So this week was burger week. Not out of any vague attempt by some sort of representative organisation to arbitrarily select a week in order to promote more burgers, but just because I ate several burgers within a few days. That’s it.
I started, rather surprisingly, in South Coast (fast becoming) institution of Half man, half burger. As I walked in I thought I’ll at least have liked the name. Fortunately, I liked a lot more than that, as The Smokestack, a double bacon cheeseburger, was a gooey, meaty, cheesy, smoky delight. In the true style of knowing this was going on the corporate tab, I made full use of the allocated budget and ordered Beef Chilli Cheese Fries, Devils Fingers and Slawsome Slaw to go with my moresome burger, which was really far too much. The Devils Fingers consisted of fried halloumi, which didn’t really float my boat, and the slaw needed a bit more sharpness for my tastes, but the Chilli Cheese Fries were the business. All of this was washed down with a couple of decent frosted margaritas and a beer or two. A buzzing informal atmosphere and pretty decent value, although I’m comparing to London prices, it’s definitely somewhere I’d visit again, although perhaps next time would try a little harder to not let my eyes be bigger than my belly.
One of my colleagues has recently turned vegan, which always intrigues me. Mainly because it would mean totally rethinking the vast majority of regular meals in my repertoire. That would be quite an interesting challenge. and something for (temporary) future consideration. Anyway, when he found a vegan burger joint close by on Brick Lane in Mooshis, I was more than happy to accompany him to check it out. The menu is rather succint, with only four choices of ‘burger’, but the variety is certainly there, from the expected bean patty to pulled jackfruit. I went with the Filet om Fish, a battered & deep fried aubergine slice with (vegan) tartare sauce, (vegan) cheese & nori seaweed. I would say what’s not to like about any sandwich with deep fried aubergine, but the mention of vegan cheese would typically have me making for the door as quickly as a snack disappearing in a weightwatchers' meeting.
Bringing vegan burgers back to the office, we were faced with several of the more carnivorous of the team making signs of the cross, but apart from the slight sizzling of my skin burning in reaction, this was of no real concern. I was more than pleasantly surprised by the food, though, as the whole sandwich was rather delectable; the seaweed, tartare sauce and possibly some oyster sauce cutting through the battered aubergine in a fish fragrant kind of way which I loved.
Filet Om Fish
The third burger of the week was a bit of an accident, but a serendipitous one, nonetheless. My head had been turned by seeing pictures of a prawn toast sandwich, the prawn toasts themselves replacing slices of bread, with hoisin sauce, pickled cucumber & spring onion forming the filling. However, on a lunchtime trip to Hawksmoor to get the fabled sandwich, I was politely informed it is only on the bar menu, which isn’t available until the evening. I was offered the classic cheeseburger instead, though, and being made with grass fed beef and mixed with bone marrow, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. On my return to the office this time, the carnivores were straight on their knees, worshipping at the altar of Hawksmoor, which I can hardly blame them for. I’m not entirely convinced my choice of the stilton instead of the cheddar was the wisest one (it certainly doesn’t look great in the photo), but it’s a pretty decent burger nonetheless. Cost wise, not so great value at £16.50 a pop, but I’m happy to worship at more than one altar.
The Hawksmoor Bacon Cheeseburger
Half Man Half Burger