I’ve come to the conclusion that Birmingham does two things better than any other city in the country; cocktails and burgers, both of which I think is driven by talent and competition that we have here in the Greatest City In The
World Continent Country West Midlands Birmingham. Take the second city, London, for example; I love the negronis at Bar Termini, the ultra expensive martini at The Connaught, and the quirkiness of Calloy Callah, but I’d rather be sat drinking cocktails in The Edgbaston, 18/81, and Nocturnal Animals (eventually). And as for their burgers, yes, they might have Bleecker but dont even try to compare the likes of MeatLiquor, Honest, and Burger Bear to The Meat Shack, OPM, and Flying Cows, because I wont stand for it. It is the two areas where we have geniune competition and exceptional talent driving the best out of one another.
I can’t tell you much about the cocktail scene in Hereford, though I do know that they take their burgers seriously. It’s why we are here. Beefy Boys are the originators of this, multi award winning like yours truly, except they have a coverted Best Burger in The World award from 2015 instead of a cynical piece of glass handed out by one set up by a PR company. It would appear that these awards have paid off; the restaurant is a large glass fronted new build in amongst the chains. Inside both floors have well-spaced tables and some of the nicest front of house I can recall meeting who offer a complimentry cocktail as its my birthday. We order a lot of food; more than is sensible for two people, resulting in a bill that is in no way reflective of an average spend.
And then, well, I dont know what went wrong. What we had was not the best burgers in the world, or even Hereford for that matter. For a region known for the quality of the cow, it is the meat that I have the biggest issue with. From both the beef burgers the patty is a little wet, undercharred, overcooked, and underseasoned. It is a burger with the mute button on, the only flavours coming from the the toppings. A Rude Boy is better than the Hay Boy special due to the balance of chilli heat being spot on, compared to that special with ‘nduja that is possibly the most disappointing use of my favourite ingredient I have come across. What I find most weird is that for all of my bugbears on the patty the chilli topped fries are great; the beef flavour robust and accurately seasoned. It makes little sense.
A chicken burger would be the lowpoint of the meal. The meat has completely dried out, the advertised buffalo sauce not great, and the blue cheese barely present, if at all. The less said about it the better. The deep fried mac and cheese balls would be the best thing we ate, full of flavour and geniunely very good. It’s just you know the meal has been a let down when the highlight is a side dish.
So three disappointing burgers and two good sides. Throw in a couple of cocktails and a well warranted service tip and you end up with a bill of just over £60. A lot of money for burgers, more so when the meal is a massive dissapointment. I can imagine that at some point Beefy Boys really did have the best burger; one that made the most of this wonderful aged cattle, bringing it to life with robust seasoning, high heat and a little steam. Be it for what ever reason those standards appear to have slipped. Over a brief twenty four hours Hereford proved to be a great city. It is a crying shame that Beefy Boys happened to be the low point.