In a recent post I was talking about how this year Edinburgh’s had a bit of a burger revolution and as it so happens today we’re talking about another place that’s opened this year, serving mouth-watering burger goodness: Just Burgers and Beers.
Just Burgers and Beers
192a High Street, justburgersandbeers.co.uk
Just Burgers and Beers opened in June 2014, but although it’s cropped up in conversation a few times in the last month or so until then it’d flown under under the radar a bit. That’s probably because its Royal Mile location meant that they didn’t need to advertise to bring in business over the summer and any advertising to locals would probably fall on deaf ears as soon as the words ‘High Street’ were uttered.
We’re out of the main season now and so when I was invited along to try the place out with a collection of Edinburgh’s finest bloggers I naturally said yes.
What I found amazing about this place was how separate it felt from the world outside. Stepping in over the threshold from the High Street you enter an intimate, wood-cladded space – a very pleasant change from the huge, open and soulless chains found in major streets like this – but go through the back and you’re in a high, open space (still with the wood though) looking out over the courtyard between St Giles Cathedral and Parliament House.
The first part of our evening was all about Dune Surfer – a new ‘desert beer’ designed (according to the sales patter we were given) for a younger, active audience who are looking for something healthy, refreshing and naturally low in alcohol. Call me sceptic, but given this is backed by a larger brewer I feel they may have been jumping onto a few fad bandwagons – also something cool and refreshing being marketed in Edinburgh in late November? Well, it tasted interesting – I’ll give it that – but I have to say that I preferred it the cocktail we were served after a bottle. It simply doesn’t taste like beer, more like some weird hybrid between watermelon and aloe vera; I feel possibly a beach bar in Australia might suit it better than a burger evening in a chilly Edinburgh.
My highlight of the evening though was undoutably the ridiculous amount of food we were handed. With an unexpected starter of nachos with pulled pork and chilli consumed (and very much enjoyed) our mains arrived. I opted for The Dirty South (I mean, who wouldn’t?) which was a large beef patte topped with an equally large dose of sweet and sticky pulled pork, whilst those around me opted for the likes of Mac Attack (beef, with a fritter of fried mac and cheese), the Joe Pesci (Italian in style, with salami and tomato), and the Anna Nicole Smith (yup, after the Texan model, and described as ‘beautifully messy’ – all jokes are your own). Ours were all beef, but you can have with either chicken or veggie. All of them were devoured post-haste.
The curly fries and chips on the side felt like they were brought in and not quite given the same love as the burgers, but our onion rings tasted very home made and were deliciously chunky
I’m not sure I’m ever likely to leave a place like this feeling hungry, but I do perhaps need to learn a little moderation and not leave quite so full (actually, self-inflicted over-stuffing would probably be a more accurate description – apparently I can’t leave food alone if it’s put in front of me). There was a fair amount of food envy going on at our table, with everyone eyeing up each other’s burgers and making notes about what they would try on their next visit.
Of the eateries I’ve tried in this part of town it’s definitely the lease chain-like and most personal feeling – which can only be a good thing. I enjoyed my burger here – although there were a few mixed feelings around the table – but felt the sides could do with a little more work. There are plenty of places that do good burgers in town, and I don’t think that I would choose to go here first, but having said that I would take it over the chains around it any day. So if you’re round here and need some burger love then go for it; but if you’re looking for a glass of Pinot and a salad I’d give it a miss.Photo Credit: DuneSurfer