Byron, Queens Road: Review

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Byron Classic

 

When it comes to burgers, Grillstock now have competition on the Triangle with the opening of the first Bristol branch of chain burger restaurant Byron. Set over two floors at 62 Queens Road, the new venue was bustling on the Thursday night of our visit, with hungry diners both eating in and queuing for takeaway burgers, fries and shakes.

The industrial look of the open plan kitchen is blended with a combination of standalone wooden tables, wooden booths and leather-upholstered benches to provide a warm and comfortable dining environment, and with a great buzz about the place, it proved to be a great environment in which to enjoy a relaxed midweek meal.

Each table features a condiment tray with the standard salt, pepper and ketchup, along with both American and English mustard, and a bottle of Cholula hot sauce. The only thing missing is additional paper napkins, which it would have been handy to have available without the need to ask for more.

While we browsed the menu, we both ordered from the extensive drinks selection: an A&W Cream Soda for me (which at £2.95 for 330ml seemed pricey), and a Beavertown Smog Rocket Smoked Porter (£4.50 for 330ml) for Chris: a subtly smoky London porter that he’d certainly order again.

We ordered from waiting staff in the regulation uniform of t-shirts and jeans, who were helpful when it came to asking for menu assistance and perfectly friendly and happy. We were also informed that Byron burgers are cooked pink as standard, but were offered the option to have them more well done if required. We declined.

To go with his smoked porter, Chris chose the Smoky burger (£9.95): a juicy pink beef patty topped with lashings of tangy smoked Cheddar, crisp-but-not-too-crisp streaky bacon, crispy fried onions, shredded iceberg lettuce, pickles and smoked chilli BBQ sauce: an incredibly smoky burger (in a good way)  that was quickly devoured.

For me, the Shady (£9.95) – Byron’s latest special at the time of our visit. The 6oz patty had a beautiful texture and was cooked lovely and pink, while a generous slice of American cheese worked well alongside the ketchup, onion and sweet but tangy pickle relish that were nestled on top. The final addition to the burger was Byron’s crispy cheese (think the crispy bits on the bottom of the pan when you make a grilled cheese sandwich: and while I’m not denying that the small shards of cheese tasted amazing, but the texture just didn’t feel quite right.

The pillowy, glazed burger buns (which we were told are made by The Hotel Inspector’s husband – a bit of trivia there) held together well but was still nice and soft – definitely one of the better chain burger buns out there.

In the interests of research, we chose three side orders to share, starting with the home-made skin-on chips (£3.25): beautifully thick cut fries that were lovely and pillowy soft in the middle. They could have done with a little more crunch on the outside, but we loved the fact that they weren’t – unlike other burger joints – overly salty, meaning that seasoning levels can be adjusted yourself.

We also chose the courgette fries (£3.50), having become slightly obsessed with them since trying them in various restaurants. The thick slices of courgette themselves were still lovely and juicy, but the batter was a bit of a disappointment: a little non-descript and lacking in seasoning.

Finally, the macaroni cheese: the side we had the highest expectations for – but the one that was the most disappointing. There’s no denying that this side was oozing with cheese on the top…but that was the highlight. Parting the melted cheese on top revealed a pasta dish that can only be described as bland: it could have done with far more cheese in the sauce and a liberal sprinkling of salt to add more flavour.

We didn’t leave on a bad note, however – we decided to each order an Oreo milkshake (£4.25) to take away in lieu of dessert. And what a milkshake it was: thick and creamy and with every mouthful tasting of those famous black and white cookies. Small chunks of biscuit added texture, while every so often we also came across small nuggets of the creamy biscuit filling…beautiful.

With a burger plus side starting at around the £10 mark, prices at the lower end of the menu are on par with most burger joints that operate in the same league. However, those burgers at the higher end of the menu come out at around £13 with a side – and once you’ve added a drink too, the cost of your meal soon starts to add up.

There’s no denying, though, that the service and atmosphere were fantastic – and it’s great that they also offer a takeaway option too. It was incredibly busy on the day of our visit – and seems to be receiving rave reviews across Twitter and Facebook. However, for me, venues such as The Hobgoblin and The Burger Joint would be chosen ahead of Byron in the future.

 

Please note: this meal was received free of charge, but in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.

 

2 Responses to Byron, Queens Road: Review

  1. Nice review. What was the third side? Mac and cheese?

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