Yesterday was Sunday. The bank holiday Monday loomed in the horizon so with the promise of no work on the morrow me and the other half set out for adventures in London. It was sunny. There were burgers.
We managed to fit in two different burger joints that couldn't be more different experiences.
is the first stop for lunch. Its a Hawaii themed burger and sandwich joint in Carnaby Steet, London. It's a franchised off shoot from of the apparently famous original from Hawaii and is apparently Barack Obama's favourite burger place.
First Impressions: Not that good because they are trying too hard with the whole Hawaii theme thing, right down to Magnum PI photo on the wall. OK, I actually liked that. Magnum! I wonder if he would take Higgins down for a burger and then probably claim he left money at home and get higgins to pay for it. Staff were really friendly and service was quick and efficient. The toilet has a big black rubbish bin wedged in the corner and the place smelled of wee. I always judge a place by their toilets.
So on to the food. The burgers are cooked on lava rocks which is kind of cool! Although I'm not sure that really adds anything to the taste but it did have a nice char grilled smell when it arrived at the table.
Avacardo & Bacon burger
Cheese & Bacon Burger
Fries to share
Home made slaw to share
The fries were OK but just kind of tasted like mccain french fries. The coleslaw was OK but needed more. It was simply shredded veg mixed with mayo. OK, yeah it's step up from normal packaged slaw but it needs more oomf.
The burger, the reason we went there, was the biggest let down. Looking online at reviews depresses me no end because it has quite a lot of positives which some reviews calling it best burger they ever had. There is a revolution going with burgers being dome right but most people will only know buger king and mcdonalds and if that's all I had been exposed to then I probably would love it. Let's hope more decent places open up. I'm looking forward to shake shack and 5 guys.
The burger seemed just thrown together. It weren't a cohesive coherent thing just a bunch of stuff in a burger. A huge slab of tomato ( which I took out ) lettuce dumped on top for some reason? I took that out and put half of it under my burger. The thing comes with a carrot stick on the side. I'm bewildered! Is this an Hawaiian thing? The slab of cheese that came with it wasn't melted. How can you not melt it?
The beef patty is the real problem. It was unevenly cooked. Mine came almost fully cooked but my girlfriend's was almost rare in some places but pink in others. The burger wasn't that juicy and lacked any real flavour apart from a lot of salt. I suspect that the ammount of salt is there to cover for lack of flavor. The texture is hard and there were bits of gristle. It seems they are packed too hard ( industrial made? ) and the grind is too fine. It's a world away from a decent hand made burger made from quality beef. This beef patty tastes like the kind you get in a whopper or from weatherspoons. The bacon that came with it should be crisp and add a lovely salty pork note to the beef but the bacon was just a limp pink strip.
I wouldn't really have too much of a problem if this place didn't advertise itself as a premium burger joint with prices to match. My burger with the extra cheese was over £10. I would have enjoyed burger king more. At these prices I expect a hell of a lot more.
Patty & Bun
for dinner just a stone's throw from Bond Street. Burger fans will know this is not too far from meat liquor.
First Impressions: Well, I took the line of people outside and a 20 minute wait to get into the small restaurant a good sign. I had also read very good things. Take a look at the menu page ( full of photos ) and get a stiffie from some serious burger food porn! Go on. Look. You want to, don't you, filthy monkey!
Me and the other half were seated and placed our order. Staff were great and the place was unpretentious and buzzing. I scoped a group in the corner excitedly taking photos. We both ordered the same things.
Fench fries with rosemary salt
wing winger chicken dinner ( wings to share )
A smokey robinson each
First the burger: Oh. My. Fucking. God. Good.
The Smokey Robinson: beef patty, caramelized onions, home made p&b mayo, lettuce, and bacon in a brioche bun.
Apologies for my terrible mobile phone shot. I urge you to go to the main site if you already haven't and feast your eyeballs on the burger porn. I unwrapped the grease proof paper it came into to a mess of sauce, and burger beef juices. I bit in eagerly and immediately tasted perfectly cooked quality aged beef. Oh my fucking god this is good. Beautiful soft juicy beef in a rich sweet brioche bun mingling with home made sauce and and beef juices and bacon and lettuce and and oh my. Oh it's good. Upon doing a bit of research the meat is 35 day aged quality beef - it shows. This is a seriously fucking good burger. In fact... one of the best I have had in my life and as you can probably guess I have had quite a few of them
The fries were amazing, tripple cooked with flecks of rosemary salt. We dipped our fries in the tangy home made p&b mayo. I have no idea what this "mayo" is but it's simply amazing rich and tangy smokey thick sauce. It's like fucking crack in a bowl. The combo of fries and sauce are outstanding.
The winger winger chicken dinner are wings but the most incredible wings I have had in my life. Not blowing my own trumpet ( since I don't own one ) but I make home made wings and they are the best I have had so far... until this. This blows anything else away. It's comfit of chicken wings coated in a crispy coating and covered in a bbq sauce and spring onions. I have never had anything like this. First you get the crunch and tang of sauce and into the meat that's so soft inside it melts in your mouth like chicken velvet Astounding good.
All washed down with craft beer and then a peanut butter choc ice for dessert.
This is the best burger joint that I have tried so far and probably one of the best meals in my life. I highly, highly, highly, recommend you get yourself down to P&B
Edited by wobbly_Bob at 18:38:34 06-05-2013