|Troll's Pantry burger, Brighton|
Being a Brightonian its not hard to see that burger cuisine has got classier and more available. Last year's Meat Liquor opening in Brighton showed us that the humble burger can be ultra-cool. Local culture and listings monthly, Source Magazine did an excellent article and led me to try a couple of quality eateries in the city. Meat Liquor's food was good for the first time then over-cooked for second but at least root beer was served. Whereas the Troll's Pantry was superb but limited to the Goblin's bar choice.
More proof of the posh burger trend was last week's TV viewing in The Restaurant Man, a BBC2 TV programme about new businesses starting up and Russell Norman doing a Mary Queen of Shops-like consulting. It featured a restaurant named 7 Bone in Southampton (an old stomping ground for me) and saw a couple of businessmen start up their burger place (in a very student part of town which surprised me).
Disappointingly, 7 Bone doesn't offer root beer on the menu, not even a root beer float. However, do those more well-established burger places in London do root beer? Let's see who does according to their online menus:
Which posh burger restaurants stock root beer?Shake Shack, Covent Garden
On the menu: 1 root beer - Abita at £4.50 a bottle, 1 root beer float and 1 Creamsicle
Well, at least they have root beer to serve but at £4.50 a bottle they're really aimed at the tourist market being in Covent Garden. For an extra 50p you can get a float. It's not clear how large the root beer is and if it is a regular 340ml/12fl oz then what a rip off!
On the menu: A+W root beer (with the option to add a float at 50p) £2.95.
Where: 31 stores in London, Cambridge, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, Manchester and Kent (Bluewater)
Unlike the two above which are US companies wanting to muscle in, Byron is a British business inspired by the high quality burgers in America. A+W is a pretty safe choice so not that inspiring but at least you won't complain at the price.
On the menu: Brown Cow, a root beer float £4.00. Not on menu but can be asked for is their Honeybee (honey flavoured) root beer.
Who doesn't stock root (not even a root float)?
- Five Guys - despite being an American chain they only stock Coca Cola products
- Hache - available in trendy places like Clapham, Camden, Shorditch and Chelsea in London
- Honest - looks like they're going for a British experience with their drinks menu featuring iced tea and ginger beer
- Gourmet Burger Kitchen - Formed by a couple of Kiwis and now a major chain in the UK. Too mainstream perhaps?
- Almost Famous burgers- in Manchester and Liverpool. No drinks menu but plenty to say about their sauces.
ConclusionThe majority are going for tried (or should that be tired) and tested soft drinks i.e. Coke etc. over trying something a little different. If those burger restaurants are serving it then in only one form which I guess is down to buying in bulk for discount.
Well done to Byron and Meat Liquor for bringing reasonably priced root beer!