Friday 3 June 2011

6/10 - Ed's Easy Diner, Moor Street, Covent Garden, London

Location: There are a number of branches of Eds Easy Diner, an American diner-style eaterie dotted throughout london, notable for it's red and chrome interior, jukeboxes on every table, and famed for its malts and shakes. A couple of fellow burger fanatics, Alex (aka @eatingsoho) and Fred (aka @FredSmith_) (both fully signed up members of the #burgercartel), and I descended on the Covent Garden outpost for some easy food and burger chat. Timimg was everything as this branch can only hold about 20 people, but as I arrived the seas apparently parted and our counter seats became available!

£6.75 for Big Bubba's Bacon 'N' Cheese, Chilli Fries (£3.95), Onion Rings (£3.05)

The american fast food burger experience was as expected. Plonked in front of us were small plates, upon which our burgers nestled inside greaseproof paper pockets. Chilli chips came in a bowl with a fork, and onion rings arrived in another bowl. Sadly my expectations on the Big Bubba burger didn't exactly live up to its name, and I felt bubba looked a little sad. Big Bubba could have been a WWF wrestler still trading on ancient big fights under the bright lights, but now well beyond the glory of yesteryear. Still, I was keeping an open mind, as you don't judge a book by it's cover, right?

Sliced pickle, onion, curly lettuce, tomato, bacon, and cheese sat on top of the patty, though in my view only half of it worked. The lettuce was fresh and crunchy, but the tomato was watery and tasteless. The gherkin slice slice was tasteless, and immediately came out all in one bite. The slice of american style cheese was gloopy, melted and tasty, but the bacon was a sort of geletanous mass of overcooked, cardboard-flavoured stuff that frankly I wouldn't wish on my enemies. Of course I nommed it all up, just in case it was like a fine wine with a closed nose/palate, that just needed some time to wasn't. Hit and miss, but more miss.

A classic american-style, white sesame seed bun, which matched the size of the burger well, although it was a little dry, and untoasted. This didn't detract too much from the whole combination however, and it reassuringly held together for the duration of the munch. A low/mid-range session bun.

Not a bad effort. The patty was a thin, anaemic-looking affair, just under a centimetre thick. My first thought was it looked like a Tesco value frozen burger. Prior to its arrival, we'd had the perennial debate with our waiter about the meat being medium: 

"Do you want your burger cooked medium", we were asked, "medium rare please", came the response, in unison. "Sorry we can only do it medium or more...". Then why offer a preference! Anyway, as an aside, the usual health and safety reasons were cited blah blah blah, I'd like to see restaurants offer a diner disclaimer if they want their meat cooked rare - that would certainly identify the batch of meat any E.Coli came from, in the rare event of someone getting ill. 

A bun, holding together well yesterday.
Anyway my burger did come out slightly pinker than I expected (and really I was just happy it wasn't nuked!), and there was a good squirt of juice down my hand and onto the plate when I did the lift and squash. It had some texture, but it was a fine grind, and it was actually quite juicy. The flavour was american fast food, exactly what I expected. Not a bad effort all told, especially for low flavour beef from fast-growing, grain-fed cows.
A big pile of chilli, on chips.

Plate accessories: 
None. I ordered a portion of chilli fries (£3.95) and a portion of onion rings (£3.05) as extras. The chilli was good and beefy, but it somewhat masked the flavourless chips, while the onion rings were actually pretty good, doing a great job of taste and crunch, while not being too greasy, though they were perhaps a little on the overdone side.

Overall: 6/10

Ed's Easy Diner is quick, easy, and a bit of fun, but definitely 'fast food' in terms of quality. I've said it before, there are burgers, and there are session burgers. This sits firmly in the latter category. An inexpensive burger, that fills a gap (and you get rock and roll playing in the background). You could probably put a couple of these away in one sitting without too much trouble! 

Honourable mention: Vanilla malt, baby. 'Nuff said!

Mmmmm. Vanilla malt.
Ed's Easy Diner on Urbanspoon

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