Review – Burgers at Fountain Head
Fountain Head has been on my radar as great food pub since a visit earlier this year. Head Chef Lorena Corso has worked in a variety of kitchens across the city, slowly improving her skill set in order to become Head Chef at Drink In Brighton venue Fountain Head. Lorena initially impressed with her menu compromising of summery dishes, including a great chorizo scotch egg and house rubbed chicken, cous cous and tzatziki (full review here).
The seasons had changed for this visit and I was greeted by a roaring log fire and a selection of local beer on tap. We settled into our reserved table for two and revelled in the festive atmosphere being created by luncheoning groups and office parties.
Being invited back to review Lorena’s selection of burgers excited me. Fountain Head certainly isn’t another run of the mill pub serving average patty and buns. Meat is sourced from Sussex and surrounding areas via Clarks Butchers on Lewes Road. It’s great to know these facts and I often think more pubs should be proud to provide locally sourced meat.
I chose The Meaty – beef patty, lettuce, tomato, house relish and American mustard (£9.95) and my friend, Anya from Viva Magazine, opted for The Lamb – minced lamb patty, grilled halloumi, tzatziki and rocket (£10.95). Both came with a side of hand-cut chips and pickles.
Fountain Head serve their burgers on wooden boards. Now, I don’t hold any pretences or snobbery on which material my food is served. Sure, slate and wooden boards do seem slightly dated, but as long as the overall presentation appeals, I’ll happily tuck in.
Stacked high and my burger look instantly appealing. The Real Patisserie bun held together well and wasn’t dry or crumbly, perhaps attributed to the fact it came slathered in American style ketchup and mustard. The well-seasoned patty oozed clear juices and was incredibly meaty. Each bite gave a satisfying crunch with the lettuce and fresh tomato. I had added both smoked cheddar and bacon to mine (£1 extra each), which made it even more enjoyable.
The American influence was the thing I loved most about this burger: no gimmicks and no fuss, just a straight-up USA style burger. It certainly took me back to hanging out in burger joints in New York City over the summer.
The sides were also great and it was refreshing to have hand-cut chips as opposed to skinny fries or similar. Thickly cut, piping hot in the middle with a satisfying crunch, these beauties were great slathered in salt.
The lamb and halloumi burger also was given high praise. Minted lamb with tzatiki and a thick wedge of cheese – you can’t really go far wrong with those flavour combinations and everything was cooked perfectly.
Lorena and her team work hard to bring you wholesome pub food, locally sourced and cooked well. With a menu that expands beyond burgers and into tempting light bites, sandwiches and mains, it was a great opportunity to ensure that Lorena isn’t just a one-trick pony. Some pubs get it so very far from the mark when it comes to the basics and it was great to see, once again, Fountain Head hitting the nail on the head. A must visit this winter.
Fountain Head, North Road, Brighton
Words by Claire Beveridge
Claire’s food was complementary, courtesy of Fountain Head and Drink In Brighton.