Last weekend was very exciting for me, I’m not sure how many of you guys know this, but I’m a huge burger fan. Sunday 6th of April, London held the “London Burger Bash Final” the last of competition in a year long battle for best burger in London. I was only able to make it for half of the day, eating only two of the four burgers – but here’s my review of the day and the burgers!
Upon entering the stadium, by which I meant a sectioned off area of Borough’ Market, I was assaulted with smoke, the sizzling sound of frying patties and a smell that can only be described as heaven in my nostrils. The area is full of people sitting at tables and benches. Around the tables are two burger vans (Bleeker Street Burger, and Patty & Bun) two burger kitchens set up (Fred’s, and Burger Bear) as well as a couple of smaller tent stalls (drinks, fries, sliders and coffee). Although it’s busy and long queues are already forming, I know that more people are expected to come.
I’m wearing my brand new hello kitty burger bag. That’s right, I have a burger bag – which isn’t a bag for burgers but rather a bag with burgers on it. I thought it might have been overkill, but instead I was stopped several times for people to take pictures of it (not of me though, just my bag). I’m also wearing a dress and my Hello Kitty tights, which basically means I’m ready for battle! I meet up with my new friend who was able to get me the ticket (it was a sold out event) and his table full of lovely people who’s names I can’t remember because I was so nervous meeting them…
We go straight into our first queue which is for the Bleeker Street Burger. The queue takes a while, maybe 15 minutes or so, and we make light chit chat whilst I take in my surroundings. It’s amazing the types of people that come to these events. That’s because they’re not all the same type of people. All ages and all sizes, I see boho hippie chicks, businessmen in suits as well as lots of normal people in jeans and t-shirts. A lot of beards too.. I guess beards are in fashion at the moment.
The burger I get given is half a burger, since we’re expected to be eating four of them. The half is actually pretty big. It looks amazing, two rare patties parted by an amazing smelling black pudding. I’m good though and wait until we make our way back to our table. I pick up the burger, and although I can see juices running out of the meat, the bread isn’t soggy. This is very important because it means that the bread can soak up the flavours properly, and it doesn’t get your hand greasy.
The first bite is orgasmic in my mouth. The bread is firm, slightly sweet and also soft and meaty from the juices on the inside – perfect burger bread. The meat itself is delicious, super tender beef that practically melts in my mouth, but squishes when I chew to give a hearty texture. The cheese is barely noticeable on the top patty, but does give a slight tang. The real show stopper for this burger is the black pudding though. I’m a huge fan of black pudding, and know first hand how hard it is to find good quality stuff these days. This was not only well made but truly well cooked. Not underdone that the taste would be stogy, and not overdone so that the texture would be hard and chewy. Instead it crumbled perfectly, smushing into the meat patty to add an extra dimension of meaty goodness. I thought for a moment that this might have just been the best burger I had ever eaten.
After, I had a pineapple and gin cocktail. I knew I had to leave soon too, which was sad because it was such an amazing event to be at. The second burger I lined up for was Fred’s. The lines by this time had started to get much longer, and whilst in the line I watched the Burger Bear Stall cook. The chef does this very cool thing where he steams the patties in their own steam on the cooker! They all looked like they were having a blast. I also met someone in line who owned a Fuji x100 – a camera I’ve had my eye on for the longest time. He let me try it out, take some pictures ect and I fell in love with the camera.
The burger itself came very fresh, and in a bag. I got a badge along with it too. Fred’s special tactic was a special cheese blend – completely opposite from the previous burger which put the cheese on as an afterthought. Instead he had four cheese, and I can’t tell you what they were because i don’t know, to create an amazing layer of tastiness. The burger was completely soaked through though, the juices from the meat too much for the bread. It crumbled in my hand and soaked my bag, I had a hard time putting it in my mouth. The cheesy meat explosion was fantastic though. The cheese was both deliciously soft yet strong. The texture was hard to describe, it felt smooth like mozzarella, but melted like butter cream, yet it was delicately strong, without an overpowering after taste. Instead, once the initial boom of cheese was gone you were left with the meaty goodness of the burger. I could fault a lot of things about that burger, but taste wasn’t one of them.
The amazing thing about the burger bash final is that the four burgers that made it really were the top of their game. I’m sad that I wasn’t able to eat the other two burgers there, and I know the voting was a close one…! The event itself was lively, people were happy and it was overall a great day. I think everyone should go to the competitions Young and Foodish are holding in London because it’s an experience you don’t really get anywhere else. It brings back the pure joy good food can give people!
Bonus Pork Fries!