Monday, 23 April 2012

Byron Burger (various outlets) Review

"Pleasure is a sin, and sometimes sin is a pleasure."

Lord Byron said that. I'm sure you food fiends agree. However, now, nowadays, I find pleasure to be underrated, often undercooked, and sin to be overrated, overdone, perhaps. That's an unnatural balance. For, with lessening personal pleasure, a life of sin leads to others being the beneficiaries of your sinful pleasures. You're left with the shell, the wrapper, the guilt, the sin. How was your dinner out last night? It was ok. Ok but was it worth it? I suppose, yes. Yes but did you really enjoy it? I know who did: the celebrity chef whose name adorns the foot of your foot long receipt. Fair play to them. It’s your loss.

A typical "top end" London dining experience is filled with sin; primarily envy, greed and gluttony. The dish your partner ordered that you’d rather, an eye wateringly extortionate half-pound steak, the butter-duck-drip-fat-sugar-salt-fat-fat spoonfuls you shovel in to and around your sweating mouth: eating out in London is often a sin. And, like all sinful acts, it will likely leave you disappointed, self loathing, repentant. Sinning whilst dining isn't winning.

So, it is with some relish, that one occasionally discovers a dining experience that manages to successfully walk the taut rope between sin and pleasure. For if a sin retains its pleasure it is easier for it to be forgiven. With pleasure, one can repent. Forgive me. It was worth it.

Byron is one such experience. It is simple, clean, fun, friendly value. It is healthy (for human beings who like to eat food). It is almost everything that eating out should be. It is not many things that eating out often is. It is always good.

Vitally, for what is a burger vendor at heart, it is also versatile. I hungrily happened upon the Earl's Court branch in a hurry one Wednesday evening pre sport match. Twenty minutes and pounds later I was firmly fed and well watered. I've slothed away Sunday afternoon milkshaking in a Byron booth on High Street Ken. I've got on it before going out-out in South Ken with cold Peroni in colder plastic pitchers being endured/ enjoyed post burger. Whatever you want, whatever you like, take your choice, pay your money and Byron brings it. 

I have the Byron Burger but all the meat burgers are excellent and I'd recommend the quality Scottish sourced red meats over the leaner, drier chicken. The formula is simple with quality potato sides, the macaroni is decent and the salads are salads. You have to have a milkshake and Peroni is preferentially priced if it's that sort of siduation. If it's date night, drink good value wine for it does what wine should. Burgers and wine; she's feeling fine...

Happily, I have always been serviced by the friendliest of professionals. Think pre-brainwash prettier Pret people. It can be fast food or slow food. If you want it quick, they give it you quick with no fuss. If you want it slow, they'll happily take their time for you. Just ask, smile, they smile back and get on with it. Service isn’t included so tip tidily at the till.

Therefore, with pleasure, my Byron vibe is positively positive. Byron seems to want to be good at what it does. It wants to please, to provide, for all sorts of happy, hungry customers. They also show an interest and promotion for charitable activity around their operation. In this vice fuelled, sin ridden world that is no bad thing. Being good whilst eating good is good.

A concern would be that as the successful chain continues to expand the quality of their product inversely heads south. When I see evidence of this I’ll let you know. Until then, the point is moot. For now, I’ll continue to enjoy guilt free, great value Byron burgers. If eating out at Byron is a sin I will continue, with pleasure, to repent. Amen.


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