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British Beer Company’s Turkey Burger

The Turkey Burger from British Beer Company on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA

For those of you familiar with Shrewsbury Street, you will know that there’s a relatively new kid on the block taking over where the old Coral Seafood and the Urban Kitchen used to reside. That restaurant would be the British Beer Company (or BBC for short). Those of you who might remember both spots would recall that both were kind of bland in the decor category and somewhere in between average seafood eatery and wannabe-sophisticated overpriced dining. The new BBC is neither of these things. As soon as you walk in, you can’t even believe it is the same space! The stained glass windows, the uniquely British colors and decor around the restaurant and bar, and a second floor that wouldn’t have even been imaginable in the previous restaurant spaces are all captivating from the time you enter until the time you leave.

Wanting some privacy, we were escorted to a booth which was very comfortable and adorned with soft leather seats. The area did a great job of keeping outside noise out so you could enjoy a nice conversation at a decent decibel level. Thoroughly famished from a long day at work that saw me ingest two cups of coffee and a small bowl of soup, I was ready for my burger!!! Trying to steer clear of the usual suspects on the burger menu (a lot of flavor combinations I have had before), I decided to branch out ever so slightly…I ordered my first turkey burger. *collective gasps, women fainting, the whole nine yards* But hysterics aside, this burger was a house made turkey patty which was grilled, and topped with caramelized onion, smoky bacon, bourbon sauce and fresh avocado on a grilled brioche bun ($11.99).

Now turkey can tend to be very dry and can easily be overcooked if not kept an eye on. In this case, the turkey burger held up surprisingly well. The meat was sufficiently cooked, and the grill was a nice touch; lending some smokey, charred notes to the meat. There was evident sweetness coming from a combination of the caramelized onion and bourbon sauce. The sauce was more like a glaze, and I wish I had more of it. The bacon did what bacon does and rocked out. Nicely crispy and rich, the bacon helped add flavor to the turkey, because if there’s one thing The Hangover Pub has taught Worcester, it’s that everything is better with bacon.

The avocado was the surprise of the dish though. It’s creaminess helped cut through a lot of the rich flavors that this burger packed. Plus it made me feel better about myself, eating something that is relatively “healthy.” You were really looking for the smooth texture against the sauce and the crunch of the bacon and the burger meat. Then again, saying that is kind of like getting fast food and ordering a Diet Coke to help ease the pain. The fries were delicious and crispy, as all fries should be. They were hearty and cut larger than most fries that you would get at other restaurants. Fried golden brown, they were a nice break from the delicious burger.

Finishing my Sierra Nevada Summerfest and watching the All Star Game on one of the many TVs around the establishment, gave me time to reflect on where I’ve been and the many delicious burgers I’ve eaten. Taking in all the British beer signs and looking at the enlarged photo of Buckingham Palace hanging from one side of the room to the other, made me happy that I lived so close to a city that is beginning to take pride in itself. Taking pride in the products that they offer, from farm to table establishments, small breweries and pastry shops, local favorites, and countless watering holes, Worcester certainly has come a long way in the last few years.

Knowing that my next burger is not too far off, I leave BBC full and satisfied. With many different offerings from across the pond, it gives diners on Shrewsbury Street a different dynamic that transports them to Great Britain. Where will my burger quest take me next? Have suggestions for my next burger, tweet me @EDioufUC5 and your suggestion just might make the list. Until next time…

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British Beer Company Worcester

British Beer Company Worcester now open

When news broke earlier this year of Worcester’s “restaurant row” getting a chain restaurant, emotions were mixed. But, as of Monday, April 11th, the British have arrived and are aching to prove they want to be part of the city’s fabric. With its opening, Shrewsbury Street, in Worcester, welcomes British Beer Company to the space formerly occupied by The Urban Kitchen and Bar and Coral Seafood.

The space has been completely re-invented to create a comfortable environment for family-friendly dining, private functions (both large and small) and even casual bar dining (as apparent by the focal center bar that is designed with rich architectural details). The physical space is unrecognizable from previous tenants: the kitchen has been moved to the back of the building and windows that previously looked into it have been replaced with private cove, booth seating; the function room which resided on the second floor remains, but now overlooks the main bar area with a balcony that allows the entire restaurant to have an open feeling; the spot previously home to the Coral and Urban bar have been replaced with a smaller dining room which is removed enough from the bar to feel private.

The Sweet Thai Chili Salmon from British Beer Company Worcester
The Sweet Thai Chili Salmon from British Beer Company Worcester

The only part of this restaurant that one could argue makes it a “chain,” is that the menu is shared across its other BBC locations. This, however, does not mean that the freshness, creativity, and flavors are cookie-cutter, as apparent by the Sweet Thai Chili Salmon. Even the drink menu, which has several notable favorites (from both sides of the pond) even include hometown favorites, such as Wormtown beers.

While some may cry foul allowing a “chain” onto Shrewsbury Street, it’s important to remember that any tax paying entity should show signs of growth for the city and when there is so much attention to detail to every aspect of a restaurant, British Beer Company should be example of how a “big company” can compliment the diversity of food “in the neighborhood.”