not the best restaurant as it was packed and I struggled to get back out of my chair as someone was seated directly behind me. It's not ideal for a first date either as the burgers really are a mouthful! I'd definitely go there again, I can't wait. I'd recommend it to others too as I thoroughly enjoyed our meal there. I'm going to give it four stars as I thought the lack of space in the restaurant let it down but the food is top notch!
If you're in the mood for a burger, then this is the best place to go. Having tried the Gourmet Burger Kitchen and this place, I would choose the Handmade Burger Co. every time. They have a much bigger, more varied menu than GBK and overall, the food is better. The burgers are really big and very tasty, they also tend to cook them medium which I think is the best way of getting the most flavour from the meat.
The side dishes are also extremely good, with the homemade coleslaw and the chips being my favourite choices. The chips taste like proper, homemade chips as opposed to the standard over chip things you get in some places (where you could have bought a bag yourself from the supermarket for £1!). They also do some really nice sauces, the BBQ one is the best in my opinion and again, it tastes really authentic and homemade, not straight out of a squeezy bottle!
Service has always been good here, quick and straight forward and have never had any problems with them bringing the wrong order or anything. Would definitely return in future!
We first visited the Handmade Burger Co. in the Metro Centre on New Years day. We were given a 2for1 voucher when we placed our order, so went back to use it and now I'd say we visit around once a month.
==About the Handmade Burger Co.==
The Handmade Burger Co. is a small chain of eleven restaurants, located around the country, the one I'm reviewing is the Metro Centre branch in Gateshead. As I'm sure you can guess from the name they make handmade burgers and all of their beef comes from traditionally reared, grass fed cows, and is 100% traceable.
The restaurant is located on the first floor of Gateshead's Metro Centre in the yellow quadrant which is now known as 'The Qube'. If you park in the yellow multi-storey it will be the first place on the left when you enter the mall, directly next to the Odeon cinema.
The restaurant is clean and bright with wooden tables in the centre and booths down each side with leather seats. If we go on a quiet day and a booth is available they always seat us there - which I like as it always annoys me to go to a half empty restaurant and be seated on a hard wooden chair when a cosy booth is not being used! The other non-booth tables have good spacing on either side so you do not feel like you are intruding on someone elses meal. That said, I do find that if someone is sitting at the table behind me and I need to pull my chair out, it can be difficult and requires asking the person at the table behind to move (which understandably I hate) or else breathing in and squeezing out as best I can! Décor is light and airy with black and white floral wallpaper and wooden floors and condiments are supplied on the table. Toilets are located at the back of the restaurant and although very small, I've always found them to be clean. The restaurant is child friendly and high chairs are supplied although I've seen them request prams are left at the front of the restaurant during busy times.
You are presented with a menu when you go into the restaurant and told which section you are in. You actually need to go to the counter at the back of the restaurant to place your order, something I personally don't like. I feel it would be much easier to have a waiter come to take the order, but most of the time it's not too big a deal so perhaps I'm just being lazy! You will be given any drinks you order at the counter on a tray, as well as a little number to put in the wooden holder on your table. The drinks menu is pretty good, they sell a range of wines and beers, but as I rarely drink alcohol and my fiancé is usually driving we tend to stick to cola which is served in glass bottles.
The menu has a range of burgers and is set into sections, such as beef, chicken, lamb, vegetarian etc... Kids burgers are also available as well as smaller burgers for those watching the calories. I should also mention the Jimmy's Farm range. This is a range of rare-breed, free range matured beef burgers. These are not much more expensive than the other burgers on the menu, but are something I have been meaning to try.
