Review of handmade burger Co. Hawaiian Chicken Burger and Mozzarella & Sun Blushed Tomatoes Stuffed Burger
What they say:
Hawaiian Chicken Burger – Grilled Pineapple, mature cheddar, smoked bacon, mango salsa, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato & red onion.
Mozzarella & Sun Blushed Tomatoes Stuffed Burger – Pesto, mayonnaise, rocket & red onion.
Price: £8.25 each.
Calories: Not available.
Handmade Burger Co. is a chain of high quality fast food restaurants and is growing rapidly throughout Britain. There are branches popping up everywhere and I’m taken aback slightly that it has taken me this long to get around to visiting.
Anyway, this particular branch is amongst a cluster of eateries scattered outside Birmingham’s Bullring and in full view of the iconic Selfridges bubbles.
I do enjoy a bit of good architecture, and after Cheltenham’s Regency charms yesterday, Brum’s 21st century regeneration is a fascinating juxtaposition.
However, you aren’t reading this for buildings, you are here for the burgers. And so am I.
The Handmade menu is pretty extensive. Over 40 of them plus of course individually-priced toppings you can add. Going through the menu will take a little time.
Eventually I narrow it down to two, which is great because I have a voucher for two meals and I’m not sharing!
I’m having the stuffed mozzarella burger and a chicken offering in the form of the Hawaiian, whose gimmick is grilled pineapple.
This place is a modern looking construct in the shadow of the iconic Selfridges bubbles in the centre of Birmingham. It looks tiny outside but is cavernous inside due to a massive downstairs section.
|Large downstairs section…|
The menu has beef, chicken, lamb and vegetarian offerings. And two stuffed burgers (juicy lucy style), one of which BL has had before. I’m having the other one.
Like GBK, ordering is at the counter, which I can imagine gets to be a nuisance when it is very busy. In fact it’s quite busy now (not full but close), and the noise of humans chattering about banal rubbish is very distracting. The Admiral likes his peace and quiet.
The prep time was significant. The free beer meant that I hadn’t paid attention to the passage of time, but it certainly wasn’t fast food. Fortunately I wasn’t in a hurry.
When it did arrive, I decided to take the stuffed burger first. I bit in enthusiastically and was immediately disappointed.
|The stuffed burger – lots of onions…|
Why? Well, I shall tell you. A stuffed burger is essentially a gimmick. The lubricating toppings have been put on the inside of the patty rather than the outside, and as a result, if you get a bite that doesn’t include any of the stuffing, it’s dry.
Once the stuffing hit though, it was a different story. Much as I dislike huge pieces of fresh tomato on my burgers, when it is tiny pieces like this, along with the mozzarella and the rest, it really does add a flavour hit and turns and dry, ordinary burger into a tasty, moist piece of heaven.
|Lifting the lid – but the best bit is inside the meat…|
A brief pause saw me attack the side dishes. I’d chosen coleslaw and this one was really nice. Crunch and creamy. Not BL’s favourite as we know, but this was a very decent accompaniment.
The chips. Ah, the chips. This is possible where the Handmade experience stumbled a bit. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the chips, but they do feel a bit like the thick cut stuff you get in pubs all across the country. I think Handmade could put a bit more development into their fries. It’s a shame really, because it did let the side down and I felt disinclined to finish them.
|Here’s the stuffing inside…|
Moving on then, to the chicken burger with its big pineapple ring and gloopy mango stuff staring out at me.
It looked daunting and was indeed quite messy. Mango is a nice touch but very, very sticky. It got everywhere. Mango on my pen, mango on my phone, mango on my notepad.
|Hawaiian Chicken Burger…|
Anyway, this was tasty. I don’t usually go for chicken burgers and this wasn’t a traditional burger in the fast food sense. It was a sizeable chunk of breast, grilled nicely and adorned with all the tropical toppings. And that brings me to the pineapple.
|NGC – Nicely Grilled Chicken…|
Pineapple seems to have established itself as the Hawaiian ingredient on pizzas and burgers across the UK. Who knows why? I’m quite sure pineapples grow elsewhere besides Hawaii. But at any rate, this burger’s defining feature was also its Achilles heel. It was just a bit too thick.
Don’t get me wrong, this was a tasty burger, but the most enjoyment came from the bites that included bacon (bacon makes everything better) rather than the pineapple. The mango sauce was a lovely sweet addition but did cause quite a bit of slide. A sweet, sticky, tasty mess of a burger.
|Inside the Hawaiian’s sticky innards…|
The verdict is extremely positive. Handmade isn’t perfect but it is close. A great venue, outstandingly comprehensive menu, happy team. I will certainly be back to try other items from this menu.