Let me tell you, I have had some knockout burgers in my time. I mean, I have been around the burger block and back again. I’ve had miniature burgers; I’ve had great big dirty burgers. I’ve had a burger with a black bun, I’ve had a burger with a pink bun. I’ve had a burger with Wotsits on; I’ve had the ‘Best Burger Ever’. I’ve had Christmas burgers and I’ve even pressed my own BBQ burgers.
Next on my list? An Honest burger.
Honest Burgers, Bridge Street, Manchester
The restaurant is right next door to Dishoom but the two could not be any more radically different. Not that they should be compared whatsoever – it’s just an interesting symbol of how diverse the ever-expanding Manchester food and drink scene is becoming. A city where a Grade-II listed building housing a traditional Indian restaurant with a menu as extravagant as its interior neighbours a modern burger joint build on urban simplicity and championing local produce.
The restaurant itself is basic and bare but in that cool, contemporary kind of way. Booth setting, high benches, bare brick, waiters in New Balance… you know the drill. Just to consolidate the street cred, these guys even have their own Honest Gin which is distilled especially for them by Psychopomp. I didn’t have one but I did notice an empty bottle sitting pretty on a shelf at the bottom of the stairs.
Basically, this is a no-brainer if you’re in that burger ‘n’ a beer kind of mood and want something quick, tasty, reasonably priced in super laid back surroundings.
What’s nice about Honest Burgers is that they do regional specials within their various restaurants around the country. For Manchester, we have the ‘Manchester’ and the ‘Spring’. The Manchester burger is a carnivore’s dream come true as a tower of beef patty, Bury black pudding, beer cheese sauce, mini roasties, bacon gravy, rocket and pickles. As epic as it sounds, neither of us went for this one but my partner in dine did opt for the Spring burger.
The Spring is a thick, medium-cooked beef burger with organic bacon, extra mature cheddar, wild garlic pesto, rocket and pickles and oh, what a concoction it was. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted garlic pesto on a burger before but will I be scanning restaurants menus for it for the foreseeable future? Absolutely.
All burgers come served with Honest’s Rosemary Salted Chips which were bursting with flavour, served in abundance and not one single bit greasy. We ordered some extra chipotle mayo and some Beef & Bacon gravy for dunking – high up there with one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life and one I implore you to follow suit in too.
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’ll be familiar with the fact I’m trying to introduce more meat-free options into my diet at the moment so I settled for the Plant burger. It features the infamous Beyond Meat vegan burger, vegan smoked Gouda, vegan chipotle mayo and the classic ‘cheeseburger’ garnishes.
It was de-licious – 10/10 would recommend to anybody, vegan, veggie, ‘flexitarian’ or none of the above. Sure, the plant-based patty was somewhat different in taste and texture to a regular meat burger but every inch as drool-worthy. In fact, I was so impressed that when I saw a Beyond Meat burger with vegan gouda on the BrewDog menu while I was in London earlier this week, I just had to try and recreate the experience.
The verdict? Don’t worry Honest Burgers, BrewDog ain’t got nothin’ on you, boo!
I was very kindly invited to review Honest Burgers but all words, photographs, opinions, teeth, hair, boobs and nails are my very own.