If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll recently have been subjected to photos of meaty burgers, dirty fries and a mac ‘n’ cheese to die for from our trip to The Hub in St. Ives. Let’s be realistic though; no matter how dedicated you are to a good burger, you probably aren’t going to drive several hundred miles for one. Fear not though burger fans for we have excellent news: they’ve just opened Hubbox Bristol! Hallelujah!
We went along to their launch night to see if it lived up to our rosy Cornwall memories. Here’s how they did:
I’ll start with a confession. When we arrived, we might have accidentally sat down directly opposite the kitchen. We might have also accidentally sampled pretty much everything that appeared on the pass. Thankfully, and without exception, they passed the test.
The burger patties, made in house from rare breed Cornish beef, are juicy, served in a decent brioche bun and topped with all manner of gooey goodness; pulled pork and brisket for the carnivores, plenty of cheese, pickles and all of the sauces. Sure, I’d prefer it if the burgers had been a little pinker but the menu does say they will do it on request. It’s rare to see somewhere that doesn’t favour well cooked nowadays but it’s great to see that they offer a choice.
If you aren’t in a burger mood, they serve proper pork hot dogs with a similar array of toppings and the crispiest buttermilk chicken. I’d recommend the Kim Yum Chick as it comes with a rich, moreish Korean BBQ sauce. There are also plenty of other dishes; fresh nachos, wings, a haddock po’boy elevated with a tasty pea purée, as well as trays of freshly barbecued meat. Veggies aren’t left out either; there are 3 different burgers on offer as well as plenty of sides, and the vegetarian couple sat opposite us definitely enjoyed them.
Of course, it wouldn’t be BBQ food without some calorie adding, lip smacking sides and Hubbox don’t disappoint. You’ve got your typical dirty fries which were well cut, crispy and smothered in topping; they could have used a bit of seasoning but the salt pot soon fixed that. Throw in some burnt end beans, a mug of parmesan crusted mac ‘n’ cheese and some fennel slaw and you’ll leave stuffed and satisfied.
As I had to drive home, I didn’t manage to get around all of the drinks on offer. That said, we both tried a decent Aperol spritz with passion fruit, Sarah sipped on a glass of rosé, and I sampled a hard hitting deconstructed Snakebite made with apple purée. From visiting the St. Ives branch, they also rotate a respectable range of draught craft ale and cider, as well as carrying a core range of canned and bottled offerings from brewers like Beavertown. Perhaps unusually, attention has also been paid to the non-drinkers with some tasty high-end options like Black Cherry Soda rather than just a watery coke pump. I’ll often be designated driver, drinking water as I can’t stand watered down coke, so well done Hubbox for giving me some choice!
With vintage lighting, exposed brick walls and a tan leather booths, at face value Hubbox looks suspiciously like most other trendy restaurants of late. There are some nice touches though that ensure it stands out from the crowd; the kitchen is set inside a graffiti-ed shipping container, and they’ve commissioned colourful, retro signs to liven the walls up. It’s also surprisingly light inside for an industrial restaurant, allowing me to actually see my food (and my husband) for once.
Staff often make or break a new venue. For Adam and I, it’s a deal breaker; I’m sure we’ve all experience rude waiters or waited so long for service that we swore never to come back. Despite the crowds last night, the staff coped admirably and were super friendly. They’re all clearly passionate about the food and keen to interact with customers which makes everything so much more enjoyable. Time will tell, but based on a similar experience at the long established St. Ives’ branch, Hubbox seems to be going for a relaxed and friendly trendy vibe. Quite simply, it works and would keep me coming back time and time again.
Hubbox certainly isn’t the first burger joint in town and it probably won’t be the last. If you’re looking for a quick, decent burger, definitely check out Hubbox if you are in the vicinity (although it would be a tad foolish to ignore some of Bristol’s other excellent offerings if they are on your way).
If, however, you are looking to kick back, relax, and enjoy an excellent burger and drinks with friends, Hubbox is definitely worth the trip. With the fun atmosphere and brilliant drinks selection on offer, there’s no reason to head out the door until late. Grab yourselves a booth, order everything and share the greasy goodness to your heart’s content.
Where can I find out more about Hubbox Bristol?
You can find Hubbox at 113 Whiteladies Road in Clifton. Check out their website for more details and the all important menus.