They have raved about their burgers, but how good is Pedro’s replacement?
PUBLISHED: 17:21 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 07 November 2019
Louisa Baldwin headed to Harry’s burger bar in Norwich a week after opening to see how it measured up to its famous predecessor Pedro’s.
Harry's opened its doors in Chapelfield Gardens in late October in the former home of Pedro's Mexican Cantina which shut in April this year after 30 years in business.
Under the same ownership, with Andre Serruys at the helm, the building has now been transformed into a burger bar and I visited a week after they opened with my boyfriend and another couple.
Looking at the menu, we were both impressed to see such a large selection of vegan options with seven plant-based burgers to choose from, ranging from a barbecue jackfruit burger to a sweet potato bhaji burger.
My partner has a dairy intolerance so still wanted to have meat, but when we asked the server he said they didn't have an allergens menu yet after checking with his colleagues.
I then suggested if he could just have a meat burger inside one of the vegan options.
The waiter then went to the kitchen and when he returned to the table told us the chefs weren't 100pc sure the buns on the vegan options were vegan as it wasn't clear on the packaging.
Thankfully, when I called the restaurant a few days after I did the review they said the vegan buns are definitely vegan and they have had an allergens menu since opening so it just seems to be some initial teething problems.
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I'm sure this will be reiterated to staff after my experience so hopefully the confusion won't happen again.
My boyfriend finally decided on the giant surfer Harry, with a burger served with king prawns and smoked garlic mayo, which they swapped for the vegan one.
The burger itself was pleasant but I felt a little thin given the £15 price tag, which was a shame seeing as they claim to serve "the best burgers this side of New York City".
The prawns were nice and the bun held together well, the chips were crispy and we were both impressed with the portion size.
I chose the Harry Clucks which costs £14 and includes buttermilk paprika chicken breast, avocado and bacon.
Unfortunately, when it arrived it wasn't buttermilk and was just a grilled chicken breast, but it was tender and nicely seasoned and the sweet potato fries were tasty.
They also forgot to put the avocado and bacon in the bun, so the waiter had to go back, but I can excuse it as the chefs are probably still getting to grips with the menu.
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Our friend had the barbecue pulled jackfruit burger (£13) which I had a bite of and wish I had ordered that instead as it tasted just like pulled pork and was really fresh.
We also really enjoyed the sides of battered frickles (£3) and Korean barbecue wings (£5.50) and the batter on the gherkins was cripsy and light and the wings were very meaty and moreish and combined well with crunchy spring onion and the chilli gave it a kick.
Responding to the review, a spokesman for Harry's said: "We have had an allergens menu since we opened which is on a separate piece of paper.
"I would personally like to apologise for this and invite you to come for a revisit at a later date.
"We have normal burger buns that are not vegan and then a gluten-free option which is vegan.
"We've only been open a week and our new staff are still getting used to things as it is a completely new team and it is just teething problems."
Overall the meal was good and I hope that a few weeks in, when I return, the staff will all be confident on allergens and any teething problems will have been overcome.
Nestled in Chapelfield Gardens, it is conveniently located if you wanted to pop into Chapelfield to do some shopping afterwards.
Due to its predecessor Pedro's being so well known, being a bit hidden away doesn't really matter and I'm sure plenty of people will visit to see how it compares.
I was really impressed with the refurbishment of the inside and tired looking furniture and dated decor has been swapped for an open plan dining area with pop art on the walls gave the place character, but I felt the cannabis picture was a bit inappropriate for a restaurant where a big proportion of its customers will be families.
The booth seating along the wall made it feel really cosy and I liked the fact there was an open kitchen so you could see the chefs cooking the burgers.
Our server was really warm and friendly, asked if we wanted more drinks during the meal and asked us what we were doing afterwards and was really apologetic about the problems with the allergens.
A good range of wines, available by the glass or bottle, beers and ciders and a large cocktail menu, with options such as Harry's Angel, with Parma violet gin, St-Germain, lemon and egg whites.
I also liked that there was local gins available, including Bullards Strawberry and Black Pepper gin and Adnams Copperhouse.
Everything is at ground level so there wouldn't be any accessibility issues visiting the restaurant.
I loved the pop art Queen Elizabeth and Prince Albert on the doors and the decor inside was quirky and the taps had a built in dryer which was a nice touch and they were spotless.
Just a few minutes walk from the Chapelfield car park and also a short journey from The Forum car park.
The sides were good value but I felt the burgers were priced a few pounds too high compared to other burger restaurants in the city.
The Korean BBQ wings were by far the highlight and combined with the glaze was punchy and very tasty - I would easily have eaten another plate and wish they did a wider variety of wings with different sauces.
It was a decent meal, which works as both a daytime and nighttime venue, and I'm sure in a few weeks things will be running like clockwork.
Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited.
The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer.
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