7 Strand Rd,
Written by guest reviewer Judith
You’re probably wondering who exactly has hijacked Dublin Burger Club’s review of Box Burger. I’m Judith: Kirsty’s younger sister and also Ryan’s BFF. He might try to deny that, but he’s lying. I was cordially invited to join Dublin Burger Club on a review visit the next time I was in Ireland. Much excite! Very honour! In fact, guest writing on the Dublin Burger Club blog actually came about after I went to a burger science lecture and tasting a few months ago back home in Edinburgh. Obviously I came out a fully qualified burgerologist. In case you were wondering, the perfect burger is apparently 7cm high (that’s how wide you can open your burger hole) and a burger with crickets in is pretty fucking delicious. Insects are the future!
I’ve been putting off writing this review because, well, that’s what I do. I asked Ryan for a deadline and he said there wasn’t one and so the inevitable “I’ll do it tomorrow” cycle began… but then four weeks later I received an email to tell me my home insurance was due for renewal and I needed a new task to help me to procrastinate on that. I dreamt that Rory was pissed off with me for not writing it sooner. He probably is. Sorry! I’ll not be invited back.
We arrived on a pretty warm day with a beach that can only be described as hoachin’ (that’s Scottish slang for swarming, btw) with people. As the hanger began to set in and I discovered that no-one had booked I was not amused; assuming that the place would be full to the brim with a long wait. Any of you fellow hanger sufferers will be relieved to know that you can indeed book on the website. However, we arrived and to our luck there was a table! Box Burger itself is little up the way, away from the main area of Bray beach where everyone else seemed to be hanging out with their chips and ice cream so I think that worked in our favour. My first impression when we walked in was that the music was LOUD (Yeah, yeah, shut the fuck up grandma. I know.) and the place was dark but in a nice, low lit atmospheric way. We asked to move from a big round table we’d been seated at to a booth that had become free and Ryan and I were very excited to find that you could a) control the music volume and b) charge your phone and leave it safely in this nifty little holder that would stretch to fit your phone.
We ordered our burgers. I was excited for Kirsty’s Mac & Cheese burger – it’s one of those things I like the sound of but not sure if I’d like myself. The reports were good but about 2/3 the way through Kirsty decided the Mac & Cheese itself was too much. This could have been down to the dirty fries she ordered on the side. Pepper sauce and bacon on top of regular fries; I suppose rich saucy goodness on a burger with a side of more rich saucy goodness on fries would be a little too much.
I went for the Smoky – smoked bacon, smoked cheese and an onion ring. I was confused at first as to what the fuck was on my burger that turned out to be one of those inner pieces of onion that doesn’t slice as thinly as the rest of the onion. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed, just adding a little ketchup to mine. All of our burger patties were thick, juicy, slightly pink in the middle and perfectly seasoned. My bottom bun did start to disintegrate ever so slightly as a result of the juiciness and I briefly considered getting a knife and fork but decided not to be a total grandma and get on with it. Aside from anything, hand wipes were provided! Ooh. Nice touch.
Now we have to talk about the sides. Sriracha Halloumi Fries. Halloumi Fries people! I’m used to my squeaky cheese being lightly shallow fried or griddled but this was something else. The texture changed ever so slightly (no squeaking, whaaaaaaat?) and that sriracha spice with the sour cream to take the edge off was amazing. I think a garlic dip of some sort would have been better (I very scientifically dipped my halloumi fries in to some garlic mayo to check) but that’s possibly personal preference. Now, we’ve a little debate on our hands about the frickles. The frickles were good. That’s the problem. *I* didn’t mind them, which, in my mind as somebody who fucking hates pickles, means they weren’t good. They were sliced and battered giving a crispy-on-the-outside-and-still-crunchy-on-the-inside, lightly pickled frickle. Everyone else assures me that they were definitely great but I think I should have hated them and they should have been more… pickly! But then if everyone at the table could eat them, overall they must have been good. Are you still with me here? Yeah? Cool.
The only aspect of the sides that I think could have been better was the fries. They were fine as far as fries go but they came to the table unseasoned. For me, a little seasoning takes a fry from being a ‘meh’ side to being a great part of a delicious meal. Sweet potato fries were also on the menu and were pretty crispy from my tentative tasting (oh look, something else I hate) of one of Ryan’s. Again, seemingly unseasoned which was a pity. Given that herb and salt seasoning is mentioned on Box Burger’s menu, this could have simply been an oversight.
There are two things I do want to make a special mention of: Light Bulmers (light on calories, not alcohol), which I’d never seen before and really liked, and that we received these teeny burger sweets with our bill. The kind of jelly sweet that make your teeth hurt a little but makes paying a little bit more exciting. Just look at them!
I think 10.50-12.50 for a burger and fries is pretty reasonable and given the quality of the burgers themselves I would be more than happy to pay that again. On top of that, every single staff member was friendly, helpful and nothing was too much trouble. There were a couple of clear newbies to the job but had someone more experienced working with them when serving us and that’s not something you often see – usually wait staff are thrown in to the deep end to fend for themselves. If I am ever back in Bray, I’ll definitely be back to Box Burger and I’d recommend it to anyone venturing out that way. I just need to make note to leave room for a shake and dessert!
Sides – 9/10
Value – 10/10
Service & Surroundings – 7/10
Burgers – 8/10
Overall Score – 8.5/10
Judith has her own blog dedicated to baking, which you can find at thehungrygiraffe.com