Hands up if you’re a 90’s kid.
Do you remember the birthday parties when you were really young? The ones held at McDonalds or a run down activity centre. Your mum would dress you up in your best Fruit-of-The-Loom t-shirt and off you went to run riot around a bouncy castle or foam-clad obstacle course. Afterwards you and your sweaty, noisy friends would gather around a crappy plastic table, where surrounded by balloons and cartoon paper plates you were plied with party food. I challenge anyone to say that those childhood parties were not as fun, if not better than any adult party they’ve been to.
Being a kid was a simpler, more colourful time and there’s something so enjoyable in remembering it. If only you could relive it again, eh?
Well, I went to Atomic Burger and did just that.
Atomic Burger is a fantastic independent franchise located in Oxford and Bristol that specialise in childhood nostalgia and of course, utterly incredible burgers. I visited the Oxford Restaurant: an inconspicuous looking place that shouts very little about what it holds inside. Surprising, given that the interior is positively bursting with nostalgia, toys and other fun stuff.
The menu is like a toy in itself; designed to be like a comic, searching for the burger you want is both a challenge and a pleasure.
Each burger is accompanied by original fillings and hilarious names guaranteed to make you smirk as you say them to the waitress. I’m afraid I was that person (you know the one) who couldn’t decide and held up the entire table playing eeny-meeny-miney-mo between burgers! I finally settled on the Chuck Norris; how could I resist BBQ pulled pork and onions?
For the brave, the foolish and the just plain hungry there’s even a food challenge: The Fallout Pizza Burger.
I didn’t attempt this beast as it was very spicy – I don’t do spicy. But a student on the next table (who definitely fell into the foolish category) was giving it a rather pitiful go in his latex gloves!
I can only apologise for the photos that my horrible old iphone took from here in. You see, Atomic Burger is quite a dark place, due to a projector which plays a constant stream of adverts, cartoons and sit-com intros from the late 80’s & 90’s. All guaranteed to give you some seriously intense flashbacks from your youth. Whilst waiting for my food I sat there mesmerised by clips of He-Man, Sharky & George, Inspector Gadget and The Racoons, exclaiming “Oh my God I used to LOVE this!” repeatedly.
Chuck Norris and his sidekick of trusty fries arrived in good time. Its always a good sign when pork is spilling out the sides of your burger. I think ol’ Chuck would be pretty content having such a meaty burger named after him.
If you aren’t quite ready to settle the bill and leave yet (and quite frankly, why would you be?) there’s the dessert menu to take a peak at. Its nothing fancy and nothing unique, just those classic crowd pleasers like waffles, sundaes, cheesecake and if you really are feeling like a kid again: jelly and ice cream! I tried two desserts because y’know… I wanted to.
Waffles complete with a big, plastic spoon. That’s right, no adult cutlery for you! Even more exciting and by far the most novel thing on the menu was dessert number two…
Yes. Marshmallows toasted at your table with your very own little camp fire. AMAZING! Even the person at your table who, “Couldn’t possibly eat another bite,” will find room to enjoy one of these.
I would have loved an Atomic Burger near me during my student days, because its completely void of responsibility and grown up stuff. Its the kind of haven you’d escape to when course work is getting too much and you just wanna be a bit silly. You wanna eat something called a Frido Bandito? That’s okay! You wanna eat a burger as big as your face with pizzas for buns? Go right ahead! Walking out the door I felt extremely satisfied, not only by the delicious food I had been served, but by the endless memories I have been given as well.