I've been to The Drapers Arms a few times but managed to never go at a time when burgers are being served. You see, they only serve burgers at lunchtime, Monday to Saturday. So if you go on a Sunday, you'll have great food and beer for sure but a burger won't be an option. A couple of weeks ago, on a Bank Holiday Monday, my luck changed and I finally sampled the pub's burger…
Hidden away in a residential street behind Liverpool Road in Islington, The Drapers Arms is one of those rare but wonderful pubs that sets out to do things really well – and that determined intention shows in the consistently pleasing food and drink it serves, and DEFINITELY in its burger. The generously fatty 200g aged beef patties are supplied by Nathan Mills of The Butchery, cooked in a cast iron skillet, and served with a melted Ogleshield cheese topping in bespoke St John buns along with really delicious sweet house pickles and homemade ketchup.
This, my burger loving friends, is pub burger perfection - an uncomplicatedly assembled burger made with carefully sourced ingredients that conspire to perfectly support the star of the show: the juicy, bone marrow-infused, aged beef patty. I felt duty-bound to get in touch with Drapers Arms head honcho, Nick Gibson, to find out a little more about the pub's approach to its burger and, in particular, about the Saturday lunch burger-pimping activities which our server mentioned to us...
"We only serve the burger Monday to Saturday lunches," Nick confirms, "as we are too busy on other services to accommodate a burger – and I also don't want my talented chefs to be spending all their time cooking burgers. So basically the lunchtime thing is a tradeoff because I love burgers very much (as you probably know) and so do our customers.
"There is an additional cost to pimp your burger on Saturdays," adds Nick, "as we have been known to use ingredients such as foie gras, soft shelled crabs, snails, nduja etc as well as my fantastic brisket (which also came with a Wild Turkey pickleback) so the cost can go up substantially – but we do give £1 per pimped burger to Action Against Hunger to mitigate."
As it comes, it's a straight up, no messing pub burger that impresses in its own right. To know I can check out different pimped versions of it every Saturday lunchtime? Well, that's just the proverbial glazing on the bun. Looking forward to my next visit. Which will be on a Saturday. Obviously.
The Drapers Arms
44 Barnsbury Street
London N1 1ER
Tel: 020 7619 0348