Brighton Burger Bureau Wolfsmouth Brightons Best Burgers

WOLFSMOUTH

WOLFSMOUTH

So is Wolfsmouth Brightons best burger? Agents Hasburglar and Big ‘Mac’ Dave are on the case. 

AGENT HASBURGLAR

Having tried one of Wolfsmouths Burgers at Christmas from their Thors Tipi pop-up. I had been really looking forward to trying more of their offerings. I’m sure Agent Big ‘Mac’ Dave will confirm that I have been on at him to go for ages.

One of the main issues with why we hadn’t to date was that they were based out of the Mucky Duck. It’s the opposite end to town to us and is a nightmare to park around there. But sod it, so we checked they were serving at lunchtimes on their website and headed down. 

PARKING HELL

After driving round for what seemed like an age, we finally managed to find a parking space. We paid and walked down to the Mucky Duck ravenous and ready to munch some burgers.  Arriving at a deserted pub we were told that they moved to the Worlds End Pub on London Road the week before.

Not the best of starts, keep your website info up to date people. Anyway, so back to the car we trudged and headed down to the Worlds End.

WORLDS END

So we parked up (again) and headed to the Worlds End. Its changed a fair bit since I was last in. Its got a much more studenty vibe now as opposed to being full of the London Road piss heads.

Virtual reality booths and computer games adorn the back section of the pub. It was pretty empty so we grabbed a seat at the front near the window (to finally try and get some good photos of the feast that awaited us). We went to the bar to order.

THE MENU

The menu consisted of only 3 beef burgers, a Korean chicken burger and 4 veggie vegan options. Seemed rather a lot of veggie options to me. I have heard great things about their veggie selection from various plant munching mates.

But we are here for a meaty mouthful. We opted for a Wolf Classic (their take on the Big Mac), a Chilli Cheese Burger and a Korean Chicken Burger to share. 

There was no added extra options such as extra patties, cheese etc which was a shame as when you have places like Humble Kitchen offering things like Beef shin, I think Wolfsmouth may have missed a trick here. 

There was however a good selection of sides. I’d heard good things about their buffalo cauliflower bites and chicken bites. So we opted for some these and some fries. The bill came to around a massive £50 when a couple of drinks were added, so we were hoping for good things to warrant such a price tag. 

LOOKING GOOD

First impressions as the food arrived were good. Everything presented in matching baskets with an off the shelf paper lining (we do like to see a branded lining, Lost Boys Chickens one is particularly good. Its all about the little touches). This masked the slightly tatty looking plastic baskets.

Taking a big bite out of my Wolf Classic I was hit by the quality of the meat. It really did melt in the mouth. Although I did ask for it pink and it wasn’t and the odd mouthful that did have a nice char on the outside was really tasty, there just weren’t enough of them. 

The bun was good, but like a million others we have tried before though. The one thing I was a bit disappointed with was the Wolfsmouth Burger Sauce. I had heard great things about this, and one of the highs from last weeks Bok Shop visit was their amazing burger sauce (think subtle chunks of gherkin). But this could have been off the shelf.

Gutted as burger sauce is one of my faves. 

SICKLY SWEET

Next I dove into the sides. The first bite of the “Buffalo Cauliflower Bites’ I really enjoyed. It was a full of flavour and very sweet…which was nice at first. 

But with every bite the sweetness (which had a lemony sort of tang to it) really became too sweet. So much so we left the last few bits. Which by this point were swimming in a pool of the acrid runny sauce which made them all soggy and unpleasant anyway.

I am not sure this is how the sauce was meant to be. But it really left an unpleasant taste in my mouth. I love sweet savoury things so for me to find it too sweet it must have been. Big ‘Mac’ Dave is not a fan of sweet things and was really struggling.

CHICKEN TONIGHT?

The chicken bites thankfully weren’t covered in the sauce. Instead they had a few jalapeños  scattered over them. They came with the same thimble of white sauce on the side that the cauliflower came with. No idea what it was, it tasted a bit like yogurt. It wasn’t very pleasant.

The wings themselves though were succulent with an incredibly light coating on them. They lacked something though, maybe a bit of spice or heat to go with the jalapeños sprinkled over the top.

The fries for me were a bit of a non event. Very dry and boring really. A long way from the amazing truffle fries at humble kitchen. They just seemed like a bit of an after thought.

KOREAN CHICKEN

Turning to the chicken burger that had been waiting in the wings. I was disheartened to see it was sitting in a puddle of what looked like the same sauce that had ruined the Cauliflower. Unfortunately the lower half of the bun was now sodden in this sauce. This didn’t make for pleasant eating. 

The chicken itself was similar to the bites. Same light coating and juicy centre but unfortunately smothered in the runny sauce that was now becoming our nemesis. 

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

It could be said that todays experience wasn’t the greatest. But I think its worth mentioning that before Christmas I had the pleasure of trying Wolfsmouths ‘Turkey Gobbler’ at their pop-up at Thors Tipi. This was a totally different experience and one of the tastiest burgers I’d had in a while.

Unfortunately I was on my on my own and Bureau rules mean there needs to be at least 2 of us there to have a review count. I am putting today down as an off day. Alas we can only review what is put in front of us on the day. 

AGENT BIG ‘MAC’ DAVE

The only thing memorable was the price (& the rancid aftertaste)

Brighton Burger Bureau was established to celebrate the efforts of the craftsmen (& women) and budding entrepreneurs who have dedicated their efforts to make great burgers. 

