Asado arrives in Bristol
Unless you’re one of those vegans or vegetarians I keep hearing about, you’ve surely noticed the proliferation of burger joints here in Bristol. From stylish Stokes Croft to the chic enclave of Clifton and beyond, if you throw a stone in this city it’s likely to hit a burger bar. But what does that tell you? There are too many of them? No. People like them, let’s have more of them. Nestled on Colston Street, near the top of Christmas Steps, Asado is the latest addition to the city’s burgeoning burger scene.
Asado swung open its doors last week to great acclaim from Bristol’s burger cognoscenti, wowed by the stylish and vibrant décor, friendly service, eclectic beats, diverse menu and, perhaps most impressive of all, the oak-fired asado grill after which the restaurant is named. The term ‘asado’ means ‘barbeque’ in Spanish, and loosely refers to a style of barbeque popular across Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. It’s a cooking traditional that chef Lucien Gordon has adopted and made his own, bringing the rich flavours of South America to the streets of Bristol.
While debate rages on over the proper preparation of burger meat (bloody as hell, charred to a crisp, or somewhere in the middle?), one thing remains irrefutable — Asado knock up bloody good burgers. Dry-aged organic beef is seared and cooked slowly over the grill, then paired with bold flavours such as chimichurri, pickled red onion, chunky guacamole, or chipotle mayo, before being wrapped into a seeded brioche bun. Eating an Asado burger can be a messy affair, but it’s a remarkably pleasurable one as well.
“Most important to us it is the quality in every bite and the maximum amount of flavour from the oak-fired asado – that’s what we want to bring to the table in the Bristol.” — chef Lucien Gordon
With speciality burgers such as the El Don (with West Country cheese and confit garlic mayo) and the Pollo Libre (buttermilk-fried chicken thigh with chipotle mayo) on the menu, diners are spoiled for choice. Sides like rosemary chips, courgette fritters with spicy lime mayo, seasonal slaws and salads, plus desserts of banoffee pie and peanut-butter brownies complete the menu.
On the beverage front, Asado stock local brews including Wiper and True’s Quintet IPA and Moor’s Union Hop ultra pale ale. These are complemented by beers and ciders from further afield including Cornish Orchard and Estrella Inedit — offering the ideal balances to complement the meaty flavours on the plate.
Asado seats 40 in total, with a take-away base up front for those keen to eat on the go. It’s open Tuesdays to Thursdays from midday to 11pm, Fridays and Saturdays from midday to midnight, and Sundays midday till 10pm. For more info on the flavours to expect, check out the Asado menu here.
Happy Bird Comes to Roost in Bristol
Happy Bird Arrives In Bristol
Taking flight this coming Friday (26th Jan), Happy Bird is the latest opening on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road. Dedicated to quality, this brand new restaurant and take-away serves up fresh fried and grilled chicken reared the way it should be.
Nesting in the Yorkshire Wolds
Happy Bird’s dedicated bosses scoured the land in search of a chicken farmer with the right attitude to animal welfare, and they found one in the rolling Yorkshire Wolds. Farmer Ed’s pullets aren’t cooped up in the hen-house and force-fed grain, they’re free to flap around the pastures and enjoy the outdoor life. Fed on a diet of corn and fresh herbs – with no artificial flavourings or additives – these free-range hens enjoy the good life far longer than the average battery bird.
Clucking nice gaff
The interior of Happy Bird’s brand new outlet is all bright neon lights, sleek metal grills and clean lines, with an egg-inspired yellow and white colour theme which reminded me that chicken was the order of the day – though that might not have been deliberate. Either way, it’s a stylish and enticing setup.
Diners can take a seat and eat in at any of the benched tables, or ‘Cluck and Collect’ with the take-away service. And if you want your chicken to wing its way to you instead, Happy Bird run a home delivery service.
Happy Bird’s menu offers up tasty treats like honey and chilli-glazed wings, grilled breasts and crisp, fried tenders, making the best of the meat on each bird. Tender thigh and breast burgers made a nice change from the usual beef, and you can have it rolled into a burrito too – all accompanied by a delicious range of greens and salads. A selection of seven colourfully-named home-made sauces add a beautiful ‘zing’ to the meat, complementing the flavours perfectly.
