We hadn’t planned on going to Pitch, a fairly new addition to the food scene in Cardiff’s city centre, but when our initial plans began to go down the drain, like the rain that was falling around me, Pitch was where my friends and I headed.
Pitch is quaint little place. Minimal fuss on the décor front, but comfortable and tasteful, dare I say trendy? Don’t panic if you look through the windows and see all the seats taken, there is an upstairs with tables and booths. Our table for 6 was a rectangular table with a round one placed next to it. Personally, I love non-conformity, so this sort of thing always makes me smile.
I had been fairly confident that we’d find food to satisfy our group’s tastes in Pitch. How? Well, that would be down to fellow Cardiff-based bloggers The Plate Licked Clean and The Grill And Barrel, who are on a quest to find the best burger in Cardiff this year, like Knights of The Meaty Round Table.
So just to let you in on a little fact about me, I can make some irrational judgement calls at times. I mean, for example, if I was the 3rd best tennis player in Britain, would I be a professional tennis player? You probably look at this question and say, “of course I would, that is an impressive achievement and I could earn some good money and even be on the tv when Wimbledon comes around.” I just don’t see it like that. Why would anyone aspire to break into the Top 100 in the world and spend 10 years staying there?
Anyway, something else I do is get, some may say overly, critical of the chips on offer. I can’t say that it’s purely down to the fact I’m Scottish, but out of everyone I know down here, I am the most opinionated about chips.
The aforementioned bloggers were very complimentary about the chips. Very, very, very complimentary about the chips. So everything else must be good too, right?
These chips were the dogs’ danglies, the canines’ cojones, the mutts’ nuts…….In the space of two days, I had found not one, but two establishments that met my ridiculously high standards for fried potato products. Pitch Bar & Eatery, you should be proud of yourself. If I were a potato, I would hand myself over to you in order to be immortalised in the memory of the lucky person that ate me.
As a Super Burger Bro, it’s my duty, nay, destiny, to eat a burger when the opportunity presents itself, and I always go for the daddy. Pitch’s “daddy” is the Hoff Burger Chi. For those of you who don’t speak Welsh, this translates to Your Favourite Burger. I Googled it, because the name got me thinking. My initial idea was that it was maybe based on a burger that a former Baywatch legend ate before a martial arts class. I was mistaken and, I have to admit, a little disappointed.
So would this be my favourite burger? The burger is “Hand-crafted in our own kitchen from prime Welsh mince beef and served in a homemade rosemary and rock salt focaccia bun with a tower of triple cooked chips and crisp salad.”
The menu goes on, and this is where it gets complicated – “With any two of the following: Crispy smoked bacon / Perl Wen cheese / Perl Las cheese / Black Bomber cheese / Sautéed mushrooms / Onion rings / Egg / Garlic Aioli / Chilli Jam / Welsh Rarebit”
So, I have my bun, with meat and salad, then I have to pick what else I want on there, but I can only have two for free and any additional items are charged at 95p each, apart from the aioli and chili jam, which are 45p each.
Well, I’m not going to order additional items am I? I’m Scottish, remember, and this is £12.95 already. I have a burger……..so I need bacon and cheese. Those two things must always make their way onto the burger if they are available. I opted for the Black Bomber variety, a mature cheddar.
But I wanted onion rings….and mushrooms……and chilli jam would have been nice…….and I could give you at least 10 reasons as to why I’d need each of the items in that list on this burger. But I couldn’t have them all, so I plumped for the onion rings as my Brucey Bonus.
So, you’ve probably ready the last few paragraphs while about 10% of your brain is urging you to confirm that the bun is indeed focaccia and not brioche. I will repeat; the bun is a rosemary and rock salt focaccia and it was handmade. (I’m taking their word for that; I never actually saw them make it.)
I enjoyed the meatiness of this local burger. The taste and texture were both pleasing to me, as was the touch of pink in there, showing it had been cooked perfectly, in my opinion. The cheese was full of flavour and wonderfully creamy, and, unfortunately, still sat in chunks on my burger. Please take that same cheese and let it see the burger while it’s on the heat and have it slowly smother it.
The bacon was nice enough too, but would probably have benefited from the cheese melting as described above; it wasn’t very memorable, but it did the job that bacon should do.
The salad offering, the crisp salad, was a selection of crunchy chopped up leaves and a slice of tomato. I refer back to my Scottish heritage and am fairly sure you already know how I feel about that. It stayed and was consumed. I’d paid for it after all.
Now the focaccia. The Italian bread that could sound a bit like a swear word if you pronounced it wrong. (My girlfriend does this all the time, just to make me shake my head. I think it’s really funny, but don’t tell her that please….what she’s reading it? FOC-A-CCIA!!!!!)
I think that this is one of the most under-used breads in the burger world. Packed with flavour, the ability to hold its shape and structure and soak up the tasty juices of the burger and its components. If I had a burger place I’d have this bread on the menu.
This one was good, but not great. That’s not to say it couldn’t have been great. It was a minor thing really. If the focaccia (hee hee hee) had been toasted just a little to get the oils warmed up and the bread less dry, the butter, used bottom, may not have been needed at all, but if still needed, it would have melted in, and for me that would have stepped this burger up a notch again.
I would give the …… wait a second, I forgot about the onion rings. The onion rings that you could add to your burger for 95p or something…….well they arrived and I thought, “wow, that’s a hell of a portion for 95p.” Turns out it was the full portion I got and it was £2.95. It was fine though, because they were spot on. Big, crunchy, tasty, homemade onion rings that any deep-fat fryer in Scotland would be proud of.
So, the score then. Well I think I’d have to go for a 4.1 on the day, but with the potential of moving up a bit still with a toasted bun and some melted cheese.