Manchester just can’t seem to get enough!
It’s already home to quite a few burger places who have done pretty well in staking a claim in this booming market. Last week saw Handmade Burger Co. open its first restaurant in the the city trying to find its place in the crowded burger market in Manchester. Yes, another burger joint!
Handmade Burger Co. might be new to Manchester but it’s definitely not new to the burger scene. Originally set up by three brothers in Birmingham way back in 2006, they now have over 20 restaurants across the UK. I dragged Seb to the joint situated in the multi million pound Courthouse development on Deansgate to see what all the fuss was about.
My first impressions were really positive. Definitely well located and I really like the clean feel of the exteriors – very different from most burger restaurants that try pulling off the trendy card.
The interiors of the Handmade Burger Co. carries through the fresh theme with white walls and rustic green windows – it’s a bright airy space that feels very homely and welcoming.
We visited the restaurant on its second day and it was definitely doing well – it was absolutely packed. The manager greeted us at the door and sat us down and handed us our menus. The menu is very ‘Nandos’ but don’t be put off by this, they have over 40 different varieties of beef, chicken and veggie burgers all made by hand on site each day – they have a burger for everybody!
I have quite a few friends who are vegetarians and we always struggle finding a good restaurant to eat in due to the limited vegetarian options. It gets even more difficult when we are talking burgers so I was quite impressed when I spotted a whole veggie section on the menu.
They operate on an ‘order at a bar’ basis which I really like. It makes life so much easier especially when you are in big group of people – saves you the hassle of splitting the bill and all the drama that follows. Seb and I ordered a few milkshakes to start us off.
Seb finished his Oreo Cookies milkshake in less than 2 minutes – I kid you not! Clearly a good sign.
I ordered the Banana and Peanut Butter milkshake and although it tasted fab, I did find it slightly too thick and the small black straws didn’t help the cause either.
As we finished off our milkshakes, our food arrived!
I think we might have ordered a little too much for two people! Not that I was complaining.
Seb ordered one of the stuffed burgers on the recommendation of the manager and it was the best decision we made that day. The Cheddar and Chilli Stuffed Burger tasted as good as it looked.
The bun is spot on and so is the red and green chilli hot salsa but the star attraction here has to be the stuffed patty. It oozes cheese from the patty when you cut into it and trust me this is a beautiful sight you want to experience at least once in your life.
I ordered the Beef Burger Slider – perfect for people like me who just can’t decide. The slider platter consists of a Cheese Classic, a Smokey Barbecue and a American Cheese burger. It was a good intro to their beef menu.
My favourite has to be the American Cheese Burger which comes complete with a mini onion ring and topped with sliced gherkins. Although I am a fan of the big burgers topped with everything under the sun, sometimes all you want is a nice simple burger that you can actually pick up with your hands and dig into. This burger was exactly that, a simple burger done well.
We also ordered two sides to go with our burgers. A portion of Fresh Cut Chips and Cajun Onion Rings with a side of Blue Cheese Mayo. I am a big fan of my onion rings and the cajun onion rings here has to be some of the best I have ever had. Perfectly spiced and absolutely fab with some good ol’ mayonnaise.
I was however slightly disappointed with the blue cheese mayo dip. It was too thick and I needed a fork to get some on my onion rings. Not really a dip if you ask me but it did taste great.
I was planning on trying some dessert but I don’t think I could have managed even one bite of it so I decided to pass on trying something sweet this time.
As you already know, I am not a big fan of chains but I think Handmade Burger Co. might be different. It didn’t feel like a chain restaurant and the food definitely didn’t let me down. At less than £30 for two, this meal was an absolute steal.
Manchester definitely doesn’t need ‘yet another burger joint’ but then again, Handmade Burger Co. isn’t yet another burger joint. I suspect it’s going to be popular given its location on the corner of the business district with people at work looking for a quick lunch. I also suspect Handmade Burger Co. is going to be very popular with families looking for a child friendly burger joint.
If you’re going to have a burger, it may as well be made with traditionally reared, 100% traceable ingredients all made fresh everyday. Looks like Byron Burger (review here) has some competition down the road now.