The chop has long reigned supreme as the signature dish of Barnsley but could a change in the town’s appetite mean there is a new speciality on the menu?
Within a matter of weeks two grill restaurants have sprung up in Barnsley’s town centre offering customers American style feasts with a South Yorkshire twist.
First came 8 oz Burger Co, a brand new venture by a Barnsley guy who has taken a humble 8 oz burger patty and dressed it up in 30 different ways. The Grill Pit followed, the second restaurant in a small chain that hails from nearby Wakefield and offers a ranch style menu, including its big selling burgers.
So you could say a battle of burgers has broken out.
I’d tried to dine at 8 oz several weeks ago but was regrettably turned away due to a full restaurant and so went on to The Grill Pit, which had just began stoking up its griddles.
Keen to return to the independent, I did the sensible thing and pre-booked a table to avoid a second helping of disappointment.
We were welcomed by young but highly enthusiastic and friendly staff. It wasn’t as busy this time but there was a nice atmosphere with the pleasing sound of the grill sizzling behind the scenes.
The burger joint is the brainchild of Dan Sharp, a local lad who enjoys his food, had a business idea and decided to make it happen.
He set up in a modest unit in the town’s Arcade and decked it out with quirky, strip-backed decor, including mismatched furniture and wooden palettes as table tops.
The menu is epic and it’s clear burger man Dan had a lot of fun coming up with the imaginative combinations. Stand out submissions include the Sunday Lunch beef burger, topped with chicken breast, Yorkshire pud, broccoli, mini roasts and gravy, and the All Day Burger - basically full English in a bap.
While some options provoke a Marmite reaction there’s certainly something to suit all. After much deliberation we order classic nachos at £3.50 to start followed by The Caribbean, £8.50, for me and the Volcano, £13, for him, both with fries.
Served in delicious brioche buns my jerk spiced chicken topped with grilled pineapple was incredibly succulent - a result of cooking on griddles I’m told. Equally he’s delighted with his double patty feast with American cheese, streaky bacon and molten jalapeño mozzarella.
After a short break we coyly ask the waiter for a ‘Threesome’. He jokes about what time he clocks-off before bringing our trio of intensely sweet desserts for £7.50. The chewy texture of the waffles with cream and peanut butter, brownies and ice cream with choc sauce almost glue our mouths shut.
I’d say 8 oz puts up a strong fight in the burger battle and would happily return for another of its crazy creations.
Venue: 8 oz Burger Co
Address: 6 The Arcade, Barnsley, S702QN
Contact: 07595 477017