I’m probably not the first to say they’re a little bit sick of chain restaurants.
Sure, the food is alright and you leaving feeling okay having spent £20 or so on a meal and drink.
But how many times do you revisit these establishments feeling a little tired of the ‘same old same old’?
That’s where I found myself the other week. Having ventured out for a few meals at your run of the mill retail park eateries in the weeks before, I’d had enough with spending my hard earned cash on what had quickly become a mundane experience.
And yes, this is most probably the epitome of first world problems, but money – and time – is precious!
Anyway – I’d heard of this burger joint in Burscough called Sinners Club, a little south of Preston down the A59. I’d been told by many that is a must go if you want a ‘proper’ burger experience.
In fact fast summer I had unknowingly walked passed it doing the Lancashire ale trail. See, the location is a little hidden away on a courtyard next to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Burscough, which adds to its exclusivity.
It’s a one of a kind restaurant; you quite simply can’t find another anywhere else.
I ordered the Doomsday burger (£10) and it was as intimidating as it sounds; a triple cheeseburger with bacon, ‘Sinner sauce’, chicken strips, lettuce, and onion rings and a pickle on top.
A man with my appetite was not going to back down to this challenge and proceeded to order a side of the ‘Gringo’ fries (£4.50), described as chee whiz sauce, homemade beef chilli, salsa, nacho crumble, and jalapeños. There were some chips hidden under there too!
Speaking of challenges, Sinners Club does its own ‘Man vs. Food’ experience in the shape of an extreme hot wing challenge (£10) and a 10 pattie burger bonanza (£30).
You do get a T-shirt with the burger challenge if you can manage to finish the lot - not that you’ll be able to fit in it afterwards!
The Doomsday burger was really good. The patties weren’t huge on their own but they were fresh. And when you’ve three of them you’re just being greedy if you think you’re being undersold.
As for the Gringo fries, I might be going too far in calling them one of the greatest culinary inventions of our time but they were top of the pops. Nacho flavour with good quality chips, which from my experience is a rarity for a burger joint.
My other half had the grim sounding Slaughterhouse burger (£10) – a double cheeseburger with a seasoned fried chicken breast, bacon, and chee whiz sauce.
She got a side of the ‘Squeeler’ potato tots, which were essentially mini hash browns with homemade pulled pork, Sinner sauce, barbecue sauce, and bacon crumble.
The tots were crispy and light and the pulled pork and bacon crumble complemented each other well. But the barbecue sauce was a little too much for us so I doubt we’d go for this particular side on a repeat visit.
It was hard to rate the service as, like a popular high street chicken-based chain restaurant, you order food and drink at the bar as and when you like.
I enjoy being able to order drinks as and when I want them so the more ‘hands on’ ordering doesn’t bother me. After all, how many times have you wanted another beer but staff are run off their feet going from table to table?
The atmosphere was brilliant too thanks to the rock ’n roll sound system. AC/DC, Queens of the Stone Age, Jimi Hendrix, Thin Lizzy... I could go on, but you get the gist.
My first ever album was a hand-me-down CD of AC/DC’s Back in Black (cheers Dad), so I felt right at home with what could easily have been one of my own Spotify playlists – kudos to the DJ and their excellent taste in music!
The place was also decorated with an array of flags of US states and a giant statue of Uncle Sam on your way to the toilet, which only added to the over the top American diner feel that had taken over this corner of rural Burscough.
Also, while neither of us are vegetarians the veggie section of the menu offers four different and interesting burgers for a few quid less than their meat equivalents.
As someone with family members that don’t eat meat, it’s nice to know that places like this accommodate for more than those with carnivorous appetites.