Last week Mark came along to the opening party for Griddle and Shake. Where the farm meets fast food with quality burgers cooked up before your eyes.
|Griddle & Shake Nottingham's Front on Fletcher Gate|
I had the pleasure of attending a special event to celebrate the opening of the long awaited Griddle and shake restaurant in Nottingham’s Fletcher gate - a fast food burger joint that actually sells great service with better burgers than other so called burger franchises!
The owner Edd Halls has probably succeed in creating the genuinely first fast food burger joint that is actually fast and serves a great burger with great toppings.
Liam and I had the opportunity to talk to Ed Halls at length about his vision and the concept of the restaurant, what is clear is that Ed has a great passion for good food and in providing it in an environmentally friendly way-the plastic cutlery isn’t really plastic!! Edd's vision is a great one that not only looks to provide a great meal but also to look after his staff the way they look after us the customer and the environment. Though this is not entirely unique it is rare and it is good that Nottingham has been chosen to be the launch site for this new venture.
|Ed Hall's Tell Us All About His Vision for Griddle & Shake|
Situated on Fletcher Gate the restaurant is on the tram route almost opposite Lace Market Tram Stop and close to major bus routes with a 5 minute walk from Market square. The outside is much as you would expect with modern branding and signs extolling the virtues of the food inside and…a life size orange cow in the window! as per the photo at the top of the page.
Inside you have a themed but very spacious area. and we were greeted at the entrance, shown to where we were being hosted for the evening and provide a little bit of information with regard to the evenings format. We were directed to order a drink and told we would get to experience ordering our burger later on. The restaurant was open to the public for the evening however all the happenings were going on at the rear.
|Beers at Griddle & Shake Come Couressy of Freedom|
Ed is keen to partner with people who share a common goals and vision and here with Freedom Brewery he has found a good beer supplier. There is the usual soft drinks as well and of course the shakes but we will get those later. The beer was either a hand crafted ale or a lager, I naturally chose the lager. Now don't get this confused with Kronenbourg, Stella, Carling etc this is really a level above what they do mass produced. The Freedom lager has a great golden colour with a nice head but it was the taste that won it for me, the combination of spring water , malted barley, hops and yeast produces a fragrant sweet and slightly floral taste. This is both full of flavour and refreshing and being brewed in a sustainable way is truly fitting to Edd’s overall vision.
|Fresh and Modern Dining Areas to the Rear of the Restaurant|
Towards the back of the restaurant there is a mural wall depicting food pictographs in keeping with the restaurant, bright colours but loads and loads of space. Turning around to look out to the front of the restaurant we see the outside inside!! With fake grass and country panorama complete with seating areas cunningly discussed as barns come milking sheds. Even a jersey cow patch arm chair. We were told that there should have been a swing as well, but some body broke it!!
|Moo-ve Over to the Cowshed.|
The tables all look like reclaimed oak planed and nicely finished with brightly coloured chairs and a tractor bonnet turned into a coffee table! it seems that there is an eccentricity to the decor but one that fits with the style of the place.
Finally we get to order our burgers so we head up to the counter and there are presented with the first decision - the Bap! With thee to choose from including gluten free it is not all that difficult but unusual as who gives you the choice of filling with the choice of bun! there is that sandwich place but they don't do burgers!
|Your Burger Cooks Right Before Your Eyes|
Having chosen my brioche bun i went on to choose the toppings and the chutney for my burger. What is too nice is being ballot to pick and choose what you want without having to wait for someone to bother to do your “hold the pickles” order. once all this was done all I had to do was head to my seat and the staff will bring you your meal. I guess I waited less than five minutes before I was unwrapping my brioche bun with cheese,bacon and a smoked bacon chutney burger. I could have had half a dozen other toppings instead - stilton , pulled pork as well as salad toppings.
|Mark's Finished Burger Creation from Griddle & Shake|
So I bite in to my juicy and flavour some burger getting hints of the relish the mature cheddar and crispy bacon and a beef patty that is course in texture but moist and just cooked with the beef being just pink inside it was as near to perfect as it could be. I thoroughly enjoyed the burger it was full of flavour and at the end of the day it was my burger, I created it, and it had only on the bun what I wanted no pickles!!
While we were eating the sides were brought out there were skin on chips and sweet potato fries these were again served with additional spices/herbs etc that you can chose. the chips were fine =, they were crispy and tasty but not blow you mind amazing. I also tried the sweet potato fries - now I need to explain at this point i am not a fan of sweet potato, HOWEVER, these were amazing!! Seasoned with garlic and rosemary they were nothing short of brilliant! The sweet taste of the potato with the tang of garlic and the earthiness of the rosemary combined to make a great dish.
|House Spiced Sweet Potato Fries|
If you may permit me a small digression, I firmly believe that cooking good food is not difficult, I truly think anybody can do it with a little help and guidance. The difference comes in turning good food to GREAT food. That is where the skill comes in, in taking small things and combining them to make something better than the sum of their parts like for instance the sweet potato fries! Simple ingredients with a big impact on taste.
These days it seems every one is doing chicken wings, usually drowned in BBQ sauce of one description or another… BORING!! In the beginning they were different but now its like everyone has to do them. Griddle and shake have chicken wings as well, but not drowned in what is usually a mediocre sauce at best. No, Griddle and shake have blended their own spice, they have put together the flavours they want and then lightly dust the wings when cooked.
|Griddle & Shake's Amazing Chicken Wings|
Oh such sweet, juicy spicy and beautiful chicken wings so Moorish I kept wanting more! I thought that these were soon very good until one of management team joint us for a chat and suggested I try them with the blue cheese dip! Ok so NOW I am in love!! So many flavours mingling and hitting all those sweet, sour and salt tasting areas of the tongue all at the same time while no one taste overpowered the others I was in chicken wing heaven! I wish I hadn't had so many previously as but this time I was getting to the very full stage. The blue cheese dip made that dish, it took a great chicken wing and lifted it to amazing!
Lastly but by no means least we have the shakes, All made with milk vanilla ice-cream and with over a dozen flavours to add one or all if you want to create you very own flavourful shake. Even with dairy free at the same price.
We tried 3 different shakes - strawberry, Speculoos and Malteser, Oreo, peanut butter and Speculoos, and one other that escapes memory but it had speculoos in it as well as Nutella! These were only samples but full of the creamy goodness of a vanilla ice-cream whole milk. The added flavours were so good, so tasty and way overboard on the calories but hey you don't go to a burger joint for salad!
Again I should point out I hate peanut butter. I guess its one of those things you like or don't much like satay. but when combined with the Speculoos and Oreo’s it was actually not bad! I liked the result it wasn't overpowering you got the flavours of the other ingredients so it was all good. My favourite shake was definitely the strawberry- it was so good. Creamy and tasty, I was sold on this the moment I tasted it.
Ed Halls is a man with the plan! He has a clear strong and concise vision for Griddle and Shake. In his welcome to us he said he has partnered deliberately with people who share or can compliment his vision. He has made decisions based on ethics not the bottom line - So what if he pays 2-3 pence more for his cups, and napkins, the vision is as much about sustainability as it is about great food.
Where Ed has a self admitted lack of knowledge in some areas he has surrounded himself with those who do have the knowledge and has a great team from the suppliers to the management that help and oversee the operation. Add his vast knowledge of the industry and as such a charismatic and personable man you cannot help but like him and get excited as he is about Griddle and Shake. It's not difficult to see his enthusiasm for the business and how that draws people in.
|Food Should be Fun|
All in all I loved Griddle and Shake, its concept, food ,outlook and the staff who really made us feel welcome
9 Fletcher Gate
Tel 0115 9506000