As we have been there a good seven or eight times now, I've tried a range of options from the menu. On my last visit I tried a chicken burger for the first time and was surprised to find that it wasn't so much a burger as a flattened chicken breast in a bun. I'm not complaining though, I'd much rather that than some minced up, breadcrumb coated thing you would expect to find in KFC! Others I've tried are the BBQ cheese and bacon beef burger, the blue cheese and bacon beef burger and the lamb and mint burger. The only thing I've ever tried from the menu which I haven't really been keen on was the blue cheese beef burger. Unlike the blue cheese and bacon beef burger which has a blue cheese mayonnaise, the plain blue cheese beef burger has huge chunks of cheese - far too much cheese for one person if you ask me - and I don't think it's a coincidence I went home feeling rather sickly! Others on the menu include chicken tikka, avocado and bacon and sweet chilli. Vegetarian options include a stack of mushroom, pesto and mozzarella, vegetable and bean patty and spinach and lentil patty.
On the whole I really like the burgers from here, aforementioned blue cheese variety excluded! The burgers are a good size and all come with salad and relish. My fiancé is very picky and always orders his plain which is never any problem for the staff. The burgers are always juicy and cooked well without being dry or overdone. The sour dough buns which the burgers are served in are really nice too and the salad is always fresh.
Along with our burgers we usually order a side of chips. The chips here are gorgeous and are like real 'chip shop' chips. Apparently this is because they are twice cooked. We have also ordered Peri Peri chicken skewers for the table a couple of times and again they are absolutely yummy. We have never eaten dessert here and to be honest I believe the dessert menu is quite limited with ice cream being one of the only options.
The staff all wear shirts and aprons bearing the company logo however underneath they often wear jeans and trainers. The staff are always polite and friendly, but I do sometimes feel that they come over to the table too much. As well as the standard 'is everything OK?' that you tend to get in every restaurant, they seem to come over and clear used bottles up regularly, ask if we want more drinks, come over to remove the number from the holder etc.. and I do sometimes think that I'd like to be left alone. We actually recommended this place to a friend who said that he felt pestered the whole time, so would not go back.
I did also on one occasion witness some very immature behaviour from one staff member. I do believe this was a one off, but basically he was making v signs and other rude gestures at his colleague while the customers back was turned. Whilst it didn't really bother me a whole lot, it does stick in my mind quite clearly and of course wasn't exactly professional. I think I would have been more annoyed had I had kids with me, especially as it's supposed to be a family friendly place.
I find the prices here fairly average. Most of the beef and chicken burgers cost between £6 and £8 each. Drinks are slightly pricey for what you get - a bottle of coke is £2.10 which I think is a lot given the size of the bottle. As I mentioned right at the beginning we were given a 2 for 1 voucher on our first visit and I would say its worth checking out the website for deals, as they frequently have offers - http://handmadeburger.co.uk
The restaurant has a loyalty card which you can have stamped on each visit to earn freebies. Five stamps gets you a free drink, six a free side and ten a free burger. Just ask at the desk and they can give you a card, which is totally free.
The Handmade Burger Co. is what I would class as a very good 'everyday' restaurant. It's somewhere we tend to go after a hard days shopping (!) or when out in a group. I don't think it's the sort of place you'd go for a romantic meal or on a special occasion, but what it offers is nice burgers at fairly reasonable prices and let's face it, it's a step up from Macdonalds!
WENT TO THE NEW RESTAURANT IN LINCOLN RECENTLY I MUST SAY FOR THE MONEY YOU SHELL OUT THE SERVICE IS APALLING....STAFF NOT VERY SMART AND DONT SEEM TO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT....THERES ANOTHER RESTAURANT NEXT DOOR ID GO THERE
A new restaurant recently opened in the Metrocentre in Gateshead. Recommended to my partner and I by a friend, we set off with two friends to try it out last Wednesday.
Perhaps due to the ever-popular Orange Wednesday, and the restaurant's convenient location right next to the Odeon in the Metrocentre's Qube, there was a queue outside. The queue was fairly big, but we didn't have to wait longer than 10-15 minutes and were provided with menus by a smiley staff member. It was, however, frustrating to look inside and see that many parties of two had been seated on four person tables, and that we had to wait while parties of two were allowed in ahead of us.
We were given a table for four in the corner, and the process of ordering was explained. You choose your food and go up to the till and order. You are then given a table number, which you display on your table. Your food and drink are then brought over by waiting staff.
