How many ways are there to offer up meat patties in a bun. If Bristol is anything to go by, hundreds. You have your build your own places like the ever fabulous, Burger Joint. American style, such as 3 Brothers' Burgers and then you have the unchanging set creations such as Chomp. Months of developing the perfect tasting burger without having to add anything extra. Asado, Spanish for barbecue, falls into the latter category and puts a slight South American spin on our favourite fast food. A small menu of carefully crafted burgers and a few sides to go with them. You might think that Bristol is over-run with burger and pizza places but the number of decent burger joints I return to again and again I can count on one hand.
Asado opened last month with great flourish as a heap of bloggers descended on the restaurant for a preview night. Situated on Colston St just down from the Colston Yard pub. Asado cooks it’s beef patties and chicken wings on a wood fired grill so you get the chargrilled flavour on the meat. Championing Bristol from the off, with Minirig speakers providing the sound in the restaurant, and Ruby and White’s providing the organic meat, you know you’ll be in good hands.
The menu has two beef options, one fried chicken and a veggie. The signature Asado burger tops organic beef with West Country cheddar, pickled red onion, chimichurri sauce, ketchup and confit garlic mayonnaise Likewise with the other beef option, El Don, you will find cheddar, pancetta and bbq onions to go with the garlic mayo and salad. It’s a burger Jim, but not quite as we know it. Tweaking what we expect from the traditional burger and twisting it a touch. It’s making small changes such as these that take a burger from delicious to sublime.
The only controversy is that Asado prides itself on cooking the burgers pink and juicy which does tend to divide people. It’s not exactly a problem as you can ask for your burger to be cooked a bit more. I am more in-between when it comes to burgers, I like the texture of a more cooked burger but the juiciness of a pink one. So for me a rosy blush is ideal rather than rare, and as it was pointed out unless you are following the rules pink burgers can make you poorly. Asado have some astringent policies in place regarding this and have been found a safe venue in which to chow down on a pink burger without worry.
What impresses me most with Asado is the attention to detail. Making their own habanero hot sauce and mayonnaise for the table just for your fries, which with the rosemary were excellent. Even the oak smoked chicken wings had their own spicy yet creamy coriander sauce drizzled over the top. This sauce has quite a kick and it’s glorious, many places are too afraid to give any real heat to sauces, not Asado however.
It takes some serious cajones to open another burger place in Bristol but I can guarantee you that it will elbow it’s way to the top of your list with all the charm of Ferris Bueller, you’ll want to bunk off work just to hang with these burgers. I was privileged to be amongst the group of bloggers, but I also returned as a paying customer just under two weeks after the preview evening. It was the perfect birthday lunch treat for Rich, he almost couldn’t believe the flavour that came out of a burger. It immediately shot straight into our top 3 burgers in Bristol. Look out for limited edition specials, a small number being made each day, the current one is flying out the door. A beef burger made with bone marrow and topped with crispy shoestring onions and cheese. I am salivating just thinking about it, it is next on my burger hit list.
Asado are open every day for lunch and dinner bar Monday. They are a very welcome addition to the restaurant scene of Bristol and I am looking forward to my next visit. To find out more about Asado, visit their website.