The start of the summer holidays is a great time for families everywhere, full of hope and optimism and almost as enjoyable as the end of the holidays when the kids go back to school! So against this backdrop of family fun I was invited out to lunch by my brother (The Count), his partner (Yorkshire) along with the old Mater (Tiny Tummy – not called this because of her resemblance to any diminutive rap artists but rather on account of her post-gastric op which has limited her food intake to something on a par with got stick insect) and my Pater (we shall call Festivities – a long story as to why this is his monika).
The Count had already decided that the venue for our lunch would be Byron near to Liverpool One and so we arrived into a large, bright dining room which seems to be part of an ongoing trend for urban / industrial chic with brick, concrete and iron aplenty around the room. The Count and Yorkshire were already seated and had taken the opportunity to order some nachos which came with the usual jalapeños, salsa, guacamole and soured cream, topped with melted cheese. These were very good with all the ingredients appearing to be very fresh.
Whilst mopping up the last of the jalapeños I noticed that, due to the natural slope externally, we were actually sat at floor height outside, which provided an interesting perspective on the passing world. Whilst contemplating this and dipping in and out of The Count’s new home updates, I was slightly distracted by some external visitors who approached our window seat to look at the window menu box. This was one of those slightly awkward moments when etiquette would suggest a quick glance at the menu box and walk away. Unfortunately the Lou Ferrigno lookalike had obviously been absent from those classes and instead decided to press his face against the glass for an overly long period. I was tempted to offer him some nachos but did not want to make him angry – I sensed wouldn’t like him when he is angry!
Anyway, once the Hulk had peeled his face from the window all was well and we made our orders: I chose the B-Rex, Festivities, Yorkshire and The Count all went for The Classic but doubled up. I was not sure what doubling up was but didn’t want to miss out so joined suit. Finally Tiny Tum asked for the children’s menu. This drew a curious look from our waiter as Tiny Tum is beyond the 60 years mark, but he was happy to oblige. The waiting on staff by the way are very good: all youthful good looks, jeans and t-shirts, a living walking Hollister add! After perusing the kid’s menu Tiny Tum opted for the mini classic burger and declined our waiter’s offer of crayons to colour the children’s menu. Our order was completed with a mixture of home made skin-on chips and french fries along with a token house salad for Yorkshire.
The mains arrived in good time. The B-Rex was a monster of a burger: double patty (this is what doubling up was!), onion ring, streaky bacon, American cheese, jalapeños, pickles, onion, BBQ sauce and mayonnaise. This was a genuine delight of a burger on a par with that I recently enjoyed at The Old Blind School, though the onion ring, very good as it was, didn’t quite match the historic levels at TOBS. Likewise The Classic burgers were equally good, though not as large as mine. We had all opted for our burgers to be medium except Yorkshire who wanted his more thoroughly cooked, hence his arriving with its own flag of affirmation saying “Well Done”. Tiny Tum enjoyed her smaller offering. The french fries were good and the skin-on chips very good.
I won’t lie, it was a real struggle to get through the whole thing but, like a chubby and bald mythological hero, I battled on despite Festivities commenting on me slowing down towards the end. Unbelievably, The Count then asked for dessert menus. I thought this a step too far, until they arrived and like Odysseus, strapped to the mast of his ship, I was lured towards the Siren-like description of a caramel and honeycomb sundae. The Count chose white chocolate cheesecake with honey-poached blueberries, Yorkshire chose the banoffee mess and Tiny Tum exercised her right to the children’s dessert, choosing the brownie with a ‘blob’ of ice cream.
The caramel and honeycomb sundae was a several of scoops of nice ice cream covered in chocolate and honeycomb with a luxuriously delicious sauce at the bottom. According to Yorkshire the banoffee mess had biscuit, ice cream and cream and was good and The Count’s cheesecake was moorish with a very generous helping of blueberries which were very sweet, rather than tart. He wolfed it.
And so amidst our discussions of possible future family trips, rose-tinted reminiscences and kids talk, our family lunch drew to a close. A very enjoyable experience and certainly one to do again with Red and the two boys in the future. At an overall cost of £111 excluding tip for 3 course lunch for 5 this was slightly higher than an average lunch but then was better than your average lunch, though remember one of the five was a kids meal, and Tiny Tum was a little disappointed at not getting her lollipop as she left!
Type: family / budget restaurant
- Service: 9/10 Very pleasant, funny and accommodating.
- Atmosphere: 8.5/10 initially quiet but built nicely in the large industrial dining room
- Food: 8.5/10 they know how to do burgers!
- Value for money: 7.5/10 £111 for 4 adults and 1 x over 60 child for 3 courses
- Overall: 8.5 A good family venue with great burgers.
These are judged against the best of that type of restaurant. For example cafes against what you would expect from the best cafes, high end restaurants against the best high end restaurants etc.