First off, the Carnaby Burger Co is much more than burgers (yes, I was surprised too). As well as starters (including calamari, wings, nachos and more), within the mains there's chicken fillet burgers, hot dogs, and a 'big char grill' offering a steak, steak and eggs, or BBQ pork ribs. They even have a vegetarian section and a salad section on the menu, though admittedly, I didn't look what was on either. On the burger front, there's 9 burger options and a choice of ciabatta or brioche buns. Faced with altogether too much choice and despite entering a restaurant that says 'burger' above the door, I perversely decided to order ribs. Two things steered me in this direction: how would they compare with those I had yesterday at Smollensky's (which were not special), and how would they compare with neighbouring Pitt Cue, a placed famed for its BBQ pork.
If my gripe at Smollensky's had been that the ribs had been inadequately trimmed, here at Carnaby Burger Co, I could instantly see from the shape they had done a much better job in this respect so credit where credit is due. The result was that pretty much everything on the rack (ex the bones of course) was edible and when finished, the bones lay in a heap at the side of the plate stripped clean, devoid of extraneous and unwanted piggy debris. There's a little bit of heat in the rub to set a tingle to the lips while the meat itself was moist with the BBQ flavours within, not solely reliant on being smothered with sauce to give impact. Overall then, a pretty good job. Only two small issues arose, first, and slightly trivially, the serving wooden board was barely big enough to hold the contents and one you start having a go at the ribs, food tended to fall onto the table. Second, the glaze on the ribs had at the extremities dried out somewhat and gone hard. Fortunately, this only rendered the end rib on each side difficult to tackle so no big deal really. Most of the rack however was spot on.
This was actually a pretty good rack of ribs, so making Carnaby Burger Co a place I would potentially return to. Eating solo, I didn't get to see the burgers, and that was a shame, but the waitress did tell me that if I wanted a burger, medium rare wasn't a problem. Yay!
Service was friendly, interested that all was okay, but not invasive, and with my ribs priced at £15.95, identical to Smollensky's, today's offering felt so much better. Okay, it's not Pitt Cue but you can get in here and if you can't get in to Pitt Cue, here is where I'm sure many end up: it may even buck their spirits. Finishing with an inexpensive chocolate mousse, I left the restaurant happy and pleasantly surprised.