Anyone who is currently living in London and who dabbles in the restaurant scene of the city should understand the title of this piece. If not, it’s no complicated concept, just that burgers are EVERYWHERE. Due to the recent food trend of upmarket fast food, burger joints of all kinds are popping up all over the shop. Some literally, in the form of a ‘pop-up’ temporary location that will be gone quicker than you can say ‘fast-food’, others establishing themselves as a permanent venture even though it may be in a shack out the back of another restaurant (Dirty Burger!).
After a couple of bleak years of recession, Brits are migrating towards good quality comfort food for a feel-good treat. This means that chickens are back on the rotisserie, milkshakes are being whipped up by the minute and burgers are BACK (cue farmyard animals up and down the country to squirm).
I love the no-fuss, unpretentious surroundings that going for a burger involves and you’re always guaranteed to leave feeling perfectly satisfied. Though there is one catch (as there always seems to be.. ).. You can’t book, thus queues are inevitable.
Cladded rather inappropriately in suits due to the ‘after work’ nature of our outings, my friends and I have managed to pack in a few burger joints over the past couple of weeks.
Honest Burger: A few weeks ago for a birthday treat, a few of my now ‘young professional’ friends and I congregated suited and booted after work for a good and honest burger. The initial wait for our table was definitely worth it as we stepped in from the cold into a small room buzzing with burger joy. A fantastic concept, the menu was displayed on the wall with the choice of chicken, cheese or veggie fritter and then the added dilemma of what cheese to have (Our poor friend Zaf, being the only male, struggled with we indecisive girls). Served in a glazed toasted bun and served with hand-cut chips with the skin on and sprinkled with rosemary salt, these burgers were ‘honest’ly rather posh (yet distinctly unpretentious). The exceptional chuck beef comes from the Ginger Pig (http://www.thegingerpig.co.uk/) and is served very pink in the middle, just to my liking!
Our drinks were served in jam-jar inspired tumblers with jazzy straws and the burgers in enamel dishes, adding small touches of edge to the restaurant.
We all left with huge smiles on our faces and tummies very happy! Exceptional quality, a fantastic concept and not too much grease!
Dirty Burger: I was told it was hard to find and that it was just a shack, but I was not quite expecting a corrugated room built onto the back of a Pizza Place, the doorway artistically framed by the stairs of a fire escape. This ‘out back’ characteristic was so charming and just my kind of place, reminding me of all our favourite off the beaten track tapas haunts on our Spanish travels.
I pushed on the metal door which creaked open into a burger room if there ever was one. Ketchup and mustard bottles scattered over a huge wooden table around which people munched on burgers in the trademark ‘Dirty‘ wrapping. In one corner is the tiny kitchen where you place your order. The vast evening menu consists of cheeseburger and… cheeseburger! That’s right, you have no choice. So if you’re a fussy eater or a veggie then, well, tough! Although veggies could order one of the two available sides… Crinkly chips and deep-fried red onion chips. Once you place your order, you proceed to the next corner where a wooden cupboard magically opens into a self-service drinks fridge jam-packed with sodas and shakes. Finally, choose your seating from the central communal wooden table or the wooden shelf hugging the perimeter of the shack and wait for your grub.
My friend Jess and I, again suited up, thoroughly enjoyed our burgers, with the exception of a slightly soggy bun. We didn’t mind as much as the filling was so deliciously packed, but when it comes to comparisons Honest Burger has to sit above. Though Dirty Burger’s onion chips were a real winner and made the meal! A fantastic concept that I hope does not lose it’s charm when the masses inevitably begin to flock..