It’s been a long time coming (a bit like this blog), but eventually a Super Burger Bro has headed, quite literally, for the hills.
As I looked for a place to celebrate my birthday, up popped the Hills’ Twitter feed and the headlining Festive Special….The Beef Wellington Burger.
Now, it may have been three days after Christmas, but there was no danger of me missing out on a burger of such beauty…the question was, would the tastebuds be as happy as my eyes at the end of it?
Let’s set the scene for a moment. Hills is on nobody’s doorstep; it’s on the outskirts of the picturesque town of Brecon, about an hour from Cardiff by car. In order for this place to thrive, they probably have to work harder than most to get a customer through the doors and then wow the pants off them to get them to come back again. So is that what happened here?
As we walked in, we got a warm welcome to a clean and functional open plan bar and restaurant, where you could take in the sights of a hardworking team in the kitchen. And I think I do need to comment on the fact that from the location and the externals of the property, you would doubt that you were walking into an award winning burger restaurant and not a cross between a bus terminus and caravan park café.
We took our place at the table, ordered our drinks, and, took in the menu. I had pretty much decided on the burger I would have, but there’s always that doubt that you may be making the wrong choice, so another glance was needed.
I stuck with my choice, my three year old son went for the cheeseburger and my wife went for the Juan Hilario (a burger named after Owain Hill’s Spanish grandfather, who swapped Bilbao for Merthyr Tydfil….who knew that sort of thing actually happened?).
Proud of their locally sourced ingredients, including a demi-brioche bun by Alex Gooch, the burgers arrived, looking picture perfect.
My little boy’s burger arrived first (at our request) and he seemed to have picked up a few of those foodblogger facial expressions. I’m waiting on him pinching my phone and taking his own pics!
I was literally wowed by the combination of flat iron steak, ham crisp, two medium-rare beef patties, mushroom duxelle and a red wine sauce in that golden brown bun, which was finished with a candle, which probably wasn’t standard.
After blowing the flame out, reality kicked in and I looked at Sian’s National Burger Award Finalist offering; it had me questioning my choice. Not based on the look of it, but that mine came with a pot of red wine sauce and I feared for the robustness of the roll.
I removed the lid of the burger and drizzled my sauce atop the tower of meaty goodness as I crossed my fingers and hoped that I wouldn’t have to resort to using cutlery.
I began by deconstructing just a little and removed a few slices of steak and popped them right into my mouth; the meat laden monster was never going to fit in my mouth…yes, not even my massive gob!
The steak was served rare and was full of flavour, but I’m not 100% sure that the textures of a moist and melting burger and a rare steak went as well as the flavours did, but that’s just my personal opinion.
A few mouthfuls, random sounds of satisfaction and some eye contact and nods were to be had as this beautiful burger disappeared. This was a special burger, and not just because it was only available for a limited time, but because it was combining some fine dining finesse with the comfort and accessibility of a really good burger joint.
I’m going to give this burger a near perfect 4.9….and if you are wondering if the journey is worth it, then I would say hell yes!