When it comes to a good ol’ burger joint, even me as a vegetarian loves nothing more than a greasy burger and chips-vegetarian of course- after a drunken night out. But when it comes to vegetarian options, I end up having to scoff some cheesy chips and ignore the persistent growl of my stomach that is begging me to eat ‘real food’. So naturally I never equated ‘burgers’ with ‘restaurants’ as there had always been this image of it being linked to fast food, especially as while many of my friends decided to get roaring drunk and end up in someone else’s bathtub, I wanted nothing more than to get my chops around something greasy. And before you ask NO… get your mind out of the gutter.
So when BRGR.Co Soho invited me to their launch party a couple of weeks back I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular, in fact I was pretty sure I would be feasting on chips to sustain me throughout the night. And I wasn’t wrong, one glance at what they were offering throughout the night told me that the only thing I would be getting was chips. But to my surprise, as the only vegetarian option that they were giving out that day was a mushroom burger-which I am allergic to- BRGR.Co Soho especially made some divine breaded halloumi sticks-off the menu- so that I could have more than just chips to get me through the party, which was super kind. And when they invited me to come back in to ‘sample the full menu’ I couldn’t say no. Question is was there enough vegetarian options? Mama Jasmine, aka my not so secret alter ego investigates…
Interior And Location
Located in the hustle and bustle of Soho, I was surprised to find out that the BRGR.Co Soho was not new and in fact had been running from as early as 2010. The brains behind the burger brand had decided to re-launch, in order to re-brand ‘burgers as more than just fast food’, with items like truffle burgers, Oreo Freakshakes and even a kale salad on the menu for health conscious types. The interior featured neon lighting that was reminiscent of Gods Own Junkyard in Walthamstow Central and had a decidedly 80’s meets mean girls vibe, creating a cool and hip atmosphere to target all age ranges and backgrounds. The lighting was dim and the restaurant was intimate, so naturally when we arrived it was packed to the brim, although we didn’t mind as we were too busy scoffing our faces too notice. In fact I’m pretty sure I saw the tables next to us glance in surprise at how much food we had ordered. I guess they didn’t realize that Miss Piggy-aka me- had arrived in town and was ready to demolish every vegetarian option that they had on the menu.
But the biggest surprise when it came to interior design was not the beautiful neon design or the intimate seating plan; BRGR. Co Soho had brought the big guns out and gave us what we never knew we needed… singing toilets. And no I’m not joking. As Ricky Martin crooned ‘Living La Vida Loca’ and the toilets turned blue I almost noted the irony of the male and female toilets which were christened with fruity emoji signs. While the females were a ‘cherry emoji’ the males had a good ol’ banana on them and I laughed at the genius of the BRGR. Co Soho’s cheeky branding.
Singing Toilets Aside, it was time to put on my critic hat and give you the lowdown on whether there were enough vegetarian options on the BRGR. Co Soho menu. The results are in… In short it depends what perspective you have- when it came to the burgers there was only one vegetarian option which was a ‘Portbello Burger’, although they assured me that there would be a halloumi burger being added to the burger menu in a couple of weeks. So from a burger point of view there definitely needs to be more vegetarian options and there were no ‘veggie dogs either’ which was a little disappointing. But when it came to starters and chip options, BRGR.Co Soho excelled in that department. From nachos to mac and cheese, clearly they knew that cheese was the way to my heart. And who can blame them when I ordered a goats cheese making kit for Christmas and not for someone else either but myself. Hey if people don’t buy you presents then you might as well buy your own LOL. But enough about cheese; my delightful Irish lass Lucy loved the menu from a meat eaters point of view. From crispy chicken wings glazed in Sriracha BBQ sauce to a good ol’ fashioned chicken burger, her foodgasm was well and truly on its way.
