When one of my favourite Italian restaurants in Leeds closed down recently, I was left with a heavy heart. When I heard that a burger restaurant was going to open in the same premises, I was even more upset. Does Leeds really need another hamburger restaurant when there is a plethora of them already in the city centre?
Things, though, are not as bad as they seem! Honest Burgers are the new occupants of what was Livin’ Italy. Could Honest Burgers be a taste of living joy?
Honest Burgers opens in Leeds
With a name like ‘honest’ there is a lot to live up to, especially where honest farming is concerned.
Aiming to reduce its carbon footprint, the restaurant sources ingredients from ‘regenerative farming’ which follows nature’s lead; carefully managing where animals graze so that fields have time to rest and nature can take over.
Moving from field to field is also better for the cows because if left to their own devices they would never stay in one place for a month, moving around in their herds, grazing in different places every few days. It works for the planet too, as fields are grazed and then left to rest which means they are always growing – thus taking more carbon dioxide from the air into the soil.
‘Clean and well thought out’
First impressions were good as the restaurant looked clean and well thought out with an open kitchen at one end and seating around the central bar area. Like a lot of new restaurants, to me, it all felt a bit cheerless – though it’s the food that you come for, your surroundings do need have a pleasant ambience.
The menu is as sparse as the decor – with a name like Honest Burger you would not expect much other than burgers on the menu, though I was pleased to see at least three 100% vegan options.
The restaurant has a burger that you can only get at the Leeds restaurant, named appropriately, the Leeds Burger. Like all the other burgers the restaurant serves, the meat is cooked medium (pink), though it is recommended that children, pregnant women and anyone with a weaker immune system have their burgers well done.
‘One of the best’
Priced at £14, the Leeds burger comes with homemade rosemary chips, though there is the option to switch for coleslaw or salad. The price tag might not be in keeping with Yorkshire wallets, though I did think that the beef, bacon, smoked cheddar, black garlic chipotle chutney, gluten-free beer pickled onions, lime mayo and lettuce did all go together well. As burgers go it was a tasty blend of textures – sweet, salty with a bit of crunch – the succulent burger patty itself was probably one of the best I have savoured.
If you wanted a dessert to follow, you would be out of luck as they do not have a dessert menu! Perhaps time to console yourself with another cocktail or beverage from the extensive drinks list.
Any misgivings I might have had earlier vanished due to the quality of food – in all honesty, this was a new restaurant that I would visit again!
Honest, Unit 2, Cloth Hall Street, Leeds LS1 2HD www.honestburgers.co.uk/locations/Leeds/