Sean recently visited Grillstock in Bristol (the Clifton branch) and raved about how amazing it was. You may have seen his recent post where he said the following about his Smokestack burger:
“When the burger arrived, I was seriously impressed. In fact I can safely say it was one of tastiest burgers I have ever had the pleasure of eating. The burger meat and pulled pork were both perfectly cooked, and neither out-did the other. Instead they perfectly complemented each other in terms of flavour and consistency.”
After making me suitably jealous of his burger outing, he decided to take me to Bath this weekend so I could taste one of the burgers myself.
In fact, I ordered exactly what he did at the Bristol restaurant, a Smokestack burger (5oz burger, pulled pork, melted cheese, house pickles & fry sauce) and a Grillstock Pale Ale. OK I admit, I also ordered some brisket burnt ends because I am greedy.
We put in our order and brought our wooden spoon with the order number to our table. A few minutes later, food was brought out and put on our table. I quickly noticed that Sean’s burger was big, and mine looked tiny. I don’t eat smaller portions just because I’m a girl!
Figuring something was up, I flagged down a member of staff as she was putting down food on the table next to us. She had the orders back to front so I had to swap my meal with one of them – slightly awkward!
The first thing I noticed after swapping trays was that everything seemed a little wet on the paper. I was surprised, since Sean had no such trouble on his last visit. In his review he said:
“One thing I hate with a burger packed with various components is when the bun ends up becoming soggy and falling apart. There was no such issue with the Smokestack – in fact it was so easy to eat it felt like I finished it off in a few short bites!”
I have this thing against soggy bread or rolls; pretty much the reason I avoid buying sandwiches in supermarkets. Therefore I was pretty disappointed to find that my burger bun was so soggy on the bottom that I could have wrung it out like a sponge.
As we’d travelled all the way to Bath from Newbury for our burgers, I figured I would just pretend that there was no sogginess and just focus on the meat instead, which was incredibly flavoursome and soft. Until I ended up with two hard bits of gristle in my mouth, which completely put me off.
When Sean told me to check the temperature of my fries, I was saddened to discover that they were as lukewarm as his. At this point I had to give some feedback to the team as I felt it was only right that I told them that their food wasn’t coming out of the kitchen as it should be.
One of the waiting staff offered to replace my burger after I showed him just how wet the bun was (and the accompanying gristle), but I just wasn’t in the mood to give it another go quite so quickly. I did however accept his offer for some new fries, so fair play for that. They were nice and hot to enjoy with the brisket burnt ends which were thankfully spot on!
So I’m still waiting for the amazing Grillstock experience which I know is out there. With so much potential in the flavour of my burger, it could’ve made such a difference to the overall result if a little more care was taken to get things right.
Grillstock can be found at Unit 4, 12 Brunel Square, Bath, BA1 1SX. This review took place on 25/07/15.
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