Homemade 1/2lb minced beef burger – with bacon, Stilton or Cheddar and onion rings, served in a 5″ floury bun with homemade chips and salad or peas
Price of burger: £9.95
For some time now, a friend from work has been telling me about her local which she said I just had to try. With Real Ale, a beer garden and burgers, it was right up my street!
The pub in question is the Bricklayers Arms on Copthorne Road and, when another friend suggested the two of us meet up for a burger night, this was the first place on my mind.
I’ve been to the Bricklayers Arms in the past, albeit only for drinks, and found it to be a friendly place. Inside, there’s a lot of wood panelling with old style signs directing you to the ‘Debating Room’ or advertising beer. I’m not talking about a colourful Carlsberg poster showing a football pitch, I’m talking an old-y world-y poster explaining why ‘Green Monkey Lager’ is better because it is brewed naturally for longer – my kind of place.
My friend and I arrived, found a seat near the bar and promptly ordered two pints of ‘Slumbering Monk’ – a Joules brew and a firm favourite of mine. We grabbed the menu and I quickly found the burger section which consisted of a chicken burger, a fish finger burger and two beef burgers – one of which was a ¼lb and the other one was a ½lb. My choice was clear – I went for the ½lb beef burger and, quite frankly, I was made up with my nice little bargain (£9.95 for the whole thing)!
As we waited, my friend pointed out something odd at the far end of the bar. Curled up in a Macmillan charity box was a fluffy ginger cat casually sleeping whilst punters ordered food and drink. At first I thought it was a cuddly toy only to see it open its eyes and lick its foot – it was bloody real and I loved it!
As we waited, I noticed a load of people coming into the pub with instruments. At first, I thought there was going to be live music but, after asking the barman, I was told it was a local group of ukulele fans who use the Bricklayers Arms as a base to practice every Tuesday. So, to recap, we’ve got Real Ale, a cat on the bar and a ukulele band – this place was shaping up to be something pretty special! I only hoped the burger would be too…
The meal didn’t take long to arrive and, when it did, I was over the moon. I can’t be doing with these namby pamby pretentious places that go for style over substance and I am happy to report that this place is not one of them. The meal was served on a whopping plate and the entire thing was filled right to the edges – just have a look at that picture and you’ll see what I mean! The burger consisted of two ¼lb beef patties, topped with bacon and Stilton, served in a floury bun and accompanied by homemade chips and salad.
The chips were not your usual pub-style chips, nor were they chunky devils (for which, in the past, I have particularly praised). Instead, they were quite different. They reminded me of chippy chips which I LOVE and the portion size was perfect as I’m a hungry little fellow! The onion rings – of which there were at least six (I KNOW, RIGHT!?) – were lovely, albeit the same breaded type you can buy from the supermarket. So far then, the Bricklayers Arms was off to a great start. But now on to the main event…the burger.
I had to divide and conquer due to the sheer size of this beast. Basically, I removed a burger patty and a slice of bacon, ate them first and then returned to eat the regular – now ¼lb – burger as a whole. I’m glad I did as it gave me chance to try each of the individual elements. Firstly the bacon, which was thick cut back bacon and bloody delicious. The burger patty was thick and juicy – a bit rough around the edges but cooked perfectly. When I tried the burger in the bun with the Stilton, I was blown away. The Stilton was strong, creamy and a great addition, taking the burger to the next level. I would perhaps have liked the option to have had a brioche bun
instead of a floured bun (which I can either take or leave) but I am really just nit-picking now. The salad consisted of lettuce, cucumber, red onion, peppers and tomato and, although it’s not the best I’ve ever had, it was ok.
I think the word to use for me to describe the meal – and the whole experience of the Bricklayers Arms – is “Wholesome”. It had a friendly, family atmosphere and I have been again since. It’s safe to say, I will definitely be going again soon as it is quickly becoming one of my favourite places in Shrewsbury for both food and drink – in fact, we are off there again later this week for the wife’s birthday.
For the price, I really do find it hard to fault and highly recommend a visit!
Entire meal 9.0