Monday, 14 October 2013

Battle of the Burgers: Part One

It cannot failed to have escaped your notice; this growing trend of burger joints sweeping the nation's Capital.  This great city is inundated with new diners claiming the 'best burger in London'.  I have been on a mission to discover just which burger really lives up to the hype.  And, purely for the sake of research, you understand, I will carry on until I'm satisfied I have the answer.

Honest was the first restaurant I tried.  The first thing you notice about Honest is their menu, it is simple, super-simple.  Honest are rightly confident that they don't need myriad options - their burgers are good enough to speak for themselves. The meat is good quality and well cooked (pink in the middle) and the buns are lovely - shiny and fluffy, but the fries really steal the show - to this day possibly the best fries I have ever eaten.  Crisp on the outside, flavoured with rosemary and salt, and fluffy inside.  On a cold night in Brixton, this was perfect.

The first time I ate at Byron I had the veggie option, which was dry and lacking in real flavour.  The second time, I plumped for meat, but was still disappointed.  The most annoying thing about Byron is that the fries don't come with the burger, and whoever orders a burger with no fries?  No?  No one.  The total price of a meal leads you to expect a lot, which just isn't delivered.  A decent meal, but overpriced.

Achingly, but authentically trendy, Meat Liquor is dark, dingy and beautiful (I did take photos but have somehow lost them). I've now been back there a number of times as it's such a fun place to eat.  The service is great and the food is, frankly, delicious.  I've tried both the veggie option (endearingly named 'rabbit food') and the chili burger and both are mouth-wateringly good.  The experience is topped off by the fact they serve root beer, for me, bottled sentiment!

Being a restaurant, rather than a diner, Bill's doesn't promise the best burger in town, but I felt it deserved a place on this list, as it was a very decent burger.  Not in the same league as the big boys, but if you're pining for a burger, Bill's wouldn't be a bad bet.  Apparently the fishcakes aren't bad either.

To be honest, I didn't think anything could beat Meat Liquor's burger, but with the sudden arrival of Five Guys in Covent Garden, it now had competition.  The hype surrounding the UK debut of Five Guys and Shake Shack was huge and demanded investigation.  By the time I got to Five Guys, after all I had heard, I was like a child at Christmas and this time, the hype was true.  So far, this is the best burger I have eaten - so packed with meat and toppings, it's served all wrapped in foil, and is actually slightly difficult to eat.  But it is good.  I was also entranced by the drinks machine, this self-service soft drinks mecca seems to offer endless options of Coca-Cola branded drinks. 

I am yet to try Shake Shack, of which I have heard very good things, and I also plan to try out Burger and Lobster.  Part Two will follow soon.  So far Five Guys really is winning, but the Battle of the Burgers still rages. 

I'd love to know your opinion on this, is there a great burger I haven't tried?  Let me know!  There's no limit to the burgers I'll eat to find the true winner.

A x

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