Forty Burgers @ Cask / Pimlico, London


And they don’t half harp on about the beef they use: the cows apparently swan about decadently in overly-abundant fields, whilst Her Majesty nods on approvingly.
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Next time you see a dishevelled dude carrying an End Of The World sandwich board, spare a thought as it may well be a lamenting Carling drinker outside what used to be his local boozer.

For the time of the regular lager consumer is nigh people, the selection of craft beers out there is growing quicker than a crowd of freegans next to a Pret bin at closing time. One spearheading this hostile takeover are self-appointed craft beer revolutionaries Cask, here to quench your thirst with an outrageous selection of beers and ales all the colours of the alcohol rainbow.

On the site of a former dodgy boozer, oddly positioned under an ugly housing estate ensconced between the grandiose Regency architecture of Pimlico, Cask is a non-descript, sparsely decorated room, with a bar and bunch ton of tables crammed in. No faffing about here, this is a pub for drinking, no need for all that flashy nonsense paraphernalia that will only distract from supping your Hoptimus Prime anyway.

Whilst we do love the booze, we're here to check out Forty Burgers who have taken over the kitchen, banging out a basic menu to match the simple needs of the ale drinking clientele. And they don’t half harp on about the beef they use: the cows apparently swan about decadently in overly-abundant fields, whilst Her Majesty nods on approvingly. The name of the venture itself is seemingly spawned from the ageing time of some of the meat; a blend of 40 day aged rib and 30 day aged rump.

Fair play to them though - it’s a thick, well-seasoned outdoor barbeque style blacken-scorched patty on the exterior, holding together a coarsely minced medium centre with a satisfyingly deep beefy flavour to it. And it is nicely moist without having the annoying over-leaking issue that you get with lesser quality cow. But, with nothing else providing moisture except a treacly red onion relish and some pickles, it has to be.

Held in a soft brioche that is slightly over-sized and a touch too bready, the relish is diabetic-threateningly sweet. A peculiarly bitter wodge of lettuce aids as something of a contrast, as does the pickle. The thick chunk of melted-until-slightly-translucent cheddar gets beaten up a bit in the flavour fight and is about as noticeable as the drunk passed out in the coat room at a party. The other option of stilton would probably prove a more worthy adversary.        

Even though it sounds like we're hating on this poor sandwich, whilst not mind blowing, it is a solid effort in keeping with the attitude of the place - a decent pub burger to soak up all that delightful artisan boozejuice.   

And try the Bloody Mary ketchup that’s on the table with your fries, it's fucking awesome, and has real booze in it (like you'll need any more). ✪