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I have no beef with the burger

I’ve never been a huge fan of burgers, and it’s fair to say burger bars are now even further away from the top of ‘my places I’d like to try’ list.  But being a good mother when I was out with my son and he wanted to go to the Fat Hippo in Jesmond for lunch I agreed.

The Fat Hippo is on the corner opposite Starvv vegan burgerbucks on Acorn Road, I can’t recall what it was before its latest incarnation but the building seems to have changed hands and usage quite a few times. It’s one of those growing types of ‘posh burger’ places, inside all modern rustic chic – bright and light with lots of wood. Although there are quite a lot of tables  it didn’t feel squashed and you weren’t eating elbow to elbow.

I’d already resigned myself to maybe having to just have salad or fries but inspired by the vegetarian options on the menu, I thought I’d see if there was any of them were vegan friendly.

The friendly waitress kept smiling when I explained I was vegan and did she know if I could have their Spicy Bean Burger. She wasn’t sure but went off to check with the chef. Yes the bean burger was vegan friendly but the bread bun wasn’t – but I could have it in a ciabbata instead, which was.  To be honest I don’t usually check if bread is vegan friendly as just like to assume it is but this sounded good to me.  Son ordered the Big Veg Club sandwich – mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, rocket and pesto.
vv veggie sandwich
The meals arrived, rustically presented on wooden boards. Son was a bit disappointed he hadn’t got the yummy looking fat handcut chips that come in a little silver bucket but he tucked into his skinny fries instead.  There wasn’t another word until he’d wolfed down his meal – definitely a good sign.

I was impressed with my Spicy Bean Burger – a tasty combination of crunchy outside and moist inside with a great chilli kick.  It is a ‘secret recipe’ so I can’t tell you exactly what was in it but it was the best bean burger I can recall eating. I’d taken the healthy option of a salad on the side which came with the added benefit of great gherkins.

The service was quick and helpful despite it being a really busy lunch time. I did have to admire the look of some of the dishes that were brought out, mahoosive burgers beautifully presented – I guess if you love burgers you will love the Fat Hippo. If you’re a veggie, there are still enough options to keep you happy. Son said his meal was great and said he’d definitely go back.  A burger place will never be my ideal eaterie and I will never be a regular. But just the fact that I could have something other than chips (and if I’d wanted dessert I could have had the sorbet) – and that it was delicious – means the Fat Hippo gets a thumbs up from me too.

The Fat Hippo is at St George’s Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 2SU Tel: 0191 340 8949

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A DJM Development, by Dylan McKee