Tag Archives: Foodie Event

Foodie event: #NationalBurgerDay 2014 review

Well, following up from my excited post about National Burger Day, I thought I better update about how it all went down. As a quick overview, it was burger-y and tequila-y.

I got to Battersea Power Station, where it was being held, by way of Kensington and Chelsea. I really really hate west London – especially Chelsea/Kensington and Fulham (sorry Dugs). The slow-moving bus didn’t help my rage towards the area.

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Anyway, got there I did and the smell of burgers was wafting through the air. As soon as we arrived I saw Jamie, who had had a massive hand in organising the event – and it was her birthday. Amazing party or what? She gave me a quick overview of what was what and I went on my merry way.

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Andrew was keen to try out Club Gascon‘s foie gras and summer truffle burger. Service was quick, as was the eating as the burger was pretty tiny. I found it almost headache inducingly rich – the foie gras melted in the mouth though and I loved the salad dressed with truffle. One tiny fella was enough though!

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Then it was off to my favourite: Bleecker St Burger. It’s well recognised that Bleecker does the best burger in London. It’s very exciting that they’re now opening a shop in Old Spitalfields Market to complement their food truck. Bleecker staff are always fab too – so friendly and passionate. Bleecker were doing a pizza/burger hybrid. This was 50-day dry-aged beef patty, melted mozzarella, marinana sauce, grated parmesan, chilli flakes and basil mayo. HIYA!

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Then it was on to get our pints of Meantime Lager, which came with the tickets.

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Drink responsibly.

Next up we went to find Duggers, where we sat on the world’s tiniest table and caught up over our beers. Duggers had the thing sussed and we soon got our respective “other halves” (ugh) getting us burgers while we sat and drank.

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It was really good, although all the burgers were tiny across the board at the event. As Andrew and I were splitting them there just wasn’t enough of any of them to get really into them. However, this guy was spicy and meaty and good. It was aged beef patty, 10-hour roast chipotle beef short rib, bone marrow, habanero salsa, American cheese and chipotle ketchup.

Next up was Andrew’s favourite burger from last year: Disco Burger. Andrew loves a bit of fruit in savoury food, so this was his dream burger: dry-aged Dexter beef, bun sauce, mature cheese, pickled onions, pineapple bacon jam. FIT.

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This was the burger of the night. It was so beautifully balanced. Meaty, sweet, juicy. I don’t know what that “bun sauce” is, but I want to bathe in it.

We then queued for an hour for Dip & Flip burgers. However, five people from the front a lady appeared and said, “We’ve run out of roast beef so we’re putting bacon on instead”. Discontent spread like wildfire. The man behind me lost the plot, but summarised most people’s feelings: “Roast beef is YOUR THING. I COULD GO ANYWHERE FOR A BACON BURGER”. The lady from Dip & Flip laughed at him and walked off. We also left the queue.

Suffering from extreme queue rage, we then hit up the chilliback shots. This is a shot of tequila with a shot of brine from pickled chillies as a chaser. Firey.

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Eat your heart out, The Londoner.

I now felt full and a bit sick, but Andrew was determined for one last burger. I was unable to face another queue, so we went to where the shortest queue was: Byron.

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He didn’t get an adequate shot of the burger, but he wasn’t impressive. I think it was a bit lack lustre compared to the others, and he said it had a bad after taste. I took one bite and conceded that it wasn’t very exciting. Sorry Byron – normally I love you!

The night was drawing in, so after a quick tour and a few slushie cocktails we bid a retreat.

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All images © Andrew Phillimore. Please seek permission before reproducing.

Food Review – #NationalBurgerDay Event

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August 27th was National Burger Day in the UK. This event was dreamt up by lifestyle newsletter Mr Hyde, Tweat Up and a range of premium burger vendors across the country. In London there was to be an event where all the best names in burgers would be flipping and selling their patty delights. It could have been just a cynical marketing ploy, but the evening was so brilliant that I don’t mind – I’m just glad they did it.

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On the night itself, over 1000 people flocked to Dalston Yard, which has been home to Street Feast all summer. There lay all the best names in burgers: Bleecker Street, Byron, Dirty Burger, Disco Bistro, Honest Burgers, MEATLiquor, Mother Flipper, Roti Chai Street Kitchen, Breddos Slider Bar and Two Nights Only plus a special appearance from Eat My Pies, who made a burger pie. Phew! Quite a roll call right there. Sadly, the only team lacking were Patty & Bun.

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Tickets were a little over £11, and for that you got entrance, one pint of Meantime beer and two shots – a pickleback and a chilliback.

We decided on a shortlist before, based in part on the menu and part on good things I had heard about particular burgers.

My hit list: Bleecker Street, Disco Bistro, Honest Burgers and Mother Flipper. This seemed to be the same hit list as everyone else, so the queues were pretty lengthy.

