Big Eats

Patty & Bun, Liverpool St

patty-and-bun-cover-602x387

Here’s a restaurant that has been praised  by the masses. The restaurant that started out as a pop up and now has Liverpool Street, James Street and now London Fields to call home. Patty & Bun is one of the most talked about burger restaurants in London, renowned for its no frills style dining, with only room for up to 30 diners at a time, takeway service and a concise and creative menu which gets straight to the point. Although, when something has been held at such high par, it has so much further to fall.

Paul Winch-Furness / Photographer

My friend and I targeted the Liverpool Street branch for ease of after work antics. We were warned about the limited seating but weren’t expecting such a small venue. I jumped onto the first table I saw and last one available, only to be politely ushered back into the queue as that’s not quite how it works here. You queue up, state whether you want to eat in or out, order a drink and then once a table is available for you then you can order your meal. The layout of the restaurant is definitely feeding off the fast food vibe but with a much more tasteful interior, high set wooden seating opposite the counter and characteristic brick interior classes up the vibe without deviating from the point that this is not a place you dine for the night, maybe half an hour then move on.

The menu at a first glance is exciting, but the longer you look at it the smaller it seems to get. Not necessarily in a bad way. Everything sounds delicious, and you can truly appreciate the fun and thought that has gone into each option. The ‘Ari Gold’ burger had me at hello, not only for the love of the Entourage character from which the name emerged but it also just sounded ‘perf’ (Beef patty, Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickled onions, Ketchup, Smokey P&B mayo, Brioche) at £7.50 and add bacon for 50p. Other burgers included the likes of the ‘Lambshank Redemption’ (Lamb Patty with Coriander and Chilli, Lettuce, Buttermilk Baby Corguettes, Pickled Aubergine, Cumin Aioli, Feta, Brioche) at £8 which my friend chose or the ‘Hot Chic’ Chicken burger (Marinated buttermilk fried chicken, Spicy slaw, Pickled cucumbers, Lettuce, Garlic sauce, Brioche) at £8.50 which I was hesitant to order in fear of comparing it to street food champions ‘Breddos’ buttermilk chicken which is to die for. Sides included the ‘Thunder Thighs’ which came with either Smoked Jalepeno Butter Sauce  or Tamarind glaze. And some fancy chips with Roast Chicken Mayo & Chicken Skin Salt.

9192246_orig

The food arrived 15 minutes later, served up on a red, diner tray and the burger wrapped up in a cute fast food style package. The ‘Thunder Thighs’ I ordered with the smoked jalepeno butter sauce, we ordered were slightly more intimidating than I imagine. The portion of three come served in a small small bowl, swimming in thick, bright red sauce – which if I’m honest I imagined to be any other colour than red. Forget them, back to what matters. Once unwrapped, this burgers aesthetics made my heart jump, ironically. A burger has never looked so perfectly put together, all the ingredients piled high and peeping out from that brioche bun as they should.

Although this did actually cause some problems when it came to eating. I genuinely could not fit the damn thing in my mouth. On top of that, with every attempted bite a ridiculous amount of grease squeezed out from the other side and onto, thank god, my tray. So due to this, I had to lean so far forward to ensure it did actually fall onto my tray and not my lap that I almost fell out of my god damn seat.

Taste wise, it wasn’t until my last few bites that the quality of the beef patty was actually brought out. To my disappointment, all those fantastic ingredients that I’d been so excited about where drowned in tomato ketchup, which is great in small portions but this just ruined a burger that when cut down to basics was fantastic. The melt-melt-in-your-mouth patty and crunchy bacon were a hit, but as a whole, this burger was a disappointment. I wish I could have turned to the chicken thighs with more enthusiasm but the sauce held too many similarities to Buffalo Sauce, which I had a bad run in with a few weeks before at Bad Egg. Maybe this is just personal opinion but I strongly believe that sauce should either be served on the side or bottled for you to apply how much you want.

Overall, the experience was fun – the menu was creative and the food incredibly instagram worthy. I know a lot of people out there will disagree with me, but taste wise, it just didn’t hit the spot. So I’m going to say it’s definitely worth a try, but if you’ve eaten at Bleecker Street Burgers, don’t get too excited.

Advertisements

Meat Mission, Hoxton

3-meat-mission-865x576

The firm I work for has this incessant habit of disclosing a fun fact about each of their new employees to the whole company around a week before they start. Mine was the fact I have this food blog – which is a great conversation starter but I also feel a new bout of pressure for each post I write knowing it may be falling under managements eyes. On my first day I was discussing this obsession I have for unhealthy food when a team member mentioned a restaurant near by, where I ‘absolutely must try’ the Dead Hippie Burger at a place called ‘Meat Mission’. Others overheard and one lady backed him up and said she knew the owners before they got big and the restaurant was nothing more than a roaming food truck.

