One over the Ait, Brentford

We’ve discovered this gem just a couple of moths ago when going for a walk around Kew. I had a friend of mine over and we wanted to go the other pub, the Botanist, but just for the sake of trying something new, we’ve went to this one.

It’s the best looking pub I’ve been in. Has a fantastic atmosphere and it’s tastefully decorated.
The staff is friendly and polite and they seem to having a great time there, which helps the atmosphere with a positive vibe.

Has a balcony upstairs which I suppose will give out an excellent view to the Thames in the Summer. Good location too.

Anyways, as for the meal, I’ve tries out the Burger plus Bacon and Cheese.
The meat is pretty good, unfortunately it was on the medium side, so a bit dry, however the taste didn’t go away.
Everything is crunchy and enjoyable. The pickles, bacon, lettuce and the bread.
Fries are so-so, a bit underdone and soft.

If you go for pudding get the Sunday. Seriously, do it.
I’m not a peanut butter guy, but that ice cream with the brownie is probably the best thing I’ve had in a few years.

Also, there’s live music on Fridays.

Meal was little less than £20pp, which considering that we had beer as well, it’s a pretty good deal in my opinion.

Don’t miss this one.

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The Commander, Notting Hill – Not for burgers

On a sunny Sunday, most likely one of the last ones this year, we went to “the Commander” in Hereford Road, Notting Hill. A beautiful pub with some 20s/30s influences.

There’s also a nice dinner room and outside area


Well, I guess this will be the last time I’m praising this pub.

Let’s go to the burger directly

Looks appealing, it’s a bacon cheeseburger, you know, the standard.

Fries look nice.

Onto the first bite, first thing I noticed was… the patty flavour isn’t there! Second bite, this tastes even worse than Quorn!
We are talking about a 17pound burger here, not exactly a cheap “sandwich”. It went downright revolting after a few bits. The patty developed a nauseating palate without having any defining characteristics in it’s taste. It was the first time for me to have something like this in a burger. “The silence was deafening”.

The toppings weren’t exactly stellar, and this is where sometimes other burgers might be “saved” from being completely horrible.

The fries were definitely very good. Well fried, nice yellow, good seasoning. The only part on the burger that was enjoyable.

We have also had a couple of starters. The prawns were really, really good. So go there for the all the seafood.

A meal always deserves a good drink

And this perry is thirst quencher.

Summing up, the Commander is a nice pub. Not for burgers. Deffo for drinks and shellfish (the steak was OK, too). Also worth mentioning the chocolate mousse. And the slow service.

Avoid for burgers.

Food – 1.5/5
Choice of drinks – 4.5/5
Service – 2.5/5
Location – 5/5

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The Burger Joint, Bristol – Food overload!

On a day where the objective was to see a car in Bristol, the Burger Joint was a happy accident.
Bugers and cars. What’s wrong with me? 😛

So this is the entrance.

The concept is a “build it yourself and it’s done when it’s done”.

They give out one of these with a pencil, tick the boxes and that’s it. The menu is what you make of it.

First time there made me realize you innocent I am regarding this restaurant. We were starved, so not only the burgers were ordered, but also a couple of starters.
In this case, the Bruschetta and chilli cheese fries

The chilli fries are a meal. Make no mistake.
The fries are regular, but the toppings stuff and kill.

The burger takes about 30 minutes to come, but the fries didn’t finish. It seemed like it was a bottomless pit! (speaking of which, the sodas are bottomless)
So, it meant going to the main dish, the lamb burger, was done on a full stomach.

Could be why my recollection of the experience with this burger is average., The ingredients are good, but I have had better.
The meat was OK, but the toppings are quality.

And yes. Whenever you can, get a fried egg on top.

A few months later, now with a new car (the same I came to check out when went there for the first time), instead of the lamb, the beef one was chosen.
A “regular” bacon cheeseburger. No starters. Lesson learned, there.

