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Lyons’ Den - Shrewsbury’s first dedicated gourmet burger restaurant - is located on Traitors Gate, one of the town’s most historic locations. The popular eatery opened in the winter of 2015 and, despite being one of the medieval town’s better-hidden gems, quickly built up a reputation as ‘the place to go’ if you fancied a burger.
Featuring exposed-brick underground arches and dimmed lighting, the restaurant itself is stunning and boasts a warm and cosy laid-back atmosphere.
Located in the town centre and just a couple of minutes’ walk from Shrewsbury train station, the eatery is perfectly located for locals and visitors alike.
Perusing the menu over a cold pint of lager - although the monsterous milkshakes did look very appealing - we ordered a portion of frickles and some buffalo chicken strips. My partner and I absolutely adore pickles, so frickles will always be a ‘go to’ order of ours if they’re on the menu. Comprising pickles deep fried in a homemade beer batter and served with a deliciously creamy mustard mayo, the frickles were tasty little morsels of heaven. Although a simple dish, they were ridiculously good and showcased a perfect batter-to-pickle ratio.
Next up, the chicken. Diners can have their homemade breaded chicken strips - it’s worth noting that everything is homemade at Lyons’ Den - coated in buffalo, bbq, sweet chilli or chipotle sauce, or they can have them plain if they prefer. Being huge fans of spice, we opted for the buffalo sauce. The chicken was cooked nicely and boasted a succulent texture. The buffalo sauce had a kick but nothing that was too overpowering. Another successful starter indeed.
We were then treated to some incredible homemade mozzarella sticks. These weren’t your bog-standard mozzarella sticks; they were about three times the usual size and served with a delicious homemade sweet chilli sauce. They were cooked to perfection, with the gooey mozzarella oozing out with every bite we took. Lyons’ Den mozzarella sticks are by far the nicest I've eaten to date, and I would return to the restaurant for those and the frickles alone!
Our table was booked for 7pm on a Thursday evening. Over the course of our visit, the restaurant filled up nicely. This is always a good sign when visiting somewhere new - and if the starters were anything to go by, we were in for quite an evening.
Although predominately a burger restaurant for meat eaters, Lyons’ Den caters for diners with special dietary requirements too. Alongside the substantial burger menu are four veggie burger options, two vegan burger options, a range of salads, sides and lunchtime lighter bites - think buns, wraps and mini burgers.
Burger options include: Fresh Twist - a 6oz beefburger, caramelised red onions, sautéed garlic mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and dijon mustard; Filthy Burger - a 6oz beefburger, Monetary Jack cheese, local dry cured streaky bacon, onion ring, bbq pulled pork, lettuce and tomato; and Gigantor - 2 x 6oz burgers, chicken breast, halloumi burger, local dry cured streaky bacon and creamy cheddar cheese sauce.
We opted for Cordon Bleu chicken and a special - The Strog. The latter comprised a perfectly cooked 6oz ground beef patty, topped with a field mushroom and filled with the most deliciously creamy stroganoff sauce. This needs to be a permanent fixture on the menu because it was truly phenomenal. It was a really unique concoction - I’ve never seen anything like it on a burger menu before - and boy, was it good!
Our other selection, the Cordon Bleu chicken burger, was another fantastic choice. Featuring a breaded chicken breast stuffed with Serrano ham and cheese, topped with mayo and crispy onions, it was certainly an option I’d be happy to devour again. The flavour combination was spot on - hats off to the chef!
The burgers were served with a generous portion of twice-cooked chips. Lyons’ Den certainly doesn’t skimp on its portion sizes. This is always a winning factor with us, as to say that we’re big eaters is most definitely an understatement.
Despite feeling suitably full, we decided to share a dessert. I’d heard good things, so felt it necessary to try one. We opted for cheesecake of the week, which, to my delight, was dark chocolate and pistachio. Rich, naughty and incredibly filling (it was a huge slab!), it provided a fantastic end to our first Lyons’ Den experience.
Alongside the extensive main menu, the restaurant boasts a reasonably priced children’s menu featuring such options as chicken strips & chips, bacon cheeseburger & chips and hot dog & chips, making it a perfect dining-out option for families.
The Lyons’ Den service is exemplary, the polite and welcoming staff being both knowledgable and attentive, and I’m certainly looking forward to visiting again in the near future for feast number two
Reviewed by Lauren Foster
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