But there was something else drawing me to Byron on this sunniest of days, the sign outside that said 'roof terrace open'. Sadly when I went inside, I was told the roof terrace was already full but since I was now inside, I elected to stay, so had my burger and shake inside and downstairs. While service from my waitress was excellent throughout, I am slightly perplexed however that when I later visited the roof terrace for curiosity (and to take the picture above), over a dozen seats seemed available so I do feel a little cheated. Worth noting is that the roof terrace is shared with Frankie & Benny's but Byron got the better deal as they have the half that fronts the river. I assume next door, Nandos and Zizzi have a similar arrangement (though don't ask me who won that fight for prime location).
On the burger front, The Sun has of course spoken, front page nonetheless, and declared Byron's offering as a 'gourmet meal from a trendy diner'. And yet.
I'm tempted by the current special, the Big B, but that has 2x 3oz patties to make the overall meat grade and I can only imagine that a 3oz patty would burn up like Apollo 13 on a bad re-entry at the merest application of heat. So a 3oz patty seems wrong to me and I boringly opt for a regular cheeseburger instead (but blue cheese, because I'm exotic in one respect). My issue here (and elsewhere with the blue cheeseburger at Byron) is that the cheese is not melted into or on top of the burger: apart from being a bit runny at the edge, it remains a lump of blue cheese in the middle. The picture below captures it well, everything is distinct, it's clear where the burger ends and the square edges of the cheese begins, and it's the same with the onion, lettuce and tomato: in short, it's simply not dirty enough. With a burger, everything should be mostly indistinguishable from everything else, a singularity of meat, cheese and whatever else is in there, contained in a bun for some modicum of decency, with the bread also an efficient way to mop us sauces, juices and melts that a good burger inevitably wants to deposit in your lap.
Alas, this is not Byron.
But it is okay and this will not be my last Byron burger by any stretch. And it should be remembered that it is a chain and that brings certain constraints into play. It's not therefore a rival in our books to Patty & Bun or MEATliquor, but neither of those are available off the pier in Greenwich. And if a chain necessitates constraints, that is counterbalanced by the underwriting of a minimum standard of quality and Byron do well here: the restaurant was immaculately clean, the service wonderfully friendly and the food the same as I've had in other Byrons. Tick. But the trump card in Greenwich is that as outside eating areas go, Byron Greenwich has one of the best in London, even if sadly I didn't get to enjoy it; you might have better luck.