Hot Blue 3.0, The Church - Birmingham, UK

I do not venture to the jewellery quarter of Birmingham anywhere near as much as I should do. In recent years, the area has seen an influx of great new restaurants encompassing cuisine from all around the world.

I decided to visit 'The Church'; a pub with a twist, renowned in the area for its soul food, described on its website as 'down home Louisiana cookin’ meets French Bistro elegance'.

The menu is quirky and includes some interesting meals such as jambalaya, gumbo and the alluring 'soul food fried chicken'. There are also six burgers to choose from suggesting these guys know a thing or two about the patty and bun. A few options enticed me, including the 'Backyard Burger' and the 'Fried Chicken'; the latter in particular given their reputation with chicken.

My server pointed me towards the 'Hot Blue 3.0'; a beef patty, buffalo wing sauce, creamy blue cheese, fresh chilli, lettuce, red onion, pickles and burger sauce. I looked up at him with approval, before confirming the order with a nod. Let's go 3.0 (what happened to 2.0 and 1.0 I wonder?).

Visually, I have seen much better. Most of my reservations came with the underwhelming bun, which unfortunately both looked and tasted like a generic shop-bought product. The freshness was lacking and the bottom was soggy. Judging by previous pictures I have seen of burgers from this establishment, either this bun was substituted or has recently changed... for the worse.

The blue cheese was the highlight of the meal without a doubt; wonderfully balanced and rich in taste. The burger sauce was also a welcome addition, but fell short in volume. As for the buffalo wing sauce, I simply could not taste any. The only kick that was evident throughout was from the chilli's, and even this was rather subtle.

The salad felt fresh, particularly the pickles which stood out. Like the sauces, the salad ratio was lacking, dominated instead by the patty and the bun.

The meat was thick (wink wink) and well-seasoned. Due to its cook time of well-done, the juiciness was underwhelming. Whilst the flavour was still impressive, seeing this burger a little rarer would have complimented it.

I am inclined to believe I went with the wrong decision, perhaps on the wrong day with the 'Hot Blue 3.0'. This was a burger with huge potential that lacked much of the execution required to move it above average. The bun was below par, the sauces were imbalanced and the meat cook-time was overdone. The story was not all bad, however. I enjoyed the blue cheese and despite the cook-time of the meat, it was very well seasoned. By the sound of it, the chicken options are the stronger choice at 'The Church', and that's what I will be trying next time 'round!

Patty Master Musings:

  • Great atmosphere and service in this place. There's also a roof-top terrace for summer that I would highly recommend.
  • My partner ordered a roast dinner and rated it reasonably well.
  • Did I Dip It? I did a little towards the end, though it probably wasn't necessary.

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