Eating Proper Hamburgers At Byron, Derby

In aid of National Burger Day and to celebrate Byron’s 10th Anniversary, I teamed up with them and went to give their food a try.

If you’ve never been to a Byron before (as in fact I hadn’t!) then I’ll give you the lowdown. Opening 10 years ago by Tom Byng after moving to America for a few years, Tom developed a passion for good ol’ hamburgers. He was inspired by the way his favourite US burger place did them, and wanted to bring that back with him when he came home by deciding to open his very own restaurant. With tasty high quality meat and a few simple toppings, nothing too crazy added, they served ‘proper hamburgers, the way they should be‘. It’s safe to say that it was a hit with currently 70 restaurants UK wide and almost 40 in the London area alone (yes you heard right!).

To celebrate their 10th anniversary they’ve developed a number of limited edition burger combinations and currently the infamous ‘Gizzmo’ has made an appearance. It’s a 6oz hamburger, welsh rarebit, smoked applewood cheese and stout concoction topped with some old faithfuls of lettuce, tomato, onion and mayonnaise. Thankfully Kelcey, my +1 gave it a try to give you her verdict. And to make it sound even better, to celebrate today’s National Hamburger Day you can get 20% off a burger at Byron, along with other venues in the UK, here.

Arriving at Derby’s Byron restaurant with it’s industrial warehouse vibe that is my interior design dream, I couldn’t help but get distracted by all of the trendy distressed lighting, brick walls, clocks and mirrors, as well as other pieces dotted around. I honestly think I would plonk my bed in the middle of it and move in if I could!

Interior distractions aside, we cosied down at our table and began to browse the menu.

Before I knew it the friendly and attentive waitress arrived and asked whether we had thought about what drinks we’d like. I panicked as I’d stupidly been browsing the mains and hadn’t even thought about a drink. Thankfully Kelcey had it covered and asked for a Salted Caramel Milkshake for herself, which had me impulsively ordering one for myself without another thought. Caramel has, and I’m sure always will be, my favourite.¬†
We ordered our mains and chatted away until our milkshakes arrived and then we both fell silent, eager to give them a taste. We slurped away and my first comment was “that’s amazing, I love that“. We discussed how it was sweet and indulgently more-ish but very filling.

When our mains arrived I found myself staring intensely at what Kelcey had ordered, my eyes widening in jealousy as she began to dig in. It looks amazing doesn’t it?

The limited edition Gizzmo Burger and a side of Bacon Cheese Fries. Kelcey had ordered the burger medium rare and it was pink in the middle and cooked perfectly, making it deliciously tender. She told me that not only was the Gizzmo Burger a hit, but the Bacon Cheese Fries were incredibly tasty too. A cheese lovers dream – the cheese was creamy, the bacon pieces were crunchy and layered evenly between the cheese and the chips themselves. Now let’s talk about mine…

I’m a big fan of a good burger joint. As a child I’d ask for a plain burger in the bun and I thought it was the best thing on earth. I was a fussy eater when I was younger but I still loved my food. Nowadays I’m not so fussy and I like to load my burger up with as many toppings as possible, but I will admit that over the last year there is often one thing stopping me from having amazing burgers all the time. The bun! And my year long journey since discovering I had an issue with gluten.

Although many restaurants are clocking onto the fact that there is a need for gluten free options within the hospitality industry, many are not.

How does Byron fit into this? Well if I’m honest they’re slap bang in the middle. With no gluten free bun on offer, they offer a ‘skinny’ burger. Meaning that the burger is served with salad instead of bread.
As for a side, I found that difficult too. With anything from sweet potato or courgette fries to macaroni cheese available, I struggled with a combination of these either containing gluten themselves or being cooked in the same fryer as gluten-filled products. The latter is also something that as a Coeliac I struggle with excessively because people with Coeliac Disease cannot tolerate even microscopic amounts of gluten which would be present even if something was cooked in the same fryer or oil as something else.

In the end I chose the Skinny Byron Burger which was a bun-less hamburger topped with bacon, mature cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion and Byron sauce with a side salad. Then as there was no side dishes I could order I also chose to have a small Classic Cobb Salad filled with chicken, bacon, avocado, blue cheese, tomato, egg, iceberg lettuce, baby spinach and a house dressing too.
I was surprised by the size of the small Cobb Salad which contained pretty much the full works in terms of ingredients, but my burger itself is what impressed me the most. Just like Kelcey, I had mine served medium and so it was juicy and full of flavour and the topping combination worked well too. Despite being bun-less I did think my burger was delicious, but by either having a gluten free bun rather than having it ‘skinny’ or by being able to have a proper side dish, I feel like my experience at Byron would have been even more enjoyable.

Whilst an increasing amount of restaurants do offer a variety of gluten free alternatives with more and more people being diagnosed with gluten free dietary needs such as intolerances, allergies and Coeliac Disease, I feel like Byron isn’t really there yet. However, they do provide a number of options for vegetarians and vegans so I have my fingers crossed that it’s only a matter of time.

Dietary requirements aside, all of the feedback I’ve had from people I spoke to had nothing but positive words for everything they’d tried at Byron and I really feel like it’s definitely worth a try if you don’t have any additional dietary requirements like I do.

You can find Derby’s Byron at Intu Derby, DE1 2PL. However you can find your nearest restaurant here or take a look at the rest of their website here Remember you can get 20% off a burger for National Burger Day here.
Post written in collaboration with Byron. All opinions are 100% my own.