Friday, 29 March 2013

Patty and Bun, James Street, London & the Last Word on Burgers

Patty and Bun Smokey Robinson
I think it is fair to say that I have spent a fair amount of time talking to you about burgers. I really like burgers and there's definitely nothing wrong with that. Take the beautiful specimen above, The Smokey Robinson from Patty and Bun in London, the current kings of the burger, dirty junk food trend still going strong in the capital, but really yet to make an impact anywhere else in the country.

Patty and Bun was everything I wanted from a burger, it was juicy with wonderful depth of flavour, it had  good melted cheese, piles of onions and smokey relish and sauce, crisp lettuce, there was even some bacon in there somewhere. I used *many* napkins which is always a strong sign. I queued for it, in the rain. I wanted to eat this burger that badly. Not to forget the chicken wings, the smoked, BBQ sauce covered confit chicken wings. I queued for them too and they were filthly good. I wolfed it all down, chicken wings, chips, burger and all. The people on either side were sharing, my companion was hungover and barely touch his, I was in my greedy element.

I'd say it was one of the best, of all the burgers I've tried and these burgers roughly fall into two categories.

The filthy and the refined.

The filthy is something dripping with juice, required twenty napkins to manage, American cheese, maybe thinner double patties, mustard, mayo, onions, pickles. It is, dare I say it, 'dirty' food. Patty and Bun would fall into this category, as would MeatLiquor/market/mission. Something like this:

Dead hippie at Meatmarket

The refined is your more substantial burger, found in the 'proper' restaurant end of the scale, a thicker but still juicer patty, perhaps mature cheddar cheese, good quality bacon, glazed brioche bun, pickles and salad. Less of the grease, less mess but still plenty of flavour. My favourites I've found of these would be Honest Burgers in Soho/Brixton and Newcastle's own Broad Chare burger which can definitely hold its own with the London elite. For example:

The Broad Chare Signature Burger

The Honest Burger
I've made my own, the results which were never written up were rather impressive. More of a chopped steak burger due to my lack of mincer, it had char, was well seasoned and was a good combination of meat and fat (around 80:20 is preferable), it had pickles, good melty cheese and 'special sauce' and even the glazed sesame seed buns from the Hawksmoor book, a bun with no disintegration, which is the sign of a very bad burger bun indeed and lovely pillowy texture. Plus, shiny.

So, yes I like burgers. There are many nice ones out there. There's also plenty of shit ones, I've written about them too.

But for now, no more burgers. I think I've established my views on meat in bread, said the phrase juicy patty enough times and exhausted my meat based innuendos. Also there are plenty of other people writing about it (normally a lot better than me) if you still want your burger fix.

I'm just going to write about 'fine dining' from now on.  *goes to The Broad Chare for a burger*


  1. Your effort looks great, especially the buns. Despairing of Newcastle's lack of burgerage (never had one from the Broad Chare, looks very decent though), I have taken matters into my own hands, requested for my birthday, and now received, one of these bad boys:

    1. Ahhh I want one so bad! we've been shopping around for one and looking at old ones on ebay, but for new that seems like it would do the trick nicely. Chopping the steak for the burgers was ok, but would have been good to be able to get a less chunky texture. The buns were very good though, the recipe makes you use custard powder in them which seems strange at the time but is a really useful tip.

      And definitely check out the broad chares, although think you have to go to the proper restaurant bit to get it, they do a slider version in the bar but for £3.50 its a better option to get the real deal which is about £10 I think.

  2. A mate has one of these, I had a very pleasant afternoon making sausages at his place and was sufficiently impressed with his kit to request my own, so can recommend. It's not gonna win any style awards, or look good instagrammed next to a vintage le creuset pan, that's all.


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