The seaside town of Brighton might be better known for its pier, pebble beach and fish and chip bars, but there are some great restaurants hidden down its small streets and alleyways.
I visit Brighton a couple of times each year for various marketing conferences, and for my latest trip I took to Twitter to get a couple of foodie recommendations. I was pointed in the direction of Rosie Swaffer’s blog and her post about some of Brighton’s finest places to go for lunch.
As I like to try somewhere new each time I visit Brighton, I jotted down a few of the places that sounded the most exciting to me – one of these was The Coal Shed. Saying this, my colleagues and I only made the decision about which place to actually visit when we were started getting ravenous at our seafront hotel; we realised that The Coal Shed was just around the corner from us so it instantly won out amongst the other choices!
We arrived at the restaurant which was heaving with customers, even on a Tuesday evening. Luckily we managed to get a table upstairs without making a prior booking; we probably would have cried a bit if we were made to wait for our dinner much longer.
The menu quickly told us a couple of things: this restaurant was a sure specialist in fish and meat, and that meals come at a bit of a premium in price. Being on a work budget, we all chose to get a steak burger (of course, or otherwise I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog post would I?).
The steak patties were served with lettuce, pickles, tomato, onion, dripping chips and onion marmalade – for £11 this is much more affordable than choosing a £32 steak or £37.50 lobster. The onion marmalade was served in a sweet little jar on the wooden board, and actually provided the perfect boost of flavour for the dripping chips.
In terms of the burger, it was served medium as I prefer, although you should learn from my mistake: don’t put your burger back down on the board or you’ll end up with a soggy bun from the drips coming from the luscious patty.
I really liked that this burger wasn’t overly fussy, it was super simply due to the ingredients, preparation and cooking. The bun was soft and topped with some crunchy seeds, and the fillings were a mixture of succulent and crisp.
Of course it wouldn’t have been a full meal without the obligatory beer, so I had a half pint of Estrella (I couldn’t justify a full pint as I was actually speaking at the conference the following morning). The beer was cold, refreshing and delightful.
I’d give the steak burger an 8/10 on my burger scale, and the restaurant itself would get a 7/10. This is due to the cost of many of the meals on the menu when there are cheaper alternatives in the city (still at a great quality). However the staff were friendly and the atmosphere was welcoming, if not a little bit on the posh side.
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