International food chain Meat Liquor is a American style restaurant serving burgers, chicken wings and cocktails. London locations including the West End and also smaller spin off, Meat Mission, in Hoxton. This little food joint has skyrocketed to popularity due to its informal vibe and meat centric menu. It seems that in this day and age the larger and greasier the burger and the more run down the restaurant looks, the more popular it is.

I arrived at prime time and avoided the dreaded queues mentioned in Time Out’s review. My friend and I stood by the door whilst several floor staff rushed past without even a glance in our direction. I know just how busy and stressful it can get as a waitress having worked at Las Iguanas for 6 months in 2013, but one rule our manager drummed into us was ‘watch the door!’ – you have no idea how mad people can get in those seconds that tick by when they’re waiting at the door. Eventually a waitress stops and simply just stares at us…after what feels like a lifetime of discomfort I blurt out ‘table for two?!’. We follow her to a distressed wooden table with chairs along one side and a low bench along the other. The restaurant was fairly busy with a variation in the crowd, from family parties to couples.

Meat-Mission-1

Throughout dining, the service significantly improved and we were not left too long or too briefly to make our decisions. We ordered our drinks and received in good time although, I don’t think I will ever get used to drinking wine from a tumbler glass in public. My university days of drinking alcohol from anything but the appropriate glass are well and truly behind me.

The menu, to me, felt quite sparse. I expected much more choice from such a big chain and remember feeling quite reserved on all varieties of burger. The description of each of the 9 burgers on offer – only 5 of them with a beef patty, sounded exactly the same. Ranging from a classic Cheeseburger to the famous Dead Hippie Burger, each one held the ingredients –  cheese, pickles, lettuce, mustard and onions. Which yes, does compile a delicious sounding burger but leaves little to the imagination for someone feeling adventurous. I went with my team mate’s recommendation – the 2x mustard fried beef patties, dead hippie sauce, pickles, minced white onions, lettuce and cheese – which makes up the Dead Hippie Burger. And threw in a batch of fries, for good sport.

IMG_57941

Moments later, my friend and I’s order arrived. Now, I’m all for a funky replacement for a plate, but I enjoy having my own of whatever that replacement might be. In true American fashion, our order arrived on a red plastic tray, covered only in a white sheet of grease proof paper and some serviettes  – my issue, is that our orders arrived on the same tray. I looked up expectantly at our vanishing waitress at a sign more plates would be coming. But no. One tray for the both of us. Like animals.

The meal itself was good but nothing memorable. It always hurts when the fries are more tasty than the burger. The Dead Hippie did not impress, it looked more like a slider than a full size meal – and I felt my heart drop a little at the absence of a brioche bun. FYI the only way to do burgers in 2015. Honestly, I have no more to say on the meal other than it left me hungry and a little disheartened after all the hype. Although, my friend did say that they were a bad batch – so I feel inclined to try it once more. But in no way will I be rushing back.

RED IRON BURGER, UXBRIDGE

RED IRON BURGER, Uxbridge

10719366_10154652568880596_1425935977_n

As I mentioned in my post about Burger & Lobster, to get a good burger, go to a specialist burger restaurant. Whilst I was out to meet a few close friends from Uni, in a town far, far away (Uxbridge – Zone 6), I did not expect to find this little treasure.

I love restaurants which present an alternative dining experience and Red Iron Burger really delivers with it’s hybrid, fast food set up. Stepping in the front door was like stepping into your regular chippy down the road – but this isn’t a menu to take away. The dining area is towards the back, not a huge space but big enough to fulfil a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Table ready with mustard, tomato ketchup (Heinz of course) and a box of napkins. The menu is clear and presents a range of options – covering beef, chicken, veggie and lamb burgers…& salads. But I’d question your diet if you’re turning up to this kind of restaurant for a salad – don’t kid yourself.

They also do those awesome milkshakes which cost about a fiver but taste like paradise – I recommend the Oreo flavour. If you turn to the back of the menu, they also do the Man VS Food challenges, which I tried to force my friends into unsuccessfully. Choices are – The End of the World Burger (30oz Beef Patty, 4 cheeses, bacon, chips & onion rings), The 40oz Steak (Served with Chips) or The Super Spicy Hot Wings with choice of flavours. One of the main reasons my friends wouldn’t try the challenge as the benefits were not good enough – simply getting your picture on the wall of fame and ‘Bragging Rights’ does not suffice. Maybe making it a free meal might give it more appeal guys.

The burger in my picture was my partner’s. He’s such a pig. Having the Red Iron Burger Classic was not enough, he asked for a lamb patty on top of that. To his dismay the Lamb was a disappointment, too tough and salty. Whilst the beef patty was cooked to perfection – real melt in your mouth experience  – how burgers should be!

Here there is no cutlery, no plates, no alcohol. Just your hands, a red tray and an overpriced soft drink of your choice. But I’ve gotta say, the portions are massive, none of us could finish our meal, but we left satisfied. I’d have no hesitation in going back here, but only when I’m feeling really, really hungry – and maybe when I feel I’ve had a good healthy week and can balance my self out with a meal which is probably leading me down a dark route to cardiac arrest.