Squeezed, Unit 4 Cargo, Gaol Ferry Steps, Bristol BS1 6WE
Your new Squeeze: More than a fling
Having had a torrid love affair with burgers in Bristol for just over a year now, I think I’ve experienced every emotion. It’s been my foray into a polyamorous relationship across the city; plus I have practically zero shame when it comes to eating the apple of my stomachs’ eye. Only after thinking I’ve found The One™ did I find another- and another.
By definition, I can’t claim that I’ve been cheated on- I’ve either simply encountered loves-at -first-sight whose profile pictures didn’t live up to the content or I’ve known that I was in for a disappointment and did the deed anyway; because at this stage, who cares about self-esteem when an urge needs feeding? But every now and then, you find something that restores your self respect and faith; you do know what you want and there’s someone out there who just gets you. Love like you’ve never been hurt, they say.
Well I’m done with just finding any port in a storm, because I’ve found Squeezed.
Beleaguered and alone, I find myself at the harbourside again. But rather than just sitting there and kicking my legs trying to avoid my own reflection, my eye catches bright yellow tiles almost glowing from inside one in a series of shipping containers. I’m met with the beaming smile of Alex Hayes, the owner- previously of Rebel Roll fame who has just completed another hefty order, with all the grace and skill typical of a veteran in his field.
I opt for the St. Werburger- double beef patty, Monterey Jack, confit shallots, smoked bacon & caper aioli & chipotle tomato relish- with ancho salted fries and a 12oz ‘Yard Sale’ lemonade.
I just have to find out.
Two actual fistfuls of beautiful ground beef are thrown on the grill alongside a freshly cut brioche bun. The cheese then laid on top of the patties to gently melt and as the edges wilt, the bun is dressed with the ruby red relish, one of the patties and these supple caramelised confit shallots. The next patty comes in and the top bun is treated to a decent lick of this smoked bacon and caper aioli and assembled. I bite in and I can’t quite believe it. ‘Oh God’ I can hear myself scream, ‘it’s happening again’.
You can taste e v e r y t h i n g and all in total harmony. The patties are juicy and extremely well seasoned, with that little bit of charr and blush- the Jack cheese has welded them together, allowing a pocket for those sweet shallots to sit in. The aioli is a masterstroke; a way of distributing a smokey bacon essence with a tangy hit that ensures a consistent and even flavour profile down to the last bite.
The relish plays off against this, offering an almost fruity element that doesn’t intrude but highlights. Between bites, I turn to the ancho-seasoned fries- reminiscent of paprika, but with a sweetness over heat. They’re crisp on the edges and fluffy inside, with not a limp one in sight. Right on cue, the thirst comes and is utterly vanquished with Alex’s take on a classic lemonade. It’s just a bit more sour than sweet, zesty and ice cold which refreshes and resets my palate for another round. And all this culinary genius for less than a tenner.
I cast my starry eyes back to the menu and see words like ‘peanut chipotle BBQ sauce’ on one item and ‘smoked oyster & tarragon aioli, wild mushroom duxelle’ on another. Like a gentle and considerate lover, there’s an invitation to breakfast with the ‘Morningside Burger’- beef patty, smoked bacon, Bloody Mary aioli, potato rosti & fried egg.
There’s no way this can be a one-night stand.