The menu is fairly extensive as far as burgers are concerned, there are beef, chicken and lamb, as well as many vegetarian options. There are also salads for the more health conscious consumer. My friend tried to order the lamb tikka burger, and was informed at 7.30pm - when I would have thought they would have ensured a full range was available - that they'd run out.
Between us we ordered chips and a variety of beef and chicken burgers. The beef burgers were better stacked than the chicken, but all agreed (having ordered habanero, barbecue and stilton) that they could have been a bit more generous with the sauce. The bread is marketed as sourdough, but to me (I'll confess, I'm no bread connoisseur) it just tasted like normal bread.
If I'm honest, there is one main competitor to this chain in my opinion. I have been consistently impressed by the quality of the food at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen chain, and despite the many accolades displayed on this restaurant's exterior, I have to say that it didn't vastly exceed my expectations. Don't get me wrong, the beef burger itself was beautiful, rich tasting and cooked to perfection. It was the trimmings that let it down for me. The chefs had been stingy with the barbecue sauce, the lettuce was soggy and wilted, and the greasy chips were overcooked and overall more like crisps than chips.
The burgers cost from £6-9 pounds on average, and chips are charged as an extra. The portions of chips are quite big and we found 3 portions between 4 adults more than adequate. The drinks are quite pricey and we benefitted from ordering a jug of tap water - otherwise the 330ml bottle priced at around £3 might not have been enough.
In summary, the burgers were nice but after my friends' gushing reviews I was left a little bit underwhelmed. Perhaps I'll go back and try it again when it is less busy. There is no GBK in the vicinity so it looks like I'd better learn to love it!
Myself and the husband don't get out an awful lot these days due to having two munchkins and not a lot of funds to pay a babysitter. He surprised me on Tuesday night this week (18/01/11) with tickets to Strictly Come Dancing live, and as we had to get there for doors opening at 7:30 we decided we should grab something to eat before we went.
We parked at Meadowhall, so it made sense to also eat there. There are a lot of different places to choose from to eat, but when we got there we both fancied a burger, and this place was there in front of us inviting us in.
We arrived at about 5:30pm, so although not what i would call peak time with it only being a Tuesday, there were a few other diners in there. We were offered a choice of sitting inside or outside. We chose inside as i didn't fancy eating only feet from where people were walking past, and also there was music playing inside and it seemed a much nicer atmosphere.
We were taken to a clean table, and given a menu each. The system in this restaurant is you pick what you want from the menu, and then you go to the counter to order. You are then given a number to place in a stand and the waiter will bring over your drinks and food as it becomes ready.
We were a bit overawed by the number of different burgers that appeared on the menu. As well as traditional beefburger, you could also pick a chicken or lamb burger, or from one of 7 vegetarian burgers. This impressed me in particular as although i am not vegetarian, some places only have a few things on the menu suitable. And being a burger restaurant, it wasn't just bean burgers either. I would be tempted to order one of them next time we went. I also saw burgers from Jimmy's farm which is a nice touch for anyone who is a fan of the series and with no hope of going to the farm to try the meat.
It did take us a little while to choose, but I opted for a Milano beefburger at £7.15, which was a chunky beefburger served with pesto, mozzarella, mayo and rocket in a sour dough bun. My husband shocked me by ordering a cheese and bacon burger. (He never eats cheese, so i was shocked he ordered and ate it.)
One thing that did disappoint us was that we thought you should be able to order it as a meal - i.e. you go elsewhere to a pub for example, and you would get a burger with chips and maybe even a bit of coleslaw on the side. Here, if we wanted chips we had to order them separately. We caught a glimpse of another customers order and thought the portions looked quite large, so we ordered chips and also a plate of onion rings.
Drinks wise, there was a selection of beers, wines and soft drinks. I opted for a bottle of stella at £3.30, and my husband went for a coke.
The drinks were brought out fairly quickly, and the meal arrived within 10 minutes of ordering which we thought was very good. If the restaurant was full i guess that would have maybe doubled in time, but is still not excessive waiting time.
