Monday 5 December 2011

Meat Liquor. Dirty name, dirty burger

Yianni Papoutsis's first proper restaurant was bound to be interesting, and the evolution from Meateasy to MeatLiquor didn't 
disappoint. Apart from maybe waiting 1h45mins from arrival to burger...

After standing in a queue in the cold, we then had to wait inside before finally getting a table. The venue is more nightclub than restaurant, there's even a bouncer on the door. Muffled lo-fi rock music blares out creating an almost hypnotic drone. Its dark as hell, faces are illuminated by a red neon glow. The walls are covered in creepy gothic street art, 'Skull Fuck' is written on the wall behind me, above a picture of a tattooed girl with an inverted cross on her forehead. Dim lightbulbs are connected by dangling blood red cables resembling arteries. People talk loudly over candlelit tables. Cute young waitresses endearingly rush around trying to keep up with everything. There's a satisfying air of chaos. I can barely see or hear my friends. Barmen stab at a huge block of well-lit ice behind the bar. There's a real buzz of excitement. Its awesome in here, like being involved in some kind of 3D theatre experience. 

We ordered every hamburger: a cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, chilli cheeseburger and the dead hippie. The lack of light meant 
the burgers were difficult to inspect, and i hadn't packed my maglight. Even the waitress struggled to tell us which was which.
Cheeseburger left, Dead Hippy right.
Apart from the dead hippie, the burgers contain one medium rare, roughly hand formed patty at least 8oz in weight, covered with 
well melted-in american burger cheese and a mustardy sauce. The patty's are very well seasoned, gently charred on the outside 
and have a full bodied beefy taste. There's a handful of chunky pickle slices, chopped onion and lettuce slaw underneath the 
patty. Buttered sweet brioche buns add to the greasiness. There's huge flavour in these burgers, my only criticism would be that 
the the amount of seasoning and the sauce's tang start to overpower the beef taste somewhat. Its a dirty messy burger and your hands will require half the provided kitchen roll to de-grease.  
Dead Hippy
The cheeseburger and baconcheeseburger are as good as you'd expect, juicy, tasty and of perfect size. The chili cheeseburger came with a layer of chopped red chillis on top of the patty, the heat was bearable but only just. The dead hippie is the most ordered menu item and i can see why, it contains the same amount of meat, but with two half thickness patties that have been fried in mustard, taste like they've absorbed even more seasoning, and of course there's the extra slice of melted cheese. The closest rival i've eaten is probably In-N-Out's Animal Style Double Double, but frankly that burger is a sissy compared to this bad boy. As great as the Hippie was, I think my favourite was the cheeseburger, just because i prefer the centre rareness that you get with one large patty over two thin ones.  

The queues and slowish service will hopefully improve as the place finds its feet. The venue, atmosphere and food is excellent. I can't wait to go back.

Cheeseburger £6.50. Chili Cheeseburger £7. Bacon Cheeseburger £7. Dead Hippie £7.50. Deep fried pickles £3. Fries £?

Meat Liquor. 76 Welbeck Street. Marylebone. London

MEATliquor on Urbanspoon

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