Newest Review: ... ten minutes. My husband is not good at waiting for anything and suggested that we try somewhere else but our son wanted a burger. So we wa... more
How can you mess up chips?
Handmade Burger Co
Member Name: Ladyboosh
Handmade Burger Co
Advantages: Nice range of burgers including vegetarian ones.
Disadvantages: Bad chips, Having to pay before you eat.
There used to be a lovely restaurant called LSQ2 at my local shopping centre The Oracle in Reading. They did a fantastic Sunday roast for a tenner and always had live music, which set it apart from the other mediocre food outlets in the area. Unfortunately, probably due to the recession, it disappeared a few months ago and was replaced by a Handmade Burger Company. I'm not a big fan of burgers so I had given this place a wide berth until last weekend when we took our son to the cinema for his birthday treat. After a thrilling evening watching Fast and Furious 6 we emerged blinking and slightly deaf into the fresh air and our son announced that he was starving (not an uncommon statement from him to be honest). As it was his birthday he got to choose where we ate and he chose the new burger place.
The restaurant itself is fairly small and we joined a queue for a table with about six people in front of us. A member of staff handed us a menu to look at and informed us that we would be seated in five to ten minutes. My husband is not good at waiting for anything and suggested that we try somewhere else but our son wanted a burger. So we waited.
After about five minutes the people in front of us gave up and left so we were next to be seated. I was unimpressed to discover that we had to order our food and pay for it in advance, I don't think that you should ever have to pay for food before you eat it, but I kept my thoughts to myself and we were shown to a table in the middle of the room. The kitchen is at the end of the building and the smells coming from it were quite appetising so we perused the menu and decided what we would like.
The menu was extensive with almost thirty types of burgers and a range of sides. The only option for dessert was ice-cream which was disappointing. The restaurant boasted extensively about its hand-cut chips, twice fried to be crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. There were two versions to choose from, regular and seasoned. Now I am a fan of a good chip so I was looking forward to trying them. The burgers ranged from the usual cheese and bacon to more unusual varieties such as lamb and mint or chicken tikka. There was also a range of soft drinks, milk shakes and alcoholic beverages.
Typically it fell to me to go to the desk and order our food. The staff were all young and enthusiastic but it was very noisy in the restaurant so I had trouble making myself heard. I ordered a chicken breast burger with cheese and bacon for myself, a cheese burger with no salad or relish for my son and a blue cheese and bacon beef burger for my husband, along with three lots of chips and a side of coleslaw. Our drinks were "refillable" but I was simply handed three plastic beakers and instructed to fill them myself from the machine in the corner! Again, not impressed! The bill came to just over £40 which is reasonable I suppose.
After navigating the ice machine and filling my three tumblers with Fanta I found my table, inserted the number I had been given into the wooden holder on our table and we waited for our food. Everything is cooked to order so we waited roughly 25 minutes whilst sipping on watered-down fizzy drinks and trying not to eat the napkins.
A waiter eventually brought the food to our table, we had to ask for cutlery and we were not offered any sauces but he was pleasant enough. The food was served in cardboard boxes but we were given proper plates as well. The burger was good, nice soft bun and the chicken was chargrilled. There was plenty of fresh salad in it and it was huge! My son's burger was plain as requested and he managed most of it and my husband polished his off without complaining. The chips though were a major let-down. They hung forlornly over the edge of the box as if contemplating chippy suicide, pale and limp. Some of them were undercooked, meaning that they were soggy on the outside and hard on the inside. Not good. There were enough chips in one portion for all three of us but none of us ate more than a handful each. Cooking chips is not rocket science, they just need to be crispy and golden, even I can do it!
Overall, the burgers were okay, and the coleslaw was really nice. I used the toilet after our meal and it was clean. It was just average but I won't be visiting again.
Summary: Stick to MacDonalds.