Sitting at your table in the diner, surrounded by paint stripped walls, lit up by dangling light bulbs, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that this is some backward burger dive bar where you will more than likely be served by a waitress who’s boyfriend/cousin flips roadkill burgers in the back. But the reality is quite a long way off. This is 7Bone Burger Co. and it is the latest and greatest edition in what some are calling the ‘Portswood Food Revolution.’
7Bone is setting Southampton’s food scene alight with its take on American comfort food classics. What started out as a couple of blokes selling burgers and sliders out of a wagon and gracing local food markets, is now arguably one of the best burger joints outside of London.
The decaying decor only adds to the whole laid-back atmosphere and you won’t be afraid to just dig in and shovel the food in with your hands. After all that’s what the kitchen roll on your table is there for. The menu is somewhat small but as a smarter man than I once said, “Quality not quantity,” and it’s fair to say, everything on the menu will surely give you a 7Boner.
As it was Jesus’ birthday in a couple days time, I thought it would be a bit rude not to order the Christmas burger, but we also went for a couple of Prince Charles is Overrated, a Winner Winner, some chilli cheese fries, the IPA onion straws and some extra dirty spread sauce for dipping.
The Christmas sandwich was like something I’ve never heard of before and as it came out of the kitchen, I could of sworn for a second, I heard angels singing. There sat my burger accompanied by an award winning sausage patty, a stuffing coated buttermilk fried turkey breast, bacon that surely must of been smoked by Zeus’s lightning bolts, mayo and a chilli cranberry sauce. One bite and I was in Christmas heaven, two bites and you’ll never want your mum’s Christmas dinner ever again. Oh holy mother of baby Jesus, this is the best burger to ever pass my sweet little lips.
We ate as a party of six and I eagerly popped my 7Bone cherry, but it is truly testament to the guys and gals flipping and shaking at 7Bone, that this was the others’ third time eating there in less than two weeks. In previous visits, they had tried the Peter Green which has become a firm favourite due to the homemade Texan red all steak chilli. They also gave the truffled mac n cheese a whirl, but apparently were a tad disappointed as the truffle taste was lacking slightly.
When you order your bog standard burger and chips, the bun and fries nearly always disappoint. But not in this dive bar. The bun was like a crown on top of my festive stack (a proper gold one at that, not the naff paper crowns out a cracker), hence there’s no way in hell you’ll chuck it off and just eat the meat. Drowning in a sea of cheese sauce and chilli, the fries are just begging to be guzzled up. The IPA straws didn’t disappoint either, and here is where you should utilise the extra dirty spread and just dip those straws nice and deep in the sauce.
Another problem I find when eating at restaurants is that the drink selection is seriously lacking. An array of soft drinks and maybe a lager to two. Not here. Here they have a selection of local Hampshire ales and milkshakes, as well as Pickleback, some sort of weird concoction of bourbon and pickle juice. I passed on this but some of the others said it was incredibly.
The only problem I found with the meal was that the burger seemed a bit small when it came out but after guzzling it down faster than Kriss Akabusi in the 1991 Tokyo World Championships, I realised I was fuller than a pair of speedos in the Caribbean. Absolutely bursting. Therefore my only criticism is entirely null and void.
It’s very hard for a new restaurant to get it right so quick, but 7Bone have well and truly hit the nail on the head, over and over again. Everything from the decor to the kitchen roll, from the tin can labelled ‘tools’ holding the knives and forks to the take out style serving containers, from the well thought out and very reasonably priced menu to the weird and wonderful names for their kitchen creations, all makes 7Bone the place to go for a burger on the South coast and you won’t be disappointed.