Everyone that knows me, knows that the way to my heart is through food. And more importantly, a good burger.
There's something about burgers that fascinates me. How one item of food can be as expensive, or as inexpensive as you like, and can be as simplistic, or as elaborate as one wants baffles me a little. It's something you can find in fast food restaurants as well as some of the fanciest restaurants in town, and I love it for it.
Recently, I was invited down to Byron in Union Square to check out a new burger which they have just launched today, The Calvin Haggis. And yes, this is a burger named after the famous DJ Calvin Harris, just in case that wasn't obvious...
I'm not going to lie, I usually prefer to eat out locally, supporting local restaurants, however, knowing there was nothing quite like this burger advertised elsewhere, I had to go try it out.
Visiting last Thursday, I decided to bring my favourite person along for one last meal before he went offshore - or so we thought. Arriving around 6.30pm, we were greeted by the lovely team there and shown to our seats - a big comfy booth.
The manager came over to explain the burger and talk us through the menu. The Calvin Haggis is here for one week only (until Sunday 28th) and he explained that following its huge success last year, that the firm had decided it was time for it to make its comeback for Burns night again.
We were both pretty hungry so decided it would be best to share a starter of the mac and cheese balls, so we could save ourselves for our main.
The mac and cheese balls appeared pretty quickly and were nice and warm on arrival. The deep-fried bites were super gooey on the inside and tasted really good - I'm thinking it was some sort of American cheese sauce, but I could be wrong. Topped with buffalo glaze, spring onions, crispy bacon and more cheese sauce, they were the perfect appetiser - not too big, yet big enough to keep us entertained for our mains.
Our burgers arrived almost immediately after we'd finished our starter so there was not much breathing space - I was now very thankful we'd shared a small starter instead of ordering one each.
Obviously visiting to try out the Calvin Haggis, we decided to order one, plus a second burger and split them in half. Well, that was the plan...
The Calvin Haggis was a beast of a burger. A 6oz burger patty with haggis, a tattie scone, American cheese, bacon and onion relish, dry cured bacon, blanched white onions all packed into one burger with a dollop of Bryon's burger sauce and an egg on top to finish it off.
Braving it with his hands, Calum struggled to get the burger into his mouth. And it was so big he almost ended up wearing half of it. The egg ran down his fingers, but he looked happy and his comment "It tastes like freedom" told me everything.
The burger itself was great. It was well-cooked, and the haggis in it had a slight spice to it which Calum liked a lot. It also complimented the sweeter bacon brilliantly, and to our surprise, the cheese worked really well with the burger. It's somewhat of a hybrid of the perfect breakfast burger meets a naffa fine Scottish burger - one which I think would be a very popular hangover cure!
When I'm looking for something a little lighter, I tend to stick to chicken burgers so I decided to opt for the Clucky cooked in buffalo sauce. The burger was scrumptious and I loved the buffalo sauce which provided a real heat to the dish. Having already tucked into the deep-fried mac and cheese balls I figured start as you mean to go on, and ordered my chicken breasts to be fried, rather than grilled. The fried chicken breasts were smothered in guacamole, sriracha mayonnaise, picked red onions and shredded iceberg lettuce. The sriracha mayonnaise was very hot, so I was thankful I liked hot foods, as the buffalo sauce and the mayo partnered together could have been a disaster for someone who doesn't enjoy hot food. Luckily the guacamole was a great compliment to the hotter sauces so it cooled my mouth down quickly.
As well as the burgers, we ordered two portions of fries, one regular and one cheese fries, as well as a side of big, chunky onion rings. Calum loved his cheesy fries and was delighted to see the cheese was melted throughout the bowl of chips, rather than just on top. The onion rings were big and juicy, and were pretty crispy on the outside too.
I'd had more than enough with my burger and chips, but something in me was telling me I just had to have something sweet. Knowing there was no chance either of us could take on a dessert alone, we agreed to share a freakshake and call it a night.
The extra-thick oreo freakshake was enormous. Filled to the brim with all sorts of oreo treats, I was curious to see how we'd get on. A chocolate oreo milkshake with ice cream, oreo's on the side, a huge swirl of whipped cream, chocolate sauce poured all over and and a healthy helping of oreo cheesecake just for good measure - this was one serious milkshake.
I think I must have been after I'd taken a few sips of the think milkshake, polished off a oreo and made a fair dent in the oreo cheesecake that I finally gave up. I was defeated, and rightly so.
The team at Byron went up and beyond for us, and the rest of the customers in the restaurant. They were very tentative and answered any questions we had. All of the servers were clued up on the menu, and all made different recommendations which was very nice - there's nothing worse than feeling like people are trying to sell you the same dishes, and that definitely wasn't the case at Byron.
With the Calvin Haggis only available for a limited time, there's not long for people to try it out. If you're up to the challenge and fancy some tasty grub, then it's definitely worth tackling. Although, a word of warning, you may want to take a change of t-shirt.