Handmade Burger Co review
Handmade Burger Co – The Gate Newcastle
Here at Nights Out In Newcastle we really love a good burger! So we were thrilled to be asked to review the food at the Handmade Burger Co. restaurant in The Gate.
We made our way there last Saturday for a lunchtime feast, and having skipped breakfast we were ready for a slap up meal and we were not disappointed! Handmade Burger Co. Newcastle is located on the first floor of The Gate, situated in the heart of Newcastle. We arrived at 1pm and were given a warm welcome by the friendly staff. Having not been before I was not sure if this was just for us but was pleasantly surprised to see they greeted everyone like this. We were shown to our seats and introduced to the mouth-watering menu. The waitress got us a jug of ice water while we weighed up our options.
For those like me who had not been to one of their restaurants before, the Handmade Burger Co’s whole ethos is to be a burger company with a difference. Their chefs make burgers by hand on a daily basis using 100% prime Scotch beef, hand pressing them to ensure the tastiest and freshest burgers. Their food is, as the name suggests handmade, using only the freshest produce, locally sourced where possible. They really go the extra mile with their food sourcing and believe it makes a huge difference to the taste and quality. On their quest for the ultimate burgers they have worked with rare-breed beef producers such as Jimmy Doherty, star of BBC programme Jimmy’s Farm and Jimmy’s Food Factory.
They also take great care an attention when designing their menus, with a wide range of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. These are also approved by the Vegan Society and Coeliac UK. They even had a whole separate Gluten Free menu available, as well a menu for those with food allergies. This was very impressive to see. A lot of restaurants could really learn from this! It really takes the stress out of ordering and the range of choice for those with specific dietary requirements was fantastic.
As we perused the menu the manager John came over to say ‘hi‘. He informed us he’d like to show us a sneak peak of a few of their new dishes coming to the menu soon if that was ok? and we understandably jumped at the chance! They are bringing a few Mexican inspired dishes to the menu in the coming weeks and we got to try a couple of their new salads for starters.
A fresh and fragrant mix they were delicious and perfect opening acts. They were a nice blend of tomato, sweetcorn, red onion, coriander and a hint of chilli for a slight kick. Each came with some amazing smoky spiced fried tortilla and a great big piece of cheese for good measure. I went for the Goats Cheese and my partner in crime went for the grilled Halloumi.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~ Hippocrates
The salads were delicious and a great start to the meal. The cheese was amazing and the portions really decent. The food was so fresh and tasty, I would definitely recommend a try when they come out.
Our salads were accompanied by a couple of beers from the Electric Bear Brewing Co. I had not heard of these guys before but will definitely be looking out for them in future! I had the Edison a refreshing, crisp and clean Pilsner with a nice citrus finish. It went really well with the fresh salad and chilli kick, perfectly matched to cut through the strong Goats Cheese. My companion had the Elemental a fresh and fruity hoppy IPA. Both were amazing beers, very refreshing and moreish.
Handmade Burger Co. like to use small craft producers in all aspects of their menu to get unique and high quality ingredients, and Bath based Electric Bear Brewing Co. are a great example of them championing such products. Born out of our love for creating great tasting, finely crafted artisan beers, they’ve put together an experienced, award-winning team to make distinctive and delicious beers for beer-lovers of all sorts, from hop-head craft beer aficionados to real-ale cask beer drinkers.
Handmade Burger Co. have a good range of drinks with all the usual suspects plus some amazing looking shakes. New to their menu they even have some intriguing Hard Shakes, milk shakes with a kick! Such as White Russian, Oreo Bourbon and Strawberry Freeze flavours. I think I’ll have to try these next time as sound really good, you can even get creative and add a spirit to any shake for £2.75. This could get interesting, who knows you might even invent a new revolutionary cocktail! Salted Caramel and Brandy, Peanut Butter and Rum, Banana and Curacao, the combinations are endless!
With our salads well and truly polished off we pondered on what was going to be the main event! We were treat to a range of their burgers as well as some delicious sides. We had a trio of burgers from across their extensive range, we were spoilt for choice really with over 40 different handmade burgers to choose from! We kept them on their toes with a classic burger they are famed for and a veggie option, before John threw in a special surprise off their new menu for good measure!
For sides we had to go for their Mexican Chips, fresh handcuff chips topped with melted cheese, Chipotle sauce, hand crushed avocado. Mexican salsa and jalapeños. These were just amazing, and we fought over every last luscious chip. As a lover of the good old British chip it was great to see the chunky chip as the star of the show, with no skinny fries in sight! New to the menu these bad boys are definitely worth a try, and nicely filling with all the extras on top. Just make sure to get your own to avoid any chip related arguments!
