Coffee Dogs / King's Cross, London


Our ears were certainly pricked by initial internet rumblings about Coffee Dogs - a place rumoured to be selling Chicago-style hot dogs, burgers and frozen custard that wasn't Shake Shake, all within the phosphorescent glow of the new terminus at King's Cross. And they even spelled 'donuts' all Americanish.

And then the opening date came and went, and the internet was silent. Imagine that. All of the Guardian and Central St Martin's up the boulevard, and not even a hint of a rosy-hued Instagram pic. Due to our carefree nonchalance, and crippling inability to sync calendar dates, we are rarely one of the first to check anything out. So we waited, and waited, for chatter that never came. Not very auspicious a start.

So we checked out the website of these Dogs of Coffee. While the illustrations of Chicago dog and burger that accompanied the menu sections suggested they were going to be authentic enough, there were no actual pictures of the food.

Add dubious to the inauspicious box.

It was mere curiosity, and the kind of laziness that sees microwaving something as a step too far, that took us there one night on the way home after work.

Should've left it wrapped

Should've left it wrapped

The cheeseburger was quick to come, empty as it was around nine-thirty. Suspiciously quick.

Unwrapping the parchment revealed a relatively thin patty covered in a completely transparent cheese, complete with leviathan lettuce leaf inserted as some kind of glide-assistance tool.

The bun was springy and looked oddly promising, but was ultimately a rather factory-y, dry bap. But the thin patty was just plain old terrible: Overcooked, the outside displayed less a char and more that weird gelatinous burger skin you find on the ever-resting mounds of meat found at burger vans countless festivals and footie matches across the land. Which is exactly what it fucking tasted like: a chewy and rubbery disc of misery. 

The red onions had been cooked to a similar low standard, with the recognisable oily and stale taste. The colourless cheddar succeeded in having no discernible flavour either. Which made it a shame that the burger sauce, a mixture of sweet, spicy and piquant flavours with a mayo-like base, was solid. Pretty much what you want from a condiment. The veggies gave the burger a recognisable 'American' look, but you may as well put a luminous tutu on a shit dancer the amount of difference it makes.

As the name suggests, the passion for this place would seem to be in the coffee and the hot dogs. But despite the bubbly and friendly staff that were the most enjoyable part of the experience, it is very doubtful we'll be heading back to try them.

  • Rob.

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