Having been to #meateasy, sampled the delights of the Meat Wagon and even dropped by the Peckham Rye pub, some might say I’ve had my fair share of their burgers over the last year or so. But, based on the two MEAT Liquor burgers I’ve had already, not to mention some heart-breakingly tasty Mac and Cheese, I’d be inclined to disagree.
However, we can all agree that MEAT Liquor is going to make a good burger or two. What I’ve recently had the delight of realising twice in about as many drunken evenings is the revelation that you can now drop by for one just about any time after you’ve been out boozing.
It requires a process that’s a hyrbid of following the star to Bethlehem and the journey to another world in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Need more details? Let me explain.
*Editor’s note: Drunken photos may lack the usual refined detail – for full experience, have a few beers before reading.*
Okay, actually it’s pretty simple.
Step 1: Head for Oxford Street. If you can’t find this, it’s time quit while you’re ahead and go home.
Step 2: Walk down the road until you hit Debenhams (Again, if you’re struggling with thisi, or if you actually physically *hit* Debenhams, it’s time to call a cab.)
Step 3: Sneak around the back of the big department store and look for this:
So what’s the experience like then? Well, maybe it was the cocktails but if you head there between 12 and 1am (it’s open until 2 on Saturdays) then what greets you is a sparsely populated but nicely atmospheric offering. People have said it’s two dark but I think you nicely sidestep this since a this time, so’s everywhere…
For some reason, it’s how I imagine New York – full of little places down back alleys like this that you would be proud to find as hidden gems. Of course, it’s not difficult to get a table at this time or stretch out and we ended up hanging out with the founders for a little while – I’m sure you can imagine the struggle to articulate something reasonably intelligent with a mouth full of burger and addled by the rush of cholesterol as much as anything else.
Both times, I plumped for the (plump) Bacon Cheeseburger (£7) – it doesn’t come with fries but to be honest, they’re the most disappointing side and certainly the biggest weakspot in the Meatwagon experience. Just look at Honest Burgers and you can see a way to do fries that makes them unmissable.
And what a burger. Finising each order, bun and all, by steaming them in a coupe brings a fantastic moistness to the whole arrangement without becoming sloppy. The charred patty brings that rich, dark taste alongside nice lighter beefy tastes and they mix casually with the bacon and cheese notes.
It’s a beautiful ensemble but even better when it has been a long evening and you don’t really care anymore. Why head for Burger King when you can steal a booth, crack through some deep-fried pickles with a couple of nice beers and enjoy one of the best burgers for about 500 miles?
What’s more, due to a mix-up from my inebriated indecision, we ended up with Mac and Cheese in a bag to take home. When we arrived and got stuck in, what greeted us was the most beautifully rich, cheddary, goopy mixture with nice little bits of crunch here and there. I’d recommend this strategy – it was fate that we discovered it, written in the stars.
So go, ignore the nonsense about it being too dark (as you can see from my illustrations, not a problem.) and enjoy yourself. Over and over again.
Follow the star…