A random beer and burger afternoon

Monday, 26 March 2018

As a Southsea local we are not short of good quality burgers.... 6 oz Burgers, Feed, Meat and Barrel, the recently opened Merchant House featuring Need Street Food and many others all offer their own amazing renditions of one of my favourite ever food stuffs. But that doesn't mean that I wasn't pretty excited when 7 Bone opened a restaurant on the Guildhall Walk right here in Portsmouth. However, due to an on-going quest to lose some excess meat of my own I hadn't yet had the opportunity to check out there latest branch. But when a few colleagues from work suggested we popped in after a hard day's graft I couldn't resist.

Now obviously I'm a fan of beer, so when the walk to 7 Bone was going to take us straight past the front door of the Brewhouse and Kitchen I figured that this would make an ideal spot to wait for the few stragglers who had been late away from the office.

If you haven't been to the Brewhouse and Kitchen on Guildhall Walk, its occupies the site that is best known locally as formerly being the Mucky Duck pub. The Brewhouse and Kitchen is a 20 strong chain of brewpubs that sell beer both brewed on site as well as craft and traditional ales from around the world. I love the layout of the Portsmouth pub, with the large brewing area making a striking feature as you walk in through the door but with a lovely airy décor that does a good way of marrying the old and the new.

I've eaten in this venue before and would definitely recommend it however, as we had our eyes on the burger's a few doors up, on this visit I limited myself to liquid refreshment. I was very tempted to plump for one of the house beers but when I saw that they had Beavertown Gamma Ray on tap I couldn't resist. Gamma Ray was one of the first modern craft beers I tried and is still one of my absolute favourites. One of my friends tucked into a few pints of the Mucky Duck Bitter and having tried it myself, I can report that its a great example of this more traditional style.

Rather happily for me, a couple of the group were delayed slightly so it meant that we could get comfortable, enjoy the beer and build an appetite for what was to come.

And it's a good job that we built up that appetite because the burgers in 7 Bone were immense! I had huge trouble picking from the menu; The "Peter Green" (aged beef patty, texan all steak chilli, cheese, american mustard, jalapenos) tempted me, as did the "Prince Charles is Overrated" (aged beef patty, bacon, cheese, shredded iceberg, pickles, dirty spread) but in the end I couldn't look past the "One Big Chicken." If the extent of your chicken burger experience is your local KFC then you need to get yourself to 7 Bone, because this monster of buttermilk fried chicken, hash brown, cheese, chipotle ketchup, hp sauce and mayo is the real deal.

And if you think that sounds good, wait until you see the fries! I went for the Portswood Poutine... a pile of fires with cheese curd on top and a boat of braised beef in deep gravy to dip into or pour over as you see fit (I poured!). If that doesn't take your fancy then other sides on offer include chilli cheese fries, dirty fires and chicken fried halloumi fries (I've had this in the Portswood 7 Bone and they are amazing!).

The drinks choice isn't bad either, with a small but perfectly formed beer and cider menu, amazing shake combinations (including boozy Hardshakes), spirits, wine and soft drinks. I picked a can of Wild Beer Pogo and this pale ale brewed with passion fruit, orange and guava was a lovely fresh tasting option to pair with the rich meaty food.

7 Bone's "Red Basket Deals" mean that you can get a main course and a dirty side for £11.95 and the can of Pogo was £3.95. For the quality on offer I think this represent pretty good value.

The Guildhall Walk still suffers from a reputation built several years ago, of drunken yobs and alcohol related violence. But recently, thanks in no small part to the opening of venues like Brewhouse and Kitchen and & 7 Bone, people have started to recognise it's potential and began to migrate back to the area. This is a great sign and would suggest that despite it's history, this area does have a place in heart of Portsmouth's food and drink scene.

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