Right Place, Right Time
It was by chance that we happened to stumble across Monty’s Burger Lounge on our way back to the car after a slightly less than fulfilling trip into Bournemouth. Sometimes things seem to conspire against you and just when you think the day has been a complete dud, you realise that actually, you were exactly where you were supposed to be.
I knew there was a Monty’s Lounge in Pokesdown. I’ve been before and really enjoyed myself. I knew there was one in Bournemouth and it was on my ‘to do’ list. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was and until I was planning to go there, I didn’t really need to know. That’s the kind of logic that results in me never actually going somewhere I intend to go. So, after failing – very quickly – in my only two goals during my trip to Bournemouth and deciding to cut my losses and go home before the day got any worse, with over an hour to run on my prepaid parking ticket and having not eaten anything all day it was by sheer good fortune that I saw the Monty’s Burger Lounge sign out of the corner of my eye. “Ah, so that’s where it is!” I was with my mum who I affectionately refer to as ‘my old biddy’. Since I’d dragged her along to share the disastrous afternoon with me with a promise of some nice food which seemed destined to go unfulfilled, it must have been fate that meant the only parking spot I could find amidst the chaos upon arrival, ensured that my route back to the car led me past the welcoming frontage of Monty’s.
In we went. It was relatively quiet as it was that pre-dinner dead period when so many businesses are closed. We were greeted straight away and invited to choose where we wanted to sit. I won’t bore you with the itinerary and full account of the service. Let’s face it, all anybody needs to know is if it was good; it was very good. Friendly, relaxed and prompt. A chilled atmosphere in attractive and slightly quirky surroundings leaving you in no doubt that this is a Bournemouth business. I love local, obviously! If you’re a local business, generally your customers are going to be local. If you’re in Bournemouth or any of the other popular holiday destinations in Dorset that we are blessed with, you will also see your fair share of one-time only visitors or those that may only visit once a year. I say let them remember you for being proud of where you are from as well as being good at what you do. Nobody is going to go home after their week away and tell their friends about the burger they had in Wetherspoons. They will however, tell people about this fantastic place they went with amazing food, fun and friendly staff, where the locals who know the area choose to eat and will remind them forever of the place they spent their holiday.
Monty’s has a brilliant menu. There is plenty of choice, but not so much that you are left wondering if they actually specialise in anything or how well they will do it. As anybody who read my last post ‘The Burger Revolution‘ will know, I have quite strong opinions on what makes a good burger. There are several key factors, but the first one has to be the quality of the meat. It was clear from the first bite that these burgers were fresh and cooked to perfection. Served in an equally fresh bun.
So, if you can cook a good burger and serve it in nice bread, you’re probably over half way there. Then it’s all about personal preference and that’s where a good, creative menu comes in. I only ordered the one burger despite being tempted to go for two. Good thing as I had just enough room left after for one of Monty’s marvelously indulgent milkshakes. I’ll get on to that in a minute…. I opted for the Nice and Spicy Burger with a side of Shoestring Fries with Rosemary Salt and Monty’s Beer-Batter Onion Rings. I’m sure whatever I chose would have been good, but these all worked particularly well together.
You have the option with the Nice and Spicy Burger to add some Super Hot Sauce. It’s a great idea to give you the choice between a hint of spice and something for the more adventurous. On a different day I might have gone for the extra fire, but on this occasion, as it was still quite early and very hot outside, a hint of heat was plenty for me. The Nice and Spicy Burger is a 6oz Patty with Homemade Chilli Chutney, Streaky Bacon, Monterey Jack Cheese and Baconnaise. Talk about a perfect combo. So many flavours that compliment each other superbly. There was a mild kick to the Chilli Chutney along with a wonderful sweetness. I want to describe every single component of the Nice and Spicy Burger, but honestly, we’ll be here all day and I’m not even sure I could. The most important thing is how they work together and that is something I can say categorically, without hesitation, was absolutely delicious. Tastes, textures… Monty’s nailed it!
The onion rings were spot on. Great crunch and shape to the batter, crispy yet not an actual crisp and the onions were moist and retained their flavour. The fries were lovely. Not over complicated, just cooked nicely and seasoned for subtle flavour and not to make you spend more money on drinks like in some other places I could mention.
An Added Bonus
Finally, as an added bonus, since I usually fill up on the savoury and neglect to leave room for the sweet, on this occasion I indulged in one of Monty’s superb milkshakes. There are dessert options but the list of milkshakes was handwritten on the chalkboard directly in front of me and I’d been hypnotised by ‘The Bee’s Knees’ from the minute I sat down.
Crunchie, Honeycomb, Chocolate, Honey and Vanilla Ice Cream. Sweet sweet delight. If you’re out and about and fancy a milkshake, you don’t have to go in for the food. I didn’t ask, but I suspect with milkshakes that good, Monty’s probably see plenty of people who stop by just for one of those and who can blame them.
I’m sold on Monty’s. In addition to the wonderful food and overall great experience, I can’t think of Monty’s Burger Lounge without thinking ‘Bournemouth’ and now I can’t think of Bournemouth without thinking ‘Monty’s Burger Lounge’.
Their new website is coming soon…. https://www.montysburgerlounge.co.uk/