Okay, I admit it. I’ve worked in Covent Garden for three years now and I have never, ever been into Byron. I know, I know, very poor of me but I am not a great burger person, generally, and plus I’m always walking past on the way to somewhere else with no time to stop.
Tonight was different.
MissyKate and I had spent a very lovely early evening sitting in La Gelatiera in New Row, eating what felt like our weight in gelato. I tried Balsamic, which was gorgeously smooth, slightly sweet and right at the end of your tastebuds hits you with a whack of savoury out of nowhere.
Kate had dark Chocolate Sorbet and Belgian Chocolate gelato – in the same tub the slattern – and I chose Salted Caramel. This is no ordinary ice cream. It’s smooth and creamy and very rich, seriously sinful in taste. I have never, ever had a chocolate sorbet that good.
We ogled the gelato selection, we ogled the gelato sandwiches in the freezer, we ogled the biscuits and the cakes and the fabulous selection of goodies that seemed to be in every corner.
Once we’d eaten our choices, and each tried some of the other’s choice, and then gasbagged for a very long time whilst the extremely patient man behind the counter smiled at us, we bid the gelato palace farewell.
We wandered along back up towards The Strand, via a cupcake shop (Cupcake Couture I think) which has most excellent pavement graffiti outside.
A peanut butter and jelly one was purchased, and Kate walked away with it in an incredibly pretty yellow box.
On the spur of the moment we decided that dinner was needed. Actual, substantial, non-sugar based food.
“COURGETTE FRIES!” we cried. “TO BYRON BURGER!” and away we ran to Wellington Street, to the corner of Covent Garden that is a haven of beef. Sophie’s Steakhouse on one corner, and Byron’s on the other. We entered the warm, beefy smelling portals of Byron’s, feeling more and more hungry the further we went.
The smell is fabulous. There’s a tang of mustard and ketchup in the air, overlaid with smoke from the grills. A wave of heat hits you, and then one of the uber cute, uber smiley staff greeted us and we were led, smiling, to our table.
We knew what we wanted. Courgette fries and pure, unadulterated burger. So that was what we had. Two classic burgers and two portions of fries. Our waiter was quite the most hot waiter I have seen in a long time. So very hot that we feel we should mention it. Tattoos, a soft Irish accent, a big smile and…and…he was softly singing while he cleared tables. What more could two sugar fuelled ladies want?
Anyway, moving on.
To quote the Byron menu: “ All our hamburgers are cooked medium unless otherwise requested and served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle and mayonnaise.” and they really are medium. Perfectly so.
Ohhh the meat was soft, and pink but with perfect chargrilled flavours and a really deep, savoury hit of moo. Mine was so well built it even sat up on its own to have its photo taken. Look!
Then it fell over and I ate it, with gusto, American yellow and ketchup. It was exactly what we wanted. Now those courgette fries. Those wonderful, heavenly, crispy, salty, battered sticks of tasty vegetable made zingy and tongue-tingling. I could have eaten just a plate of those alone.
All in all, fabulous food, lovely staff and a top atmosphere. Including drinks the bill was £21.
Go, and go soon. You never know, the lovely Irish smiley boy might be there.
Byron, 33-35 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7BN – Telephone 020 7420 9850