The namesake ‘Byron Burger’ serves up the perfect ratio of bun to burger to toppings, in an effortlessly cool setting, with a nice chunky pickle on the side.
Byron Reviews & News
Older News & Reviews
Jacqui – Aug 2013
My six-weekly ‘day off’ at the hairdressers is always something I look forward to, not just because of the quiet time, or the break from being Mum, or even the complimentary head massage – I look forward to these rare days because I also have a quiet lunch, all by my little self. There was a time when I’d have hated the thought of eating alone, but these quiet times are simply bliss! AND I get to eat wherever I want without compromise… so where this time? Byron Hamburgers!
You see I was on a bit of a local burger benchmarking mission – I’d tried the special Burger Menu at The Royal Oak, I’d sampled the delights of Atomic Burgers, and more recently chowed down on burgers at Door 74 and Jacobs Inn; I was, however, yet to visit Byron Oxford.
Grabbing a small table in sight of the kitchen, I made myself comfortable and began the torturous task of choosing the right burger. With an art-deco vibe to the decor, Byron is light and airy but doesn’t quite feel comfortable enough spend a significant amount of time in. Maybe it was just the table I was sat at, the booths did look a little cosier… and maybe with a drink or two on board, I’d feel differently. The staff were welcoming and polite though and the service efficient.
“Our beef comes from Scotland, is freshly ground every day and cooked medium (unless otherwise requested). All our hamburgers are served in a proper squishy bun with a pickle on the side.”
A proud statement displayed prominently on the Byron menu; I think it’s completely right the burgers are normally cooked medium and LOVE the addition of a pickle on the side. With eight ‘Proper Hamburgers’ to choose from, plus four main salads, I clearly ignored the salads altogether… I also immediately ruled out the skinny, veggie and chicken options (no offence skinny/veggie/chicken fans, but I needed a proper hamburger, for the sake of fair testing you understand).
This left me with five options: Classic, Cheese, Byron, Chilli or Big B… how could I not go for the namesake itself? Byron it was then – Dry cure bacon, mature Cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion and Byron sauce (£9.25) with a side of fries (£2.95). I would have been keen to try the courgette fries but, well, there’s only so much a girl can eat!
It wasn’t long at all before a perfectly pert burger landed before me. Now, I’m a little OCD, so one of the things that often troubles me with burgers is the messiness; whether you’re a hands or knife and fork kinda burger eater, the insides often slip out here there and everywhere – not something I’m particularly fond of. This little beauty though had to be one of the neatest burgers I’ve ever eaten!
Tidiness won’t be of huge importance to everyone though when it comes to burgers, so I’ll move on. The fries were cooked, in my opinion, perfectly – tasty AND crispy, the two main things I look for with fries. The burger itself? I actually couldn’t fault it – the ratio of burger to bun was spot on; the burger sauce delicious and perfectly measured; the salad accompaniments just enough; the bacon and cheese flavourful but modest. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten such a well-proportioned and well-balanced burger… ever! I even managed to finish the whole thing… which is a HUGE achievement for me.
Having delayed my visit to Byron Oxford for such a long time, always assuming a big burger would be far too much for my lunch, I don’t know what on earth I was thinking. While I wasn’t blown away with gastronomic excitement, I now understand what they mean by ‘proper hamburgers’, for this is how I’ve always wanted a burger and fries to be – simple, tasty, perfectly cooked, a bit neater… and not leave you feeling downright greasy and guilty.
What I am discovering along the way on my burger benchmarking, is that there is no one perfect burger, but maybe a perfect burger for different occasions – there will still be room for Atomic style ‘gourmet’ burgers with fabulous arrays of toppings, but there is definitely room for ‘proper’ burgers done simply and done well.
Becca – Sep 2012
You probably already know that I’m a bit of an Atomic Burgers fan. But I’m still willing to try new places and so when Byron Burgers opened in Oxford a little while ago, I decided to go visit. Matt & I went there for lunch today, I needed to get away from my office after a long and tiring week and Matt just wanted to eat. He, as predicted, ordered what is called the Byron burger, dry cure bacon, cheddar and the Byron sauce. The waitress explained that all their burgers are cooked medium so they are served pink and juicy. We both order our steaks blue so this pleased us.
I ordered a cheeseburger, cheddar with portobello mushroom and aioli. You don’t get any sides with a Byron Burger so we ordered a dish of skin on fries and some onion rings. The food arrived fairly promptly although both burgers were warm rather than hot. Had I not been on my lunch hour and pressed for time, I would have sent it back.
Anyway, the roll was good, I fished out the giant slice of tomato & spread some aioli on it from my little pot. By the way, the aioli was thick, yellow and had a lovely garlic flavour. The burger was okay, a lot more pink than expected which was fine by me. Quite heavily seasoned though, to the point that I didn’t need salt on my fries and that put me off a little.
Fries were okay, nothing exciting and certainly not deserving of a £3.25 price tag. Onion rings were hot and crispy and oily. It was all okay, but I expected better. If I was somewhere that doesn’t have Atomic Burgers and I absolutely had to have a burger, Byron would do. But if I’m in Oxford or Bristol, it would have to be an Atomic Chuck Norris! In the interests of fairness, I should say that Byron is way better than it’s next door neighbour, the laughably named Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Two burgers, two sides and two cokes cost just over thirty quid excluding service.