So I had a bit of an average burger at my beloved Hawksmoor a while back, and figured 'they're expanding, their eye is slightly off the ball. I love them so I will give them the benefit of the doubt, but in the meantime I'm going to have to get me some other burgers.'
Happy to report 3 terrific alternatives, and 1 disappointment - all within a round, burger shaped mile of each other in W1.
Let's start with the excitement. Newest kid on the block is the burger at MASH, Copenhagen's hottest American Steak House, that opened last Saturday on the site of The Atlantic in Piccadilly.
If you eat there before the 12th November it's half price on food, which was a joyful surprise when the bill came. Though perhaps annoying, as I might have ordered a steak had I known I could afford it. By all accounts their meat is phenomenal - they certainly take it very seriously:
Anyway, the burger: posh Big Mac, but contained and perfectly ratio-d, unlike the Dead Hippy that's just a bit of a student mess. Served with chilli fries. And at a half price of £7.50, an utter bargain.
The venue - vast, grand, a lot of covers - 300 I believe. Good for a date with someone rich. Or even better, someone rich who likes bourbon - the bar has an extensive (and I mean 3 page) list of bourbons: happy day. I ate at 6pm, drank some drinks at the bar (bar staff supremely nice, knowledgeable and friendly)
Anyway, Honest Burger in Soho - in essence utterly delicious meat, perfect caramelised onion chutney, neat, contained, perfect bun.
And my third awesome burger - Goodmans (no pics, but trust me.) Plus, it comes with bacon / cheese/ fried onions/ fried mushrooms / a fried egg - any and all of the above AT NO EXTRA COST! (I went bacon, cheese, onions. You kind of have to.)
Finally - the disappointment. To be fair, Burger and Lobster doesn't need my adoration - with a three hour wait on a Friday night, they'll have a non-stop queue of 20 somethings with pretend glasses till at least August 2013. And I do like the concept - simplicity, do few things and do them well. And I like the room. And I liked the lobster roll. But £20 is almost definitely too much for a burger, and probably too little for a lobster (am not the world's greatest lobster aficionado, but I went with a person who sort of is.) If it was called Hot Dogs and Foie Gras, and they were at the same price point, you'd surely think twice. Though I'm sure Hot Dogs and Foie Gras's about to open, now I come to think of it :-(
Don't get me wrong. It wasn't a bad burger. It looked like a great burger:
Or better still, build a subterranean tunnel between Burger and Lobster and Honest, and just serve the Honest burgers in your groovy, well-designed, New York hipster-lit, fun-filled room. I'm sure Ben Whishaw can bring up some underground tunnels on a flatscreen for you.
And if Javier Bardem or Daniel Craig can serve them to me? Well that there's your £20 burger.