So we were invited to the launch of Cardiff’s latest arrival on the ever expanding burger scene recently on 156 City Road aptly named Meat at 156.
The burger joint is an independant set up by three friends and look like they are pitching at a hole in the market for good, no frills affordable grub just outside the city centre.
Myself and Mwsh were joined by a whose who on the food blog scene in Cardiff to sample some of the menu items on offer. We saw the menu but they were just going to rustle up a few different items so we could have a nibble on a variety of different options between us rather than picking one item each off the menu.
I was suprised by the entry level prices of the burgers and were a lot more accomodating those looking to grab a bite to eat on a budget and was definitely family friendly compared to some of the well known burger places in town at the moment. Prices started around £6 for the Classic consisting of beer burger topped with american cheese and may to the Volcano at £6.95 consisting of beef patty cored with melted cheese and jalapeno.
Also on offer were a selection of steaks with a rump at £9.95 and a 14oz T-Bone setting you back £17.95 with all coming with a choice of sauces from the spicy one, shrooms, cracked pepper and garlic infusion.
We got to share the Southern Crunch Burger containing beef patty topped with fried jalapenos and onion strings in a crispy southern coating with house fries. As it was a pre launch and didn’t get to choose the burgers were just being brought out to sample so wasn’t asked how we wanted it cooked and was a bit on the well done for my liking. I enjoyed the toppings that gave a nice crunch and texture with a little heat from the jalapenos but was missing a bit of moisture especially as it came with no sauce. A minute or two less on the grill and a dollop of ketchup, bbq sauce or mayo on the bun and it would of been on point. The fries though were lovely. Thin shoestring fries cooked to perfection.
Next up was the Volcano as described above and was the most expensive burger on the menu. This made up for the first burger as it was cooked a little less and retained that much needed beef juices and the molten spicy cheese helped deliver a juicy beefyness to my taste buds. I didn’t find it all that spicy considering the name but you do have the option to spice things up a bit and going mega hot with the chiptole chilli sauce but i’m not sure if ours already had it on as there was some kind of spicy red sauce but not what I would consider hot.
Out came a few sides to snack on such as the cajun onion rings and the hot crunch jalapenos we had on top of our first burger along with a small pot of slaw. I’d never tried deep fried jalapenos until now and they went down a treat I have to say and so did the onion rings and slaw which added a well anticipated hit of spicy greasiness I’d hoped for.
This is were most mere mortals would of paid up and been on their way but no, we were being slowly tortured with death by meat! Not that I was complaining as a big plate of ribeye steak and another portion of the freshly fried fries. Can’t beat a fresh batch of oil for fries as most the time in takeaways you don’t know when they’ve changed it from one year to the next and you can definitely taste the difference.
No way were we expecting the third and final plate of meat but it was greatly received. Nice looking scorch marks on top but not sure if that was just for taking some pics for the social media pages as they didn’t do the moisture levels many flavours when we sampled the meat. The ribeye was an 8oz and although it looked quite big in circumference it wasn’t all that thick so it didn’t need much time on the grill and could of done with just 2 minutes each side but it came well done. Couldn’t complain as they were catering for everyone and we weren’t paying plus if we were paying dinners we would of got a choice of how we wanted it cooked and I have no doubt they would of delivered as requested.
At this point I was considering air ambulance rescue mission to winch me out of my seat just as they came out with a sample of some of the desserts. Luckily they were just bite sized pieces just to try and we cauciously nibbled on a small nugget of brownie topped with a little ice cream. There was a decent moisture content on the brownie and the ice cream was just a frozen ice cream van type ice cream but did the job. There was a bowl of tantalising golden toffee laden sticky toffee pudding doing the rounds but I thought I might of died had I eaten a single more morsel of food.
I think Meat at 156 definitely fills a hole in the market in Cardiff for people looking for a no noncence, unprotencious and affordable burger. They do a meal deal add on so you can top up your burger for £2 and get fries and a soft drink meaning you can get a burger, fries and drink for under £9. For a family of 4 that is much more economical compared to some of the burger making big guns like Got Beef and Time and Beef with a Burger, fries and drink probably costing you £15+ nearly double what Meat at 156 are offering.
Ok the burger concoctions aren’t as boundary pushing as Burger Theory @ Kongs but being alcohol free they appeal more to teenagers and families who don’t want to eat in a pub or bar and can make it much more cost fiendly to dine out in a group or family without having to put up with drunken punters.
I probably wouldn’t drive out of town to go there on an occasion but if I’m hungry and passing or up on City Road i’d consider calling in for a bite to eat rather than fire up the oven when I get in for the price factor.