Friday 30 January 2015

[Burger News] Shake Shack to launch the ShackMeister burger in Covent Garden

Good news shack fans - Shake Shack in Covent Garden are FINALLY launching the ShackMeister burger in the UK.

This is a big deal because it's awesome. It's their classic cheeseburger, topped with crispy ShackMeister Ale marinated shallots and ShackSauce, and it's making its debut on Monday 16th February.
Eat it and bathe in it's glory.

Also significant is the recent comment by Shake Shack UK Managing Director, Nigel Sherwood, about the Shack's expansion in the UK, starting with Westfield Stratford later this year. They're ready to roll and looking to have seven or eight more restaurants in high footfall areas in London and further afield - probably using some of the cash from their latest round of fund-raising.

Monday 26 January 2015

[Review] Ruby Burger from Ruby Modern Diner, Exeter, Devon

I took a couple of weeks out of London over Christmas and New Year (c'mon, even burger bloggers need a holiday sometimes) and part of this period was spent in Devon.
Inevitably I'd been craving a decent burger, especially as once again I'm going Meat Free in January 2015, and so New Year's Eve would be my last mouthful of beef for 31 days. Luckily I'd been hearing some good things about a recent addition to the Exeter dining scene, Ruby Burger, so this is where I went for my final burger in 2014. And I'm jolly glad I did.

Thursday 22 January 2015

[Meat Free January] Bean Me Up burger at Burger Shack, Edgware Road

Once again I find myself spending a month without meat.

The annual self-flagellation of Meat Free January has been in full swing for just over three weeks, and this year has been the toughest so far (ok, so I’m not drinking for a month, either, but that’s a different story). What makes it doubly tough is the number of places that are running burger specials, and offers, to lure in those who want to cheer up their cold, dark January with some meaty comfort food. I can’t say I haven’t been tempted, but I have maintained my integrity…so far.
Lunch at Burger Shack, however, has been by far my toughest test, as my 20+ dining companions tucked into their Big Shack burgers, pulled pork amazeballs, and beef chilli cheese fries – washed down with Meantime Pale Ale and Kopparberg cider – I waited for my “Bean Me Up” veggie burger, silently screaming…

Tuesday 20 January 2015

[Burger News] French Connection: Big Fernand Burger to launch in London in March 2015

First we had Icelandic Burgers, then the Lebanese had a shot, then we had the American Burger Wars (Five Guys and Shake Shack), but now there's another nation muscling in on London's booming burger scene - the French are coming...

Big Fernand is crossing the channel this March, setting up shop on Percy Street in Fitzrovia. Their press release says they're "putting the va va voom into burgers, these fabulous French patties are getting ready to shake up the capital with a burger joint big on French flavours and Parisian savoir-faire. With super fast service and a cool, quirky vibe that doesn’t try too hard, Big Fernand puts the bistro bling into burgers."

Apparently they'll be "serving only the crème de la crème of hamburgés, Big Fernand takes the American classic and blends with French gastronomy to deliver a burger with a difference. Think artisan buns, made in London using a French baker’s secret recipe, locally-sourced Charolais and Aberdeen Angus meat, unpasteurised French cheeses such as Tomme de Savoie, Raclette or Fourme d'Ambert, freshly chopped herbs and home-made sauces created by Chef Thomas Boutin."

"Served blue through to well-done, choose from five classic combinations including beef, chicken and veal. Alternatively, ‘build your own’ with over 3,840 distinctly French possibilities. Eat with fingers, accompanied by Fernandines – home-made hand cut French fries from potatoes peeled and sliced at the restaurant each morning. The drinks list features a red, white and a rosé wine as well as beer, all French naturellement."

Service is touted to be "speedy and sometimes cheeky – expect your hamburger with a smile in around 40 seconds from order to service."

Big Fernand was launched in 2012 and now has 8 restaurants in France. This is part of a roll out strategy that will see another 15 restaurants open in 2015, in London, Hong Kong, and elsewhere in France. 

Saturday 10 January 2015

[Review] Patty Melt at Chop Shop, Haymarket

I’d go so far to say that Chop Shop on Haymarket, that odd, triple-lane one way system that connects Piccadilly Circus with Trafalgar Square, is a hidden gem. Certainly in terms of real estate, it’s got nothing on the wide-fronted Byron Hamburgers opposite, or the generic pizza/pasta places that rely on unwitting tourist traffic and out of town theatre goers  to pay their Westminster rents, but in quality eating, it’s gold.

Chop Shop, as you’d expect, is a predominantly meat-focused affair, serving steaks, roasts and a weekly burger alongside potted crab, liver pate and smoked trout, as well as a host of other British deli bar snacks. They also have a patty melt on the menu, which is the focus of this review.
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