Famous Flames is the latest food iteration from them what brought you Stax Diner - fairly similar in concept but with chicken items like wings and tenders sharing menu prominence and the added nuance of flame-grilled, instead of flat-top griddled, burgers.
A fast-casual eatery designed with the musical aesthetic of Camden, it is a small space, wood-clad and gig poster strewn space with a group table down the middle and some stool space up against the wall. It looks like a really clean country and western themed take-away.
But what really interested us was their use of Martin's potato rolls, arguably the most seminal burger bun ever produced, and the ones used by Shake Shack. We fucking love them, so much that we fill our suitcases with them whenever we travel back from the States. Getting them is a logistical nightmare for Famous Flames, as they have to import entire shipping containers of them at a time. We were hoping they were making good use of this precious cargo.
The cheeseburger was decent. The meat was loosely packed, soft, and juicy but it was not the most flavourful, missing seasoning and the good line-burned char that you would hope to get on a flame-grilled burger. It was perked up by a delightfully thick layer of tacky American cheese and a good wallop of mayo with a strong tomato note and a little bit of spicy kick.
The Martin's roll made it though. The familiar malleable-soft squish, with a satisfying chew and a distinctive savoury-sweet notes delivered that extra nuance of pleasing flavour and texture to the burger. It really is one of the best homes to a beef patty.
The 'classic buffalo' wings were sizable, crisply coated specimens and the buffalo sauce tasted very much like a Frank's concoction. They were pleasantly zingy. But they were Exxon Valdez level oily, even the two supplied wipes didn't even begin to cleanse the thickly greased fingers. A bit of work on the sauce consistency might be needed.
Despite its imperfections, it has still gone straight to the top of the list for a pre-Underworld food grab: That part of Camden is still pretty dire when it comes to decent grub and whilst Kerb is only a short trot away, it closes at 6pm which is of no fucking use to anyone that isn't a tourist.