The burger i ate (The Milano beef burger) was thoroughly cooked and looked appetising. I found the filling amount was good in that it did not ooze out everywhere but i could not really taste the pesto that much. The rocket was fresh. The chips and onion rings were not too greasy, and my husband also said he enjoyed his burger.
Within half an hour from entering the restaurant we had ordered, eaten and were ready to leave having had an enjoyable meal. Total cost for 2 burgers, one bowl of chips, one bowl of onion rings, a large coke and a bottle of premium lager was £25.70, which to me is about right for a quick meal.
The main reason for choosing here is because we fancied a burger and thought it might be a quicker option than going to one of the other restaurants in the area. It was clean, pleasant, service was quick and we enjoyed ourselves, so we would definitely choose to go again if we were in the area. I was glad we went at the time we did as in the half hour we were there, the place filled up to capacity, so it is obviously a popular choice.
i have had the misfortune to eat at their branch at Meadowhall. after being served by a rather surly waitress, she placed our drinks on a sloping tray. this resulted in coke cola drenching me. fortunately she spotted this and rescued the drink on the floor, completely ignoring me. what service! if you like dry and overcooked burgers then this is the place to eat.
I've eaten in the Birmingham and Touchwood (Solihull) restaurants several times, and I've come to look forwards to a something I look forwards to when I visit the Midlands these days.
I really liked the emphasis on local ingredients I saw when I last visited, though the most recent menu seems to stress fresh, rather than necessarily local. I assume this is as a result of expanding beyond its original Midlands base.
The standout for me, however, is the range of vegetarian and fish burgers. I've always found Gourmet Burger Kitchen's veggie selection rather dull and stodgy, but vegetarian options aren't an afterthought here. There are classic veg burgers as well as more exotic combinations, so all tastes are catered for. Best of all, however, is the fish finger burger. Beautifully light fish fingers, plentiful amount, nice relish.
They also do more chicken and lamb burgers than rivals, so the menu is more interesting all-round. Smaller portions too.
I've eaten in several different burger chains and for variety and quality of ingredients, Handmade Burger Co is ahead of the competition, including the very popular GBK. Not only the burgers, but also the chips, buns and relishes are all topnotch. Again, not something I'd always say about GBK. My partner - a confirmed carnivore and GBK fan - also agrees that Handmade has the edge.
The restaurants themselves are nice too. The canalside location in Birmingham is lovely for a lunch and people-watching on a sunny day. Touchwood also has a modern and appealing restaurant. Service in both is friendly without being intrusive.
My only concern is whether the quality and attention to detail will continue now that the chain seems to be expanding. I've seen other local chains stagnate once they grow nationally, and I'd hate for these great restaurants to lose their charm. That remains to be seen.
After been dragged around Meadowhall for a couple of hours last night my wife was kind enough to treat me to a meal out at one of the shopping centre's many restaurants in the Oasis. After much debating and looking at menus we eventually decided to eat at the Handmade Burger Co.
We chose this restaurant for several reasons but mainly because we had a buy one get one free voucher from Voucher Cloud and because we'd never been there before. The other place we were considering was Frankie and Benny's but we deduced that The Handmade Burger Co would be about half as much for our meal.
And so we ventured into the restaurant and were seated almost immediately. The waitress asked if we'd been here before and then explained that it's not actually a table service restaurant and that we had to place our order at the bar. I use the term "bar" lightly as the restaurant had no beers on tap, instead preferring to charge nigh on £3 for a bottle of beer (to be fair, they did serve Corona, but it really grinds me when a restaurant doesn't do pints).
The wife went and ordered the food and within around 2 minutes our burgers and chips were delivered to the table - yes 2 minutes, the service really was that quick!
The food was fairly nice although the chips were more like chip shop chips than proper restaurant chips. I can't comment on the puddings as we didn't have one and thinking back, I'm not so sure if they even do them or not.
