Review – The Gladstone
The Gladstone pub on Lewes Road may be off the radar for some, but over the last year they’ve been quietly and confidently reinventing their menu. Its main focus is now on burgers, so I couldn’t resist checking out how they fared against the city’s best burger places.
The Gladstone’s décor is that of a typical Brighton pub: hardwood tables and fairy lights, with good music. It’s not the trendiest pub in town but with such attentive staff, it’s definitely one of the friendliest. Comfortable seating, a nice garden and dogs welcome – we’re off to a good start.
The small burger menu includes a chicken and fish option, but beef is where the Gladstone excels. We opted for the Heart Attack (£8.45) and the Italian (£7.95) as well as coleslaw (£1.50), onion rings (£2.50) and chilli fries (£5.50).
The Heart Attack – a huge, meaty monstrosity – comprised a beef patty, fried egg, homemade hash brown, bacon, pickles, aioli and cheese, all served up in a homemade bap. Willis, the head chef, certainly knows his way around bread, as the baps were great. Every element was skilfully cooked and full of flavour, and for a burger with so many ingredients, nothing struggled for attention.
The Italian was a beef patty, buffalo mozzarella, aioli, homemade basil pesto, tomato and chorizo (sorry, Italians, don’t shoot the messenger). Again, the burger was cooked to perfection, slightly pink with a lovely smoky flavour, and the combination of herby pesto, milky cheese and smoky sausage worked well. All in all, a wonderful and original burger.
Our onion rings were gigantic, while I would have been happy with the huge chilli fries as a stand-alone meal: home-cooked and crisp, covered in delicious beef chilli and melted cheese. The coleslaw was good, maybe slightly too mayonnaisey for me but it didn’t taste of acrid raw cabbage that you get from shop-bought versions.
The Gladstone’s kitchen is serving up some of the best value food in Brighton and will be a hit with cash-strapped, hungry students. The burgers are very similar to Gourmet Burger Kitchen but much better, bigger and cheaper. Brighton is inundated with burgers at the moment but this place really deserves your attention. Go before everyone else realises.
The Gladstone, 123 Lewes Road, Brighton, BN2 3QB
Words and photos by Rob Ling
Rob’s food was complimentary courtesy of The Gladstone