Jimmy's Beef Cheese Classic, Handmade Burger Co - Birmingham, UK

Handmade Burger Co is an independent family owned chain of restaurants, prominent around the midlands and northern regions. Strangely enough, this chain has yet to break the London scene, though perhaps understandable given the competitive burger-scene that thrives in the capital. With this being the third Handmade Burger Co within Birmingham city centre, it is a testament to the success of the brand.

I decided to dine at the newest establishment, located within Grand Central and was met with the usual industrial interior; lots of wood, leathers, metals, wood, signposts, exposed piping, wood, glass ...and yep... wood. Nothing particularly outstanding here, but good vibes in a clean environment, certainly pleasant enough to dig in to a burger.

The menu is vast, with dozens of burgers to choose from. It is also pleasing that even with such a vast choice, Handmade Burger Co has not branched out in to other dishes. This is strictly a burger menu and the selection is unrivalled to any other chain I have been to. However, at the same time, having fourty plus mains on the menu is overwhelming and somewhat detracts from the overall brand identity. What is the signature dish here?

Two areas caught my eye: the 'Dirty Burgers' and 'Jimmy's Farm'. The idea of a 'Dirty Burger' proves my previous point in the lack of brand identity. This instead feels like Handmade Burger Co's attempt to jump on the bandwagon and produce similar content to that of Five Guys. Why bother?

The 'Jimmy's Farm' range seemed a solid choice instead and with only four options to choose from, I went for the 'Jimmy's Beef Cheese Classic' boasting rare-breed free range beef, Applewood smoked cheddar cheese, caramelised red onion relish, mayo, lettuce, tomato and red onion on a fresh buttermilk bun.

Presentation and size were impressive, with both the burger and the accompanying side of 'Hipster Chips' (I see what you did there!). Slicing the burger in half revealed a thick patty cooked well-done. I have always found it odd at Handmade Burger Co that you do not get to specify how you want your meat cooked.

From the first bite, the stand out flavour of the toppings was clearly the caramelised red onion relish. This balanced the burger adding a sweet element to it, but not overpowering the overall taste. The cheese was also pleasant, though a little lacking, whilst the bun and salad all felt well proportioned and fresh.

The patty was thick, but the 101 error came with the simple fact it did not cover the full surface diameter of the bun. With it being more of an oblong shape (you really did need a Patty Master), this meant the occasional bite of salad bread... Not ideal.

With that said, the flavour was definitely in there. The patty was a little dry and I would have been keen to have tasted it at a medium cook time, but the seasonings for the meat were on-point. The quality of the patty also shone through, giving it a distinctive taste.

Add this altogether and you have a tasty burger that requires a few tweaks to push it up to the upper echelons of patty perfection. The caramelised onion relish paired with the high quality meat score highly, though the cook-time and oblong shape of the patty are the let-down - and perhaps a little more cheese would not go amiss either. Still, a solid fulfilling burger from a great restaurant.

Patty Master Musings:

  • My partner had the 'Classic Beef', which was also good, but overpowered with their signature relish.
  • Luckily I have had the peanut butter burger here before as I would not have managed to resist it otherwise.
  • They serve breakfast here. I guess I was a little premature in remarking how the menu is only burgers, yet they serve fry-ups in the morning. They should at least serve them in buns...
  • The bun had seeds on-top! Seems to be more of a rarity nowadays, especially with brioche buns.
  • Did I Dip It? Nope. Great flavour on the meat and the caramelised onion relish kept it nicely balanced until the last bite.

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