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Blog

Filtering by Tag: 4/5 stars

Burger & Shake Cheeseburger

Burgerac

£7.50 With loose packed juicy patties made from a 50/50 blend of chuck and aged rib cap, the burgers at Burger & Shake are worth checking out

Burger & Shake opened last year slap bang opposite the Brunswick Centre in a small 30 seater diner on Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury. I found myself walking past on my way to check out Disco Bistro at Skate King's Cross the other week (see review, below) so popped in to check out its eponymous offerings...

First I ordered a chocolate shake - which in taste and texture was remarkably similar to a Maccy Dees shake. It was thick and gloopy but tasted of sugar far more than of real chocolate. Still, it hit a chilly nostalgic note that was pretty pleasing - especially as it was about 30 degrees outside.

Now then, I always like to check out a basic (rather than fancy) burger on my first visit to a new place so I can really get to grips with the basics, the bun, the meat etc, so I ordered a Cheeseburger (£7.50) off the menu – which arrived served thus:

The top of the bun appeared to be hovering a centimetre or two above the cheese-topped 180g patty so I lifted it up to find this effect was caused by a tiny piece of pickle and a meagre slice of tomato which in turn had another effect: of making the whole ensemble appear ungenerous. The inside of the (otherwise lovely) brioche bun hadn't been toasted either which made me feel like either someone in the kitchen had got up out of the wrong side of bed, or simply didn't give a monkey's about the little details that go toward making a burger truly awesome. 

A little more love (and indeed generosity) would have given a much better first impression of this burger.

Still, look at that patty! Sat on bed of shredded iceberg lettuce and a splat of a pretty standard burger sauce, it was juicy and cooked a perfect medium rare. And biting into it turned my untoasted-bun frown upside down: it was loosely packed, juicy as hell and perfectly cooked with a nice char flavour too that almost made up for the lack of bun toasting and mean gherkin allocation. The beef itself had a great flavour and a chap called Magnus told me when I asked that Burger & Shake's patties are made from a blend of chuck and aged rib cap. 

OK, so the way it was served seemed a little mean, especially at £7.50 (guys, you gotta toast the inside of your buns and include more than one minuscule sliver of gherkin) but the patty itself is really flippin' good. In fact, all the ingredients here are spot-on but there's definitely a lingering feeling that Burger & Shake could invest a little more time and effort to elevate what is already a pretty good product into something I'd potentially sell family members to get hold of.

So while my nearest and dearest have nothing to worry about just yet, these patties have promise. I'll be back soon to check out the Burger & Shake House Burger (£8.50) - which is the same as above but with sweet cured bacon, served with a horseradish and mustard ketchup for a bit of a kick. There was also a burger on the specials board that boasted pulled pork that looked intriguing. I hope to get back soon to investigate further.

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Burger & Shake
47 Marchmont Street
London
WC1N 1AP

Tel: 020 7837 7718


Burger & Shake on Urbanspoon

Disco Bistro EC4 Disco Burger

Burgerac

£14 with fries. With cheese made using beef dripping and its rich braised beef topping, the Disco Burger might be London's beefiest burger

Occupying a dining room above The Rising Sun pub on Carter Lane, only a matter of yards away from the West façade of St Paul's Cathedral, Carl Clarke's Disco Bistro is a rather lovely, unfussy place to dine that I'll be returning to ASAP...



Despite the fact that I went there to sample the burger, the "snacks" on the menu sounded so great I wanted to try them all. Me and my dining buddies opted to share some chicken wings and when it became clear we couldn't decide whether we wanted the sticky or hot variety, our waiter kindly said he'd ask the kitchen to prepare a half and half bowl showcasing both. Sold!

The wings were pretty bloody good - they were crispy but smothered in just the right amount of super tasty sauce. We didn't speak until they were all gone. Then we started getting excited about the burger, but the truth is, we were far from prepared for just how beefy our Disco Burgers would be.

In fact, the DB Burger could just be the beefiest burger in London. The patty itself consists of marbled rib, brisket, chuck, and bone marrow - all from a Devon Ruby cow. But wait, there's yet more beefiness: the patty is served in a rich bun with a liquid cheese made on the premises using beef dripping, along with a dollop of barbequed short rib that's been mixed with a sticky, sweet and salty super-reduced beef gravy – gravy so densely rich it's like a kind of gastronomical black hole. There's no escape from it's beefy denseness. Oh, and it comes in a basket with a stack of perfectly realised beef fat chips!

So, this is a way-beefier-than-average taste sensation, although I have to admit I was baffled by the inclusion of no small amount of tomato ketchup and mustard in the ensemble. It was completely unnecessary and at odds with the rest of what was going on. The bacon too, though perfectly cooked so the fat was crisp and melt-in-the-mouth, was lost among the beefiness.

