Tag Archives: pickle

MEATmission, Hoxton

I wrote about MEATliquor in 2011, so will keep this post brief. The menu at MEATmission is very similar – deep fried pickles reign supreme (a bargain at £3.50) and there are more burgers than you can throw your patty at.

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But, it’s a darn sight nicer inside. Housed in an old church, it has high ceilings, vibrant stained glass windows, a Dj Booth and a round central bar. It’s cleaner, airier and cooler; I didn’t leave feeling like I’d just joined the pickles in the deep fat fryer.

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Plus, you can book! That’s right my friends, there will be no queuing in the rain as you inhale burger steam bellowing out from the kitchen. There will be no arguments when your friends show up late making you miss your table. This is a restaurants with morals.

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Food wise, I decided to branch out with a healthy Halloumi burger – it was January after all (£7). Yummy and enormous, it was made up of three giant slabs of cheese burst out of two buns, smothered with mushrooms, red onion, lettuce, mustard & ketchup.

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We shared Gravy Fries (£6), which was a mound of chips topped with caramelised onions and gravy. It reminded me of the last, gravy drenched roast potato you can’t quite fit in. Soggy, mushy, yet wickedly tasty.

MEATmission gets a LLE Rating of 7/10. It’s far nicer than MEATliquor, so the only place I’ll go for a dirty burger and a side of juicy pickles.

MEATmission, 14-15 Hoxton Market, London, N1 6HG 

MEATmission on Urbanspoon

Barrington Brewery, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

It took me 28 years, one month and 28 days to visit America and now, in the blink of an eye, I’m back home. I comfort myself with food memories – Korean fried chicken, Japanese black cod, Venezuelan arepas, Mexican tacos, New York pizza…the list goes on.

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Our holiday began in Sheffield, Massachusetts, about two and a half hours from New York. There I ate bagels, sushi, sourdough pizza and exceptional home cooked meals. All that, and super sized sandwiches at Barrington Brewery.

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Barrington Brewery is exactly what you’d expect an American diner to be. It’s spacious with large wooden booths that allow plenty of room for pints of solar beer (brewed on the premises), super sandwiches, fried sides and enormous slices of chocolate cake.

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Around the table we had everything from the Classic Reuben ($10), unusual Smoked Salmon BLT ($10), Mixed NY Grill ($10) and a surprisingly fresh looking Arugula Salad ($10.50) with greens, beets, walnuts, dried berries and local goat’s cheese.

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The sandwiches were enormous, dripping with molten cheese and juice from the generous portions of meat. Each came with a choice of sweet potato or beer battered fries (go with the former – definitely the best I’ve tasted), along with a large pickle.

Barrington Brewery may make McDonald’s look healthy, but the food is undeniably delicious and a must-eat for anyone with hours to digest horizontally afterwards.

Barrington Brewery, 420 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington MA 01230

Top Five London Burgers

Much like Jules in Pulp Fiction, ‘I do love the taste of a good burger’. Luckily, this is the only thing I have in common with Samuel L Jackson’s violent character.

I try to be relatively healthy most days, but from time to time, no food satisfies me more than a burger, preferably served with crispy chips and creamy mayonnaise. You can easily find a tasty burger in your local gastropub, and many love the likes of GBK, Burger King and McDonalds, but my top five list is sure to blow the others out the water.

1. Byron Burger, 22 London locations

Byron is the only chain to make it onto my list because it consistently serves quality burgers at a reasonable price (you’re looking at around £10 for a burger and side). With six options available, i fussily like to go off menu and create my own – a burger with Byron sauce, Emmenthal cheese and a large Portobello mushroom. Take it from me, it tastes fantastic and goes perfectly with the deliciously crisp and light courgette fries. What’s more, if you’re feeling particularly piggish, a thick and creamy milkshake is the icing on the burger.

2. The Riding House Cafe, 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PQ

I went to The Riding House Cafe last week specifically to try its famous Foie Gras Burger. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Fois Gras, so was quite pleased to hear it had been replaced with the Longhorn Beef & Bone Marrow Burger with a Chicken Liver Truffle Parfait (now there’s a mouthful…literally). This king of burgers certainly had a tremendous flavour, but for me, was a little rich and way too pricey, coming in at a whopping £20.  With that in mind, I think I’ll save myself a tenner next time and go for the Smoked Cheddar Cheeseburger, leaving the Longhorn for the men.

