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To say I was excited when award-winning independent The Beefy Boys announced Shrewsbury as the location for their second restaurant is an understatement.
Founded in Hereford in 2011, The Beefy Boys are four backyard amateur cooks who share a passion for local produce and dirty American-style burgers and BBQ. In 2014, the boys won the coveted title of Best Burger at Grillstock - the UK's biggest BBQ competition. This led them to represent the UK at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas, where they came second with their Butty Bach Burger.
How I’d failed to try one of these lip-smacking delights over the years I’ll never know, but I had.
Whilst the new restaurant, located in the old Zizzi unit on Shrewsbury High Street, was undergoing the necessary renovations, the boys teased the Town of Flowers with two stop-offs in The Square, serving burgers and fries out of their touring truck from lunchtime onwards.
Unsurprisingly, they sold out both times. Each time I saw photos on social media, the queue was at least 100 people in length, perfectly illustrating just how eagerly the townsfolk were anticipating the arrival of these Dirty Burger maestros. Everybody loves a burger!
The restaurant has been packed to the rafters since opening mid-August. Rarely do I book a table for food at 9pm, but it was the only slot that was available - and I booked in advance! If you want to visit, definitely plan well ahead.
We ordered drinks - a well-made Espresso Martini and a lager. As well as burgers, the boys also specialise in cocktails and have an extensive list from which to choose.
The food menu boasts a range of classic, dirty, speciality and chicken burgers and has a section for each. There are also three vegetarian burger options and a variety of wings, loaded fries and sides. Burgers include: The Bacon Boy - baconaise, double bacon, American cheese, Swiss cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onion and gherkin; The Macaroni Boy - Mac and cheese patty, American cheese, Swiss cheese, bacon, HPA nacho sauce, lettuce, spicy chipotle ketchup; and Buffalo Chicken Boy - chargrilled breast or buttermilk-fried thigh, smothered in buffalo sauce, blue cheese mayo, lettuce and red onion. All burgers are served in a sesame-seeded semi-brioche bun. Hungry yet?
Meanwhile, made with 100% Herefordshire beef, freshly ground that day and never frozen, the beef patties are as follows: Thick Patty - 6oz patty served pink; Smashed Patty - 2 x 3oz patties smashed thin and cooked through; Oklahoma Style - 2 x 3oz patties smashed with onion; and Animal Style - mustard-fried thick patty.
There’s the option to double or triple up, too - or, for the more adventurous diner, to add as many extra patties as you like at £3 per patty.
It was quite the deliberation, but my partner and I eventually settled for the Jurassic Classic Nozboy (with a thick patty) - priced at £9.50 and designed in conjunction with hip-hop legends Jurassic 5 and local festival Nozstock - and The Blue Boy (with smashed patty), also priced at £9.50. The Beefy Boys have got their pricing spot on. As my partner says, ‘a burger should rarely cost over £10’, and he’s right.
We enjoyed a portion of pastrami fries - topped with a delicious house-cured and smoked pastrami, double Swiss cheese, dirty mayo and gherkins - and Millionaire Fries - topped with truffle oil, parmesan, chives and chipotle mayo. When I next visit, I’ll definitely be trying the Pastrami Boy burger!
Ravenous - it was gone 9pm, after all! - we also ordered two portions of chicken wings. The Ninja Wings were smothered in a beautifully balanced soy, garlic & honey sauce and topped with sesame seeds. The Buffalo Wings boasted a buffalo sauce served with a blue cheese dip. Cooked perfectly, they were both thoroughly enjoyable and come highly recommended. You’ll need some napkins, though!
On to the burgers. First, the Jurassic Classic Nozboy. Unfortunately the thick patty was slightly overdone and not as pink as I’d hoped for. Personal preference perhaps, but I feel many would’ve shared my view - it wasn’t juicy, and a thick patty should definitely be juicy! I put that down to the kitchen being overwhelmed, and I certainly won’t be holding it against them - they’re only just learning the ropes, after all. The other elements of the speciality burger - honey mustard mayo, ketchup, spinach, fried egg, American cheese, Swiss cheese and bacon - were tasty.
The Blue Boy prevailed. The smashed patties were both nicely cooked and seasoned, and the blue cheese mayo, American cheese, Swiss cheese, pickled jalapenos, lettuce, red onion and bacon were the perfect accompaniments.
The restaurant itself boasts a nice atmosphere - buzzing yet relaxed. It features neon signage, low lighting and (some) artwork-covered walls - a decor synonymous with burger joints.
The staff were welcoming, knowledgable and just downright lovely from the moment we walked in, which is always a nice experience. Sadly you don’t get that everywhere.
Were they the best burgers I’ve ever tasted? No. I do think there are some teething problems that need to be ironed out. Am I pleased they’ve set up shop in my home town? Absolutely. Will I be returning? Too right!
Review by Lauren Foster
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