First we hit up Bleecker Street for their cheeseburger triple. That’s three quarter pounders with cheese. It was enormous.

The Bleecker triple being prepared
The Bleecker triple being prepared

 

The Bleecker Triple in all its glory
The Bleecker Triple in all its glory

 

The Bleecker holding form well.
The Bleecker holding form well.

 

Luckily, everywhere was slicing their burgers in half so you could share with co-Burger Adventurers. Andrew and I split our Bleecker and then Andrew was asked to pose as a model…

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When we eventually got to bite down on our Bleecker it was INCREDIBLE. So, so juicy and perfectly cooked with a pink middle. The cheese was unctuous and melted perfectly, but the absence of toppings really allowed the meat to be the star of the show. Who needs lots of gimmicks when you’re cooking amazing quality beef to such a high standard? It was the best burger I’ve ever had in my life. I cannot praise it highly enough.

We then went and got a Disco Burger from Disco Bistro. A Disco Burger is a rare breed beef patty, cheese, Carl’s special bun sauce and pineapple & bacon jam. Here it is in all its splendour…

The Disco Burger
The Disco Burger

 

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Christ, this was so good too. Much smaller than the Bleecker, it was a different beast entirely. The patty was decent and juicy – a little more well done than my preference, but hey ho this isn’t a major gripe. The thing that really made you sit up and notice with this burger were the toppings. The cheese was all melted into the pineapple and bacon jam, which was sweet and sour in equal measure and insanely moorish. This was Andrew’s favourite burger, and came a close second for me after the Bleecker. I definitely want to go to Disco Bistro now and sample their fare further.

We then visited Pickleback Alley for our Pickleback shot. For the uninitiated this is a shot of whiskey with a pickle juice chaser. They were rank. I hate whiskey anyway, much to my brother’s chagrin. I felt like my throat had been striped afterwards. The only thing that would help was a burger.

The Picklebacks
The Picklebacks
Not a fan.
Not a fan.

Mother Flipper had a giant queue, so we got in line like the good little Brits we are. We placed our order and then waited for our burger. Mother Flipper were doing lots of exciting things, including a smaller burger with a maple and bacon cronut for a bun. We went for a Dirty Barbie, which is a double patty, American cheese, candy bacon, candy fried onions with tomato relish and barbecue sauce. It sounded incredible, and I’d heard such great things about Mother Flipper. I was sure this burger was going to be The One. When it arrived, it was slightly overcooked but the grill chef was under A LOT of pressure with a huge amount of people waiting for their burgers so I can forgive that. However, the toppings made the burger incredibly sloppy and they all sort of slid off! Burger nightmare. Once in my gob, I couldn’t taste the patty but the toppings were nice if a little too overpowering and unbalanced. The BBQ sauce was too strong for my taste. And I found the texture of very crisp, chewy bacon and slippery fried onions not totally a pleasant one and it didn’t really work. I am sure Mother Flippers are better than this and I am excited to try them again when it’s a less frenetic atmosphere.

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The Dirty Barbie
The Dirty Barbie
Inside the Dirty Barbie
Inside the Dirty Barbie

Last burger of the night. We waddled over to Honest burgers and ordered an Honest +. This is a special creation for the night and contained a Ginger Pig beef & bone marrow patty topped with Red Leicester cheese, crispy pigs cheek, shallot & parsley salad, red onion relish & homemade pickles. Another big queue for this guy! However, there were comfy sofas to snuggle up on while we waited – and the people watching potential at the event was brilliant. Everyone was SO friendly and we got talking to a lot of people about what we had, what they were having next etc. Everyone seemed so passionate and excited about burgers. THESE ARE MY PEOPLE.

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Anyway, Honest burger. This was a good burger. Really nice and meaty and the parsley salad actually made a lovely little refreshing break from the tidal wave of fried food. I was so full by this point I wasn’t able to give it my full admiration. Honest Burger were also serving crispy pig cheek scratchings, which had all sold out – they sounded so good though. Next time.

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The Honest+. Apols for the crappy photo, it was dark by this point.
The Honest+. Apols for the crappy photo, it was dark by this point.

The evening was so brilliant and made me so happy that I live in London. It was great to see so many people so passionate about what they were doing. There’s nothing more soul destroying than eating generic food that’s made without care and love. Everyone at National Burger Day was on their A Game, and the customers were loving it. It was a beautiful evening, which helped too. I’m so happy that I went.

Oh yeah, the Chilliback? I ducked out. I sipped my chilli tequila before giving to Andrew and it was actually really lovely, but I am weak and couldn’t handle it. Andrew said that was delicious though. Maybe next time…

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Most photography © Andrew Phillimore

 

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