3. MEATliquor, 74 Welbeck Street, London W1G 0BA

MEATliquor is not the place for dieters. Out of all the burgers I’ve had in London, these are the greasiest, cheesiest and sloppiest you’ll find, but that doesn’t stop them from tasting pretty amazing. Also good are the deep fried pickles, something I hadn’t come across before and probably shouldn’t eat regularly, despite the temptation. MEATliquor has a reputation for long, boring queues, but now it’s almost summer, at least the wait won’t be such a chilling experience. If the queue puts you off, check out MEATmarket, which opens this month in Covent Garden to give fans the chance to grab a burger to go.

4. Northfield Farm, Middle Market, Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL

Even though I don’t have a proper photo (I’ll take one next time I go), hopefully my description of the Northfield Farm burgers in Borough Market will be enough to make you want to try one for yourself. The Northfield Farm stall is hard to miss. This is not only due to its central location, it’s also because of the delicious smell that wafts down the lengthy queue of people waiting to buy one of its rare-breed burgers for less than a fiver. You can taste the quality as soon as you bite into the deliciously warm meat, covered with either cheese, bacon or a simple helping of sweet pan-fried onions and a dollop of punchy mustard.

5. Honest Burger, Unit 12, Brixton Village, London SW9 8PR

Last, but by no means least, is Honest Burger in Brixton Village. I recently wrote that their burgers were the best I’ve ever had and, even after spending £20 on The Riding House Cafe’s Longhorn delicacy, I still stand by my claim. Not only is the dry aged Ginger Pig beef incredibly moist and intense in flavour, the rosemary seasoned chips easily eclipse the recent ‘triple cooked’ craze.

Meat Liquor, Marylebone

If you want to go to the newly opened Meat Liquor by Yainni Papoutsis of #Meateasy fame, you have to play by the rules:

Although this notice is displayed by the bar, and it’s likely the staff don’t want to serve ‘dickheads’, watch customers ‘heavy petting’ or come across a gerbil nibbling on a chip, I think these rules are more accurate:

  1. Arrive early – we got there at 5.30pm and walked straight in. By the time we left at 7pm the queue outside went round the block
  2. Make sure you and your friends arrive at the same time – it doesn’t matter how much you plead, you won’t be given the size of table you require until everyone is present. What’s more, if one of your friends arrives really late, they can’t walk straight in and join everyone, they have to go to the end of the queue and wait outside (one step too far? I think so)
  3. Don’t be shocked to hear the bartenders and waiters shouting “MEAT!” or “LIQUOR!” – these are alternatives to “SERVICE!”
  4. Don’t go if you’re on a diet – there is nothing ‘healthy’ on the menu, even one of the two salad options looked like it had tortilla chips in it
  5. Don’t expect Gastropub burgers – the burgers at Meat Liquor are greasy, cheesy and messy, but this shouldn’t put you off as the beef tastes great and is served a perfect medium rare
  6. Try the deep fried pickles – these were a first for me and were surprisingly delicious, but then most fried foods are
  7. Avoid if you have earache / hate anything other than classical music – heavy metal and rock is the music of choice and plays VERY loudly
  8. To fit in, grow a handle bar moustache, arrive on a motorbike and wear a checked shirt – perhaps it was a coincidence, but I love the fact this American-style burger bar had even gone to the effort to hire a couple of ‘easy riders’ to drink beer at the bar
  9. Drink cocktails – the cocktail menu is extensive and most are served in cool, quirky, but slightly outdated, jam jars. If Bloody Mary is your drink of choice, prepare for a burning mouth due to their fiery alternative to Tabasco sauce. Personally I couldn’t think of anything worse to drink, so stuck with my usual – White Lady (or Perfect Lady as it’s called in Meat Liquor). Now, I’ve become a bit of a snob when it comes to this cocktail so could quickly point out a major fault – the ice hadn’t been strained properly to produce the usually smooth liquid. Despite this, it wasn’t long before I ordered a second round as it still tasted pretty good
  10. Don’t worry, it won’t cost the earth – you can’t go wrong when you can get a cocktail, burger and fries for less than £20 in London

Meat Liquor, 74 Welbeck Street, London W1G 0BA