Review: The Burger Joint, Bristol
Updated: Jan 24, 2019
Having been vegetarian for nearly 15 years, seeing a veggie burger on the menu is something of a mixed blessing. You can normally count on it being a tasty enough vegetarian 'option' but it's seldom imaginative or a meal that you'll remember for very long afterwards.
So I wasn't really sure what to expect when I visited the Southville branch of The Burger Joint on a sunny Wednesday lunchtime in August. The website boldly promises the 'best burgers in Bristol' but would this extend to their new and updated Veggie & Vegan menu?
We were the first customers to arrive for lunch and we were greeted with a warm welcome from the waiting staff, and offered a choice of seating. We chose to sit inside, but there is a lovely terrace at the front of the premises where you can sit and watch the hustle and bustle of North Street, and this filled up pretty quickly during the time we were there.
And now for the fun part (and this is what makes The Burger Joint a bit different from all the other burger places in the city): you get to 'Build Your Own Burger'. My sons were instantly interested as our waitress expertly explained the 5-step process to us. You tick your choices on the order form that you will find on your table (one per person), and the large number of options available means that you can create a different burger meal every single time you visit.
It was fantastic to have a totally separate vegetarian menu, and The Burger Joint states that their fryers only cook non-meat products, so nothing cooked in them will have had any meat contamination. With so many choices available, I actually struggled to choose my combination but I eventually ticked Italian Herb Bun, Spicy Sweet Potato, Bean & Quinoa Burger, Halloumi as a topping, with Sweet Chilli Sauce and Sour Cream as my two sauces, and a side of French Fries.
The kids menu is much simpler but still has the tick box option so little ones don't feel left out, plus the all-important activity sheet to keep them busy whilst you wait for your food to arrive. A kids meal costs £6.95 for a drink (Orange or Blackcurrant soda), a choice of Beef or Veggie burger or a Hot Dog, French Fries or Corn on the Cob on the side, and a scoop of Ice Cream or a Mini Shake for dessert.
The food arrived promptly (less than 15 minutes after we'd ordered), which was great as I had two hungry boys with me! I was immediately impressed with the generous portions, especially the kids meals which are advertised for 12 year olds and under. My eldest son is not yet 12, but he's getting to the stage where sometimes the kids meal is not big enough. This time he struggled to finish everything on his plate! The kids veggie burger was really tasty (I sampled it for research purposes of course) and it wasn't so full of vegetables that it put my son off (those of you with fussy eaters will understand!). The fries were plentiful and very quickly eaten too.
My Sweet Potato, Bean & Quinoa burger had just the right amount of spice, and I really enjoyed the big slice of Halloumi as a topping, as well as my two chosen sauces (although one would probably have been enough). The Italian Herb bun wasn't too heavy and although I usually end up leaving the bread bun which comes with a burger, I ate most of this one. (A No-Bun option is also available which is a good idea if, like me, you can't always tolerate too many carbs at once!)
The Burger Joint uses local suppliers such as Hobbs House Bakery and everything is prepared on-site each day. This was definitely reflected in the food which tasted fresh and of high-quality. My son even ate lettuce without complaining!
The kids also enjoyed their mini shake for dessert - it really was mini, but it was more than enough considering they were totally stuffed from their burgers. My Mixed Fruit Smoothie was one of the best I've tasted, and it provided a refreshing accompaniment to my meal.
We really enjoyed our lunch at The Burger Joint. Before we left, my sons were already asking when we could return, which I think says everything! The restaurant itself has a friendly, relaxed vibe, and the service was very efficient, making it a great choice for a quick lunch or a casual dinner with family or friends.
Verdict: The Burger Joint's unique 'Build a Burger' menu makes eating veggie burgers fun again. With six different vegetarian burgers to choose from, I'm already planning my next visit, and which of the 78,912,800 different combinations of burger, toppings, sauces and sides I'm going to choose!
Have you eaten at The Burger Joint? I'd love to hear about your favourite burger combination. Let me know by commenting below.
Disclaimer: I was offered three free meals by The Burger Joint in return for an honest review. All thoughts and photos are my own.