“Carlos, why don’t you give blogging a go and review Burgerz ‘n’ Brewz for our site” Helen asked. Well, I crave for good burgers and restaurant launch evenings are always great fun, so… Why not?
Husband and wife, James and Echo have just launched Burgerz ‘n’ Brewz in Osborne Road, following their success behind hot dog restaurant Bangerz ’n’ Brewz in Victoria Road South. Helen managed to get a table for their soft launch opening event, where they offered 40% off on all burgers. The event was starting at 5pm, however all early slots were booked and we had to go for a late one, 9pm.
If you dislike getting your hands messy, seating at small tables, or engaging conversations with strangers, this will not be a place for you. However, if you get excited by tasty food, loads of meat, street art, and you enjoy all the above, then you should give this place a go.
It was busy when Helen and I arrived, and no tables were available despite having book a 9pm slot. The waitress Charlotte quickly apologised and invited us to wait at the bar. We had a couple of beers for a good 25 minutes before a table became available. Beer selection both on tap and bottled is good and includes local breweries like Staggeringly Good, which was what I went for.
Rather than getting anxious for the wait at such late hours on a weekday, we enjoyed the ongoing spectacle: loud music, lots of laughs, giant burgers being served non-stop and a fair amount of general madness. Charlotte was so busy she couldn’t breathe, but still she kept coming and chatting with us, reminding us she had not forgotten about our table. We were offered a nice tapa of sweet popcorn and a complimentary drink for the wait, while we looked through their burger menus (an extensive vegan and vegetarian range is also available). Waiters were busy, but they were serving in a confident and distressed attitude, smiling and clearly enjoying themselves.
The place is nicely decorated in an urban and casual style with a lot of character. We met the builders that redecorated the whole place, a fun couple that were giving a hand to James and Echo as kitchen porters. They did a great job: old-style brick partitions, cages in the walls, furniture made with recycled pallets, red neon signs… and loads of graffiti everywhere. Helen quickly recognised the iconic seagulls from local Southsea artist Farkfk, who was as also in the restaurant enjoying the evening. Street art by Portsmouth artists Berkmidlifecrisis, Ezie (Enzy), and Rooabrook (we think) helped Farkfk create the unique colourful walls.
Finally, the burgers arrived. I went for the “Limited Edition burger”, which had three beef patties, bacon and an insane combination of cheeses: cheddar, brie, american cheese and blue cheese. The menu description could not have been more right: “embrace the glorious cheesy mess you are” it says. Helen (who keeps reminding me she doesn’t eat meat) went for the “Pink Lady burger” which included two beef patties, cranberry slaw, melted brie, pink pickled cabbage and garlic mayo in a red beetroot bun. Burgers were quite interesting in their presentation and side ingredients, but the quality of the patty was not the best I have had in Portsmouth. I am sure they will improve on their meat preparation, as this was only their first evening open to the public and we could feel the kitchen stress from our seats. We also ordered their BBQ chips, which we both found very tasty.
By the time we were eating our food the last guests were leaving. The place had become quieter and we had a chance to chat to almost all members of staff. Echo, co-owner of the restaurant, spent lots of time with us, chatting about local bars and restaurants in the area. She had a big smile on her face, and she was clearly proud of their success that evening. James, who multitasks running the place, helping in the kitchen and dealing with social media, finally got a bit of time to chill with his friends who were sitting nearby. We caught up with Charlotte again, the young waitress that got us a table on our arrival, who treated us to a last complimentary beer. We had the impression we were chatting with good old friends, but in fact we had only met these guys one hour ago.
Are these the best burgers in Portsmouth? Not for me, but there is room for improvement! My current top #1 stays at One Tonne Burgers, who currently have a stand at Outside In food court.
Will I come back? Definitely yes. The atmosphere is fantastic, the beer selection great, and the members of staff really made the difference. Helen and I have attended busy restaurant launch evenings recently, but yesterday was the first time I felt everyone was truly enjoying themselves despite an absolute beautiful chaos.
Carlos – check out my Insta @carmatei
Ambience – 9
Quality – 7
Value – 8 – (9 on the night with 40% off!)
Service – 8 (we had to wait a long time but the service was spot on)
Return? Most definitely
Overall – 8