Need some dinner inspiration for the week ahead? Deputy Food Editor Holly Penhale review one of Bristol's lesser-known burger spots, Asado...
Up until Saturday I thought I had a fairly good idea of where to find the best burgers Bristol has to offer. In my three years here, I’ve sampled a fairly wide range from local delights at the likes of The Burger Joint and Grillstock to your nationwide classics at Byron and GBK. All in all I’d say Bristol is above average in terms of burgers but it wasn’t until I experienced my first Asado that I realised this place was in a league of its own.
I’d seen their Instagram posts and the snaps of toasted sesame-seed buns filled with mountains of meaty, cheesy deliciousness had piqued my interest. Returning to Uni after the Easter break I finally managed to convince my housemates to accompany me there after lengthy delay whilst one of them dabbled with Veganism for Lent. When we arrived, we were quickly seated, just a couple of other tables were filled in the small, quirkily decorated restaurant. Convinced by the promise of a £5 discount for every two cocktails ordered, we ended up with four, very strong beverages, not quite the fruity and refreshing drinks we were after but nice enough.
After agonising over the menu choices, three of went for the Pollo Libre, a buttermilk-fried Chicken Burger with homemade guac, chipotle mayo and lettuce served in a toasted challah-bun. Keeping it simple, we all went for the rosemary salt chips to accompany our burgers, and my now-veggie housemate ordered the Senor Veggie, the one and only veggie burger on the menu, a smoked red pepper burger stuffed with mozzarella served with pesto mayo, lettuce and tomato.
As we waited for our food, the tables started to fill up proving the immense popularity of the small venue, located away from the hum of central Bristol just opposite the BRI. Phone orders were also being taken as the Saturday night peak kept the staff on their toes. But when our long-awaited food arrived, it did not disappoint. It was clear that this was the kind of burger that needed to be tacked one of two ways: A) Both hands, plenty of napkins, and an acceptance that some of the contents will end up in your lap. B) Admit defeat and enlist the knife and fork.
I went for option B as napkins were scarce and cutting into the crispy buttermilk coating and discovering a succulent and juicy chicken fillet was a delight. The fresh quac was the perfect addition, clearly made on site, the chunky avocado was generously heaped onto the chicken and was the ideal antidote to the fiery chipotle mayo. The rosemary chips were served skin on, and perfectly cooked, neither greasy nor hard in the middle. My only criticism, if you can call it one, was that the burgers and sides are served on separate plates, which made it easy to forget the chips when tackling the mammoth main event. The Pollo Libre received rave-reviews from all three meat-eaters and I am assured that the Senor Veggie which oozed with stringy mozzarella when cut in half, was just as divine. Struggling to get through the generous portions, we had the chips put in take-away box, a testament their tastiness.
Without being hyperbolic, this was one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. I am sad that my days in Bristol are numbered and opportunities to eat there again are quickly diminishing. Nonetheless, I am determined to dine their at least one more before the end of the academic year and whole-heartedly recommend that you do too.
Featured image credit: flickr / Nick Cartwright