Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last month or so, it would be impossible for you not to have heard the buzz about town, a rather immense excitement for a rather little place called The HubBox. Positioned on Sidwell St, an area not often tread by students, you’d be forgiven for not immediately spotting the burger joint. However, The HubBox has tactfully and quickly established itself as THE place to eat in a city awash with chain restaurants: cue exuberant city of Exeter.
In a style which can only be described as New York industrial-chic, the interiors of The HubBox launch you straight into 1950s America: red brickwork, graffiti on the walls, neon lights and dangling lamps all transform the place into a glimmering beacon of promise. The vintage, edgy style distinctively sets it apart from any other eatery nearby. Space certainly isn’t a plenty here but they work with what they’ve got. The popularity of The HubBox was evident; we had to wait a little while to be seated but this was not a problem as it gave us time to peruse the impressively displayed menu board and soak up the atmosphere.
Before long we were seated and, having already decided our choices, we ordered at the bar. The menu is far from extensive, totalling just eleven types of burgers, four hot dogs and a few sides but simplicity is well and truly The HubBox’s forte and my, were we impressed! Under a quarter of an hour later our food arrived. I had a classic cheese with hand cut fries and would probably (in fact I would) go as far to say that it’s the best burger I’ve had in Exeter, nay, in any city this side of the States. The combination of soft roll, juicy meat and just the right amount of melted cheese was a taste of the real America. Oh and the fries- the perfect balance of crispy and fluffy; I defy anyone not to instantly fall in love!
One of the quirkiest elements of The HubBox, and at the hub of it all (apologies for the pun), is the retro style shipping container which functions as the kitchen in the centre of the restaurant. I really hadn’t seen a kitchen like it! Glimpses of chefs busying away and remarkably unflustered waiters and waitresses popping in and out created the impression of an exceptionally organised business, but one in which everything runs with a tangible and contagious ease.
Oh and the best bit of it all? The whole lot came to under eight quid. No, I kid you not. Admittedly I only had tap water (student budget alert) but still, to enjoy food of that quality and have change from a tenner is pretty damn incredible.
As you can undoubtedly discern, I am a committed and self-confessed fan of The HubBox. This isn’t just another burger joint, this is a fully fledged experience like no other in Exeter. Embodying the vision of founders Matt and Ross to import a slice of something undeniably different into this wonderful city of ours, the HubBox is a resounding success. It’s just a shame that, currently, it is planned to exist as a pop-up restaurant for a few years only. Although, I have a feeling all that could change.
I am struggling to find a fault with The HubBox; if I were to be extra pernickety I guess I was slightly disappointed there were no milkshakes on the menu (alas, this is only due to my unhealthy obsession with American style milkshakes).
All things considered, this place gets a whopping 5/5 from me, a big thumbs up and a STRONG recommendation that you go and enjoy the wonder of The HubBox for yourself very soon.
by Sinead Buckingham, Razz Exeter Correspondent