Since July 2015 we have been Hastings / St Leonard’s first dedicated, fully licensed Burger restaurant. Eighteen months later in December 2016 we opened our second site in Eastbourne. Slowly, and with the right degree of mellowness and righteousness, plans are taking shape for a third Half Man! Half Burger!...
We honed our craft waaaay back in 2013 in various pop-up restaurants and street food events in Brighton. From that we graduated to rocking our burgers on the UK festival circuit including Glastonbury Festival and Sonisphere. This frantic dedication led to the opening our first permanent home at the art-deco tastic Marine Court in St Leonard’s-on-Sea. In our eyes St Leonard’s and Hastings really needed a dedicated burger joint where we would enjoy eating and drinking. We figured if we did others would join us. We opened to a long queue around the building, and not much has changed since. We were (and still are) blown away by the reception our burger dream has had.
The same outlook brought us to Eastbourne in 2016, we already had people visiting regularly so being there was a no-brainer. As soon as we opened the door in Eastbourne it was obvious we did the right thing. In Eastbourne we set up on Grove Road, next to vinyl record shops, small theatres, comic stores and indie coffee shops. Probably the greatest street in Eastbourne for us!
Our mission was inspired by many pilgrimages to authentic American burger joints where we soaked up the vibes and the food. Half Man! Half Burger! are here to offer a fresh & local burger experience, obsessed with delivering the tastiest burgers possible. Our mission is simple: to create perfect hamburgers, fries and sides every time, using only the best ingredients. We believe food and drink should served up in a laid-back environment with a smile, whilst playing some decent rock n'roll (and the occasional bit of proper metal) at the same time. We took several trips to the then-burgeoning street-food/indie restaurant scene in Brooklyn, New York to help inspire the layout and decor. We wanted to bring minimal design and Americana together, with our love of good music running throughout.
The meat: Our patties are locally sourced 100% Sussex beef pastured and grass fed, never frozen and containing no fillers or preservatives. We have a very specific, and much-tested ratio of cuts that blend together. Once selected, our beef cuts are freshly ground by our butcher every morning. Every patty is carefully weighed and then pattied into shape by hand for maximum taste. We cook each to perfection at over 240 degrees so the juices flow, and the char is created - these patties get spoiled!
Our sauces are made from scratch. The HM!HB! Memphis Screamin' Whiskey BBQ Sauce can take up to six hours to get the whiskey and organic molasses to blend correctly. The HM!HB! Smoky Bacon & Onion Relish that forms the basis of the super-popular Smokestack, is based on cutting up kilos of very expensive bacon, and utilising liquid smoke, among other secret ingredients in the process of cooking down. Our 'slaw, our Devil's Fingers, our fresh desserts are all lovingly handmade. Nothing processed. Nothing frozen.
Our bacon comes from the family-run Oakley Brothers, who have been using a traditional brick built kiln smoker since 1875. Their tried and trusted methods help produce the finest smoke-infused bacon we have encountered on our search for flavour. The HM!HB! smoke-o-meter always hits a 10 when we unwrap a fresh delivery!
We take just as much care with our fries as we do with our burgers. In fact we have sought perfection with our fries feeling let down by many burger joints on our worldwide tasting travels. Hand-cut Maris Piper potatoes (never frozen!) are twice fried with skins on, and then lightly dusted with rosemary salt. Everyone who comes to us wiill see minimum 250KG of potatoes in bags outside the kitchen, we put every potato through our own chipper, one by one. We have competitions to see who can smash a bag the fastest.
We are also proud to have had from day one an incredible vegan burgers, all made in our own vegan prep kitchen from scratch, using a huge array of secret ingredients sourced from Infinity Foods. Vegan buns, vegan cheese fries, vegan mayo and vegan desserts complete the scene. Our vegan burgers have attached a huge following and we are proud to have built this up, in what many consider a purely meat-focused business.
All burgers are served on our own bespoke glazed pain de mie / brioche bun made from Shipton Mill organic flour, and baked locally every day in Sussex for super freshness. Trays arrive each morning and you cannot fake that freshness.
Integrity and hard work are the lifeblood of our kitchens, and we aim to keep it that way. Wherever you eat, if you choose to dine in with us, or takeaway, our promise of real fresh food is what makes it taste so damn good. This stuff ain't easy!
We believe passionately in providing more quality, more consistency and - most of all - more taste. The Half Man! Half Burger! experience aims to deliver this with every burger - every time.
In December 2017 we realised another dream when we collaborated with Brewing Brothers micro-brewhouse to create our own beer - Half Man! Half Brother! Check the video on our website.