Sometimes I crave a burger.
Not just any old burger mind you… it’s got to have flavour, it needs to be big and mighty meaty, sometimes it just needs to be epic.
When I say epic, it needs to be EPIC.
I’m talking about big juicy, meaty burgers dripping with juices (yes, sometimes doubling up and melting cheese inbetween helps), a good quality (ever so slightly toasted) brioche bun that will hold it together and not forgetting the super-memorable trimmings such as tangy sliced gherkins or pickles, BBQ mayo and thick bacon with a bite to make it even more of a mighty fine meaty treat.
Well, this is precisely what I’ve stumbled upon at Rhode Island in Cambridge – this place has been on Cherry Hinton High Street for just over a year and I recently realised that I hadn’t yet visited, shame on me!
However, a recent Instagram post from Rhode Island changed that for the better.
Introducing Rhode Island:
You don’t immediately consider this part of Cambridge the best place to look for something to curb your meaty cravings, but Rhode Island is an American-style establishment worthy of a mention, owned by the creative and super friendly Aksara Inamdar.
As soon as you walk through the doors, instead of being met with the stereotypical “American Diner” interior that so many burger joints tend to put their spin on alongside this sort of food, it actually satisfied the total geek in me and my dining partner much more than anticipated.
The walls are covered in striking, hand-drawn comic strips and adorned with colourful comic books that gently flap under the gentle stream of air from the restaurants’ air con. The tables are covered in fun games board designs and there are plenty of playful touches as you look closely, such as the riddles etched onto the cushions and the graffiti artwork on the beer-barrel stools – I was in nerdy heaven from the start and I hadn’t even ordered my drink!
This is ever-changing and adapting, with the Rhode Island team listening to what their customers want to munch on, with the meat being supplied locally from a butcher on Mill Road, this venue is highly supportive of local suppliers. They are fine supporters of local food and drink producers & suppliers, stocking goods from independent brands such as Breckland Orchard or Kandula Tea.
The burgers are the star of the show here, with 12 specials throughout the year up for grabs (one a month appearing on the menu boards) including 6 veggie burgers to include the local vegetarians in the excitement too. The current special is “The Wild Game”, a 7oz venison burger, with a heart of beetroot, marinated & topped with red slaw, homemade BBQ sauce and pickles.
“The Dirty Cow” is the real rock star though, topped with pulled pork, treacle cured bacon, a fried egg and similar trimmings, but with the addition of a stack of crispy fried onion strings – double it up for a corker! They use brioche bread for the buns from Norfolk Street Bakery (it used to be Dovecote Bakery, but a few of us bloggers were getting that wrong lately, hehe so noted ; ) to top it off perfectly – in fact this was such a monstrous burger that the top bun rests by the side, rather than on top.
We decided to share our doubled up Dirty Cow and also nibbled on some pulled pork sliders with their homemade BBQ sauce on the side for dipping.
My god… be warned, you may experience a meat coma after a visit here!
You can drink from an entire board of craft beers, with a few regular offerings, as well as many many guest beers to pick from. You can pick from brewers such as Black Bar (a local micro brewer), Brew Dog, Wild Beer, Rogue and Beavertown to name a few.
If you fancy a classic root beer float or a cream soda, you can enjoy sipping on a tall drink of something sweet, as well as an array of milkshake options to suit every tooth-type. We shared the salted caramel shake in place of a pudding and it was so thick & dreamy, I couldn’t take too much after my full-on meal, but my bearded companion trooped on through (he said I wasn’t allowed to mention this to you all here, but then changed his mind, as it was SO GOOD!).
Breakfasts and coffee with cake is also an option at Rhode Island from 8:30am weekdays and 10:30am at weekends. Coffee is supplied by Hot Numbers and cakes from Norfolk Street Bakery (mmm who doesn’t love their stunning buttery pastels de nata?!) and treats from the very talented Stella at Little Cake Pot (check out her photography on Instagram, it’s stunning!). With wifi available to customers, even breakfast milkshakes up for grabs, this is the perfect meeting place for clients or friends alike – I for one will be using this place more for making my Cambridge-based meetings more of a treat!
The Little Extras:
We were struggling to choose our milkshake when it came to it, but our knowledgeable waitress reeled off all the choices and even discussed her favourites and why… she was fab.
There was no rush to clear the table for the next diners, we had a leisurely meal and were in fact the last men standing after spending far too much time geeking over the comics – oops!
On leaving, Aksara took our picture with a polaroid camera to add to their “Wall of Shame” – I love this wall… in fact there’s more than one wall now… with hundreds of snaps of happy and very full diners of the past, some with their own notes or hashtags scribbled along the bottom of their pic – such a great idea!
The Little Niggles:
It might be worth noting that the mains don’t come with sides unless stated, so if you want fries, you need to order them separately. The “Some Like It Hot” fries sounded too spicy for my liking, so we chose the courgette fries which had a crispy shell and a soft centre as I would have expected. It was actually quite nice to have something to nibble on between mouthfuls of meat – perhaps a salad next time?
I guess location always puts people off in Cambridge, but trust me, get yourself out to Cherry Hinton – I feel you won’t be sorry!
We all know that healthy eating should be encouraged, but from time to time, a treat such as Rhode Island just has to be done – if you want generous and satisfying portions, this should be your next stop.
To view my full photo album for this visit, simply click here.
For me, this is true romance.
Please note – This visit was complimentary following an invitation to view this venue and meet the team. I am in no means obliged to blog or write about their offerings, but I simply choose to share with my readers, should I enjoy the experience. The service team that work on the day or duration of my visit are not aware of my reasons for visiting, to enable a fair review.
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All images © 2015 Miss Sue Flay, these may not be used or reproduced without written permission from the owner, many thanks in advance.