I love burgers, but I wasn't really impressed at all by The Handmade Burger Co as it didn't really feel as though we'd been out for a meal - it's kind of halfway between a restaurant and a fast food outlet and was pretty disappointing overall.
Off to watch Strictly Come Dancing (the live tour) yesterday in sheffield, we paid a visit to Meadowhall and decided to visit the Handmade Burger Company for lunch. We were first met with a "please queue here for a table" sign but were greeted within a few seconds and taken to a spare table. The surroundings were clean and open - no tripping over shopping bags here! we were given a three page menu and allowed time to browse. Two thirds of the menu was devoted to burgers - a range of beef, lamb, chicken and fish with a stunning array of toppings, mayo and side salads. The menu also includes a number of salds and side orders. the chips, for example, are all freshly cut each day and the burgers are avaliable to see being cooked - this is fresh food - not fast food.
After placing our order the wait was barely ten minutes and the largest burger you have ever seen arrived. I had ordered beef with cheese and bacon - the burger was around an inch thick and the chips were just like mum makes.
Let me make this clear - this is not macdonalds and the price reflects this - my burger was £6.95 and the chips were an extra £2 or so. But this is quality food, from responsibly sourced animals - and you can really taste the difference. There are offers around to reduce the price (the meadowhall web site currently has a 2 for 1 offer on the burgers) but this is a grown up meal that simply takes you away from the stresses of shopping. I, for one, will be going back again.
Whilst doing a bit of Christmas shopping earlier this week it got to tea time and my wife and I decided that we would call in somewhere for a bit to eat. Being at Meadowhall, Sheffield (a large shopping mall, see my other review for more information) at the time there are plenty of places to call into for some food and we decided that we would have a sit-down meal rather than a takeaway.
Deciding on where to call into I noticed a new addition to the choices available and went to have a look at the menu outside "Handmade Burger co" I must admit to being fond of burgers anyway even though my wife isn't overly keen but because other options were available we decided that we would give them a try as the menu sounded delicious.
Waiting to be seated we had a look round at the restaurant and noticed that it was clean and tidy and nicely set out with bold print messages on the walls stating that they specialise in "handmade, chargrilled gourmet burgers, using traditionally reared, grass fed, 100% traceable prime beef" After being sat almost immediately we were presented with a menu and instructions on how to order.
Their menu, as you would expect from their name concentrates on burgers served with various toppings, not feeling particularly adventurous I decided to have the "cheese classic"; a burger topped with cheddar served with salad, mayonnaise and relish. My wife (who will not eat beef) decided to have the chicken skewers with garlic mayo dip and I ordered our food from the counter as instructed, paid the total and ordered our drinks.
After only a five to ten minute wait our food was delivered, and my word, it looked delicious; the burger was easily an inch thick served with a generous helping of cheese and enclosed in a huge, sour-dough bun. I had ordered a side order of chips and was delighted to see that these were proper, homemade, chunky chips that looked like they had just come out of a deep-fat fryer. The burger and chips were absolutely delicious and made for a very filling, hearty meal. My wife's chicken skewers were made from chicken breast and served with a side salad with a dip and according to her were really tasty as well.
Although easy to do so, the burger should not be compared to the ones served at McDonalds. The beef was succulent and seasoned to perfection and expertly cooked, the addition of 'proper' chips made the meal all the more special and was perfect after an afternoons shopping. They call them "gourmet" burgers and I have to agree with that description. According to the company's website there are only 4 restaurants in the Uk based in Birmingham, Solihull, Leicester and the one we went to in Sheffield, if you do have one near you then I would 100% recommend you to pay them a visit.
My only minor criticism would be that the price of drinks is pretty high, a 330ml bottle of coke costs £1.85 and a pint of lager around £2.95 (I think, have checked the online menu but drinks aren't listed) so when added to the cost of the burger, skewers and chips meant that our meal came to just under £17.00. Even the chips were priced separately at £2.95, but I will forgive the price of them just for being so delicious. All in all though it would be a place that I would go back to and would certainly recommend it to friends and family.
