The other week I found myself in Leeds for a work trip. After throwing around a number of different suggestions that would cater to our various dietary requirements, my colleague suggested that we head over to the Trinity Centre to grab a burger at Handmade Burger Co. Wanting to check that they could provide a PROPER gluten-free burger – No Bun No Fun, right? – I checked out their site before booking a table. Not only did I find an extensive gluten-free menu including what was perhaps the biggest variety of burger toppings I’d ever seen, I also found that they’re accredited by Coeliac UK . This is the same certification that the likes of Pizza Express and Cote Brasserie can boast of – I was sold.
Not only is the choice of burgers here gigantic – ranging from the experimental Peanut Butter & Bacon to the classic Smoky Barbecue – but ALL the chips are gluten-free too. What’s more, like Honest Burgers, they serve chips tossed in sea salt and rosemary. If you haven’t tried this glorious flavour combination yet, you’re seriously missing out.
After a trip to the aforementioned Honest Burgers in Kings Cross London just a week before, I didn’t fancy a traditional beef burger so I went for one of my favourite choices: chicken breast, bacon and avocado. This was accompanied by, of course, the sea salt and rosemary chips. Now, the important thing here is that these are CHIPS. Not fries. Proper, chunky, chip-shop style chips. Oh yeah.
In order to safeguard against cross-contamination, Handmade Burger Co. serve their gluten-free burgers “deconstructed” with the bun clearly labelled and separately wrapped. It’s these little details that can be so important in giving those with Coeliac Disease or an extremely severe gluten intolerance total peace of mind to enjoy their meal. Also, the bun was an actual seeded burger bun! You don’t get those served as a GF option very often.
After building my burger, I took a moment to appreciate its scale – it was enormous! While this was plenty for me, if you have a significantly bigger appetite than most, you can double up on your beef patty or chicken breast for around £3-£4 extra.
I honestly can’t say I have any complaints about my meal at all. It was great value for money, the chicken and bacon tasted like good quality meat, and I would eat avocado on absolutely everything if I could. What made this burger stand out though was the fact that THE BUN DIDN’T FALL APART. Not even in the slightest. I’ve come to expect a bit of crumbling from even the best of GF buns, but this one totally held its integrity to the end.
Even though I was stuffed after the burger, the chips tasted so good that I just couldn’t give up until I’d eaten every single one. Including the crunchy bits left at the bottom. It’s official, rosemary and sea salt chips are my kryptonite.
I would definitely visit another branch of Handmade Burger Co. again – and not just out of convenience. I thought it was better value for money (and definitely a better bun) than GBK , though I didn’t have the beef burger so I can’t say I’ve done a totally like-for-like comparison.
I was absolutely ravenous at the time, so it may have skewed my opinion somewhat, but I reckon Handmade Burger Co. is even on par with some of the smaller, independent burger places I’ve eaten at. They’re certainly the most rigorous in terms of ensuring that their food is 100% safe for gluten allergy sufferers.
Oh – and they do gluten-free beer too. Bonus GF points!
If I’ve made you want to visit, you can find your nearest branch of Handmade Burger Co. here. Happy eating, fellow burger-lovers!
Words and pictures by Alice Reeves