Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Burger Joint / Bristol

Returning with another review from the West Country, Mr Jones finds himself in The Burger Joint in Bristol for some bespoke burgerage.
Who Are They?

Type “best burgers in Bristol” into Google and The Burger Joint should be your first result. Not only voted so by the Bristol Good Food Awards, but by the only appearance in the Daily Telegraph's list of the best British burgers. So does it live up to this reputation? Read on and I'll let you know.


The restaurant is situated in an upmarket part of Bristol, just up from the television center among many specialist shops, bars and restaurants. Inside the colour scheme is white grey and maroon with reproduction black and red concert posters on the walls and smooth slate tiles on the floor, The tables were well spaced, so you probably wouldn't feel cramped even if they were full up. The background music was bland AOR at a volume that meant it did not interfere at all with conversation while not leaving the place utterly silent. As I went there at the beginning of the lunch hour the place filled steadily as my meal progressed, but was only about half full when I left.

Choices, choices...
The Burger Joint doesn't go in for menus. While there is one for some items like desserts the main business of ordering a burger is done with a pad and pencil. You tick your selections from the list of starters, burgers (including chicken, lamb, venison, wild boar and veggie), toppings, sauces and sides and then hand it to a waitress to be cooked. The management claim there are nearly 79 million different combinations, but I wasn't there to do math, I was there to eat a burger. I chose a double beef burger with blue cheese, sauteed onion and bacon with a side of hand cut thick chips and a bottomless cola.

The burger arrived promptly and as you can see from the picture wasn't a small one, the bun was large and solid, more like a ciabatta than a burger bun and didn't go soggy or fall apart during consumption, the onions were plentiful and beautifully brown with a smoky flavour, The bacon was firm and flavoursome though a little dry from my tastes, the cheese was a real let down however, having almost no taste at all. The burgers were very firm and while they tasted great I couldn't help but be reminded of school beefburgers due to the dense, almost rubbery texture. Certainly they were not as juicy as I like my burgers to be so they were unsatisfying in that regard. The chips were plentiful and well cooked, being crisp but not hard on the outside, light and fluffy within. The lettuce, tomato and red onion that completed the bun were thin and seemed like a bit of an afterthought rather than making a contribution to the taste.


It seems like I am being a bit harsh to what was a perfectly nice burger. It was certainly a nicer burger than I have had in any fast food place or non-specialty restaurant chain, but when a place makes big claims like “Probably the best burgers in Bristol, Possibly the best in England” you expect more and I don't think they completely delivered.


7/10 Good, but not good enough

Where can I find them?
Another trip to Bristol required!