The whole experience made for a lovely change from the normal fast food burger and although more expensive than you would expect to pay if you went to a fast food place the difference in price was well worth it for the quality of the meal we had.
The company's website should you want to check anything out, or want to see if there is one near you is: http://www.handmadeburger.co.uk/
From me, Handmade burger co. gets a well deserved 4/5 Dooyoo stars, only losing a star for the price of the drinks. The burger itself though would more than exceed 5/5 if I could score it higher.
A branch of Handmade Burger Company has recently opened at Meadowhall in Sheffield. My husband and I wanted a quick snack while shopping so it seemed a good place to try. It can be found upstairs in the Oasis food court.
~About the Burgers~
According to their website, all their beef is sourced from farm assured farms and has been traditionally reared, roaming the fields eating grass for most of the year and naturally developing a greater depth of flavor. They use the best cuts of prime beef and burgers are handmade in the restaurant every day, using 100% beef. Their chips are freshly peeled and cut in the restaurant and then double fried. The buns are sourdough and are baked and delivered to each restaurant fresh every day. Salads and vegetables are sourced from British suppliers where possible.
Beef Burgers come with a variety of interesting toppings to choose from:
Cheese, salad and relish
Cheese, bacon, salad and relish
Mango, lime and ginger salsa and salad
Spicy peanut sauce and salad
Mexican salsa, avocado and salad
Balti sauce, coriander, red onion and rocket
Hot chilli relish and salad
Smokey barbecue sauce and salad
Avocado, smoked bacon, salad and relish
Garlic mayo and salad
Aged stilton sauce and salad
Traditional pickle, cheddar and salad
Chicken Breast Fillets are also an option, with the following toppings:
Salad and relish
Cheddar, bacon, salad and relish
Pesto, mozzarella and rocket
Smokey barbecue sauce and salad
Spicy peanut sauce and salad
Cajun sauce and salad
Sweet Chilli sauce and salad
Brie, cranberry sauce and salad
Thai green sauce, red onion and rocket
Peri peri sauce and salad.
There are also lamb burgers, tuna fishcakes, fish fingers, an interesting vegetarian range, salads and sides. You can view the full menu on www.handmadeburger.co.uk
The restaurants also sell the relishes they use on their burgers. The following flavours are available: Burger Relish, Sticky BBQ Relish, Mango Salsa Relish.
~How to Order~
Ordering is really simple. Once seated, you choose from the menu, go to the counter, order and pay. They will ask where you are sitting and give you a number to put on a stand on your table, and then a waiter brings your order when it's ready.
On arriving at the restaurant we were seated at once, and given a choice of where to sit. It seemed too warm inside for my liking, so we chose to sit outside the restaurant, which isn't exactly scenic as it overlooks either the food court, or the cinema entrance. We ended up near the cinema, but were quite happy there as it was a quiet Friday afternoon and there weren't many people around, so it wasn't too hectic and we could eat in peace. My husband went to the counter to order, and our burgers and coke arrived about ten minutes later. I ordered the Smokey Barbecue burger and my husband ordered the Hot Chilli Burger.
In the interests of experimentation we cut them in half and swapped half so that we could try both.
The burgers were a good size and were so thick it was hard to get my teeth around them! The bread was substantial, fresh and tasty, much better than the soggy, spongy baps you get from fast food restaurants. The burger meat was firm and slightly crozzled on the outside as it was chargrilled, but moist on the inside. It had a good beefy flavor and was definitely good quality beef. I didn't detect any gristle, and the meat wasn't too greasy either, two things that bother me a lot! The burgers each had a small amount of salad added, but not too much that it takes over. The barbecue burger had a tangy barbecue relish that complemented the burger, but didn't add a strong flavour. It could have done with a bit more on actually. The chilli burger had a good chilli flavor to it, although it wasn't excessively hot. Both were well cooked and arrived at the table hot, so no complaints at all about the quality of the food.
I really like being able to order at the counter and pay up front. It saves waiting for the waiter to take my order or bring the bill when I don't have much time. I also liked being able to sit where I want. The burgers we had were £6.95 each so not cheap considering they don't come with fries unless you pay extra. However if you want something better than fast food takeaways, it's definitely worth paying that bit extra, as these really are nice quality burgers. As they had opening offers, we were lucky to be able to use BOGOF vouchers from the website, so they were definitely good value! However, I'd still eat there again at full price and would probably give the chicken a try. My carnivorous husband also enjoyed his burger and would eat there again in a flash, especially if I offered to pay! It's okay for a casual meal, and there's also a junior menu, so it's a good place for families.
Handmade Burger are a new chain of restaurants with branches in Birmingham, Solihull and Leicester. They provide gourmet style burgers in a setting that is somewhere between a resturant and fast food joint.
I have only visited the Leicester branch which is centrally located in the Highcross shopping centre. The restaurant is a strange mix between a traditional 'sit-down' restaurant and modern fast food purveyor. As you enter the host seats you at a table, with menus to choose from, but you go to a counter to order your own food. When the place is quieter it is a lot more reminiscient of a restaurant type service, with waiting staff coming to ask how your food is and if they can bring you anything. However when it's busy it's little much more than a McDonalds with menus- with slow service, big queues and very noisy company.
The burgers are really tasty. They offer beef, chicken, lamb and vegetarian options so there is something for everyone. The chips they sell separate from the burgers which I find strange, they are a few other sides to choose from as well. The drinks selection is also very varied, from fizzy drinks, fruit juices, milkshakes, bottled beer and much more.
This is my main complaint with handmade burger- it is very expensive for what you get. The burgers are all £5-£7, chips about £3 and soft drinks around the £2 mark with alcoholic drinks closer to £4. It is made more costly by the fact they give quite small portions in terms of drinks and sides. The burgers are heaped quite high but at £7 a pop without chips you wouldn't expect any less.
If you find vouchers for this place (as they are doing at the moment), it can work out cost effective to visit this place. Escpecially when it's quiet and the staff are so friendly and helpful to look after you. When it's busy however the queues, the atmosphere, the noise and the price make this place no better that visiting McDonalds- and if thats the case I'd rather go there and save my money.
I first visited the Leicester branch of the Handmade Burger company 2 weeks ago, having not heard of it previously. Not knowing what to expect, as burgers vary immensely, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, and portion of food offered.
The Handmade Burger Company does exactly what it says: sells handmade burgers, these do not come with chips as standard, but you can purchase a portion for around £2.65.
When you arrive, you choose a table, the menus are already there, and then place drinks and food orders at the counter. Your burger will then be freshly cooked, and brought to your table. It was about a 10 minute wait when I went on a Tuesday lunchtime.
The menu itself has an extensive range of burgers, with various varieties of beef, chicken and vegetarian. The beef burgers are made with 100% british beef, and the chicken burgers are a fresh chicken breast- nothing processed or manufactured. Your basic burger comes in a roll with salad and relish as standard, so if you don't like mayonnaise, ask at the counter for it without. I did this with no problems. You can then customise it by picking one of the options from the menu, they do the standard cheese, cheese and bacon, as well as sweet chilli chicken, and cajun. The vegetarian options consisted of a mushroom burger, a vege and bean burger, an onion barjee, and others. In all there are about 15 different beef options, 10 different chicken options, and 5 vege ones. There are also 2 fish options, a children's menu, and a few salads.
The burgers, when they come, are huge. I had the chicken with cheese and bacon, which contained a large chicken breast, 2 rashers of smokey bacon and cheddar cheese, and was thoroughly filling. Prices range from around £5.50-7.50, which isn't cheap for a burger, but the quantity, and quality makes it worthwhile. Childrens are between £3.50 and £4.50
Drinks are priced at around £1.85 for soft, with beers being about £3.
I will definitely visit the handmade burger company again when I visit Leicester. Unfortunately, there are only 3, one in Leceister, one in Solihull and one in Birmingham, but I'm hoping they'll expand soon.