Donal gives us his opinion of another Durham delight.
Elvet Bridge’s latest import: The best burger in town?
Claiming to offer the best burger in town seemed an affirmation worth checking out. As the third restaurant from the Gadd family, who also own Gadds Grill and Zen – arguably two of Durham’s better restaurants, I certainly had high expectations.
Sat beside the window looking toward the recently modernised interior, taxidermy bulls’ heads looked on at us hung from the exposed stonewalls whilst customers sat at four or five tables in the restaurant.
With our jam-jar-filled drinks in hand, we waded our way through the comprehensive menu. In the very same vein as well-renowned Byron, a wine list offers bottles ranging from merit to commended to honours, or for those wine aficionados – distinction. But this place is not just about the wine.
Eventually ordering a Tango Burger and a Van Burger, we soon tucked into ‘Nibbles Whilst You Wait’, which we’d chosen in the interim.
These arrived in the form of nachos, with a runny cheese dip and fiery jalapenos (!). This kept rumbling tummies at bay and was served in silver tin-wear providing a rough and rustic feel to proceedings. Although not going to win Tango a Michelin star, the nachos set the scene in a restaurant geared towards an informal slap up meal.
Burgers are prepared daily on site with meat locally sourced from Wallington Estate Cattle. The prime cuts started their lives near Morpeth in neighbouring Northumberland and both burgers certainly put a smile on our faces upon their arrival.
One side of the table played host to a gallant bun stuffed with juicy meat, dry cured bacon, melting cheddar and tango sauce and the other a similar sight with heaps of slow cooked onions, gooey cheese and sweet potato fries.
The main event was exactly what you want from a burger joint; well seasoned, medium cooked patties stuffed in a bun with plenty going on. Often the deal breaker of such an establishment, the fries were also up to scratch, complimenting the dish as intended.
For veggies amongst the Durham contingent there is additionally a grilled flat cap mushroom number, filled with goat’s cheese, chargrilled peppers and aioli. All options come with a side salad, onions and fries and for £6.50 for the classic six-ounce hamburger you’d be hard pushed to complain.
In accordance with current gastronomic trends; Tango essentially offers one simple item done well.
To finish off we looked to the dessert menu. Entitled ‘Sweet Endings’, sounding suspiciously like that massage parlour from that year in between school and university… but no, they were in fact a triad of sugary deserts to finish your meal with.
We went for the caramel and honeycomb sundae, with vanilla pod ice-cream. By this point we were however ridiculously full and with the danger of chronic brain freeze, a sugar-induced coma on the way and our teeth at risk of falling out, we set off; waddling our way back along the bridge.
In terms of critique, a few more off piste menu choices wouldn’t go a miss and neither would a little less shiny wood… but all the same it’d be hard not to enjoy a meal at Tango. With big plans for the future and a buzz about the team, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.
The restaurant can be found on Elvet Bridge, on the site of the former Italian restaurant, Melanzana. It is open daily from 11 am until 9pm. A 10% discount for Durham students and staff is also available with a valid identity card.
What’s coming up for Food and Drink?
Durham City Christmas Festival takes place on the first weekend in December.