Byron Burgers Holy Cheesemas

Review of Byron Burgers Holy Cheesemas


What they say:

Holy Cheesemas is our contribution to the fine art of festive over-indulgence – a double bacon cheeseburger fit for a king. Two 6oz patties, four kinds of cheese – mature Cheddar, American, Red Leicester and Monterey Jack – plus two rashers of dry cure bacon, red onion, shredded iceberg, sliced pickles and Cheesemas sauce.

Price: £12.95.

Calories: Unknown.

Byron is quite an interesting topic of discussion. Chiefly a London chain, it appears now, almost as an afterthought, to be realising there is a whole country of people who eat food outside the M25.

As such, new branches have been opening further from the Thames, and as Burger Lad® recently discovered, more planned for 2015 and beyond…

More interestingly, they took on the talented young chef Fred Smith.

This, however, hasn’t translated into a significant departure from their regular menu of seven burgers (I can’t bring myself to count the one that doesn’t include a bun).

What they do have though, is an ever-changing Special, which seems to last about six weeks each time. If the regular menu existed pre-Fred, the specials are presumably mostly his work.

This year’s special is the Holy Cheesemas.

On first glance, it appears a lazy option, simply expanding slightly on last year’s offering – the Triple Cheesemas.

Byron Burgers Holy Cheesemas
Holy Cheesemas, folks…

However, in the most British of traditions, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Improving slightly on something that was already great isn’t a bad thing.

I’ve had Byron burgers before, pre-BL®, and I can assure you they are good.

“Proper hamburgers” is the slogan. I’d place them along with Handmade Burger Co. and Gourmet Burger Kitchen in a sort of premium high street bracket (although the other two have more menu items and currently more geographic spread).

Anyway, to the Cheesemas. It’s essentially a double bacon cheeseburger with red onions, pickle, lettuce and Cheesemas sauce, whatever that is.

The hook is the four different kinds of cheese (as Burger Lad® might say – yes please, yes please, yes please, yes please). Monterey Jack, mature cheddar, Red Leicester and American cheese.

Byron Burgers Holy Cheesemas
Here it is… the burger of 2014…

So, it’s going to be cheesy. And big. Let’s find out….

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, sit down, get a glass of your favourite tipple, and continue reading, for this is something very, very special.

Having seen pictures on the Internet, I knew it was big, so decided not to have fries this time. I’ve had Byron skin-on chips before and can assure you they are very nice.

Inside Byron goes for a sleek, deconstructed look. Bare brick, exposed unfinished ceilings, plain light bulbs. But the bench seating was comfortable, and the table was clean.

The kitchen is front of house so you could, if so inclined, go and watch your burger being made. I didn’t, but could certainly smell it.

When I put my order in, the waiter said “we cook it medium, is that OK?” Of course it’s OK. That’s just ideal, thank you.

When it arrived it was a thing of beauty. I was in love, and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

Byron Burgers Holy Cheesemas
Cheese, cheese… yes please…!

From the start, it was difficult to eat because of its height and I have to admit to resorting to cutlery later on.

The first bite told me all I needed to know. The meat was perfect. Slightly pink and knobbly. The cheese was all over the place. I couldn’t necessarily distinguish all four types but visibly the Red Leicester was most prominent.

The red onions gave a satisfying crunch while the bacon was utterly spot on. A great salty hit with a slight crunch too.

The lettuce was, as is almost always the case, neither here nor there. And the Cheesemas sauce, whatever else it had in it, had a bit of a spicy kick.

Basically all the best bits of a burger, done perfectly and done in abundance.

If I really had to pick a weak spot, and it’d be a real push, it’d be the bottom bun, which didn’t really hold up under the weight, hence the cutlery. Apart from that though, the bun was well chosen and looked and tasted great.

Byron Burgers Holy Cheesemas
Glossy triumph…

I’d love to know what they put in the Cheesemas sauce because quite frankly it’s the best burger condiment I’ve had in a long time.

Byron’s meat (and meat should always be the centrepiece), is so tasty and juicy. I tried some on its own, only ever so slightly dry, but otherwise as good a patty as you’ll have anywhere.

I’d probably always choose a cheeseburger over a plain burger, but this one was a fine example of the delights of excess. Brilliant.

As the waitress was taking it away, I asked about the sauce and she said it contained paprika. She also said the burger can be ordered as a single if you want. Same toppings but just one party.

Even if you have only a passing interest in burgers (or Christmas) you need to try this. It’s around until the 5th of January.

I’m going to say that’s it’s not only the best burger from a national chain that I’ve ever had, but it’s also my current overall favourite burger. I’ll be having it at least once more before it finishes. Yes, it really is THAT good!

Byron Burgers Holy Cheesemas
Last look at my burger of the year, Thank you Byron…

So, all Burger Lad® fans old and new, good citizens of the United Kingdom from Lerwick to Looe, and visitors to our fair islands, find a Byron and go and try this amazing burger.

For this, Ladies and Gentlemen, is THE BURGER OF 2014.

Admiral Burgerbar