By Alice Reeves
As a gluten-free diner, rarely is anything more disappointing than a gluten-free burger menu with that little asterisk and the small print: *served skinny, without the bun. Skinny? I’m not eating gluten-free to lose weight. Most of us aren’t. I want a BUN WITH MY BURGER DAMMIT.
Luckily, most restaurants that are popping up as part of the current “gourmet burger” trend are catching onto this. Probably because they’ve heard this rant from far too many people. London chain Honest Burgers was one of the first (that I know of) to offer this, followed swiftly by GBK. I’ve also enjoyed some fantastic gluten-free burgers (WITH buns) from The Troll’s Pantry in Brighton and The Happenstance in London.
One of the latest restaurants to pop up on the local dining scene down here in Brighton is Coggings & Co – which is now the closest thing we have to Honest Burgers, though it feels distinctly more upmarket. They even do the rosemary salted chips, which are the pretty much the best potato-based thing EVER.
It wasn’t a difficult choice to go for the beef burger with coastal cheddar, dry-cured honey-glazed streaky bacon and mustard mayonnaise. They had me at honey-glazed bacon. When it came out, the presentation was a lot more refined than most burger restaurants I’ve been to and much more along the lines of what I’d expect from a posh country pub.
Looks impressive doesn’t it? Oh, and because we’re greedy, we also opted for sides of spring onion & potato salad (yep, DOUBLE CARBS) and red cabbage coleslaw.
The burgers are made with local Sussex beef and tasted incredible. I’m a big burger fan anyway – as you may have guessed from the plethora of burger reviews – and this one was perfectly cooked as well. Despite the fact that restaurants in Brighton aren’t allowed to serve burgers pink (BOO, HEALTH AND SAFETY LAWS) my burger didn’t taste overdone in the slightest. The tang of the cheese and sweetness of the honey-glazed bacon was a winning combination (let’s be honest, when is it not?) and the bun, supplied by The Sussex Bread Company (who also supply The Troll’s Pantry), didn’t fall apart at all. As I always say, that’s the mark of a great gluten-free bun recipe.
To accompany our burgers, we opted for a bottle of La Ferme Du Mont bio-dynamic Cotes du Rhone. I absolutely LOVE this wine. I was first introduced to it by my friends at Elwood Wines and it has remained one of my favourites for years. It was the perfect pairing with the burger – not too heavy, but robust enough to cope with the rich flavours of the meal.
Despite feeling totally stuffed, we couldn’t resist splitting a chocolate brownie with ice cream for dessert. I know that brownie is THE most common gluten-free dessert out there, but done well it’s still one of my favourites. This one was rich-tasting and not overly sweet (just how I like it), crunchy on the top and gooey in the middle. An extremely satisfying end to our meal.
Overall, it’s fair to say that I was hugely impressed by Coggings & Co. They’re located right up at the top of Dyke Road, near Seven Dials, and are definitely worth the trek up the hill. What’s more, I’ve now got a voucher for a BOGOF lunchtime burger! Now there’s no excuse not to go back…