But the fiddling is worth it. The patty is intriguing.
We’ve been wanting to go here for ages. Like, since forever.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve bowled past Spuntino and had a look in, only to see the standard half an hour queue of eager diners-to-be standing behind, and wistfully peering over the shoulders of those who are being fed. It must be in the dozens. It always looks loud, dark and obviously, a bit of a tight squeeze.
Ambling past at 3.15pm on a breezy Tuesday afternoon, I peer in and see it empty. I subdue my Christmas morning face and sit down immediately. Clearly a different vibe during the day; it was bright, with chuggy folk rock bouncing round the room.
It’s immediately perfect; I’m up at the bar, diner-style filter coffee in hand, happy before I’ve eaten anything.
Once a secret menu item, but not now clearly, I ordered the burger with cheese. Everyone around me chose the oft-lauded sliders. If I’d had a bigger appetite, I’d have done the same.
Served similarly to the Joe Allen burger, it’s sauceless with red onion slices and pickle spears on the side. The construction, a chunky round patty that needs skewering to keep in place, makes it a troublesome bugger to add the desired ingredients to and condiment up.
But the fiddling is worth it. The patty is intriguing. With a really deep meatiness, it might actually be a hamburger: I swear I got a hint of chorizo spiciness in the mix of flavours, and on closer inspection there’s some kind of dark red meaty stripe through the middle. This could be wildly incorrect though.
The impeccably melted cheese is slathered all over, its gummy, elastic greatness, giving just the right amount of cheesy-goo-chew. And the bun wraps it all in a substantial, squishy, chew. It was great.
There is loads of great looking stuff on the menu that I want to try, so more late lunches here will be on the cards. I’m just hoping that late lunches don’t become a thing with everyone, because I think quiet, thoughtful Spuntino time is brilliant.