Another Day, Another Dollar, and Another Burger Restaurant hits the city.
Handmade Burger Co has opened up in the back of the Victoria Centre serving more burgers to the good people of Nottingham. Now I don’t know if we need more burgers in Nottingham? after all we do have Annie’s if we want a serious fix, we have Five Guys if we want to get a quick fix USA style, we have Reds if we want pit style BBQ burgers, Oaks for English BBQ, and plenty of pubs serving up burgers with mixed success. So yep lots and lots of options.
So does Handmade Burger Co offer us anything different or anything new?
Now I was not planning to rush over to Handmade Burger Co but once I had taken a good look at the Menu online and I found out that they we serving Burgers made from Jimmy’s Farm, well that was the thing that drew me in through the door.
I don’t know if you watched that series about the Farm run by Jimmy Doherty where he was farming rare breed pigs? We did and enjoyed it, and we also got used to hunting him out at various farmers markets and food events such as the Good Food Show at the NEC. We sampled enough of his produce to know that it was worth seeking and sourcing, so when I saw his produce would feature in this chain, well I put scepticism to one side and headed over during a respite to Christmas shopping.
Jimmy’s Beef Cheese Classic
Well most of the time I favour a cheese burger so as I was looking at the Jimmy’s Farm section of the menu, I opted for the “Jimmy’s Beef Cheese Classic” which was described on the menu as being a burger topped with “Mature cheddar, caramelised red onion relish, mayo, lettuce, tomato & red onion”.
The prose at Handmade Burger Co regarding the burger patty itself is that; “Our exclusive Jimmy’s Farm burgers are made from rare-breed, free-range beef, marbled & slowly matured for at least 3 weeks to create a distinctive taste that you’ll just love.”
Well this burger combination has a lot going for it, but also a few things going against it. The flavour of the meat was really good as you would hope from well aged beef, the burger was rough cut and had a nice char, there was way more flavour than many burgers. There was an option to get a naked burger without the bun and I think that the burger could stand up on its own flavour wise if you just had the burger sans bread and toppings.
On the downside, for me, the burger was overcooked and a bit dry, if you didn’t have the toppings to keep it moist I think it would not have been as easy a bite.
Toppings wise the caramelised red onion relish is a winner, if I am honest, without having tasted it, in a ‘build your own burger’ situation it would have got nowhere near my burger. However, in this set-up it works realty well with the mayo adding a really good combination of sweetness and a tiny bit of tang, plus it keeps the sandwich moist which as I noted you really need as the cook on the burger itself needing something to save it.
I liked the simple salad toppings, a slice of tomato, some crisp and restrained slices of red onion. I like that they have learnt the secret of placing the single lettuce leaf on the bottom bun to stop the juices making the bun soggy. I like that the bun was toasted. They had structured this burger quite well
I did not like the pitiful slice of cheese that was placed almost begrudgingly on the patty. If I had a cheese burger I expect that the cheese is a feature, it needs to be plentiful, it needs to be ‘melted’ and it needs to have a chance to be a feature ingredient. I felt that it was almost an afterthought on my burger and was a big of a let down. If I am honest I would just order the beef classic if I came again, it is not worth paying another pound for a square slice of this processed cheese.
I was very happy with the square bowl of chips that we were served. These are what I would consider to be proper chips, not fries, just hand cut proper chips. These are almost good enough to be worth coming here for on their own. they say on the menu that they are “Made from our farm fresh potatoes, our fresh cut chips are peeled & cut here, before being double fried to make them fluffy on the inside & crispy on the outside“. That sounds great but surely all chips should be cooked like that?
All in all I enjoyed my meal at Handmade Burger Co. I am not sure if I will be coming in a lot, as I said there are plenty of options for burgers in Nottingham, but I do like that the burgers are handmade and made fresh each day, and I do like the chips. I have to say that the flavour combination of that aged Jimmy’s Farm meat with the caramelised red onion relish and mayo is one of the best I have had for a while, I just would like it to bigger so that it filled the bun, and that it was cooked a little less intensely, then I would be most happy with my lot.
Handmade Burger Co in Nottingham is based in the back of the Intu Victoria Centre in Unit R1 looking out to Milton Street.