Sunday, August 14, 2011

Byron Burgers, Covent Garden, doesn't understand what a burger is.

I'd heard a few rumours of decent burger joints in London. Byron consistently was highly rated so after getting some good news the other day I decided to treat myself to a mid afternoon burger and beer.

Byron is one of those places that both makes you both happy and angry all within 30 minutes.
First things first, they had Brooklyn Lager, a lager I love since I've been to the brewery many times in Williamsburg and used to live a quick L train ride from it in New York. Served in an chilled glass it was perfectly brilliant as I waited for the burger I had ordered.

Fun fact. This logo was designed by the same guy who did I <3 NY.

The burger I had ordered was a straight up cheeseburger with American cheese. I'm a purist when it comes to burgers, components should be tomato, lettuce, cheese, pickle and beef.
One of the things I HATE is when a burger is served in a generic bap which is like eating through leather, so when the burger arrived I took one look at the anemic looking bread and sighed, disheartened.

Flour Power:(

Everyone knows you eat with your eyes first, and that bread is over floured, too white and simply too big. Luckily it squished down enough and tasted ok, but unfortunately I was already on my way to being pissed off with this Britburger.

The beef in the burger itself is a credit to the line chefs slaving away serving up these things to a busy Thursday lunch crowd. A perfect medium, juicy burger although the meat has no real texture of it's own, but that's not the chef's fault, it's whoever is sourcing and directing this shitshow. It may benefit from the smashing technique.

Perfect Medium, note too much bun on top.

I didn't bother with fries, but they looked like standard mcdonalds clone shoestrings.
I was impressed with them having Cholula, an amazing mexican hot sauce I used to smear all over tacos in the US.

Love this stuff, have some in my home at all times for emergency unblanding of food.

The staff were nice, but here's where I'm going to focus a little more on what really pissed me off. In short, a burger is a simple beast, I've made dozens, I know what the raw materials required are and I know a bloody great burger can be made very cost effectively. So when this came I was a little aghast.

Are you taking the piss?

On what planet is a cheeseburger £7.50 !? At time of writing that's $12.10 - for a FUCKING CHEESEBURGER. Even Manhattan's best and most popular burger place, Shakeshack a cheeseburger is $4.25. I'm not a cheapskate, I've paid hundreds of dollars/euros/pounds/whatever for meals in the past, and I understand labour and rent costs, but this is just shameless. The service is pretty non existent anyway because it's so busy at lunch, they're literally throwing the food at you, and they have TWO hosts at the door, so I guess what you're paying for really here is all the staff, I'd rather walk to the counter to get my burger myself, and I'm more than capable of finding an empty table myself too.

Here's a tip they could learn from Shakeshack. You don't need those 20 'cool' hipster waiters running around, get a ticketing system, cut your costs, then cut your god damn prices. Until then I won't be back here.
Shake Shack's cheap waiters.

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