t’North’s most talked about and irreverent burger slingers arrived in London with all the fanfare of an asthmatic octogenarian puffing on a party blower.
So it was plain blind fucking luck, whilst navigating the colourful oversize-shirted throng at Regent Street's NFL Block Party, that we stumbled across Almost Famous pimping their wares. Alongside Bristol barbecue mavericks Grillstock, who looked like they’d brought their whole festival set up with them, it looked like the organisers of this little shindig had snubbed London’s mobile food glitterati for a taste of the regions instead.
Ever since news arrived on the wireless that a rambunctious bunch of ne’er-do-wells had started flogging the filthiest, nastiest sandwiches in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, we’ve tried to orchestrate a reason why a couple of silky-palmed Southerners who rarely ventured much North of the M25 could go there.
And then the fucker burnt down.
A residency in nearby Luck, Lust, Liquor and Burn and a second location in Liverpool have since opened, but still, they are just so bloody, y'know, North.
One double-take and lengthy stare of disbelief later, I'm waiting for an NFL special. Despite having had lunch twenty minutes ago. This was big. Noticeable ripples of acknowledgement from passers-by suggested that people knew it too.
The first-rate light brown, spongy toasted bun failed to conceal the long, haphazard strips of sauced soft onion and red peppers tumbling out. Two patties coated with a dark, caramelised char were present and correct. Despite looking like they still had their integrity, a quick compress of the sandwich saw the American-style cheese slices succumb to gooey capitulation under the heat of the meat and toppings.
The well-seasoned thin patties contained a nicely grilled strip of pink throughout, and were still noticeably meaty amongst the cacophony of other stuff. Miniature chunks of chorizo and dinky bites of bacon threw in a pleasing hit of double pork. The peppers and onions provided a touch of sweetness, joined by a hint of chipotle smoking its way through the added sauces. And tiny jalapeno shards upped the heat ante.
As all the best ones invaribly are, this is a messy, finger-coating bastard. Cheese-chorizo-onion-juices accompanied me throughout the rest of the day. Heroically, the bun did a good job holding it all together; essential for a street eat such as this
The briefest of comparisons to Patty & Bun's Jose Jose flashed through my mind as I finished this off, but if P&B's burger is the Aztec-print shirted cosmopolite, then AF is the pierced, brazen little punk kid that gleefully gives you the finger.
It's patty mayhem, and I liked it a lot.
So now I've started tallying up reasons to head to Liverpool, I hear the Lady Lever Art Gallery is a hoot. Advance return tickets to Liverpool start at £25.00, I've already looked it up.
PS. If you're going to do this again guys, can you give us a bit of warning? Ta.