Honest Burgers have arrived in Bristol and are making efforts to make some Bristolian friends. Lovely!
With over 20 sites and their own butchers, they have come a long way from their Brixton beginnings where they used to cycle an eight mile round trip to get the perfect beef. They have however kept their honest ethos and the love and attention they give to their main ingredients: meat and potatoes.
In order to make sure they always get the high quality of the meat they desire, Honest have recently opened their own butchers. The meat is a combination of chuck and rib cap (the fatty bits skimmed off a rib eye steak) from grazing cows on small farms in the Scottish Highlands. The choice of cut ensures the burgers are chunky and juicy. Furthermore, they chop their meat rather than mince it to keep it coarse and tender. Their attention to quality means they are one of the few businesses accredited to safely serve their burgers medium rare.
For those who are cautious when a burger comes out pink, this is the place to try it. Having benefited from tasting a beef patty on its own, I can attest to its juiciness and beautiful flavour. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper as its cooks on the grill, the love and care that goes into this burger definitely comes through.
The same care and attention goes into their potatoes (which I personally applaud them for as I LOVE POTATOES). They seek out best-of-British varieties from a six-generation potato farmer that knows a lot about the humble spud. The recipe has been trialled and tested to an almost obsessive degree to get the perfect crispy outside to fluffy inside ratio, seasoned with their famous homemade rosemary salt as they come out of the fryer. And – importantly – all burgers come with the fries as standard. YES!
I was lucky to recently be part of a mini induction from Tom, one of the founders of Honest Burgers. Two friends with a love of cooking for friends and family came up with an idea over a pint in their favourite pub (where all great ideas begin…) They have been on quite a journey, but have kept to their original honest ethos. Quality ingredients and all things homemade (the chips, the rosemary salt, the pickles, the sauces…)
From their pint beginnings, every location serves a beer from a local brewery, in Bristol’s case you can find a bespoke Honest beer from Good Chemistry as well as offerings from Moor Beer. They also have their own Honest Gin from Bristol gin legends, Psychopomp.
Local ingredients continue into the burger. Not to be too predictable, but I chose the “Bristol burger” – a poutine-inspired concoction of beef patty, Westcombe Dairy’s smoked cheddar and cheese curds, Pilton cider and bacon gravy, and crispy shoestring fries. I was a little overwhelmed with all the flavours and the curds got a little lost, but this is a burger with a lot of oomph! The bun also successfully passed the structure test, holding the fillings in place throughout the eating experience. This is important.
The focus is obviously on the beef; however there is a chicken and veggie option for those seeking something different. Super hungry? You can also add sides, such as their crispy chicken wings smothered in a sticky BBQ sauce, or their vast crunchy onion rings!
Honest Burgers come across as all round good people with a lot of love and passion for what they do. This was also demonstrated by yesterday’s Honesty Box event, raising almost £2k for local charities: Above & Beyond Charity, Help Bristol’s Homeless CIC and Kinergy.
Welcome to Bristol and look forward to sampling lots more Honest Burgers and Honest Gin in the future (particularly the gin!!!) Keep an eye on social for more events and changes to their burger special. 🙂
Disclaimer: I was provided this meal free of cost, however I was not asked to send any copy in advance and this didn’t affect my opinion of the meal – all thoughts are my own.