All Stars Gourmet 6.5/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 6.5/10
VENUE & ATMOSPHERE: 7/10
NOTE: ALL MEAT IS HALAL, NO PORK OR ALCOHOL IS SERVED ON THE PREMISES.
So many burgers, so little time. Since all these burger joints have started popping up everywhere, in my head, it’s totally de-valued the novelty of a gourmet burger and put me right off. Given there are only 2 ways I consume beef, a steak beats a burger everytime – or so I thought. Recently, I’ve found myself constantly moaning about having a burger for dinner, yet, time after time I somehow find myself in another joint. Upon reflection, I’ve realised that actually, they have clearly grown on me, and as a result I have clearly grown, (mostly in the waist area), and maybe do like burgers after all.
This time it was the turn of All Stars Gourmet on Green Street. A quick peek at IG and Mrs. Plug was salivating at the prospect of a Krispy Kreme burger. Green Street on a Saturday (day or night) is generally a nightmare for parking, but once the jiggery pokery was all dealt with, we found ourselves sitting in a booth with a menu in our hands.
All stars is a typical American style diner with Tinstletown-like booths (which are red rather than green). A quick chat with the owner revealed they have recently replaced all their chefs and were basically having to start again. Hat’s off for effort, running a business isn’t easy and I have no doubt that All Stars will reap the fruits of their labour as time goes on if their effort is maintained at the current level. Having said that, Mrs Plug’s dinner plans were destroyed by the news that the Krispy Kreme burger was off the menu for the evening due to a lack of…..Krispy Kremes (fair play really, although it would have been interesting to see them wing it and serve a Tesco Value 4 for a £1, yellow sticker doughnut burger).
After Mrs Plug had composed herself, we ordered a portion of buffalo wings covered in BBQ sauce to start, because it just feels like the right thing to do at these places. We were told upfront there would be a bit of a wait due to a backlog of orders but we were fine with that. I found the wings to be good in size, tenderness and taste. I’m generally not a fan of BBQ sauce but I could imagine BBQ sauce lovers would be pretty content with these. My only main criticism would be that these were slightly cold when they arrived at the table.
For mains, I ordered the Classic, consisting of a 6oz beef patty, cheddar cheese, onions, tomato, lettuce and All Stars secret sauce. I added chicken rashers simply because I’d never seen the option before. I also requested skinny fries for company. Fast forward to serving time, it arrives and it looks as it should, a taster bite told me I liked it (but this time I’m admitting it). It wasn’t too meaty as you sometimes find with gourmet burgers, the bun was warm and soft, the chicken rashers were nice (although there wasn’t a material difference from turkey IMO), and the secret sauce looked like a chilli mayo combo but I wasn’t complaining.
Mrs. Plug ordered the 6oz pulled beef brisket burger with mature cheddar, pulled beef brisket in gravy, pickles, and mayo, with spicy house slaw as a side. The slaw totally blew us away with it’s rich creamy taste and succulent crunch. She was too hangry to pause once the burger arrived, hence no picture, but Mrs. Plug seemed to enjoy the gravy and pulled brisket combo, as her burger disappeared fairly quickly.
Overall, I would say there is nothing wrong with All stars Gourmet, it certainly meets expectations and I wouldn’t hesitate in re-visiting. It’s just that in the world we are in, with the plethora of options available, burger places need to do something either exceptionally well, or have a big USP to set them apart from other similar establishments. On this occasion, despite exceptional service, and reasonable prices, I didn’t leave All Stars Gourmet with a strong desire to pick this over another burger place. However, I fully appreciate this could, and may well be different next time, when Mrs Plug finally gets her mitt’s on the elusive Krispy Kreme cheeseburger.