Another burger & craft beer joint. New player or tourist fodder?
Stock Burger Co. Brighton Review
My expectations weren’t particularly high for the newly opened Stock Burger under the Holiday Inn, partly because it’s been set up by a massive global company and partly because it feels like they’re just jumping on the over-saturated burgers and craft beer bandwagon but as they were offering 50% off food as part of their launch I felt there was nothing to lose.
I was expecting the decor to be dark, grungy and full of reclaimed wood and all the other stuff you see in every cool new opening but Stock Burger is almost the complete antithesis of that and apart from a couple of big neon signs it’s exactly what you would envisage a Holiday Inn bar to look like – a bit soulless.
As much as I’m a little bored of everywhere looking the same, I still love the style and if you’re opening a burger and craft beer joint, a modern, well-lit hotel bar just doesn’t feel right.
The food and drink menus read well and there are nice touches like a suggested beer for each burger on the menu. They’ve also created their own Stock Burger IPA brewed by local brewery, Naked Beer Co. and are sourcing Gin and Vermouth from Blackdown as well as coffee from Small Batch. All beef is all UK-reared Glenarm Shorthorn.
We started with the Stock Sharing Platter (£9) made up of crispy chicken wings, pork ribs in smoky BBQ sauce, shrimp fritters, dips and flat-bread as well as some Chilli Chicken Sticks (£6.25) – buttermilk fried chicken strips coating with sweet chilli sauce.
Both of these were… OK.
The chicken sticks looked like they were going to be delicious and were perfectly cooked with a crunchy, dark batter but with one thing missing – flavour. The sharing platter was better but aside from the ribs, which were good (especially the sauce) the rest of the elements lacked wow factor.
On to mains, the others all went for burgers;
Hannah had the Lone Star (£10) – smoked sweet cured streaky bacon, sliced jalapeño, succotash, crispy Romaine lettuce, Monterey Jack cheese and mayo.
Antonia, on our server’s recommendation went for the Craft Beer Classic (£10.50) – roast garlic mayo, beer battered onion rings, smoked sweet cured streaky bacon and crisp lettuce, dressed with Stock Burger Co. Craft Beer sauce.
Tom had the Buffalo Chicken (£10.50) – southern fried chicken breast, Monterey Jack cheese, beef tomato, house slaw and chipotle mayo.
I ended up going for a half rack of Pork Ribs (£11.95) – cooked in homemade smoky BBQ sauce and served with skinny fries and house slaw, which was actually just some red cabbage covered in mayo.
The Lone Star and Buffalo Chicken burgers both looked really enticing, the Craft Beer Classic less so as it reminded me a bit of Burger King and my ribs were a little on the small size given the price but the truth is in the tasting and truth is that none of us said anything…
Nothing bad, but nothing good either although Antonia later commented that her first three bites were “all bun”.
The sides didn’t get much of a reaction from any of us either although the Courgette Fries (£3.50) were really nice and on par with those from the likes of Byron. On the other hand, I decided not to bother finishing the overcooked, stodgy, probably microwaved Grilled Corn on the Cob (£2.75) and the ‘house slaw’ that came with my ribs was actually just some red cabbage covered in mayo.
There’s so much competition in Brighton from the likes of Coggings & Co, Troll’s Pantry, Burger Brothers, Burger Kult and Brighton Beer Dispensary that sadly I can only see Stock Burger being a hit with tourists but you have to give them credit for sourcing locally and putting together a menu that on paper, gets your tastebuds tingling.
However, our lack of reaction to pretty much everything we ate says a lot and while I hoped Stock Burger wouldn’t just be a hotel trying to cash in on the latest trend that’s exactly how it felt.
|Stock Sharing Platter||£9.00|
|Chilli Chicken Sticks||£6.25|
|Pork Ribs (1/2 rack)||£11.95|
|Craft Beer Classic||£10.50|
|Sweet Potato Fries||£3.75|
|Grilled Corn on the Cob||£2.75|