New Menu at Handmade Burger Co, The Oracle, Reading

Just to let you know, this post was written before I started the paleo diet to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding. 

Handmade Burger Co has a new menu - and I was asked if I'd like to go to their restaurant at The Oracle, Riverside in Reading to try it out. (Of course I said yes). 

To be frank with you, as a family, whenever we have a burger craving we always pop down to Handmade Burger Co. We like the fact that you can tweak the burgers they have on offer to suit you - our girls prefer them without pepper, for example - and the chef is always happy to whip them up a plain burger. Want something gluten-free? Then they'll give you a pile of coleslaw instead of the bun with your choice of burger. There are 40 or so burgers on offer there, and I've raved on here before about the old-fashioned chips they serve as well. So when I heard that they'd developed a new menu I was worried my favourite burgers had been replaced. They hadn't. 

Macho Barbecue Beef Cheese and Bacon, HBC, Reading
Macho Beef, Cheese and Bacon burger at Handmade Burger Co, Reading
New beef burgers on offer include the New York Deli, Mexican and The Macho Barbecue Beef Cheese and Bacon. There's also a new Chicken Tikka Masala burger (I was tempted) and a Chicken Chorizo burger, and quite a few new vegetarian options (always good to see). There are also a range of sliders - choose between beef or chicken - three little mini burgers on brioche buns. 

Chicken Sliders, Handmade Burger Co, Reading
Chicken Sliders at Handmade Burger Co, Reading
The Macho Barbecue Beef, Cheese and Bacon burger was thick and meaty - two burgers inside a brioche bun (you can have sourdough if you like though) with cheese and strips of bacon. It comes with a barbecue relish to finish it all off. The beef was full of flavour (no flat, pressed supermarket-style discs of beef here) and studded with chopped herbs. Just like a home-made burger. 

The chicken sliders included Sweet Chilli Chicken; Chicken Cheese and Bacon and a Smoky Barbecue Chicken. I'm always a bit worried with chicken breast used as the middle of a burger because they're so difficult to cook so they're still juicy but these really were. They're also slightly charred from the grill, so their smoky flavour comes through all the sauces and condiments. Probably my favourite of all these was the sweet chilli slider. 

I went for the Three Cheese and Baby Leek burger - a vegetarian option - which comes covered in breadcrumbs and inbetween a split sourdough bun with lettuce, tomato and a gorgeous Bramley apple relish. It wasn't overly cheesy and the sweetness of the leeks came through perfectly. The Bramley relish just finishes it all off - a beautiful burger and it won't be the last time I'll be going in there for one. 

Three cheese and baby leek burger, Handmade Burger Co, Reading
Three Cheese and Baby Leek Burger with Bramley Apple Relish, Handmade Burger Co, Reading
A word about milkshakes: if chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream milkshakes aren't enough, they've developed some premium shakes including Oreo, Mocha and Peanut butter and banana. The one you see here is the Oreo shake, blended until ice cold and frothy and served in a metal cup with an extra wide straw, so you can suck up the Oreo chunks. When you've got down to the bottom, ask for a spoon, like we did. 

Oreo Milkshake, Handmade Burger Co, Reading

I'll admit it, I was a fan of handmade Burger Co before I went along to try the new menu. The staff are always happy to stop and chat a little bit, there's never any drama and the burgers are always brilliant. You order at the till so you're not trying to attract the attention of busy staff just to place your order. And you get to customise your burgers to your heart's content. I was only pleased that with the new menu, it's now even better. 

Handmade Burger Co is situated at The Riverside (on the cinema side) at The Oracle in Reading. 

Have you eaten at Handmade Burger Co? What did you think? What are your favourite menu items there?