Tag Archives: burger

Review: MEATliquor

3 Dec

Burger

MEATliquor

74 Welbeck Street,

London,

W1G 0BA

http://www.meatliquor.com/

**No reservations**

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.

Cocktails

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.

Recipe: The King Burger (Bacon, Cheese and Peanut Butter Burger)

13 Nov

Elvis woulda loved it,

Clearly missing the sweet, heart-attack-inducing fare of the Deep South, Josh decided to cook something special last night; a dinner that the King himself would have gladly tucked into.  It was an insane combination of thick juicy burger, crisp smoked bacon, Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce, smooth peanut butter, gooey plastic cheese and more bacon thrown in for good measure.

It sounds a little scary doesn’t it? Well it wasn’t, I promise.  It was epic and staggeringly gorgeous.  The peanut butter  lent a creamy saltiness that countered the sweet shallots within the burger.  The bacon was smokey and added bite.  Plastic cheese, well for me, it just improves everything, right?  And I guess that goes for BBQ sauce too.  So perhaps not one for the weight watchers but as Saturday night treats go, this one was rocking and rolling.

To buy (for four burgers):

*650g really good steak mince   *1 small shallot, finely chopped   *2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce   *1 teaspoon smoked paprika   *1 teaspoon hot paprika   *1 pinch of chilli   *2 teaspoons of BBQ seasoning   *toasted buns   *good quality streaky bacon   *cheese (we used plastic)   *BBQ sauce (we have Jack Daniel’s Honey Smokehouse) but any would be fine.

Josh and his giant meatball

To make:

1. In a big bowl combine the meat, shallots, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce until really well mixed.  Split into four and make meat patties that are an inch or two thick.  Wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for at least half an hour.

2. When you’re ready to eat, under a pre-heated grill or in a hot pan cook the burgers for a few minutes on each side as you like.  I like my burgers juicy and pink inside but seared and blackened on the outside so cook them quickly and at high temperatures but this it totally up to you.  Always good to rest the burgers for a while before serving them though.

3. To build the King burgers, toast the bottom half of the baps and then spread a generous dollop of peanut butter on top.  Add a slice or plastic cheese and then some really crispy bacon.  Pop the burger on top and then add a little more bacon (we chopped it in half before cooking so it fit in the bun better) and a huge, unseemly dollop of BBQ sauce.  Top with the toasted bap lid and prepare for a treat.

Congratulations to Josh for deciding that this could and would work and hat-tip to Fresh and Foodie for providing  him with a recipe to tweak as he went along.  Are you going to make this? Could you think of a way to make it even better? I need to try it, if so.

 

 

Review: Byron

2 May

Beautiful

Byron

Ariel Way, Westfield, London, W12 7GF

T – 020 874 37755

Website

I adore burgers.  Proper, simple, tasty burgers.  Be they tender beef patties, squidgy halloumi or succulent chicken, the humble burger in so many forms – except perhaps the filet o’ fish – is a wondrous thing to behold and to scoff.

My roadtrip around the States last year blew my mind in terms of what a great burger could be. Sure, I had a diabolical Burger King – sluttishly devoured in the rental car a few miles outside of Woodstock – and yes, I did chomp my way through a McDonalds cheeseburger and slurp my way through a guilty Vanilla McShake which made me feel over-full like they always do – but there were also burgers so exquisite, so perfect, so delicious that I was close to punching the air in triumph.

French Fries

At Five Guys in Connecticut the burgers were so breathlessly simple – juicy, medium rare patties, soft fluffy bread, a splash of BBQ sauce, a slice of cheese – that I swore I would never eat a burger as fine again… and I am still yet to.  At Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, the burgers were dripping wet and came with a spicy jalapeño kick.  At a roadside diner towards Cape Cod I slurped my way through a malt shake as dreamy as Brad Pitt.  This is how you do it.

And I think it’s fairly simple.  Here are my* rules to achieving burger heaven:

1. The meat in a beefburger should be good quality, juicy and medium done.  It should taste like it’s just been lifted off a BBQ but not one where Dad’s cremated everything in sight.

2. The bread should be soft as a cloud and ‘squishy’ around the patty.

3. Onions, lettuce, and gherkins are great for me but not, I accept everyone. I do not approve of fresh tomatoes on my hamburgers.

4. Cheese is ALWAYS good.  Monterey Jack, Cheddar, American, Emmental. Yes Yes Yes.

Coke Cola

5. Ketchup, yellow mustard, mayo and sometimes BBQ sauce just make the burger.

6. Fries should be skinny, crispy on the outside, fluffy inside and served with a grotesque amount of full-fat mayo.

Now, it just so happens that on my first trip to Byron in Westfield shopping centre today, that they had totally, utterly and completely nailed my perfect burger experience.  What are the chances, I ask you?

