Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Grazing Shed. Nom.

Now, let me start by saying I'm not generally a burger person. It's not something I ever pick out on a menu at a restaurant, and I absolutely hate the usual fast food burger joints and avoid them at all costs. They're always something that you pick up for convenience, and invariably feel awful afterwards.

But probably down to the amount of blog trawling and pinterest food perving I've been doing, I woke up last Saturday with the most almighty burger craving. And that's where all the gossip I'd heard about The Grazing Shed comes in.

Parked around the back of the St Davids 2 in Cardiff, lies this sustainable and eco-friendly restaurant. The Grazing Shed's main selling point is that it revolves around local, fresh and sustainable ingredients. A gourmet fast food restaurant. Using suppliers within close proximity means that you can be sure that your ingredients are fresh, supporting local suppliers and minimising waste all at the same time.

I think this was the main appeal to me, especially as the thought of mass produced burgers and not being entirely sure what goes into them really puts me off most fast food. The 100% Welsh beef used in their burgers was a definite draw, although I was a little disappointed that the chicken used is not free range chicken.

We ordered quickly and settled into a spot on the communal benches. Now, the sound of this may bring back awful memories of school canteens, but the actual effect of this is quite charming. Everyone just seems to pass condiments up and down the table and squishes up to get everyone in. I liked it, and we had plenty of space even though it was very busy.

It's clear to see that the Shed prides itself on the ethics it was based on. The kitchen is an open affair, and adorning the walls are pictures and the names of all the local suppliers. You feel that this is something they obviously feel passionate about, and not just a gimmick.

I ordered the Spicy Uncle Pedro, which promised a 100% Welsh beef burger, covered with avocado smash, chorizo, jalapeno sour cream and a chunky Mayan salsa. The hubby ordered the John Wayne, a beef burger with cheddar fondue, smoky bacon, BBQ & cajun dressing with a red onion confit. The meals come with the burger, country fries (lovely skin on chunky chips) and bottomless drinks, which come from a self serve drinks machine.

It was refreshing to see that the drinks were also made from locally produced syrups, and not the usual coke and lemonade offerings. Available were a spicy ginger beer, rose and elderflower, lemonade and root beer. The root beer is amazing, I could have drunk gallons of the stuff. It was like drinking Deep Heat, which, I actually think is a very good thing. Weird.

We hadn't even poured a drink each when our food was served, literally minutes from us placing our order. I'm pretty sure I have actually waited longer in McDonalds. I love the cute little baskets too.

The Spicy Uncle Pedro was incredible and lived up to its name. I fell in love with the avocado smash, which added some lovely creaminess and texture to the spicy burger. Chorizo is a welcome addition to anything, in my book. But the patty held its own even up against all these competing elements. It was thick, juicy and just frankly blooming gorgeous. Normally, my problem with burgers is that I get bored of the bread very quickly, but even that didn't happen here, clearly.

Now I know I said at the start that I'm no expert, but that doesn't mean that this was not the best burger I have EVER had. Ever. I cannot stop talking about it. There is nothing to fault about this beaut. The country fries that came with the meal were also fabulous, although I couldn't quite finish them all after I devoured the burger.

The verdict on the John Wayne....

So, I'm definitely now something of a burger convert. When we visited, I'd given up cheese for lent so I was a bit limited for choice. However, I'm quite glad, as this gives me and excuse to go back in a couple of weeks! The sound of the cheese fondue and the goat's cheese is making me salivate already...I may be having withdrawal symptoms.

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