Meat & Potatoes @ Honest Burgers Brighton A Review

Fast growing burger chain Honest Burgers have opened their first restaurant in Brighton. It all began several years ago when owners and best friends Tom and Phil met working for a local high-end eatery, worked the circuit and noticed how most restaurants seem to have added hidden extras like sides and bread, ramping up the cost of dining before the customers realised!  They decided they wanted to do it all better, more “honest” and where quality would be absolutely guaranteed. With thirty-odd branches open and seemingly not slowing down, it really does seem that honesty is the best policy! Absolute Magazine’s burger connoisseurs Tony and Nick paid them a visit to see how they have done it and of course try out some of their delicious burgers!

First impressions when we arrived is this is not your typical try-hard to be cool dimly-lit neon-heavy burger joint. Homely décor was paired with bare brick walls and simple no-fuss tables and chairs. We checked out the menu and it see more of the same theme. No crazy names and fancy toppings, and no sightings of the words “dirty” “sexy” or “filthy” in view whatsoever! Just simply described, beef, veggie, and chicken burgers along with a couple of speciality burgers made in collaboration with local restaurants that are regularly swapped out.

We chose a couple of beef burgers, which come with chips as standard, and some extra onion rings, slaw and beef and bacon gravy and our meal does not take long to arrive. We tucked in and it was immediately apparent why the menu does not need to try too hard. Honest burgers are simply divine. It is all about the meat here. Succulent juicy patties are made from fatty Chuck and Rib-cap steaks to give extra flavour and bind the meat without the need for egg, chopped, not minced so as to hold in the flavour and keep the meat coarse and tender. The patties are cooked perfectly medium-rare through being seared on a flat iron grill and seasoned with salt and pepper during cooking to prevent the salt breaking down the beef and creating a rubbery texture. The toppings only compliment and do not detract any attention from the meat.

Just as much attention goes into the sides. The chips which come as standard (no hidden extras here) are out-of-this world crispy, made from specially selected spuds which have a natural low-sugar content, which ensures they crisp up during cooking and don’t go soggy. Seasoned with sea-salt and rosemary, these chips have been described as the crack-cocaine of the chip world and we can see why! The biggest onion rings I have ever seen were beautifully spiced. I think I could taste cardamom or cumin – I forgot to ask. The rich meaty gravy was something truly special – great for dunking the chips and even the burger. We washed it all down with a couple of delicious gin and tonics, with gin sourced from a small distillery in Bristol, and a couple of locally brewed beers.

Verdict: Honest Burgers are a must visit. Unpretentious surroundings, well priced and incredibly tasty burgers and sides made from Great British meat and veg.

Honest Burgers: 8 Duke Street, Brighton, BN1 1AH.