We are most stoked.
The burger epiphany spreading through London is quickly becoming an all encompassing patty ash cloud, as pop ups, vans, stalls and even buildings start to smother more nooks and crannies of the town, sprouting up with such speed and regularity that it is bloody hard to keep track of them all. And even harder to get round and eat them all without having to face the disapproving looks at the Weight Watchers weigh-ins every week1.
But persevere we must, and so to one of the newest additions to the London burgerscape.
We have to apologise in advance for what is less of a professional breakdown, and more of a vague recollection of Bleecker St Burger’s offerings, as we were fucking blotto by the time we got to Red Market on Saturday night. We blame the bowling alley that preceded our journey to Old Street for having terrifyingly reasonable-costing pitchers of light beer. Continuing the loose American theme of the day, a kind of belated 4th July if you would, what better than a van that boasts to serve authentic New York burgers. When we got there, we encountered none other than an actual American2 manning the grill. Well now, these had better be as NYC as promised.
And they pull it off, they definitely are US-inspired sandwiches: the cheese is trademark thick-gloop melted American, the buns are pretty decent sesame-seeded examples, robust, but steering clear of the current trend for brioche. The Yorkshire beef is moist and the patties are generously salted, bordering on spoilt.
They increase in quality and intensity as they increase in size: The disclaimer on the site sets out BB’s stall as architects of sliders as mini-burgers, which is a touch disappointing for us, and whilst they are cute, they are a touch bun heavy. The cheeseburger is a solid sandwich with a mound of Iceberg to add some crunch. But the double gets our vote: the sheer poundage of beef, and the dispensing with the need for lettuce, makes it a gratifyingly meaty binge.
The special sauce really makes them though: it definitely bears a striking similarity to Big Mac sauce (or even In ‘n Out spread), even almost identical in fact except for a distinct non-processed freshness and added piquance, possibly coming from added paprika or chilli. The sweetly-savoury fusion is fucking crazy moreish, and melds with the salty patties delightfully. Like a Big Mac, the combo is simple, and it works.
To the credit to the peeps in the van, a lovely bunch who humoured a gaggle of drunkards, when we went back to slurringly applaud the sauce, we were offered a bottle to take back to our table to try out. Which we did. To the discerning Silicon Roundabout crowd, the sight of five drunken dudes dipping their fingers into a heaping mound of condiment must’ve looked properly gross. When we returned the depleted bottle, we were then offered the opportunity to take some home. We didn’t, but we wish we had.
Whilst it boasts, and in ways succeeds, as an American-style burger, sadly the prices are less American, falling into the trap of the London burger price bracket, a touch rich for this fare. A more sober approach will happen in the near future, but we’re sure we’ll still like them.
- Rob & Simon.