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“OH FOR GOD’S SAKE NO MORE BURGERS!” I hear you cry! Quite frankly, we have burger joints coming out of ears here in Bristol, but if you genuinely do feel there are too many then I’ll politely ask you to leave now, as in my opinion, there is no such thing as too many burgers.
If Chomp sounds familiar to you it’s because it is. Jake and the team have been running the business out of a van down by Temple Meads for the best part of a couple of years now, so if you’re one of the lucky ones you will have already experienced the meaty mouthful of joy that is a Chomp burger. They’ve developed quite a following with their no-nonsense ‘all about the beef’ approach and lucky for us, they’ve now set up shop on St Nicholas Street!
Since they opened in late November I’ve visited Chomp twice – once in their opening week and once just before Christmas. The first visit, admittedly, was a bit of a disaster. Having booked a table for 15 people for my birthday lunch we arrived to the news that our table had accidentally been given to another big group, so we then spent nearly half an hour waiting whilst the team organised a table for us. Eventually we ended up having to sit on two tables, the food took ages to arrive, the poor waitress was a bit flustered but do you know what? It was opening week! I challenge anyone to open a new restaurant, be inundated with eager punters, and not run into a teething problem or two. They were incredibly apologetic, and offered us a discount on our drinks, so we’ll put all of that aside and focus on the really important stuff – the grub!
Like a lot of the best places, Chomp keeps it simple with the three B’s – Beef, Beer and Bourbon – a winning trio in my book! The food menu is minimal – classic burgers, steaks and a cracking veggie option. Mains are around the £10-£17 mark, but portions are hearty, and there’s a cracking array of craft beers, wines and other drinks to choose from. Being the simple soul that I am I got particularly excited when my large glass of wine was served in a dinky carafe – how grown up?!
With such a simple menu there’s really not much to fanny about with when it comes to choosing your food. A classic burger can be pimped up with the addition of various cheeses, bacon or black pudding (NICE!), or if you’re feeling fancy there are three types of steak to choose from. On our first visit we all chose some variation on the Classic burger, with the Veggies amongst us opting for The Bloody Veggie – a spiced bean patty served with parmesan mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, mustard and ketchup. On my second visit they’d also introduced starters, of which we tried the Black Pudding Beignets. Let’s put it this way – there are few ways to improve on Black Pudding, but slapping them in batter and serving them with chutney is definitely one of them.
As for the burgers…Now I’m forever being told off for being a bit hyperbolic. It’s not unusual for me to describe something as “OMG that was the best [insert cocktail, cake, sandwich] I’ve EVER had”, and my boyfriend in particular has taken a bit of a ‘Little girl who cried wolf” approach, regularly saying “But was it reaaaallly??” when I get very over excited about something. But I can’t stress this enough…Chomp’s burgers are without question up there with the best burgers I’ve ever had. They’re a strong contender to Three Brothers, they’re in a totally different league to Atomic, and they even hold a torch to any of the burgers I ate in New York and man, do they know how to do a burger.
The buns are spot on – soft, shiny but robust enough that you can pick them up. The patties are chunky, juicy, tasty and the toppings are great quality – no plastic cheese round these parts people! I could go on forever but I think you get the gist – in short Chomp’s burgers really are something special.
As I said, I’ve visited twice now, and I’m really pleased to report that on my second visits any teething problems were a distant memory. The food was even better, the atmosphere was laid back, friendly and really welcoming and the hospitality and service was second to none – the waitress even offered to take a photo of our group as we were out for Christmas celebrations, which I thought was genuinely really sweet.
It’s safe to say that I’m planning on becoming a regular at Chomp, and I think you should too!