Henry’s

March 31, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Posted in Pub Grub | 2 Comments
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Sheffield burger lovers are spoilt for choice at the moment, with no shortage of places serving up big, American-style burgers (the Harley, and Bungalows and Bears spring immediately to mind). But where should you go if you’ve got a hankering for a more gourmet take on this fast food staple?

A few people had recommended I try Henry’s, on the corner of Cambridge Street, but to be honest it’s never really struck me as a great spot for a relaxing bite to eat. This probably has something to do with the fact that I usually wander past Henry’s on Friday and Saturday nights, when it’s always rammed with people. But, it’s unfair to judge a city center eatery based on what it’s like on Friday and Saturday nights – just look at the Wick at Both Ends, which is standing room only during these peak times, but also happens to be one of the best lunch spots in Sheffield. With that in mind, it only seemed fair to reserve judgment and visit Henry’s for a midweek lunch.

Henry’s has a fondness for wall-to-ceiling windows, which means the venue feels very light and airy. There’s also no shortage of places to sit, so no matter how busy this place gets during the daytime, I can’t imagine struggling to find a table. Some of the seating is a bit random, with a couple of uncomfortable-looking wooden pews and back-less stools, and some of the tables are positioned a little too close to the bar, or tucked away in strange nooks and crannies, but there’s so much seating to choose from, that this isn’t a major issue.

Henry’s menu is larger than what you’d normally expect from a pub. In addition to burgers, you can choose from a range of gourmet sandwiches, paninis, and salads, plus pub classics such as pie, sausages, fish and chips, and ham and eggs. If you’re visiting Henry’s with young ones, they have their own special menu (Little Henry’s), and if you’re visiting on a Sunday, you can enjoy a roast of beef, pork, lamb, gammon, or turkey. You can’t fault Henry’s when it comes to choice! But by far the best thing about Henry’s, is that all of their meat is sourced from local farms within a 26 mile radius of the pub itself.

Despite offering so much choice and focusing on local produce, the food is very reasonably priced. Even if you opt for a meat heavy dish such as a Sunday roast, you’ll only pay one or two pounds more than you would in your typical chain restaurant serving up meat from God-knows-where. I call that good value for money!

The size of Henry’s menu meant that even though I was dining with my mother (early Mother’s day treat, and all that), who is one of the pickiest eaters I’ve ever met, there was several things on the menu that she fancied trying – I honestly can’t remember the last time this happened!

After weighing up whether to go for the Portobello burger (£6.45), or the Portobello & Cheese burger (£7.45), I gave in to greed and opted for the version that came with the goat’s cheese, while my mother settled on the Big Cheese burger (£6.95).

We placed our orders at the bar, where we also treated ourselves to a couple of glasses of wine. Henry’s food prices may not be far removed from what you’d expect to pay in a chain pub, but the wine is slightly more expensive. Expect to pay upwards of a fiver for a glass of wine, and over £15 for a bottle. These are restaurant prices, rather than pub prices, and although my £5.45 bought me a very nice glass of Pinot Grigio, you might want to stick to soft drinks if you’re counting the pennies.

Our food order was taken by a very friendly member of staff, who promised that if we polished off our burgers, we wouldn’t be hungry until 7 o’clock that evening. He then asked us if we wanted to add an extra portion of onion rings to our order – because then we wouldn’t be hungry until 7 o’clock tomorrow evening! It’s always nice when the bar staff take the time to have some banter with the customers.

With glasses of wine in hand, we returned to our table to await our burgers. Despite it being 2 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, and despite there being only a couple of occupied tables, we waited a long time for our food to arrive. We didn’t have anywhere to rush off to (luckily), but it was still irritating to have to wait so long for food, in a pub that’s so quiet.

Eventually, our burgers did arrive. Serving burgers on big, heavy slates seems to be the done thing at the moment, and Henry’s is yet another Sheffield eatery that subscribes to this trend. Both of our burgers arrived deconstructed, with shredded gherkins on one half of the sourdough bun, and the rest of the fillings on the other half. In retrospect, this was probably a precaution to make sure our burgers didn’t fall over on their way to the table – because once we’d put our burgers together, they were pretty big!

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Both burgers came with a grand total of four chips. Normally this would be crazy behaviour, but Henry’s chips are so chunky, you don’t feel hard done by at all – it’s like someone had quartered a jacket potato! The skins could have been crisper, but the chips were still nice and fluffy on the inside, and had been seasoned with lots of black pepper, so they had a spiciness to them.

Two super-sized, beer-battered onion rings also accompanied each burger. Henry’s boozy batter was light and not too greasy, and the onion inside hadn’t been overcooked, so it still had some of that raw onion sting.

When the barman warned us about the size of the burgers, he wasn’t kidding. Once I’d reconstructed my deconstructed burger, I was a bit flummoxed about how best to tackle this stack of whole grilled field mushroom, roasted peppers, red onion, courgette and goat’s cheese. It was definitely a beast!

The veggies had that distinctive roasted flavour, particularly the pepper, which was nicely balanced against the freshness of the raw tomato, and the sharpness of the shredded gherkins. A great combination of flavours.

Henry’s mushroom and goat’s cheese burger isn’t your typical fast food. Alternating between bites of the burger’s layered veggies and cheese, thickset chips and monster onion rings, took me quite a while. My only issue with the burger, was that the veggies were slippery from being roasted, and kept sliding away from me whenever I tried to take a bite! But, looking a bit silly is a small price to pay for such a great burger.

This is the perfect burger to savour over a long, lazy lunch, and I can even imagine filling up on it at dinner time, too – it’s definitely big enough!

Henry’s up-market take on the cheeseburger came with the same stonking great chips and onion rings, alongside relish and shredded gherkins, but instead of veggies, the sourdough bread was packed with beef and melted cheddar. The beef was a quality slab of locally-sourced meat, although there was surprisingly little cheese, especially for something that’s called a Big Cheese burger. Still, this is another beast of a burger that’ll satisfy even the most serious of hunger pangs.

Henry's beef burger

If you’re after gasto-pub grub in the city center, I can heartily recommend Henry’s. The city center venue serves up greedy-guts portions of posh pub grub, and their commitment to sourcing their meat locally is admirable.

The negatives? We were waiting far too long for our food, especially considering the place was so quiet, which would make me hesitant to visit Henry’s during my lunch break. The drinks are also expensive compared to other city center venues. But, really, neither of these are deal breakers, and when it comes to Henry’s, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

I’ll definitely be visiting Henry’s again, and can’t wait to try a few other things on their massive menu!

rating-3-star

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2 Comments »

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  1. I don’t know if there is some issues with the food prep at Henrys as I;ve always had good food there but like you have been kept waiting AGES> It becomes a bit of a deciding factor now. If we need to eat and be somewhere it falls off the list purely due to the waiting times. Otherwise we love it”

  2. Thanks for the comment! It’s good to know that it wasn’t just a one off. I’d definitely go again – I loved the food and the venue, I just won’t be eating there when I’m in a rush!


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