A good burger – honest! 3.9/5.0£11.50 with fries
Burger franchising is big business – need we mention the House of Ronald, Shake Shack, Five Guys, Burger King, etc. etc. the list goes on… one young up-and-coming “brand” is Honest Burgers. Posh burgers have undeniably changed British dining habits. GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) appeared in the UK in 2001 with high-end fancy burgers from New Zealand and eventually Byron Burger hit the UK in 2007 with a simpler, cleaner, fresh premium burger – no nonsense. A lot of people we talk to think Honest Burgers is the new Byron burger. But what does it mean to be “the new Byron”…
“As soon as you have more than about 10 branches, you can’t work with a butcher, you have to work with wholesalers. And as soon as you start imagining the tonnage of cow that’s going into those businesses, it’s harder to remain in love with their burger,”
Gavin Lucas, who spent two years running his own burger pop-up at a Marylebone pub. Source: The Guardian
We totally agree with Gavin. In fact, in our review of McDonald’s Signature Collection, we presented the First Law of Burgernomics which basically implies what Gavin says. The secret ingredient, love, gets lost when you upscale because when you have 10+ burger joints as an owner, you start to prioritise return on capital and profit margins over quality and customer satisfaction.
Returning to Honest Burgers, the founders started selling burgers out of a van which has turned into a private equity backed 25+ chain beast. So changes are folks, we missed this one at its peak…nevertheless, we ventured to Old Street to taste just how honest these burgers are.
We went for the flagship, the Honest burger. Meat was of above-average quality, juicy and cooked medium slightly pink inside with a healthy meat-to-bun ratio. As for toppings, red onion relish, smoked bacon, cheddar, lettuce and pickles were all fresh and construction was ace. All of this goodness is held together by fresh brioche and comes served with with rosemary salted chips which we had to finish – they were good indeed.
Peeking into the kitchen, we noticed the presence of burger cloches and all essential burger-making tools present which explained why what we ate was of a very good standard and we’re thoroughly recommend Honest Burgers for anyone out there looking for an above-average posh burger.
Bonus material!! As it happened, the Burgerati party comprised of two on that cold London evening, and my co-conspirator enjoyed the Honest Plant burger which hugs a Beyond Meat patty as a meat substitute. The Plant burger is an entirely vegan concoction with special vegan smoked Gouda, Rubies in the Rubble chipotle mayo, mustard, red onion, pickles, lettuce and of course, house fries. If you’re against killing cows, this one is for you: