There are a few things that I regret in life. I regret not keeping my Grunge oriented wardrobe inspired by Marc Jacob’s game-changing collection. I regret not having that conversation with an ex-lover which would have saved me years of issues and I regret not attending the launch of IYO Burgers a few months ago. While I’m no tree-hugger, I have to give much respect to enviro-foodies Jonah Lewis and Jean-Marc Lenferna who are the brains behind the Inside & You’re Out (IYO) Burger movement. Almost keeping to the new urban blueprint of successful eateries, everything about their supply-chain is centred on local community and ethical responsibility. From the wood used in their décor, which is FSC approved (a tree is planted for every one cut down) to the jars and cans used as drinking glasses and cutlery holders, it’s all been carefully thought-out. But not in a poncy, Hipster way but how substance and style should intersect in a successful restaurant.
Though you cannot make reservations for the newly opened eatery on Bree Str., IYO Burgers have a grass-root cult following from their days as a mobile burger-bar so there’s nothing new about their already well-known and delicious Inside Out Burgers. This succulent, juicy grass fed beef patties filled with artisanal cheese and gourmet ingredients which also revolve around their “we’re so good on the inside because of what we put in from the outside” motto. The ordering system is totally unique and so much fun – check out the menu, grab an order sheet and pencil in your selection of starters, burgers and most importantly how you would like them done – on a bun, without the bun, with curly fries, sweet potato fries, kale chips or salad and finally, hand in your order at the food counter and voila, you’ve just played a mini game of putt-putt … all before you’ve had a chance to finish your first craft beer of the evening.
Now our #wildbunchdinner club can be a little … uhm … difficult to please given than many have succumb to various bad dinner guest behaviour. Yes I’m talking about the “please make provision for me because I am: vegan/gluten-free/humour-free/fat-free practitioner” and therefore the variations on the same meal can be quite onerous to even the most experienced waitron. The menu, though small is quite comprehensive and offers up something for everyone ranging from small bites (pulled pork pancakes, veggie croquettes and pork belly cubes to 9 different IYO Burger options including Beef, Chicken, Pork, Ostrich, Vegetarian and Vegan, and last but not least, a few treats to sweeten the deal (Macaroon, Cheese Cake and Ice-cream).
Had to admit that I do love a good burger, and there are many claimants in Cape Town to the title but IYO are the undisputed champions. Hands down. Thanks for playing. The Whiskey Braai-BQ Burger (smoked cheddar beef patty, topped with organic bacon, avocado, wild rocket and their famous whiskey Braai-BQ sauce) put up a good fight but in the end left me feeling tingling all over with the amazing flavour combinations and a full tummy. I’m seriously keen to find out how the get the patty packed with smokey cheddar cheese that continued to ooze out throughout my meal. All the right flavours and textures were there: creamy avocado and just crispy bacon, tender and juicy beef patty, tangy sauce and a wonderfully fresh and crunchy can of curly fries.
The Sex-on-a-Stick had the B-B.L.T (Better B.L.T) Burger for dinner and though usually a very picky eater, he managed to shut-up and eat his BBLT burger (Boerenkaas cheddar beef patty, topped with a crumbed firm tomato, bacon & onion jam, butter lettuce and a garlic mayo) however he did order it bunless with a salad (you know, banting or training or something to do with bulking up at The Gym) and curly fries which I ate. The same gooey cheese seeping out as you cut into your burger gives rise to a million sexual innuendo comments which are easily avoided at dinner but weren’t. The Girls also ate this fresh new take on a BLT – and loved the crumbed tomato and bacon and onion jam inclusion and all propped on top of a healthy bowl of summer slaai.
Big thumbs up to IYO Burgers for being bang-on the money with their super tasty burgers, fast and friendly service and comfortable and down to earth setting. A welcome addition to Bree Street that oozes healthy, good for you vibes! We will be back… we see many, many more Inside Out Burgers in our future with their ethos proudly emblazoned on the walls and pretty much in everything they do. They have come a long way from when as a group spent 2013 on the floor of Jonah’s bedroom designing and conceptualising what they wanted to do – with trips to the kitchen to test their ideas. Their goal in sight, IYO started out at the Oranjezicht Market, and this flagship store in Bree is hopefully just the first of many with Jo-burg being an obvious destination as our Northern Cousins slowly wake-up to the fact that you don’t have to eat at a mall to have a good meal. Plus there have recently been subjected to a flood of drink and food concepts being imported to their trendy neighbourhoods from this Mother City of ours and are due for a dose of eco-yumminess.
*As encouraged on IG, we did give Gabi a hard time but she is a champ and one of the reasons we’ve become fervent fans of the restaurant.