74 Welbeck Street,
MEATliquor, centrally located, not far from Oxford Street, is the creation of Yianni Papoutsis (he of #meateasy and Meat Wagon fame) and Scott Collins (Capital Pubs Company) and is a) a purveyor of mighty fine burgers and lip-smacking pies, b) achingly hip and c) very nearly let-down by atrocious service.
The food, to start on a high, is exactly the kind of thing I love. Unashamed Americana delights: juicy burgers, cheesey chilli fries, fried chicken, sweet pies and strong cocktails are all done with aplomb. From the skinny, crisp fries drowned in spicy hot chilli topped with gooey cheese and onion and pickles to the ‘Dead Hippy Burger’ – two soft patties, sauce, huge pickles served on sweet, chewy bread – this was frigging amazing. At about £8 each they’re not a bargain but you’re not being mugged either, they’re reassuringly moderately priced. The pies though, wow, – we tried “Crack Pie”, Key Lime and Coconut Cream – were unreal. Only £4 a pop they were a slice of sweet heaven.
The cocktails, served in jam jars with names like Memphis Steamer and Louisiana Jam, were pretty special, and strong too. Yum. The boys drank Meantime Lager and none of the drinks seemed wildly expensive.
The decor of MEATliquor is none-too-subtle. Loud red and white walls covered in graffiti, almost no lights, low tables, rolls of kithchen roll on every table and awesome blues and rock-n-roll at an ear-splitting volume. You may or may not like this but for playing amazing bluegrass and filthy blues alone I can’t wait to get back.
The only thing that could stop me is the service. Sweet momma it was poor. As you can’t book a table queues grow crazy-fast and the staff were pretty obnoxious the whole time. When you’re seated it’s incredibly tricky catching their eye and settling the bill was also a protracted affair. With so much demand on the tables they should have been faster than a speeding bullet. They were not.
Overall though, this is a fun and delicious place to grab a beautiful burger. If they can work on the service and work on being a little less hip and a little more helpful, then there will be next to nothing wrong with this place. I would say go. Go early. Don’t wear clothes you don’t mind dripping burger-juice on and leave room for pie.