There's been a lot of excitement in York recently about the prospect of Byron opening it's first restaurant in our fair city. My fiance and I were particularly happy about this new addition to York's foodie offering and have already been twice. The first time was a very quick pre cinema snack but the food was so good we decided to head back a second time so I could review it.
If you haven't heard of Byron before let me give you a little background. The brainchild of Tom Byng, Byron came about after Tom, who had spent four years in America in his twenties, couldn't find any hamburgers in London like those he had eaten in his favourite diner in Rhode Island; burgers that were simple, well flavoured and satisying. He created the first Byron restaurant to bring this classic American style burger to London and there are now nearly 30 Byron restaurants across the UK all serving 'proper', well cooked, hamburgers in a comfortable setting (nothing like the burgers and experience at your average fast food restaurant).
York's Byron restaurant is situated on High Ousegate, literally just around the corner from our main shopping streets (Coney Street and Parliament Street) and very close to my favourite cinema, City Screen. Obviously this makes it perfect as a place to eat before heading to the pictures or after a hard day of splashing the cash.
Inside, the restaurant has an interesting feel, half modern and almost industrial with the shiny new kitchen and tables, then half raw wood, with the milk crate decoration/storage on the walls, reclaimed (at least it looks that way) leather seating and painted brick. All in all it's a little, dare I say it, hipster in feel but really rather enjoyable.
On this last visit to Byron we were shown to a nice quiet booth at the back of the building, quickly furnished with menus and then left to peruse them at our leisure. The menu itself is refreshingly short, with just a handful of starters, burgers and sides to choose from, even so it took us a while to decide on what we wanted, everything just looked so delicious!
In the end we decided to go all out in our meal (for the purposes of our review of course); for the drinks Gaz had the most amazing chocolate milkshake and I went for a sparkling elderflower drink (lovely and refreshing); for our starter we ordered the tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa. The chips were just deliciously crunchy and the guac and salsa both tasted very fresh, all in all a great start to the meal.
For our main course we went for the cheese burger (me) and chilli burger (Gaz) with fries and macaroni cheese. The burgers are cooked medium as standard, but I requested mine was done medium-well as I like my meat a little less pink. My burger was really very tasty, I'd opted for the American cheese, and it was really lovely topped off with red onion and mayo. Gaz's burger was piled high with green chillis, cheese and chipotle mayo and was super hot, but really yummy too. The side dishes were just divine, I honestly could have stuck my face in the macaroni cheese (I didn't you'll be glad to hear!) and the garlic mayo that we got with our fries was luscious!
After we'd gotten through our feast, our rather charming young waiter (I remember he was Spanish but can't remember his name) came to ask us how everything was and see if we fancied a dessert. We of course said no as we were both stuffed to the brim, there were some tempting options though!
We chatted a bit more with the waiter when he came back with the bill and were pleasantly surprised by how he knowledgeable he was and how interested in the food (he was telling us all about all of the things that were hand made on site). All in all it was a really pleasant meal; Byron isn't exactly cheap but I wouldn't hesitate to go back next time I'm in need of a treat.
You can find out more about Byron, and where their other locations are here.
Have you been to a Byron before? What are your favourite restaurants to eat at for a nice treat meal?