|Just look at that melted cheese...|
Bath is a bit light on burger restaurants – I absolutely
love Schwarz Bros but it is a takeaway (albeit a damn fine one), and Gourmet
Burger Kitchen is usually a bit disappointing, to be quite honest. So I was
excited to see that the Handmade Burger Company was opening on Upper Borough
Walls, with an express mission to serve Bath food that’s ‘fresh, natural, made
here.’ In the ten years since it
launched, the Handmade Burger Company has grown into quite a big chain, but
they still take pride in good fresh ingredients and make everything onsite, so
that’s a good start as far as I’m concerned.
When it comes to the menu, there’s absolutely loads of
choice – over 40 options, according to our waiter – and lots of nice touches,
including smaller burgers for the less ravenous and a completely separate
gluten free menu. The only drawback is that it’s almost impossible to choose!
There’s not really a starter/main divide on the menu, but to begin we picked
some BBQ chicken wings to share, which were gloriously sticky and messy to eat
(exactly as they should be).
For the main event, I toyed briefly with the idea of the
Peanut Butter & Bacon Burger (I think that could only go two ways – it
would either be unbelievably incredible, or unbelievably wrong), but eventually
chose Jimmy’s Beef, Brie & Bacon – as well as a massive range of their own
Aberdeenshire beef burgers, the Handmade Burger Co also offers a selection of
burgers from Jimmy’s Farm. The burger itself was fabulously juicy with loads of
oozing melted brie on top – yum. My dining companion picked from the vegetarian
menu (which is unusually generous, always nice to see plenty of meat-free
options), going for a Veg-Mex burger with a veggie patty, avocado and jalapeños
which she polished off too quickly for me to take a bite – so I’m going to take
that as a glowing review.
The burgers don’t come with any sides, which I have to
admit I thought was a little stingy, considering most of them are between £8
and £10, but the sides on offer are fantastic so perhaps they’re worth paying
extra for. I’d especially recommend the Denver fries – a bowl of thick cut
chips piled high with luscious pulled pork, melted cheese and BBQ sauce.
Absolutely not to be missed.
Once you’ve tucked into all of that, I think chances are
pretty good you won’t have any room for dessert, which may be why the dessert
menu here is quite short, but if you do need something sweet, you can order a
sundae or a milkshake. I’d recommend the milkshakes, which are great, while the
sundaes are pretty standard. To be honest though, this place is not about
dessert, so I’m happy to forgive that – focus on your main course and you won’t
As well as great burgers, the chaps at HBC can also
promise great service – our waiter had plenty of recommendations and stood up
to our questioning about ingredients – and I’ve also been impressed to see that
they’re making an effort to get involved with the local community. The initial
soft launch for the Handmade Burger Company raised money for local charity the
Forever Friends Appeal, at Bath’s Royal United Hospital, and I was delighted to
spot local brewery Electric Bear popping up on the drinks menu. Keep up the
good work chaps.