Having said all that, this is DEFINITELY a burger you need to check out, even if, for me, the overload of superfluous condiment and the fact that the bun collapsed half way through eating the burger stops me from awarding it a full five stars. Regardless, this is still a Very Special Burger indeed.

Something else you should check out when you visit Disco Bistro - but probably not, as we did, at the same time as tackling a Disco Burger - is the super-rich, cheesy chips (cooked in beef fat) which come with the same beefy cheese that features in the burger, same salty-sweet'n'beefy short rib and some crispy dehydrated onion. They're really bloody good.

Also worthy of your attention on the Disco Bistro menu is a reportedly delicious fried chicken roll (fellow blogger Rosie The Londoner was also at DB when I was there and was extolling it's awesomeness in no uncertain terms) and the "crackled day boat brill, spicy crab and buttermilk with fennel slaw" in a bun sounds pretty damn awesome.

There is every chance that after tackling a Disco Burger (which is, in all honesty, one of the richest, beefiest dishes you're ever likely to encounter) you might not have room for dessert. But if you do, I can heartily recommend the basket of hot mini gingerbread doughnuts served with a lemon curd dip, which you can share (if you're that way inclined) with whoever you're dining with. I'm already planning my next visit!

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Disco Bistro EC4
The Rising Sun
61 Carter Lane
London EC4V 5DY

Tel: 07850 630129
Disco Bistro EC4 on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

The Old Brewery Grilled Angus Beef Burger

Major Tightbuns

£11.50 including hand cut chips. Extras (bacon / spicy coleslaw/ smoked Applewood cheese) are £1 each. Not a looker, but really good nonetheless

After a wrapping up some top-secret undercover ops in the patty world, MAJOR TIGHTBUNS is back reviewing for Burgerac and has just filed this report charting a recent burger'n'beer tasting mission at Meantime Brewery's Greenwich pub, The Old Brewery...

TTTTTTTEEEENNNNNSSSSSSHHHHUUUNNNN!!!!! Major Tightbuns reporting for duty! The Grilled Angus Beef Burger at The Old Brewery has been getting praise from many corners of the Mess Hall of late so the only thing to head over for a recce...

Being the bar of the Meantime Brewing Company, the list of carefully honed and favourable brews on offer was predictably excellent. And The Old Brewery food menu handily suggests what beer goes best with each dish – although given that this is, after all, the hallowed home of Meantime beer, perhaps it's more appropriate to think of the menu as a reference guide to what food will go best with the beer you're drinking (rather than the other way round). As luck would have it, I was supping on an Oktoberfest when I spotted that it was the recommended accompaniment to the only burger on the menu. Sold!

Now, they say you can't judge a book by its cover and the same is true, I've found, of burgers: appearance alone is no guide to how wonderful (or woeful) the experience of eating one is going to be. No siree, the amount of wow-factor high stacked burgers that are ferried to gastro pub tables only to severely disappoint when actually consumed are ten a penny - but this, you'll be glad to hear, is not one of those. On the contrary, when the Meantime Old Brewery Grilled Angus Beef Burger hoved into view I thought it to be a little on the "plain jane" side. No wow-factor to speak of visually. Instead, the first thing that strikes you when it arrives is the squarish, floured bap in which it's housed. It has non of the egg-glazed sheen, or sesame seed specked swagger of other recently sampled memorable burgers, and looks more home cooking than chef-made masterpiece.


However, as soon as a bite is taken it becomes apparent that the bun is light and airy and the succulence of the patty immediately reveals itself. Appearances are challenged, and the burger itself takes over. Mmm… showy and bland - or plain looking and delicious… I know which of the two types of burger I want. And so, it would seem, does The Old Brewery.

In terms of build, the burger is served with lettuce, a couple of rings of onion, tomato relish, grain mustard mayo and a side of hand cut chips - with bacon and smoked Applewood cheese. I'm not going to lie, this is a highly enjoyable burger. The bread holds the meat and juice well, flattening down but not splitting or falling apart. The meat patty is slightly on the under seasoned side but not to the extent that it's a problem - it's tender, tasty and the flavours of the slightly smoked cheese and bacon are the perfect foil for this wodge of pleasure as a whole. Served in the zone of medium rare, everything worked.

This isn't a showy burger. It has no lofty pretentions and for that reason it's not an out and out show stopper. It's not meant to be. It's a straight-up honest to goodness burger served in an environment where, despite beer being (understandably) the star, the no-nonsense flavour-led credo also extends to the food.

Major Tightbuns' verdict: SON, YOU MADE YOUR POPPA PROUD!!!!! FOUR STARS ****!!!!

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The Old Brewery
The Pepys Building
The Old Naval College
Greenwich
London SE10 9LW

 Tel: 020 3327 1280

www.oldbrewerygreenwich.com

Old Brewery on Urbanspoon

Square Meal