I had to go to Selfridges yesterday to buy two presents that I had already ordered online. Its this sort of fuckery that makes me hate Christmas. I’m all for the merriment, the sharing, the waking up with a wishbone in my nostril and the mainlining of port, but the meltdown of internet shops sends me up the bastard wall.
Anyway, I decided that as a reward for being knocked out by noxious perfume smells and Sloaney accents, I’d reward myself with a highly calorific lunch in the shape of what is commonly known as a dirty burger. For the record, I don’t like the phrase. I’ve had plenty of dirty burgers in my time, snaffled with a mix of pain and disgust on the high streets of the country after a night on the shant, but I see why it has entered lexicon. Essentially it sounds better than messy burger, and will certainly not result in a copyright claim from a diminutive Argentine with a left foot that could flip a patty and chop onions and a face that could pickle walnuts.
First things first. We had to queue outside for 10 minutes. On any normal day I’d have walked, but we’d already decided on what to eat and had been destroyed by a chap in the window who took great glee in showing us his burger and wings and delighting in every bite. Just as I began to think about pissing in his milkshake, we were seated.
The interior had the air of a pop-up shop in East London, all wonky chairs and chipboard. I couldn’t give a toss about décor when I’m eating to be honest, if the food’s good and the restaurant doesn’t look like the toilet in Trainspotting then I’m happy. That said, if a place is terribly shit or bollock-clenchingly brilliant I’ll say so.
There was a cracking piece doing the rounds recently where the Nottingham Post’s food critic sat in Wimpy and contemplated the hubris of man and, due to waiting a full 30 minutes between ordering and unwrapping, I could’ve brushed up on my particle physics. Luckily, I had a bottle of Einstok, a shit-kicking Icelandic Pale Ale, and one of our interns, known to me as the jackal, for company.
At this point, I’d already started to think about this article and was enjoying the music. I think they played Ghost Town but its all gone blank. I know for a fact they played four songs I love before the burger arrived but I haven’t got a clue.
Between us, we’d ordered a Smokey Robinson burger (loads of caramelized onions, smoky sauce), a Jose Jose Chilli Burger (guess) a side of Winger Winger Chicken Dinner, or smoked confit wings in BBQ sauce and some rosemary salt fries.
From the moment I bit into the first wing, until licking my fingers and draining my ale, the jackal and I communicated only in nods. Not even a meaty grunt between us. The chicken wings were, in the words of The Sopranos Paulie Walnuts, merely ‘a cunt hair’ from perfection. Meat fell off the bone, the addition of spring onions as a garnish added to the taste and it was chicken that had definitely shat outside. The hypothetical pube was that the sauce was from either the same bowl, or at least family, as that on my burger. Do hot wings, please.
Ah the burger. Tits on Christ it was special. It’s easy for people to say that using Brioche is a gimmick for the young gunslingers of meat, cheese and sweet bread, but in reality it’s the perfect bread as it holds everything in, especially when the patty is the same size as the roll as it was here.
Apparently Westminster Council, the motherless fucks, are trying to ban medium-rare and rare burgers, well if they do I say we all march. As good a patty as I’ve ever had (apart from Patricia Johnson a hippy girl who pulled me off behind the tennis courts at college) it oozed with all of the good shit, had suffered zero shrinkage and was topped with cheese, tomato, lettuce, the onions, bacon, ketchup & smokey mayo. An absolute triumph of man.
I’d tell you about the Jackal’s Jose burger but he’s hardly spoken since. The chips were ace, the beer cold, the vibe warm and the owner, Joe, bounced around with the air of a man who hasn’t slept for a week, is wondering what the fuck he’s done while being incredibly proud that they did 2500 covers in the first couple of days.
There’s a few teething problems with the speed of delivery, and you might baulk at a £16 lunch for burger and chips. But, in my mind, if you moan about the price of food when it’s this good then you deserve to be locked in a room with a hundred weight of Findus crispy Pancakes, a block of mild cheddar and a case of 2% supermarket cooking lager while watching me destroy burgers and ale clad in a thong and some goggles.