Here in our wonderful city, there is an overwhelming love for street food and in particular, Mexican street food. Many places have risen to the challenge of tantalising Brightonian taste buds with the promise of meat (and veg) filled burritos, dangerously hot salsas and inspired side dishes to maximise your feasting experience. One such chef is Jamie, owner of DeadGood Burrito, who has gone from Street Diner fame to taking up residence in one of the nicest pubs in Brighton: The Martha Gunn.
After hearing positive things about the all-new Martha Gunn Pub on Upper Lewes Road, my colleague and I dropped by on a bitter Friday night for some warmth, good food and a sip of something boozy. As soon as we walked in, the atmosphere pulled us in and took the chill of the outside off with cosy lighting, comfy seating and importantly, an awesome playlist. Sometimes you don’t realise it but a playlist is very difficult to get right, especially one that has to be good enough for customers to enjoy but also good enough to also fade into the background.
As we delved into the DeadGood menu, we could see the manager Ben greeting people as they came in and having a chat with some of their new regulars. This speaks volumes in terms of how welcome the Martha Gunn makes their customers feel and really contributed to the relaxed ambience of our night. When it came to ordering food, we had to choose a burrito, simply to see if they measured up to other venues in town. Because ‘it’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday’, we also greedily picked some sweet potato fries and hot chicken wings to share.
DeadGood Burrito were voted ‘Best Burritos in Brighton’ by Brighton and Hove Independent last year and it is not hard to see why. The Carnitas Deadgood Style Pork Burrito (£7.50) was just outstanding. The depth of flavour in the shoulder, cooked in a mix of special spices and freshly squeezed orange juice, hits you with that first bite. While all other components including rice, beans and salsa are part of the whole package, they all had their own place on my palate, eventually culminating in one satisfied mouthful. My colleague was of a shared mind as his Carne Asada Steak Burrito (£8) was juicy and just the right softness. Hints of citrus and garlic ran through this dish and played with the medium Te-Killer salsa.
The Sweet Potato Fries (£3) were the best kind of crispy and took some of the heat off with a sweet chilli and sour cream dip. Now, the chicken wings are a bit of a marvel for me. As someone who always opts for the mildness of the mild, the hit of heat on these wings was very pleasing, even enjoyable. With a mingling of crisp skin with fleshy, tender meat underneath, the Chicken Wings with Salsa and Sour Cream (£6) were a winner for both of us.
Real attention has been paid by Ben to bring the Martha Gunn a varied and deservedly excited clientele, and this is reflected in the care that Jamie puts into the DeadGood Burrito brand. Just like the rustic, tasty Margarita I was served with my food, these two have struck a perfect balance and I cannot recommend it enough.