We’re not critics, we don’t give up our time, money & the limited opportunities to grab lunch together to look for flaws in what should be a simple meal, executed with individual flair.

COMPUTER SAYS NO

We had checked the Wolfsmouth kitchen menu that morning on their website. I knew exactly what I wanted to order before arriving.  After patrolling the streets of Kemptown for 15 mins, we finally found a parking space… only a 10 min walk to the Mucky Duck, we’re hungry now.. brilliant, the pub is open & we’re one of the first few here…

“what time does the Wolfsmouth kitchen open?”

… “Wolfsmouth kitchen shut a while ago”

“but Mucky Duck is still on the Wolfsmouth website!?”

… “we know, we only do Sunday lunches now”

We’ll come back to this later. Back to the car & onto the Wolfsmouth kitchen in the Worlds End pub.

Greeted by a friendly barmaid, we’re off to a better start!

The barmaid in Worlds End was engaging & talked us through the menu, a credit to the pub and a saviour for Wolfsmouth.

Special Agent Ben Hasburgular ordered the Classic, I ordered the Chilli Cheese Burger & we ordered the Korean Chicken to share, with Skin on Fries, Honey Butter Fried Chicken Bites & Buffalo Cauliflower Bites on the side. 

Took a deep breath at the price…. We place orders for similar quantities wherever we eat & this has smashed lunchtime price records.  We’re hungry & have big expectations.

CHILLI CHEESE BURGER

This looked like a very good burger. Unfortunately all the elements of the burger were overpowered by the taste of raw kidney beans.

KOREAN CHICKEN

Again a very good looking burger, overwhelmingly sweet (one for the sweet-tooths out there). Just felt like it was missing something to balance the sweetness.

HONEY BUTTER CHICKEN BITES

Fried chicken & jalapenos with a plain white sauce. Had a crunch & was quite pleasant, not quite up there with some of the best chicken in town.

BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER BITES

Not quite sure what happened with this side.  The battered cauliflower had become slightly pink & rubbery pink on the inside and was sat in a slightly runny honey & lemon sauce – that had a very bitter taste, with a pot of plain white sauce on the side.  The bites lost the crunch very quickly due to the sauce they were sat in. 

With some slight adjustments: sauce could have done with being thicker + I would recommend taking the (what tasted like bottled lemon) out of the sauce & put a wedge of fresh lemon on the side; this could be a great side.

The dipping pot of the fuck-knows-what-that-was white sauce was really quite odd… imagine the milky liquid that forms on yogurt, that would have been a better alternative. It was really was really quite unpleasant.

SKIN ON FRIES

Average/ok fries with no seasoning…. Was actually the best accompaniment to cut through some of the sauces.

It wasn’t quite the experience we expected, especially at that lunchtime price point.

On their reputation, I have no doubt that the founders of Wolfsmouth are great chefs.  I’m sure if we’d gone to BURGER at Wolfsmouth when the founders were running it, this would have been an amazing meal. But it wasn’t.

Not managing the change of the Wolfsmouth Burger locations on their website & not managing the quality under their branding is not impressive for a company with a great reputation.  I’m sure these are just minor teething issues they’ll get under control very soon. But for now, I can only advise to look out for the sheep in Wolfsmouth clothing!

SUMMARY

So was Wolfsmouth Brightons Best Burger? Unfortunately we didn’t have the greatest experience on our visit. We can only review whats put in front of us. I do however think we chose to go at the worse possible time. A  perfect storm of situations that have lead to this less than glowing review. 
 

Perhaps Wolfsmouth are spreading themselves a bit thin, with not only Taco Lobo, Deadwolf, Burgers by Wolfsmouth and now their first restaurant venture at Paradiso Social (which is getting rave reviews by the way) and are struggling to maintain the quality in their branding and products across the board. 

We happened to choose to go the week they had moved locations (their website is now up to date by the way). They were training new chefs in their menus (which we have to assume is what happened with the various sauces). Maybe they took their eye off the ball with the launch of Paradiso Social to focus on.
 
That being said it was their burgers that made them, so am hoping that they don’t fall by the wayside. The burger I had from their Thors Tipi Pop-UP was banging, one of the better ones I have had in Brighton, so hope they reach this level again soon. 
 

BIT PRICEY? 

We do think they may need to look at their pricing. Being slap bang in the middle of Studentville, I doubt there will be many takers wanting to drop £50 on a meal for 2 (admittedly we did order a fair few dishes but no more than we normally do when reviewing).
 
When we were there a couple of students walked out when they heard the 2-4-1 burger offer wasn’t running. Not sure if this was something that ran before Wolfsmouths arrival or whether they offer some sort of student discount but it might be something worth considering. 
 
We happened to mention our experience to a fellow food blogger who happens to know the Wolfsmouth guys. To their credit when they heard we hadn’t had a great experience they got in contact and listened to our concerns and vowed to address them. Even going as far to admit they had probably taken their eye off the ball with so much going on with them at the moment.
 
I say fair play to that. Even offered to comp us a meal, which was nice of them but not necessary. 
 
I would genuinely like to go back and have the original guys serve up their true vision of how they see a Wolfsmouth Burger, as I think that would have been a far higher scoring burger. Go see for yourselves and make up your own mind. 
Wolfsmouth Score Card Ben Brightons Best Burgers
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