There are few foods as iconic as the Hamburger. An American staple, the humble beef in a bun has, over the last few years, become something more than this, offering diners the chance to experience a wide selection of different tastes and toppings.

Exeter has not been left behind in keeping up with this trend, with more and more venues offering a large variety to satisfy the most demanding palate of burger lovers everywhere. The latest to join the party is Byron Hamburgers in Princesshay. From the minute you walk through the door you can appreciate that this is about as far removed from the idea of the burger as “fast food” as you can get.

The stripped back brick work and exposed metalwork lend the place an almost industrial feel that only serves to enhance the atmosphere. It was great to see such a variety of different people there on the Saturday evening we went. From families with children through to groups of friends in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and beyond as well as couples on dates it seemed as though everyone was having a good time.

With the friendly and happy staff on hand to help with the ordering we soon decided on our evening food. The menu isn’t too large but does still include room for a veggie burger as well as the Skinny – basically a burger without the bun. I opted for the Smoky Burger (£9.95) whilst my wife went for Classic Cobb Salad (£10.75). Because sides are an added extra at Byron Burger we decided to order French Fries (£2.95) and Onion Rings (£3.50) all washed down with delicious Root Beer for that authentic American taste.

The food arrived quickly and was presented beautifully, particularly the Classic Cobb Salad which looked amazing. Taste wise my burger was good but perhaps lacked a bit of the flavour promised in its description. The fries were very good, if a bit pricey at £2.95, but the onion rings unfortunately were a little too greasy to be truly tasty.

The real revelation though was the salad which was delicious. My wife is a bit of a salad connoisseur and was extremely pleased with her choice. Tasting it I could see why as it was fantastic with enough of it to satisfy even the largest appetite.

Although both full from our main course it would have been rude not to try something from delicious sounding range of options available from the dessert menu.
Carrying on with the American theme of the meal we decided to order a Knickerbocker Glory (£4.95) and an Oreo Milkshake (£4.25). These were both fantastic and once again presented beautifully. The Knickerbocker was a perfect combination of ice-creams, chocolate sauce, toasted almonds and whipped cream, topped off with a cherry. But the star of the whole experience was the Oreo Milkshake. I’m a man who has always liked a good milkshake and the milkshakes at Byron Burger are not just good, they are epic. Creamy and rich with just the right level of thickness this was a milkshake that made the meal.

So Byron Burger – in a city with a large amount of choice for burgers it can hold its head up as a place to go for families, friends and couples, where the burgers are good but the salads are amazing and where a simple milkshake can become so much more.

Steve Fothergill

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