Rugged coastline, golden beaches, rolling hills, Thomas Hardy – some of what makes Dorset famous. And with the rest of the West Country we also have some of the best orchards and livestock, both showcased at Cow & Apple, recently opened in Dorchester. Focused on burgers and cider, Cow & Apple is the second restaurant with the first opening in June 2016 in Yeovil. There’s plenty of seating available with a mix of booths, hightops and normal tables – in a room that has a modern, urban feel with exposed brickwork and exposed venting.
Cow & Apple is family affair with Gareth Witt and his siblings setting up and running the restaurants using local producers from Somerset and Dorset. All the beef is from Ruby Red cattle and leads to a fine burger experience – a meaty, flavoursome mouthful. And the family feel comes through in the service which is very friendly and professional without being too “matey”.
There are a range of burgers to choose from – we shared a Sloppy Cow and a Combine. The Sloppy Cow was a take on an American favourite, the Sloppy Joe with the burger topped with an excellent chilli con carne, smoked cheese, spicy jalapeños and crisp nachos. In the car on the way across we’d been listening to the Kitchen Cabinet podcast where there’s been a brief discussion around adding crisps to sandwiches – and the nachos did something similar bringing a very satisfying crunch to proceedings.
The Combine offered a similar logistical challenge in eating but one that we we were definitely up for – topped with bacon, cheese, onion rings and red onion with bbq sauce (and lettuce & tomato as 2 of your 5 a day – do onions count?). The brioche buns were delightfully soft but robust enough to stand up to the job of holding the burger and fillings down to the final morsel.
For those that prefer something other than beef there are a range of other options including falafel and mushroom burgers. Tacos are on the menu too along with a range of sausages – we had a “side” of chorizo and sausage meat scotch egg. This was a terrific scotch egg with a crisp breadcrumb casing, herby, punchy stuffing and a beautifully runny, golden yolk. The accompanying curried onion relish was delicious – but almost not needed – the scotch egg on its own with a little of the rocket salad (the 3rd of the 5 for the day!) was perfect for me.
And to drink…what an amazing selection of ciders. Service was great throughout our visit and one element of this was being given a taster of three ciders to decide from – my favourite of these was the house Cow & Apple cider (apparently still waiting for a final name although I quite like Cow & Apple), a dry-medium cider that had a hint of bubbles without being fizzy. The sharpness of the cider helped cut through the richness of the burger and fries (themselves a generous portion of proper crispy fries that you need with a burger).
Situated on Trinity Street, just down from the Plaza Cinema and a short walk from the Odeon at Brewery Square and behind the main shopping street, Cow & Apple is a great choice for a lunch or dinner stop. It’s also great to be able to support a new team setting up independent restaurants with passion and entrepreneurial spirit (the Yeovil restaurant was crowdfunded) so do pay them a visit.
Cow & Apple
30 Trinity Street
t: 01305 266286
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||No|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|