There’s only so much you can do with a burger.
Those words have likely never been uttered by any of the chiefs behind Leeds’ glorious array of meat pattie professionals.
It’s a pretty simple combo in truth: meat, a bread bun, salad and sauce.
But in our city there is a wealth of innovation around what has become a bit of a culinary art, and Leeds newcomer Byron Burger is no different in its aim of bringing burgers to the masses.
Situated in Lands Lane, it’s just a stone’s throw from Trinity Leeds and a couple of units down from Pizza Express in what was once the Church Institute building.
Its beautiful Grade II-listed red brick home, which last occupied a La Senza store, has been really made the most of.
Stripped back wooden flooring lays for the foundation for what is a quite industrial space with exposed air vents, a feature station clock, simple wooden furniture including long benched seating.
It’s almost canteen-like in its design, with a large section of the groundfloor space dedicated to a gleaming metal open kitchen where the burger magic seemingly happens.
It feels very rustic, earthy and spacious. The space is made all the more beautiful through the floods of natural light that rush through the huge portrait windows framed with red bricks.
Byron has that cool stripped-back London look – unsurprising given its origins in the capital – and clearly puts its focus on the burgers.
A simplistic menu offers you a choice of nine of Byron’s ‘proper hamburgers’ which come on their own at up to £9.95, a selection of sides, four salads, side salads and calorific ice cream desserts. You can also team your food up with a number of craft beers.
If you literally can’t wait for the food to be delivered, you can also order ‘while you wait’ olives, tortilla chips or nachos.
I went for the Byron burger, topped with dry cured bacon, mature cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion and thick Byron sauce, while my dining partner went for the Smoky burger, which included smoked cheddar, streaky bacon, fried onions, lettuce, pickles and smoked chilli barbecue sauce. With the addition of onion rings and homemade skin-on chips as sides, which were all promptly brought to us, we delved in.
The Byron was a succulent delight. The melted cheddar and salty bacon combining with the smooth, tangy Byron sauce on what was a standout medium-cooked pattie which melted in the mouth.
My dining partner devoured the Smoky in no time, with the combo delivered on a fresh soft glazed bun.
The simple but effective recipes and high quality meat are there for all to taste at Byron, and when compared with the pomp and ceremony of rival burger joints this place is refreshingly back to basics.
You do pay a price for quality though. We paid £26.20 for the meal which, bearing in mind we only had tap water to drink, was pretty pricey.
Byron is no bargain basement meat feast, it’s a celebration of ‘proper’ produce in an unusual but charming space.