Talk about ‘late to the party’! I think I must be the last person in Newcastle to eat a famous Fat Hippo burger. Probably.
It’s my old excuse of city dweller forgetting to ever actually leave the city. Lame. Don’t worry Sarah and/or burger fans, I’ve sorted it now anyway. We made the trip to Jesmond to finally try The Fat Hippo one sunny Sunday a couple of weeks ago. I know you just want me to tell you about the burgers but let me quickly set the scene first. We arrived around 1pm and we queued in the snug ‘bar area’ for around 20mins, standing in everyone’s way. We got hungrier, the child got stroppier but eventually we were shown to our table. Everyone hates queuing but it has to be done. Especially when we attempt to go somewhere so tiny and popular, at what was prime eating time. I’ll certainly not be holding it against the lovely Fat Hippo people who were friendly despite being rushed off their feet.
Decor-wise the interior is exactly as I expected it to be, which is to say cosy and casual. Exposed brickwork, bare wooden floors (and ceilings!) and a fireplace. Standard hipster but nothing too try-hard. So far, so funky.
The menu, which I had googled (here) before our visit anyhow, was unsurprisingly utterly burger-tastic. The Fat Hippo grind and blend their lovely Northumbrian beef in house each day and are known, in some circles, as the undisputed Best Burger In Newcastle. There are also happy little additions in the shape of guff like nachos, buffalo strips, boozey milkshakes, various topped hotdogs, onion rings and chicken and veggie burgers, but the main event is very obviously the beef burgers. And what an event.
Having taken two men (junior and senior) with me I got to see, and more importantly taste, three burgers from the menu. Triple score. First up my choice: the classic Fat Hippo Burger. Bacon, chorizo, cheese, caramelised onions, secret Fat Hippo sauce and two impossibly light and crispy battered onion rings make this a fantastic and very tall burger. The patty itself absolutely parfait. SO juicy and meaty and pink. More please.
Next up the boyfriend is served the Burger of the Month which this month is some kind of burger mountain involving such mighty fillings as cheese, chilli con carne, peppers, jalapeños and a DOUBLE BURGER. Yup, you heard me. Fairly sure that without some dissection that burger wouldn’t fit in anybody’s mouth but it was dreamy anyway. But I freakin’ love chilli so I’m biased. This was an easy tie with my burger.
The boyfriend’s son gave the PB & J burger a whirl. I might’ve (definitely) stolen a bite. Or two. He probably wouldn’t have finished it anyway. The PB & J is chunky peanut butter, cheese and bacon jam smothered atop a meaty patty. Surprisingly good. The sweet/savoury thing echoes the toasted brioche bun and it all works very well together. Each burger comes served with one of those trendy little silver buckets of Fat Hippo triple fried handcut chips and a bit of token salad. It makes for a hearty meal.
And the good news? Rumour has it that the Fat Hippo team are expanding and opening another tasty burger joint somewhere else around the area. Fingers crossed for a city centre location, preferably next door to my house. I’ll keep you posted!