To accompany our burgers we also went for a classic Handmade Coleslaw and a spicy Jalapeño Slaw, made from white and red cabbage, coriander, jalapeños and dressed with Sriracha mayo and fresh spring onions. After all you can’t have a burger without slaw!
One of the options we went for was one of their Pit Range Burgers, inspired by BBQ Pit recipes from across the USA. We decided on an American BBQ Bacon Stuffed, a handmade patty stuffed with Swiss Cheese, generously topped with Bacon, HBC BBQ Pit Sauce, Mayo, shredded Iceberg Lettuce and Red Onion. This monster burger was all served in a Buttermilk Bun with handmade Coleslaw and a side of Gerkin.
It was amazing and we’d definitely recommend their stuffed burgers. The meat was so succulent and the cheese just oozed out! The Buttermilk Bun was great and help up well under all that filling, as liquid cheese mingled with bacon and BBQ pit sauce. It was a real monster of a burger and a meat-lovers paradise. I can see these going down a treat on match days come the start of the new season.
Next up was the veggie options, first was the Sweet Potato & Bean Burger, an option from their Vegan menu. Served in a Sourdough Bun it came with a tangy Mango and Ginger Salsa, Lettuce, Tomato and Red Onion. It had a great taste with nods to Indian cooking with hints of cumin and spice in the burger, perfectly complimented by the salsa, which was similar to a good Mango Chutney. This one was a pleasant surprise with lots of subtle spices and flavours kicking in.
Our other veggie option was from their new menu coming out soon and was welcome addition to their ever-growing range of burgers. It was called the Halloumi Smash Burger and was packed full of amazing ingredients. A huge chunk of mouth-watering grilled Halloumi sitting on a large Portobello Mushroom was topped by delicious Avocado and Tomato. This one was amazing, and I’d recommend to veggies and meat-eaters alike. The Halloumi was fantastic and cooked to perfection.
We battled our way through the remaining burgers and sides with eyes bigger than our stomachs. To say we were stuffed is an understatement of nearly as epic proportions as my belly! With that in mind I was a little horrified when John and kitchen manager David suggested a couple of desserts. But one look at their amazing offerings and all that changed in an instant and we were ready for a final course.
We had a fabulous Cheesecake and an indulgent Chocolate Brownie. Both served with ice-cream and whipped cream. They really did look amazing and they certainly had not spared on the portion size which was great to see!
“Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate” ~ Jo Brand
The Chocolate Brownie came with a tasty butterscotch sauce which really made the dish. A chocolate lovers paradise it was dense and gooey, just like a brownie should be!
The Cheesecake was perfect, again the portion was generous and the flavours outstanding. I am not normally a huge dessert fan but I wolfed down every single bite until my plate was clean (much to my companions disgust after she gave me a mouthful of her brownie, whoops!!!).
The Strawberry Coulis was heavenly and I would have loved a bottle to take home and put on ice-cream. It was the perfect finish to an amazing meal.
The food and service was fantastic and I will definitely be going back in future to try some more of their 40+ burgers. Handmade Burger Co. really are obsessed about their burgers and it shows in the quality and taste. All the extra care and attention to detail shines through.
“There is no sincerer love than the love of food” ~ George Bernard Shaw
They are also really reasonably priced and you can make the most of it with special offers such as their Lunch Menu available all the way up to 5pm. They also have student discounts and regular offers so keep an eye out. Their loyalty card holds 10 stamps which you can collect to earn great rewards to redeem on your next visit in one of their restaurants. The staff are super helpful so it’s always advisable to ask them about any food requirements, special offers available or new menu items.
Personally I’d definitely advise trying their sides and they are very filling and make the meals into a real feast. For us the Pit Range American BBQ Bacon Stuffed was amazing but the new Halloumi Smash Burger was also a star of the show. Either one would be great with some Mexican Chips and a beer. I really liked the Electric Bear Brewing Co. beers and will be keeping an eye out for them. They also sell some great drinks like BrewDog Punk IPA and Harviestoun Broken Dial, all favourites of mine.
Handmade Burger Co. passion comes across in their food, this combined with great service and friendly staff all means you are in for a treat! We would definitely recommend to locals, students, tourists and revellers alike.
I can’t wait for their Mexican inspired menu to come out as it’s sure to be a roaring success having tasted a tiny sample of what to watch out for!