So fries were “meh”, but the burger itself really good. Quality meat with loads of flavor.
Moist and tasty.

I’ll be going there again sometime.

Food – 4.25/5
Choice of drinks – 3.5/5
Service – 3.5/5
Location – 5/5

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Bunsen, Dublin – What’s it all about?

A few months ago, in a city not far away (Dublin)


(Yoda is copyright of Disney as is Mickey Mouse)

But I digress.

Bunsen (linked) is a small burger joint with a hip look, and a very small menu. Usually a small menu means a good quality burger as the chefs can be totally focused in the few items they prepare. Small joint. Maybe 30 seats at most and it is a popular place.

This is the menu. Yes, not kidding. This is the menu.

The milkshakes are really good. Thick and creamy loads of taste.

Then the burger came.

And this happened.

Initial reaction: “Hum, maybe it’s overflowing with juices, so the steam baked the bun a little bit”.
I was wrong

Remember that Sunday roast?
This was exactly the same taste. Sunday roast on a burger! WHY!?
The patty was boiled and tasteless. The cheese was oozing and tasted like tofu. The bun was like Warburton’s 😥

No redeeming qualities.

Unless there is a different burger “scene” in Ireland, I don’t understand why this place is so highly regarded.
Could be just a bad day.

Roughly 13 euros per person.

Avoid

Food – 1.5/5
Choice of drinks – 3/5
Service – 3/5
Location – 4/5

The Botanist – Cheeseburger + Pulled pork = awesome

Hi all,

Please excuse the long hiatus. Have been busy these couple of months and beleive it or not, I didn’t have any worthwhile hamburgers. It ended up going to ‘The Botanist’ again to discover a new recipe to their old hamburger.

Pulled pork. It changes everything.
In bacon or pulled pork form, this is essentially the truth.


(copyright not mine)

So this was the meal

Pulled pork on the burger is an extra £2.5. Well worth it.

At first glance, it’s kind of indecent with all the juices flowing. Picking it up, the bread is a bit mushy.
First bite: mind blown. Firstly, the beef is much better seasoned than before and juicier. It was medium done, but still all the necessary fluids were there. And they mixed with the pulled pork and the BBQ sauce and wow. Great, great, great.
The pulled pork and BBQ sauce gave the experience another level of pleasure. As if it was like that popular book, ’50 shades of pork’ (?). Pun intended.

The fries helped to solidify the meal. A bit on the salty side. Great crunch.

The drink was a Veltins Pilsner which is a very lagery pilsner lager. If you had a lager before, think of what it tasted like. Yes, this was it.

Overall, now I can consider as the best pub burger up until now.

Food – 4.75/5
Choice of drinks – 4/5
Service – 4/5
Location – 4/5

Byron’s “Miami Slice” – Needs the white Italian sports jacket

Roll the theme

Sports jackets, shades, pastel, electric pink, synthesizer music, Florida’s sun and Cuban emigrants. Some of these took part in building this hamburger.
Inspired by “Cuban style” hamburgers and some questionable 80’s fashion, Byron has brought this rather strange hamburger,at least to European standards, to light.

One patty, crispy “shredded” fries, cheese, loads of smoked flavour and chicharrones on the side.

First of all, the chicharrones were harder than they were crispy. So not very good there.

Going to the hamburger, the first bite reveals a warm character that comes from a full and intense smoked flavour with a slight spiciness that is present on the sauce. The crisps help to develop depth to the taste and add to the punch.

After a few visits, finally the meat was medium-rare. And it’s really tasty, go figure.
So, my question would be, why did it take so long and why do you over cook it?

If it burger didn’t give enough smoky intensity, “Beavertown Smog Rocket” helped.

Great smoky taste with roasted coffee.

As it is only available until the end of the month or so, if you can spare the time to try it, please do.
Just bring a crazy 80’s wig, an Asustin Metro, leg warmers and some questionable fashion taste to add to the experience.