Byron say that they serve ‘proper burgers’ and that they’re “the ultimate comfort food and so satisfying in their simplicity. Hamburgers the way they should be” and how right they are.  From the unfussy, beautiful decor to the perfect, charming and (nicely) laid-back service before I lifted a French fry to my mouth I was happy and relaxed.

I ordered a bowl of fries, a cheese burger and a diet coke, my fiancé opted for a Royale with Cheese (that’s a double cheese burger to the uninitiated).. with cured bacon.  The bread was really soft, lightly grilled and nicely chewy.  Our burgers came medium and were pink and bloody inside; melt in the mouth good.  The fries were skinny, fluffy and I hoovered them up in about a nano-second. Gorgeous.  There were fricking delicious gherkins on our plate and I got to eat Josh’s too – YEAH!  This was just as burgers should be.  And with regular cheese-burgers coming in at £7.50 and a bowl of chips at £2.50 the prices are entirely reasonable too.   The burgers at Byron today were without question the best I have had outside of the States.  I always approve of a good job, well done and by concentrating on simple burgers and making them properly they are doing a really grand job.

Burger Heaven

*Of course, these are just my rules.  What on earth are yours?

Guilty Pleasures: Summer Barbecues

24 May

Sizzlin'

Dr Dre once rapped about making it large, about driving fancy cars and no more living hard. He rapped about having barbecues every day. And wow. When I make it I am going to have a Barbecue every day. Every day.  Every day I will wake up and the air will smell of sweet blossom, the sky will be a blistering azure and pretty girls will be cycling in their summer dresses.*

Until then, a barbeque is a fantastically rare and insanely exciting event. Whether it’s an illicit tesco-burgers-and-cans-of-cider-bbq-in-the-park, the soggy blitz spirit & brollies-out get-up or the full-on family affair, highly professional, replete with salad(!) and all of the neighbourhood Dads competing to see who can be most manly and master the flames, I love them. The smell of smoke in your hair and the smeared ketchup on your fingers. Nostalgic and silly, just wonderful.

With all of this balmy weather in London I leapt at the chance to cook, nay burn, my dinner outside. Rum and coke on ice? Check. Boom boom beef burgers ready to griddle? Check. Naughty cheesy coleslaw ready to scoff? Check. Halloumi kebabs (spiked with courgette and red onion, drizzled in a thyme, lemon and mustard glaze) assembled? Check. New freckles busily growing in the blistering sunshine? Check. Awesome summer playlist (we’re talking Paul Simon, Modest Mouse and a slice of Vampire Weekend..) on my iphone for some happy beats? Check.

Rock and roll! This was textbook BBQing. It was a little tipsy, I was a smite sunburnt, dare I say it the burgers were a tad overdone. I, perchance, ate more than I should have. Ahem. Yes, yes. This is how you do it. And isn’t it just the best. Maybe not for every day. I am no Dr Dre. But in the meantime even just once in a while is amazing. x

*Incidentally, when I make it large, in my fantasy, ALL men will keep their tops on in public – outside a lido – no matter if they have a real or imaginary gym hardbody. Ok fellas, just keep your shirts on yeah? Thanks.

Recipe: Boom Boom Beef Burgers

22 Apr

Boom - here it is!

Burgers. I love them. They taste like summer and hangovers and sometimes a little bit of both. Home-made burgers are just so juicy and chunky and so much fun to make and here’s a recipe for a couple of beef burgers that take little effort and deliver lots of BOOM BOOM taste!

To buy:

*1 very small onion or a handful of shallots   *sunflower oil   *big pinch of oregano   *small pinch of chilli   *big pinch of cumin   *big pinch of paprika   *250g good quality minced beef   *1tsp Worcestershire sauce   *1 egg, lightly beaten.  Serve with: coleslaw and chips and on a bun with loads of lettuce, mayo, ketchup and lovely sliced cheese.

To make:

1.Chop the onions really finely and cook in the oil with the oregano, cumin, chilli and paprika until it’s super soft. Then pop into a bowl and leave to cool.

2. When the onions are cold add the minced beef, salf and pepper, Worcestershire sauce and just enough egg to keep it all together, with sparkling clean hands, bind together to make two juicy beefburgers. Wrap each burger in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for at least half an hour but for as long as you like.

3.  When you’re ready (and if you’re having chips then they only have around 10 minutes left to cook) heat oil in the frying pan and on a medium heat fry the burgers, only turning once or a couple of times, for about 10 minutes so that they’re cooked and sizzling on the outside but still pink and juicy inside.

4. To serve, slice your buns and make towers of cheese and sauce, ketchup and mayo. Gherkins and relish are good. Beer or milkshake too.

Easy. If I were trying to woo a chap I would serve him this for dinner. Fun, easy and jolly good. Makes me very excited for summer!!