When it comes to London’s two most famous burger vans (Meat Wagon and Lucky Chip) I have a pretty poor run of luck. Every time I’ve tried to go visit them something has got in the way and i’ve ending up cancelling. When Meat Wagon was in it’s Meat Easy stage I managed to queue for about an hour and make it inside before the rest of my group turned up late, didn’t fancy the now two hour queue so we ended up eating Thai down the road. Then there was the time that I arrived at Netil Market to finally try a Lucky Chip burger only to be told they’d run out of beef!
With Meatwagon’s founder Yianni moving his burger empire indoors under an NCP car park behind Oxford Street, he’s one of a number of street food vendors that have made the move into a bricks and mortar venue. Pitt Cue, another of 2011′s big names, has recently opened up its 30-cover restaurant in Soho and rumours suggest Lucky Chip might also be considering the move. So even though I may have missed out on the Meatwagon burger experience while it was still on the street, I was determined to see if the burgers lived up to the hype. So it was with a degree of excitement that I finally made it to Meat Liquor earlier this week. It’s really dark inside, so you’ll have to forgive my pretty poor pictures for this post – I was relying on my iPhone.
Having managed to avoid queuing in the freezing cold (the one benefit of eating a bit earlier and getting there at 6pm) we quickly got down to ordering a small feast. We started with some of the deep fried pickles with the blue cheese dip. Personally I don’t really like blue cheese so wasn’t at all disappointed when that bit was forgotten. The pickles themselves were a fantastic start to the meal and a perfect accompaniment to the cider I was drinking. Crunchy on the outside and so juicy and sharp on the inside, pickles (especially those that are deep fried) are quickly becoming a firm favourite.
Next up was the plate of chilli cheese fries, which despite coming for the burger, turned out to be my favourite dish of the night! The fries, which were perfectly crisp were covered with a massive helping of chilli, onions, jalapenos and cheese (two types I think). The chilli has a great smokiness to it and the generous quantity of jalapenos makes it pretty much perfect in my mind. I could have happily stuck with the chilli for the whole meal.
But of course Meat Liquor (and its two predecessors) is famous for it’s burgers and that was the real reason I was there. Faced with a pretty impressive choice of burgers I opted for the Bacon Cheeseburger, which is basically my standard burger order when I try somewhere new. And it’ll come as no surprise that I loved the burger – juicy meat, crisp bacon, gooey american cheese, shredded lettuce and pickles all sandwiched in a soft, yet unyielding bun – what’s not to love! And at £6.50 hard to beat on price. The patty had the great balance of not being over cooked in the middle, but having a good amount of charring on the outside. By this point I was pretty much stuffed, and as much as I would have loved to have tried some of the other offerings (especially the Dead Hippie which looks incredible) I had to call it a night.
So my first Meat Liquor burger more than lived up to the hype and I can’t wait to go back to work my way through the rest of the menu!
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