REVIEW The Byron Burger Club brings Patty Meltdown to NEW Byron Manchester restaurant
Friday 27th March 2015 20:50 Business Posted by Max Wieland

Max Wieland reports from Byron’s new and second Manchester restaurant.

I cannot pinpoint an exact year when burgers became a go-to food for me, but what I can remember is that for the past couple of weeks I have been readily counting down the days to attend the Byron Burger Club’s Patty Meltdown event.

PATTY MELTDOWN: Brought to you by the Byron Burger Club to celebrate the opening of their second restaurant in the city at Piccadilly Gardens.

PATTY MELTDOWN: Brought to you by the Byron Burger Club to celebrate the opening of their second restaurant in the city at Piccadilly Gardens.

Because for Byron fans and burger buffs alike, last night’s event was sold-out for a reason.

Organised to celebrate the opening of their second restaurant in the city, in Piccadilly Gardens, a packed out diner lapped up the Patty Melt on offer.

For Byron head chef Fred Smith served up his own take on the mutant offspring of a cheese toastie and a hamburger – much-loved in the States, but rarely seen on this side of the Atlantic: the Patty Melt.

It very much took me back to the foodie paradise of Chicago and the patty melt magnetism at the American cities famed Ed Debevic’s.

Previously sitting at the top of the tree of my finest burger dining experiences, Fred’s version thankfully more resembles a toastie and blows you away with its simplicity at the same time as staying true to Byron’s carefully cared for and perfected meaty core.

Priveliged Opportunity

After having the privileged opportunity to speak to Byron founder Tom Byng, he enthusiastically explained that simplicity is key to the Patty Melt: two slices of buttered rye bread with caraway seeds sandwich a loosely-ground beef patty topped with slow-cooked red onions and Swiss cheese, all grilled in a heavy-duty griddle.

Served with a pot of Russian dressing and sweet potato fries, as well as spiced popcorn to start, and a sticky toffee rum hard shake to finish, it is hard to think how it could have been bettered, even without my usual go to Byron side of Macaroni Cheese, which always brilliantly accompanies their usual menu.

“The origins of the Patty Melt are lost in the mists of time, but it seems to have originated in the 1940s or 50s at a chain of Californian coffee shops called Tiny Naylor’s, run by William ‘Tiny’ Naylor,” explains Fred, as did founder Tom Byng.

“I wanted to create a Byron take on something I remember fondly from my many trips around the States – the Patty Melt is traditional, unpretentious diner fare at its best.”

BUSY: Manchester Piccadilly Branch.

EXTREMELY BUSY: The new Manchester Piccadilly Byron Restaurant.

After visiting numerous Byron’s in many cities, I’ve learnt that every Byron’s design is unique.

For Manchester’s newest addition, Byron Piccadilly Gardens is designed to evoke the bustling diners of Midtown, New York City. It features classic décor including black and white details, caramel leather banquette seating and a tiled, chequered floor, with warm, low-level lighting illuminating the space.

The open kitchen and bar provides a focal point, completed by a mixture of vintage and contemporary furniture and fittings best described as a midway point between a fast food diner and a relaxed eatery.

It’s a pity that the patty melt and its accompaniment of sweet potato fries is not a standard fixture on the Byron menu, but the fact that a second and new restaurant has opened in Piccadilly Gardens with its usual mouth-watering menu is enough to fulfil my appetite for the foreseeable future.

To join the Byron Burger Club, which  allows Byron’s Head Chef Fred Smith, founder Tom and the whole Byron team to experiment and have fun with specials that they would never normally be able to do in the restaurant, please visit www.byronhamburgers.com/burgerclub