Food – 4.35/5
Choice of drinks – 3.5/5
Service – 4.25/5
Location – 5/5

Shake shack – hum…

For a few year now, a myriad of new Burger places have been popping around in the UK. From pub/gourmet to a more fast-food experience, it seems that the main brands from the United States are n, that are not MacDonalds or Burger King, are now here.

I was informed that shake shack has opened in the Convent Garden Market, very near to the other main competitor.

Had to go there to see what the fuss was all about.

It operates in a very peculiar fashion.
You get into the queue from on side of the restaurant, a very nice chap is singing at the door and handing out menus, you get inside the restaurant, order and get out at the other side with a remote alarm which will vibrate when it’s ready.

The order was for a double bacon cheese burger which name I can’t recall, some cheddar fries and a drink called 50/50, which is tea and lemonade. Cost is roughly £15

Firstly, the burger.
Have you ever had one of those Burger King Angus?
It’s exactly the same, but the kicker on this case, is that it costs twice as much and doesn’t taste any different.
The meat is OK, nothing fancy, the bun is all right and cheese is fine. The fries are pretty much McCain crinkles.

And that’s about it. Really.
It’s an expensive version Burger King and that’s all there is to say about the meal.

The staff , however, is outstanding.
The waiter on front was very happy about doing his job, the staff in the restaurant is nice and polite, the service is fast”ish”, and they will even find you in the middle of the Market to bring an unfinished order.

I’ll have to come back someday to try the shakes.

Food – 3/5
Choice of drinks – 4.5/5
Service – 5/5
Location – 5/5

O Honorato, Lisbon – A must go

Finishing off a rather small Lisbon tour would need a visit to another very recommended burger restaurant, called Honorato, Hambuguers Artesanais.
Also a somewhat new restaurant, but a totally different vibe. It’s a mix of restaurant with a upscale bar, where they serve loads of Gin cocktails and coincidently, hamburgers (yay!).

There are a few locations, but the one I tried was in Rua de Santa Marta which is a very central location in Lisbon.

It’s a busy place. Some 35 minutes until it was possible to get a table.

First thing to mention, is that the service is a bit slow. 15 minutes until the drinks came it’s too much.
Good selection of natural juices.

I had a lemon and ginger juice, which was very tasty.

The only selection for starters I was made aware of ( The menu is much too spartan-like, with only burgers and nothing else), was the Coxinhas de Frango.

What a good starter. The chicken meat was well processed and it had a powerful cheese taste.

A good deal of time later, the burger came. The selection was a “X-Tudo”, a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg on top (seems like a recurrent theme withing new burgers places in Lisbon)

The burger patty is smaller than the buns that will mean that the first bite does not pick anything else than bread and lettuce. Second bite, though, much different.
The bacon comes first, and it is crispy and intensely smoked. The meat comes second and fills all the space in the mouth with a top quality, well-seasoned meat. Fried eggs should come standard with a bacon cheeseburgers. Always.

Fries wise, they seem to be home-made, but nothing special about them. Tasteless and devoid of character. The mayo helped a lot.

The burger was so good, I craved another one.
They serve

And in my opinion, this one is better than the regular.

Summing all up, Honorato has one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately the experience is somewhat less powerful considering the awfully dull fries and the long wait for service when seated.
Focusing only on the hamburger, it is a must-taste.

If you ever go to Lisbon, try them out. Be prepared for the service, though.

Food – 4.65/5
Choice of drinks – 4/5
Service – 3/5
Location – 5/5

Hamburgueria do Bairro, Lisbon – One of the best

Ah Lisbon…

Beautiful city, full of history, good food and drinks, great views and a lingering smell of piss. But there’s an aura that cannot be explained and draws me for more.

This city, and Portugal in general, are known for excellent seafood, pasteis de nata (get these cream pastries), piri-piri chicken (and not peri-peri, as a popular awful chicken restaurant claims to be), chouriços and more.
Gastronomically a great place to be and possibly the first fusion kitchen in the world. Excellent quality and very decent prices.

