Got Beef is the sort of place that mummy and daddy streetfood vendors will tell their kids about in their bedtime stories. If you work hard, create the right products, cook them perfectly and take it to the people for a while, you’ll create a brand that will bring the people to you.
In 2012, Got Beef was mobile and taking the food to music events in the UK in their truck. It wasn’t just music events though, thankfully those sexy mothertruckers added the Newport Food Festival to their diary and I got my first taste of Got Beef goodness on the 6th of October. (I know this, because I tweeted it and that’s how much research I put into this blog!!)
I wish I could remember what I had, but the extent of my tweet was that the burger I’d just wolfed down was “wicked”.
25 months and one day later I make my way, not to a truck, and not to their “pop-up” residency in The Canadian where they honed their skills for a while, but to a proper place with bricks and stuff for my second experience of Got Beef.
I can’t explain why it’s taken so long to get around to this, but the fact it has says more about me than it does about their food. Maybe it’s because it’s in Cardiffian suburbia and I rarely pass it. Whatever the reason, I’m embarrassed to admit that I let this go on so long.
The fact that the restaurant is not in town and that it was packed the Friday night we were there is true testament to the fact that Got Beef has become a destination of choice for diners. There’s nothing else nearby to attract anyone, so the chances of anyone just passing and saying “oooh, I think I’ll try that place” seems pretty unlikely.
I remember the bus, with its bold colours and big cow cartoon. It looked fresh and fun. The restaurant is a bit different. It’s like they’ve grown up a bit and become more, dare I say it, conformist? They’ve gone down the stereotypical “open plan, wood everywhere, no plates, benches” route, but hey, that’s what’s in these days and I’m not going to give them abuse for doing what’s in fashion.
It was the first week of the “New, improved, sexier, filthier menu” and I was salivating at the thought of what I was going to treat myself to. My fellow Super Burger Bros had already decided and between them they’d picked my first two choices, but I refused to have the same as them. I was to be rewarded beyond belief, thanks to the specials board.
My choice was endorsed by the friendly service staff and my request to personalise the burger to the way I wanted it was received with a smile by my server.
The Bambi Bronut. The Bambi M@th£&f#+$ng Bronut!!!!!!!! 2 Venison patties, 2 bacon, 2 cheese in a donut and topped with caramelized bacon sprinkles. Now I know that you’ve seen the picture and spotted that there are quite clearly 3 patties in there. My logic determined that as the beef patties were 6oz each and the venison patties were 4ozs each, if my friends doubled up, then they would have more meat than me. I couldn’t cope with that happening, so I paid an extra couple of golden nuggets and trebled up! I also added a side of Cajun Onion Rings, because I could!
I know that the donut burger has been around for a while and just about everyone who reviews burgers has had at least one already, but this was, wait for it, my very first time. I’m not telling you this so that you feel sorry for me. I was a donut burger virgin and I just hadn’t found the right one, until now.
I decided to start slowly and indulged in a little bit of onion ring foreplay. The battered onion rings came with lashings of mayo (I hadn’t asked for it, but luckily I would always choose to have mayo with my favourite savoury side dish). They had to be homemade. Thick cut and in the crunchiest batter I’ve ever had from a restaurant. They were great, but not very “Cajun”. This said though, I would order them again and again and again and……you get the picture.
The locally sourced burgers were full of gamey flavour and moist and delicious. The smokiness of the bacon was there and the smooth creamy American cheese that smothered the meat combined beautifully. The taste sensation continued with the soft sweetness of the donut and the crunchy sweet and savoury of the bacon bits. I was in heaven.
I may never be able to watch Bambi in the same way ever again, but then again, there are plenty of other Disney films out there and only one Bambi Bronut!
The Bambi Bronut gets a near perfect 4.75 out of five and that’s just because I’d prefer my donut not to have a hole in it. Yeah, I’m fussy. So what?