To start L ordered the Chicken Burger £8.75, with an Oreo Milkshake £5.50 and Cheese fries £3.95 while I ordered (takes a deep breath) from the Teasers menu: Mac ‘n’Cheese £5.50, Nachos £7.95, Kale Salad £7.50, Cheese Fries £3.95, an Oreo milkshake £5.50 and a Passionfruit Cocktail £7. So yes I am a greedy pig but at least I know I am one LOL. To begin with we sampled our cheese fries which were quite possibly the best cheese fries that I have ever tasted. Unlike your local takeaway which seems to scrimp on the cheese in the hope that you will never make the mistake of contacting them again, these cheese fries were perfection. Coated in Parmesan and cheddar, the cheese fries melted gloriously in our mouths, while an aftertaste of sea salt came through, cutting through the cheese and adding dimension to the cheese fries dish. But nothing could have prepared me for my mac ‘n’ cheese, which was what all cheese dreams were made of. Now if you think that pizza is your idea of your idea of a wet dream then congratulations you have made it into my fan club; I practically set up shrines to mac ‘n’ cheese in my dreams and believe me food is far more satisfying than sex.
But enough about my foodgasms; the mac ‘n’ cheese had a crusted gyerre cheese topping, with the right consistency of bechemal sauce to compliment the baked cheese topping. While small, the mac ‘n’ cheese packed plenty of punch and had enough cheese to sate my cheese-loving ways. In contrast Lucy’s chicken burger which featured fried crispy chicken breast, coleslaw, Sriracha mayo sauce, tomato, lettuce, onions and dill pickle had the right amount of spice and although fried was not greasy, which she was pleased about. The sriracha added punch to the burger and stopped the chicken from being dry, although she said that the fried chicken breast was moist too.
Next up on the chopping block was the passionfruit cocktail which although fruity and sweet was refreshing and was a welcome beverage to wash down my food. The passionfruit might have been a refreshing palette cleanser but I was ready to get on a sugar high with the Oreo Milkshake. When it came out I nearly cried with happiness; with the aesthetic of a ‘freakshake’ oreos were layered atop the mason jar, while chocolate was oozing out of my straw and trickling happily into my mouth. It was I kid you not, the most mind blowing milkshake that I have ever tried, although our server told us that the ‘Peanut Butter and Banana Milkshake’ was better, if that is even possible?!
I was crashing on a sugar high so I thought that now might be a good time to eat that Kale salad I had ordered earlier in a failed attempt to be ‘good’. Surprisingly large for a ‘teaser’ or starter, I wasn’t complaining and the kale was crispy, accentuated by the cranberry, apples, toasted pecan, and sunflower seeds. While not moist, the salad wasn’t quite dry either and had a vinaigrette or cranberry based dressing which coated the kale marvelously, while the crunch of the toasted pecan reminded me of the nuttiness of walnuts. The only criticism I would have is that the dressing had not been mixed meaning that the top of the salad was slightly drier than the rest of the dish but overall a welcome appetizer. The nachos were next and were accompanied by tomato salsa, guacamole & sour cream. The nachos were a bit soft and did not have much crunch although still delicious, while the melted cheese was heavenly and was complemented beautifully by the dips, particularly the tomato salsa which I could tell had been freshly prepared.
So in answer to whether BRGR .Co Soho had enough vegetarian options the answer is yes if you don’t mind ordering a few teasers, although I definitely think that they need to have more vegan options as the only options were crunchy fries, kale salad and cocktails. There also needs to be improvement on the burger and hot dog options by offering vegan and vegetarian options and a separate menu for vegetarians and vegans could be something that would be beneficial for customers who have dietary preferences. But overall we had a wonderful time and the food was absolutely delicious. You can definitely sign me up for that halloumi burger that is for sure!
The Service 9/10
Throughout our meal, we were offered high quality service and all the servers we had made contact with were super friendly and always happy to answer any queries that we had.
The Food 8/10
While there were not ‘loads’ of vegetarian options available what they did have was delicious and we have to bear in mind that they only re-launched a few weeks ago. The food was fresh, well cooked and beautifully presented.
My oreo milkshake brings all the boys to the yard…
Decor & Interior Design 9/10
Have You Ever Been To A Burger Restaurant Before? Did They Have Good Vegetarian Options?