With globalization, the popular sandwich Bifana (pork steak sandwich), has given up some space for the all-American heavy weight sandwich, the Hamburger.
This has led some to adopt it and give it a little Portuguese twist.

After a lot of recommendations, I had the time to go the Hamburgueria do Bairro.
Originally situated near the Bairro Alto, which is an area mostly known for the night life, this restaurant has become very popular. At this moment they have opened up all around Lisbon.

Location link.

The entrance is very inconspicuous

and the restaurant quite small. It maybe sits 20 people very tightly.

So small, in fact that is recommendable to go during lunch time and to avoid weekends. It gets full very fast and will have a queue.

The selection has Portuguese influences. The bread in “Hamburguer do Caco” will exchange the bun for a “Bolo do caco” which is a wheat bread from Madeira Island that is done as if it were a cake.

The one I tried was the “Bairro Alto”

In short, a Bacon Cheeseburger with a fried egg and salad.

Taste matters. And in this case, the taste is all there. The meat is top quality. Flavorful, succulent, nicely made.
The bacon. The best. so crispy and smoky that becomes decadent. And to finish all off, the fried egg tastes like it’s homemade.

Each bite is a trip. And before you know it, the hamburger is finished 😦

On the side, some wrinkled, almost unsalted, fries that will have more taste than they seem to have.

The last five or so years have been very hard on Portugal. Somehow, the Portuguese keep reinventing themselves and every time I go back there, there’s something new to eat and to see. This small and relatively unknown restaurant chain is a great example of that.
Unfortunately, I cannot give enough praise to what they have achieved in terms of taste and presentation. Also, as this blog doesn’t reach everywhere it won’t have the coverage they deserve.

That being said, this is possibly the best proper Burger Restaurant I have ever eaten in ( Five guys sits in another niche, so they can’t directly compare, however taste is not that dissimilar).

And the price for all of this?
A meal for 2 (Hamburger and drink), €17.50. Not per person. Total.
That’s the cost, per person, at Byron’s. And this is better. Period.

Food – 4.65/5
Choice of drinks – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
Location – 5/5

Try this. You won’t regret it.

Honest Burgers, Soho – Honest Burger. A good burger takes time, honest

Trendy Soho has one of the most reputable and popular Hamburger houses in London.
The catch is that there is a waiting time can be some 30 or more minutes for a table, on a minuscule restaurant.

Honest burgers is really easy to miss as the Google Maps marker is set on Wardour Street, rather than on Meard Street.
Please make sure you go to the right place.

Seating inside is close to only 20. To make sure the queuing system is tidy, HB uses a texting system, where once the table is ready, a text message is sent to your phone.
So, shopping can still be done, or even going for some pints as a HB regular suggested, before getting back for your table. The wait is worth it.

The menu:

Not much choice, besides a couple of house specials for the day.
The Honest was the choice and here is the result after waiting around 15 minutes of wait

First of all, this place has the best gourmet burger meat I have ever tasted. Well aged, slightly smoked, melts on the mouth with a great palate which contrasts with sweet relish .
The cheddar was definitely a good choice, but the bacon was missed. Too missed. Can’t recall the taste of it.


These rosemary are a pretty bunch. And they taste of rosemary, too!
Most. Addicting. Fries. Ever.
The crispy ones are the best.


As for drinks, Sheppy’s Sommerset Draught. A typical dry Sommerset. Not many carbonation, fruity and light.

But the lemonade

Is the one to get. So fresh and tasty. Not too sweet and it wasn’t acid.
It is done with carbonated water.

Try this!

All taken into consideration, in my opinion, best Gourmet Burgers in town and well worth the wait.
Price is manageable. 14 Pounds per person. Other restaurants, sometimes will set you back extra 3ppp.

Food – 4.5/5
Choice of drinks – 2.5/5
Service – 5/5
Location – 5/5 (easy to get there, but easy to miss)

Highly recommended