So, this is the third time I’ve reviewed the Smith and Western – and it’s their third new burger. The menu changes here so often I can barely keep up, and every time we go back there’s something new. It’s kind of annoying because it means you never get what you were expecting, and when you were looking forward to it, that’s a shame.
The new nacho bean burger is described as follows:
Nacho Bean Burger £14.25 Homemade spicy bean burger, topped with nachos, spicy cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole, served with sweet potato fries
First of all, let me say that the lighting in the Smith and Western is TERRIBLE. It’s really, really dark in there with bright lights above the tables that lend an orange tone to everything. It kind of makes you feel like you’re in some shady dive bar where no one wants their identities to be known. Needless to say, this isn’t great for photographs.
The fries are standard but delicious as always, so we can pretty much ignore those. I’m not a fan of the plank of wood this is served on – it always worries me that this kind of porous material can never really be cleaned. There’s also a very odd salad served on a lettuce leaf which they could have done without. Word of warning: it’s very spicy. You wouldn’t expect it from this innocuous looking mixture, but it is. It’s tasty, but hot.
The burger is served almost spilling out of itself, and it’s a weird sight that greets you when you lift the lid. Some of the nachos are so burned they look black, while others have gone totally soft from the cheese. The crunch is nice, but the sogginess and the burnt bits are not. The bean burger inside the nacho crumb is very spicy, filled with black beans and topped with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream as well as lettuce and red onion. There were some jalapenos which I judiciously scooped up and relegated to J’s plate, where they belong. There was also a thick wedge of tomato which I relegated to the side of my plate, where I hope it was dealt with in the appropriate manner (thrown in the kitchen bin). One day burgers will no longer be served with tomato wedges and I will rejoice.
It was too big to eat with my hands – yes, dear reader, this is the VERY FIRST time I have been 100% defeated by a burger. I didn’t even try. Even with all my stubbornness, which has caused me to all but unhinge my jaw, snake-like, in the past, I couldn’t do it. This burger is officially TOO MUCH BURGER. The very soft brioche bun didn’t stand up much to my knife and fork, and pretty much crumbled into pieces the second I touched it, which was disappointing.
And of the rest of the meal? Well, long-time readers may know that the highlight of any trip to the Smith and Western usually involves ice cream and lashings of chocolate sauce. In this case it was in the form of an oreo milkshake, to which I am going to append the term “amazeballs”. Yes, it contained so much sugar that I instantly became a teenager again. It is served with lashings of chocolate sauce, and an oreo perched on top (which I lost and had to retrieve with a spoon because I drank the milkshake too fast). It’s dessert and a drink all in one.
ON THE VEGBURGE SCALE, I GIVE THIS…
TASTE – 6/10
PRICE – 2/10
REST OF EXPERIENCE – 4/10