Apparently it took Da Vinci 4 years to paint the Mona Lisa…..we work much quicker in making our little masterpieces, but treat each one with equal care and passion. This ensures you receive the best quality chicken every time you eat with us. (….all be it time lapse has very much helped here…) #happybirdbristol #comingsoon #behindthehoardings
For a restaurant that has taken such time and care in choosing Bristol as a location, I was a little disappointed with the beer selection. I like the Magic Rock brewery as much as the next crafty hipster, but we have so many wonderful breweries in this city there’s no shortage of choice. That said, it’s very early days at Happy Bird HQ, and I dare say they’ll be knocking on the doors of a few local breweries soon.
Big day for us today….we gained our liquor license so now we can serve up our full range of curated drinks with your food….why not try a can of our house beer from @proof_drinks with your evening burger or have us deliver you a grilled chicken salad with a bottle of @thekernelbrewery table beer…. of course we do a wide range of soft drinks too! #comingsoon #happybirdbristol #challenge25 #drinkresponsibly
Happy Bird’s simple aim is to provide the best chicken in town, and I think they’re off to a strong start. With such evident care given to sourcing the meat and setting up a pheasant pleasant space to dine in, they deserve to do well.
Author’s note: I was invited to try Happy Bird’s offerings free of charge, and really enjoyed it. I thought you might too, so I wrote this.
Burger Theory Opens In Bristol
Putting the (Burger) Theory to the Test
It was Albert Einstein who, back in 1905, first stumbled upon the theory of special relativity, summarising it neatly in the formula E = MC². In doing so, he unlocked secrets to the universe we’re still coming to understand.
In the same way as the theory of relativity relies upon a corresponding balance of mass, m, given by its energy, E, divided by the speed of light squared, c², so the perfect burger relies upon a corresponding balance of bun, patty, and salad-to-sauce ratio.
In the face of such irrefutable truth, can anybody really be bothered with relativity? I know I can’t. What I can be bothered with, however, is the search for the perfect burger – and Burger Theory are strong contenders for the crown.
Brainchild of pals Rory Perriment and Oliver Thorogood, Burger Theory began life as a pop-up – experimenting with ingredients and covering the local festival and food-fair circuit. From these humble beginnings, the boys took up residencies in Gloucester Road’s The Golden Lion and Kong’s of King Street, experimenting further and developing a dedicated following of fans.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Burger Theory has taken pride of place in its own premises in the heart of Bristol city centre. After firing up the grill and swinging open their doors very recently, the team have been working incredibly hard to grow into their new surroundings – and the results are tantalizingly tasty.
My recommendation is the Down n’ Dirty, a burger so deliciously sloppy you may as well just bring a bib. Melted cheddar, crispy bacon, pink pickled onions and, of course, dirty burger sauce sit atop a generously proportioned beef patty, held comfortably within a home-made bap. I was impressed to find that not only can you eat it without knife and fork (because it all fits in, see?) but the bap holds together nicely – even under the softening effect of the juices and sauce.
Mrs C fancied going veggie for the night and was recommended the Southern Hippie – a crunchy, southern-fried Portobello mushroom burger with thick slices of halloumi and her favourite brand of hot sauce (Frank’s, of course), all covered in a tangy blue cheese dressing. For vegetarians hoping for more, there are four alternatives to choose from, including the Fu-Chi – a tofu and quinoa patty with melted cheddar, chipotle mayo, kimchi and sticky Korean chilli sauce.
With starters like satay chicken and KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), sides of onion rings, kimchi fries, and poutine fries, plus dips including BBQ sauce, garlic mayo and blue cheese mayo, there’s seemingly no end to the flavour combinations that diners can enjoy. The burger offerings are accompanied by a fine list of beers from Bristol’s own Moor Beer Co, which I did find rounded things off perfectly.
For more details on the delectable offerings available at Burger Theory, check out their expansive burger list here. And to read more of @cjcallaghan’s reviews, write-ups and general musings, check out his Best of Bristol author page.
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