UPDATE: BYRON HARROGATE IS NOW CLOSED.
Confession time, I never used to like hamburgers (this is also the girl who never used to like pizza though so there you go). For some reason I decided to give ’em another go when I was living in Australia and one Mcdonalds double heeseburger later, I was fully converted and ready to become the Hamburgler.
So when Byron invited me to an evening of burger sampling they didn’t have to ask me twice.
If you aren’t aware of Byron, they’re a restaurant chain that offer a ‘proper’ burger experience. The creator of Byron (Tom Byng) spent four years demolishing burgers in the USA and soon came to realise that the UK was seriously lacking in decent burgers joints.
Ergo, Byron was born.
Byron make sure they’re using top quality meat for their burgers and they make sure it’s properly sourced. It’s minced fresh, cooked medium and pink (so it’s nice and juicy) and served in a bun with whatever else you wish to sample.
Their mission statement is simple: ‘To keep serving proper hamburgers the way they should be.’
Doesn’t that sound good?
The idea of the evening was to sample a couple of the items on the menu and then pair them up with the perfect beer. As I’m not really a beer drinker and had to drive home, I invited a beer connoisseur to be my plus one, i.e Jody, my boyfriend.
We were the first ones to arrive *cringe* but we were welcomed warmly by the Byron PR team and Tom the salesman for Vocation Beweries. We were handed a Byron lager each (I handed mine over to Jodes) and settled down to wait for the rest of the guests. Once everyone was seated it was time for the foody fun to begin.
Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip (£4.50 for 6).
The wings were coated in Byron’s very own Hot Sauce and let me tell you it was HOT. I mean really hot. I had cooler food in Thailand. Despite the heat, they were actually gorgeous and once you got used to the burning sensation they were quite moreish. The blue cheese dip was nice for dipping but I don’t think I could sit and eat it with a spoon like I could with Garlic Mayo!
Paired With – Byron Pale Ale (Hazy, Hoppy and Citrus)
Jody’s Opinion? Not really Jody’s jam but it was okay. Compared it to Old Peculiar.
Next up was the main event, the burgers.
I’ve never really experienced a pink burger before but I think that’s the way forward for sure. So tender and juicy *drools*. The buns are super squishy and after having a nosy on the site, I can see why – It took 40 different attempts to get the recipe just right!
6oz hamburger, dry cure bacon, mature Cheddar, shredded iceberg, tomato, red onion and Byron sauce.
Mate, this burger was on another level of excellence. It was that good I even ate the lettuce and I hatehatehate anything that might possibly be good for me (Think Leslie Knope/Ron Swanson). It was a bit messy to eat ‘cos of all the Byron sauce but who cares when it tastes that good?
Paired With – Vocation Heart & Soul (Golden, Smooth and Tropical)
Jody’s Opinion? Really nice, highly enjoyable.
6oz hamburger, green chilli, American cheese, shredded iceberg and chipotle mayonnaise.
I hate to say it but this burger nearly killed us both, those green chilli’s were just too much! I ended up scraping them off so I could eat the rest and I can happily confirm that bar the chilli’s the burger was lush (kinda defeats the object of a chilli burger though right?)
Paired With – Brewdog 5am Saint (Malty, Berry, Caramel)
Jody’s Opinion? Disgusting, why would you want to drink it, like drinking caramel flavoured tar (Jody’s words not mine).
The burgers were followed by some side dishes and they didn’t disappoint either.
Bacon Freddar Cheese Topped Fries (£4.75) and Courgette Fries (£3.50)
Okay so the courgette fries came out and they were crunchy, lightly salted and surprisingly tasty. Jodes wasn’t mad keen though, I don’t think he could get over the fact it was a deep fried vegetable.
So, I was happily chowing on them and then out came the Bacon Cheese fries and it was like ‘Bye Felicia’ and the courgette fries were left to go cold to one side. The bacon cheese fries were perfectly cooked with a good helping of cheesy bacon mix on top DELISH. I dunno what it is about bacon cheese fries but they are quite possibly the key to my heart.
Paired With – Moor Nor’Hop (Ultra pale, Floral, Citrus) and Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter (Fresh, Tangerine, Pineapple)
Jody’s Opinion? He was really pissed by this point but both were really nice. He doesn’t normally like fruity beer but these were an exception.
Hard Shake – Oreo with Baileys (£4.75 – £2.75)
There was another reason I didn’t drink any of the beer and that was because I’d seen the hard shake option lurking at the bottom of the menu. I opted for Oreo with a splash of Baileys (I didn’t add the full shot as I was designated driver remember) but it was y-u-m-m-y. Really nice and thick with a little kick from the Baileys. It was a massive shake so sadly I couldn’t finish it but still, mmm.
Vocation Smash & Grab 8.5% (An Exclusive first taste before it was released on Friday)
Jody’s opinion?: Okay so by this point Jody had gone a bit giggly and flushed and he described it as ‘deadly’. He drank the whole can though so I imagine he meant deadly but good. He fell asleep as soon as we got home incase you were wondering.
Overall it was a great night with fabulous food and me and Jodes had a good laugh (as we always do). Being the lucky devils that we are, we also got a nice little Byron goody bag with some Vocation beer, Byron hot sauce and cute little temporary tattoos inside.
It was my first Byron experience but I can tell you now, it definitely won’t be my last.
Big thank you to Byron and Vocation for inviting us to the event, details for both of them are below.
Byron Hamburgers Harrogate
5 Albert St, Harrogate, HG1 1JU//01423 506688