Avoid it for as long as you can but there comes a time in all Geordies lives when you must make the perilous journey across the river, through A1 roadworks and visit that desolate land, The Metro Centre. You can only put off the inevitable for so long before your ikea lamps need bulbs, and your desire for cheap storage boxes from The Range becomes too strong and you are forced to go.
The metro centre is not a place I equate with good food in my mind, I spent a great deal of my adolescence working in the metro centre, first for a designer men’s clothes shop where I would grab my lunch and sometimes dinner from Greggs, and then for a sit in fish and chip resteraunt where becoming sickened from serving fish and chips all day I would eat sausage, bread and gravy in a staff room that stunk of regal king size (oh to be young again!) On reflection, I don’t think I have ever eaten a vegetable in the metro centre unless mushy peas count.
However all this has changed. Recently the yellow quadrant has expanded to accommodate a host of upmarket chain eateries, and during our recent jaunt to the land of strip lighting we decided to go for a bite to eat in Byron Burger.
Byron Burger is actually the last on the strip before you reach the shops again, and it’s set a little back from the other restaurants, though I prefer it this way as it means it’s quieter, it’s a shame for the resteraunt as it deserved to be much busier than it was.
We told the server that we were vegan and they took great pains to explain everything on the menu we could have. On the face of it it appears that the vegan options are very limited but once she had explained that we could have any burger and just swap it for either a bean pattie or a portebello mushroom then that opened up way more options. It’s worth noting too that all their buns are vegan too so you don’t need to worry about that.
We went for the tortilla dips with salsa and quacamole to start.
It turns out that their own brand draught beer is vegan too so we had two pints of that also! (Well it would be rude not to.)
I’m not a massive fan of tortilla chips, I can take them or leave them. They are just a vehicle for dip really, but these were lovely and the dips that came with these tortillas were amazing. The salsa was more of a refreshing cool salsa than a hot dip but this is exactly how I like it. The quacamole was very tasty too, chunky and just the right consistency to fit on your chip.
For the main even we both ordered something called a B Rex, but Andy swapped the burger for a mushroom and I had a bean pattie, then we swapped the bacon for avocado, the cheese for red pepper and omitted the mayonnaise, apparently you can do this with anything on the menu for no extra charge. The staff were so nice about this and weren’t put out at all, there’s nothing worse than feeling like a pain in the bum when you order.
We then got a side of sweet potato fries, French fries and the feta and watermelon salad but with avocado instead of feta. (We were hungry ok!)
Our food came very quickly.
Is there a single more beautiful sight than your order on the counter waiting to come to you? I think not.
It became apparent immediately that we had underestimated Bryon Burger’s portion sizes. Normally when you ask for a side of avocado you get a measly slither of a avocado, not an entire avocado. I’m not complaining, I’m far from complaining. It brings a tear of joy to a vegan eye to see that much avocado in one sitting, finally somewhere that understands.
The bean pattie
The mushroom burger
As usual we ended up halving them and having a bit of both, the bean burger was nice but the mushroom really blew my socks off.
This is not a first date restaurant mind, you can’t eat the burger daintily.
The sides were also excellent. I really liked the pickled red onions in the salad and the chips were perfect.
For the first time in our entire lives we were defeated by the amount of avocado, this literally never happens, ever.
We ate forever and we still had some left! Luckily though the server asked if we wanted a doggy bag, which I would have asked for anyway but I really appreciate it when a server gets in there first.
Me with my takeaway left overs that will by mashed in rye bread for tonight’s tea. A vegan can’t see avocado go in the bin, it’s not right.
I was really impressed with Byron Burger. I am always on the look out for places that you could go in a large group and satisfy everyone. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to go to the metro centre again without stopping by. So if you have anything you need to buy from ikea, soften the blow with a meal in Byron Burger!