Published on 365Bristol.com
For something that is so done, Burger Theory do it differently.
Situated in what can be described as a contemporary grotto, new restaurant Burger Theory has the feel of a cosy, yet lively, stone walled den. With low ceilings, marine blues and bright oranges decorate the oak interior, the enticing smells of the nearby kitchen circulate the surrounding air.
We dined on a busy Friday night and the staff were rushed off their feet, but still remained smiling and attentive to their customers. It took a little while for our Pina Coladas (£8.50 each) to come, but we were made aware of that beforehand. After all, nobody likes to rush an evening dinner anyway, so the wait was not a problem, rather it made our time all the more leisurely.
Looking at the menu, I realised that it was going to be tough to choose a burger from the extremely creative options.
Chicken or beef? The ever-impending question had me twiddling my thumbs and then flipping a coin between the two options that I managed to narrow the choices down to. These choices were the KFC – Korean fried chicken with sticky chili glaze, spring onion and salted peanuts and The Don – Beef, garlic, oregano and chili patty with pepperoni, pizza sauce, melted mozzarella and rocket (both £9.25). I ended up with The Don, which was fine by me. The concept of a pizza-style burger was interesting and something that I had not tried before. My fellow diner went with the Blue Cow – beef and jalapeno patty, crispy bacon, blue cheese, chipotle mayo and house ketchup (£9.25).
Rumour has it that Burger Theory make some of the best chicken wings in town. Deciding to see what the hype was about we ordered two sides of wings, one with soy, ginger and sesame glaze and one with Frank’s Hot Sauce and cool blue cheese (£4.75 each).
To accompany our already large selection we ordered a portion of the legendary Halloumi Fries – tzatziki, pomegranate glaze, fresh mint and pomegranate seeds (£5.95) and Kimchi Fries – kimchi, chipotle mayo, spring onions (£3.95).
The burgers were perfect in size and remained compact which, as every burger eater will know, is a very crucial element. It is decider of your hands fate – will they be covered in sauce that seeps down your wrist in a greasy trickle? Will the filling fall out of the bun as you watch with disappointment, as the disembodied burger falls to the plate? The answer is no, not here.
My burger, The Don was better than I expected. The patty was a garlicky, chili and herb infused delight. Topped with warm tomato pizza sauce and oozing mozzarella, garnished with a few slices of pepperoni and rocket. The flavours complemented each other well.
The Blue Cow was described by my partner as a “juicy fusion” the jalapeno patty and the blue cheese inside the soft brioche bun, melted in the mouth. We were impressed that the restaurant offer different options for buns too; Italian herb, seeded wholemeal, gluten free and brioche.
The wings certainly lived up to expectation, both portions were perfectly cooked, the skin just crispy enough, the glaze making them utterly moreish. The halloumi fries were salty, as expected but were not overbearing as the accompaniment of the pomegranate and tzatziki flavours were light and refreshing. The Kimchi fries were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, which is how they should be. With flavours of smoky chipotle and crisp spring onion making them extra delectable.
What started as a pop up restaurant around various Bristol pubs and markets, has transformed into a truly fantastic dining spot, which resides in the heart of the centre on St Stephens street. For something that is so done, Burger Theory do it differently. The food doesn’t taste ‘filthy’ or ‘dirty’ – which seem to be the favoured words to describe 95% of burger eateries these days. Rather it tastes fresh with great quality ingredients that you can tell are put together with real care.
I should also point out that the four vegetarian burger options sounded equally as delicious, with just as much thought and detail put into them as the rest of the menu. Some of the unique ingredients included marinated Indonesian tempeh, tofu and quinoa and fried Portobello mushroom, with a plethora of interesting marinades and sauces. A refreshing sight, that is unusual for a burger restaurant, whom are usually concerned with meat and meat only.
Burger Theory; hats off to you guys, it’s not often that food, atmosphere and service are so alike in quality. I will most definitely be back!
Address: 37-38 St Stephen’s Street, Bristol, BS1 1JX
Tel. 0117 9297818