A few months ago, the independent family run Urban Burger Restaurant invited Beer, Burger and Beyond (Eating Exeter’s side project) to come down and pay them a visit and sample some of the delights that can be found on their awesome menu. Whilst there, I really really wanted a burger and at the time couldn’t quite bring myself to hit the brand new Smoke Shack menu. Burger Urge is a strong and powerful thing!
I also realised that Urban Burger didn’t have a place on Eating Exeter, so what else could I do? I just had to go back. And this time it was with 8 other work colleagues on a social night, a gaggle of us rowdy lot taking up two of their tables and all wanting something different. Annoyingly I didn’t have a camera with me, so I have reused some photos from our last visit, when the light was much better and I had a DSLR at hand.
Organizing a social night with work friends can be hard sometimes, especially if there are a vast array of needs to be catered for. Thankfully, working with the lovely people that I do, it was very easy and Urban Burger made it that much easier. First point I have to make here, they reply to their email and were really accommodating to any changes we made. Second point to be highlighted is that they were very happy to accept any form of payment whether it was partly cash, card etc. there was no strange restrictions or charges.
With Urban Burger, there is no smoke-and-mirrors with the food they serve. After our last visit I drew the conclusion that they really care about the food that emerges from their kitchen, and after a recent menu revamp they are proving that they are competitive and passionate about what they do. The restaurant space is filled with natural light during the day, with a stonework floor and decor that gives the place a distinctively Urban feeling but without being too harsh and utilitarian as the name Urban might lead you to believe.
The menu is clean and easy to read, it is accessible and professional. The side of the menu has information about the Man Vs Food challenge which quite frankly is slightly mad. 20 minutes to eat seven 6oz patties, seven slices of American cheese, seven pieces of bacon, an organic bun and a little salad. If you win it, you get the whole lot for free (costs £24.95 regularly), a t-shirt and your name on the leader board and photo on the website. As far as I am aware, there is no where else in Exeter that has a similar challenge meal, only the brave should enter.
Other parts of the menu tell you exactly where the meat comes from and emphasises the fact that nearly all of their ingredients are locally produced and where possible, made from scratch on the premises. In large characters it says that 95% of everything on the menu is made from scratch, just in case you hadn’t realised.
So. Lets get down to business. The food.
I was quite determined to have something from the Smoke Shack menu (if you want my take on the burgers, have a look at the BBB Review!) and today it would be ½ Hot Smoked BBQ Free Range Chicken (£11.95) and a bottle of Avocet from Exeter Brewery. My other half, who happens to be a work colleague also, went for the Goats Cheese Salad (£7.95) consisting of Grilled Goat’s cheese, caramelised red onions, roasted red peppers, mixed lettuce, cherry tomatoes, beetroot, cucumber and house dressing finished with a balsamic reduction. Other members of the party had various things, including two Chief Burgers (The Chief’s Burger £9.95 – Two 6oz prime Devon beef patties, bacon, fried onions, mayo, two slices of American cheese) that went down very well with a small portion of each sale of The Chief Burger going to
The first thing you noticed is the deep colour of the chicken, then the smell of chicory smoked meat. Rubbed in spices and left to marinade overnight then smoked in Urban Burger’s very own American Smoker.
A whole half chicken (from Greenslade Farm, just outside Clyst St Mary) is a lot of meat, and its a strange thing when you get half way through and realise that your eyes are actually much larger than your stomach. And this happened to be the dilemma that faced me as I chomped my way through the BBQ Brisket beans, the double fried fries and the coleslaw that came with my half chicken.
The grilled goat’s cheese salad that was being consumed next to me was served in a giant taco shell and looked amazing. Reports indicate that it was one of the nicest salads ever consumed and that we would be coming back primarily for the salad.
Unfortunately on this occasion we didn’t have space for any of Nicole’s Peanut Butter Pie, and I didn’t have a chance to sample any of their cocktails, but will return soon to sample some of their cocktails 🙂
Each meal I have ate at Urban Burger has always ended with a feeling of satisfaction. It was no different on this occasion and although I didn’t managed to finish the entire meal, I was left with a sense of total and complete ‘happy-stuffed’ feeling. The prices are average for the type of restaurant and location in Exeter, but the friendliness of the staff and the quality of the food is much more than average.
Visit the website http://www.urbanburger.co.uk/