Back in the day, the ropey Spar round the corner from our ropey student house was a lifesaver. The inexhaustible supply of Pot Noodles, Space Raiders and Sunblest aided the many hungover afternoons.
In the sanctuary of Walthamstow Village, the Eat 17 Spar could not be more different: Between the hefty craft beer selection, in store pizzeria and famous own brand bacon jam, it is a tote bag carriers' wet dream.
And they have now opened up in an old snooker hall in Homerton, with a product range boasting in vogue products like Crosstown doughnuts, Kooky Bakes, Gelupo and Borough Wines. It's even got an in-store florist. And there isn't a fucking pot noodle in sight.
Oh, it has a burger bar as well.
Peeling apart the greaseproof paper brought a glossy golden mosaic-topped bun out into the open with shredded iceberg scattering from underneath the patty, which bore a toasted cheese style melt atop it. The patty was a rather decent juicy one with discernible crust, vividly pink middle and pronounced savoury flavour fostered by occasional kicks of salt from the visible flakes that seasoned it. The well melted cheese added a slightly nutty tinge.
A burger of simple design, the accompanying salad of iceberg, tomato and pickle was standard enough, with some raw onion standing out in certain bites. The special sauce displayed the special power of indiscernible anonymity, it was difficult to tell if there was any in there, but luckily the wealth of meat juice supplied enough moisture. The potato roll-esque yellow flesh of the bun was cushy with a touch of sweetness to it, but didn't dent the savoury bent of the patty and cheese.
Whilst perfectly serviceable, there is nothing exemplary here. It is not exactly huge either. If you were served this in the restaurant upstairs, chances are you'd be underwhelmed. However, as a quick lunch or snack it would certainly suffice. You could go browse the shelves while it was cooking and grab some delightfully artisan goods too.
NB: If you go later in the day, you might be able to bag some half price Crosstown and Kooky Bakes nestled in plastic boxes by the counter. Pretty much the prime reason we go there.