Review: Queens Bar & Grill, Bury St Edmunds - 'A genuinely different and fun food offering which will have wide appeal'
PUBLISHED: 12:37 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:48 16 April 2019
Mark Heath and his wife Liz visited Queens Bar & Grill in Bury St Edmunds, which is making waves on the local food scene for its American-style offerings and fantastic Man vs Food-esque challenges. Here's what they made of it.
Queens Bar & Grill is the latest venture from noted Bury St Edmunds foodie Ben Hutton, who already runs the popular Ben's restaurant in the town.
This new offering is just a few doors down from Ben's, in what used to be the Queens Head pub, formerly a staple of Bury's nightlife, which fell on hard times and closed.
Walking in on a Wednesday night, it was nice to see that elements of the old pub remain, but the interior has been given a facelift to make it feel more like a place you'd want to go and eat.
Ordering up a couple of pints of San Miguel, we settled down to peruse the menu – and what a menu it is. It's safe to say there is nothing like the Queens anywhere in Bury and the immeadiate area.
It all sounds interesting - and delicious. More on that later!
We decided to share a Beef Bites starter to ensure we had space for one of the tantalisingly-named mains, and we picked well.
I'd assumed we'd basically get served up mini burgers in batter, but this was much better than that - quality little chunks of beef, well seasoned, inside a very tasty, crispy, light and not greasy batter, served with slices of chilli and kimchi mayo. They were excellent.
Now for the mains. Queens offers an outstanding burger selection, and I decided that I had to go for the eponymous 'The Queen' – two 3 oz beef patties, American cheese, crispy bacon, a gherkin, Queens-own burger sauce and baby gem lettuce.
Liz, meanwhile, was browsing the rest of the main menu – which boasts wonderfully-named dishes such as Pig on a Stick, The Prince and Wrap it Up. She chose Cluck Off – fried chicken strips, sweet waffles, bacon and maple syrup.
My burger was delicious, and looked good when it arrived, with plenty of skin-on fries and a steak knife plunged through the middle of the bun.
It ate well too – many burgers are so crammed with content that you physically can't get your chops around them, but not so here.
The beef patties were well cooked, seasoned and clearly home-made, and the rest of the ingredients worked well together, all wrapped up with a seeded brioche bun. Those fries were spot on too.
Across the table, Liz was faced with a dish the likes of which she'd never encountered before.
Inspired by the breakfast combo of bacon and maple syrup pancakes, it consisted of four home-spiced buttermilk chicken strips and two slices of crispy bacon, all sitting on top of Belgian waffles and drizzled with maple syrup.
The chicken was chunky and moist on the inside, while the nicely-spiced coating gave it a satisfying crunch. The bacon too was lovely and crisp, and the waffle tasty.
The combination was nice but incredibly rich – my better half was relieved we were sharing our mains, otherwise she would have struggled to finish the plate. The dish was tasty, just not quite to her taste.
I, too, found it just too sweet for me - but I bet that plenty of people would lap it up.
After all that quality scran, we were approaching maximum capacity but, as ever dear readers, bravely summoned the courage to order up a dessert.
We went for Rocky Road - a brownie with oreo and marshmallows, caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce. And when it arrived – an intimidating-looking portion – we were both pleased that we'd chosen to share it!
It was delicious but incredibly rich, and could probably have benefited from something crunchy to add texture. As with Liz's main, not fully to our taste – but those with a sweet tooth would probably be in dessert heaven.
And so concluded our meal, all in all a satisyfying experience. Worth noting too that, even on a Wednesday night, the restaurant area was absolutely packed.
Clearly, as with Ben's, the Queens team are getting the recipe right.
As you'd expect, a good range of lagers and ales, plus a selection of wines.
Were it not a school night, Liz would almost certainly have taken more interest in their gin menu too!
Very friendly and offered good/useful advice as to size of the portions.
Also willingly changed a glass with nothing but smiles after Liz decided hers had an odd aroma.
Man vs Food
Queens offers a food challenge which could have come straight from the popular TV show which pitted Adam Richman against mountains of meals.
Her Majesty sees you challenged to consume two 12oz beef patties, three hash browns, four fried eggs, and fried chicken strips, all served in an extra-large bun and served with onion rings, double chilli fries and a one litre oreo shake. Finish it in 45 minutes and it's free, if not, you owe them £45. I'm full just writing that.
There are also two massive sharing portions if you and your pals are hungry - Big Foot, a two foot sub stuffed with beef brisket and pulled pork, plus Miss Piggy, which is 12 3oz patties served in a bun with fries.
Ben's is know for its field to fork ethos, and it was pleasing to hear from our hosts that it also applies at Queens.
All of the meat comes from Hutton's farm and smallholding, which is fantastic to hear.
Restaurant or bar
You can choose how you want to enjoy your Queens experience - turn right when you get in to sit in the bar, or go left for the restaraunt and table service.
A simple idea, but effective.
There is no dedicated parking for the Queens with it being located right in the heart of Bury, but the Angel Hill and Ram Meadow car parks are 5-10 minutes away on foot.
Our Beef Bites starter was £6 and mains were £12 and £12.50 - decent value for the quality and size of the portions.
I really enjoyed my Queen burger, while Liz would probably say the Beef Bites were her favourite.
A genuinely different and fun food offering which will have wide appeal.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10.