Always Time For This Beef.

You can find a burger on the menu of most restaurants but is it exactly how you like it? Have you got control over every element of that burger? Does it 100% satisfy your taste buds? Time and Beef think they have the answer to these questions. They are giving every customer full power over their burgers. Found on Cowbridge Road East this restaurant uses local fresh produce to create some photogenic burgers uniquely designed by each customer. The idea is explained in five simple steps.

First step is to choose your bun. There are four choices of bun; Demi Brioche, mixed grain brown, potato bun (vegan) and a seven-seeded potato bun (vegan). These artisan buns are all made by the restaurants award-winning baker Alex Gooch.Once you have chosen the bun for you the next step is to pick your burger. The meat options are produced by Braithwaite butchers which is located a stone throw away from the restaurant. There are three meat options; chicken, lamb and beef. Time and Beef also offer some great veggie and vegan options. These are chickpea and sweet potato, pulled oyster mushroom and hickory BBQ or black bean and chipotle. This is great to see as usually veggie/vegan burger options can be few in choice and poor in quality. These choices sound delicious even for the professional meat eaters.

Your next mission is to choose your toppings. I say mission because there are 15 choices and you can have as many as you want. This means that there are over 56,160 combinations you could have! There are three meat toppings; pulled pork, chorizo and bacon. The other 12 ranges from gherkins to even a fried egg. This is where I think the building process gets tricky because there is simply too much choice and too many mouth-watering combinations!

The next step is to choose your cheese. I like that they separated the cheese from the toppings. There are again more options: classic cheddar, Stilton, mozzarella, Monterey jack, Brie and Halloumi. The final choice (phew) is which sauce to cement your burger with. There of course is a range of sauces from salsa to mint. All that’s left of the burger process is to name it to really make the burger yours. Time and Beef then incorporate the great tool of social media by challenging its customer to share their creations online. With all this ‘Make Your Burger’ business I had to go and try myself so Tuesday lunchtime I went with a trusty friend.

I highly recommend going at lunchtime as from Monday to Thursday the restaurant has a great lunchtime deal. The deal is that you have a burger with one topping, one cheese and a sauce. You also get a choice of a side costing altogether £7. This really is a great deal as overall this restaurant serves a pricy menu. The fun steps are great for our tummies but not our wallets as outside this deal a burger cost a lot. For example a burger and bun is £7, each topping is £1 the meat ones are £1.50. The cheese is another pound and the sauces are 50p each. So if you had a burger with two toppings, cheese and a sauce the burger itself without a side would be £10. Then add a side for example skin on fries at £2.00. The meal is £12, which is reasonable, but the lunchtime deal saves you £5.

When we arrived the restaurant was quite quiet and there was only one waitress working. She was really friendly and explained the process and the different buns. After taking our drink orders she left us to make our burger decisions. This process for me was painstaking so I limited myself with the lunchtime menu. I chose a potato bun with a beef burger, crispy onions as my toppings with a Monterey jack cheese and hickory BBQ sauce. I decided to have the skin on fries as my side. I named my burger appropriately “The Fat Girl”. My friend decided she was going to spend a bit more and decided to try the restaurants starter of Deep fried Mozzarella sticks at £5.00. Her burger had a demi brioche bun with a lamb burger, onion rings as the topping with mozzarella cheese and BBQ hickory sauce. She decided to pay extra and have sweet potato fries as a side at £3.00.

The mozzarella sticks were chunky and chewy. They looked and taste insane!

We were ready for our creations and were not disappointed. The presentation was simple but the taste is what matters.Mine tasted scrumptious. The meat was what made the burger. It was so tender and cooked perfectly. The beef pushes the restaurant away from the fast food genre. My choices of onions, cheese and the Hickory BBQ sauce created a perfect smoky flavour. The bun was interesting, a bit starchy but overall appetising. No complaints about the fries either however, we weren’t given any cutlery for the meal so I did end up with greasy hands. My friend agreed about the meat, she loved her lamb burger and was pleased with the generous offering of two onion rings. She enjoyed her sweet potato fries.We both agreed that the standard of the meal didn’t leave us feeling guilty for enjoying every mouthful of the calorific concoctions.

If I had to choose again I may go for more toppings and have one of their starters because the options look inviting. I would also go in the evening to try one of their award winning cocktails and their Italian blend coffee. When we went I didn’t feel like an espresso and burger were the best mix but there were many customers who looked to be enjoying a nice cup of Joe. I really enjoyed my burger and we experienced some great service. The concept is great but I think sometimes too much choice is not necessarily a good thing so maybe check the website before you go and have an idea of your favourite toppings.

Go and try Time and Beef! Make some mouth-watering burgers. It’s not exclusive to meat eaters but if you like a good deal go on lunchtime.

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