Friday 8 March 2013

Bukowski Grill, Shoreditch

@yesiamben on the smallest burger spot in Shoreditch.
I went to Bukowski Grill in Boxpark towards the end of last year and promised CBB I'd write a review for the blog. I didn't. I figured I'd write one this week so decided it'd be as good an excuse as any to meet and a friend and head there for another burger. After all it's only just down the road. So here you go.
If you haven't been to Boxpark, it's a 'popup mall' made up of container units with some relatively/questionably fashionable/cool shops in them. There's also a few places to eat. Bukowski is on the top at the end towards Shoreditch station. I read some of the reviews of Bukowski last year and was a little disappointed, if and only if because I assume the place is a namesake for one of my favourite authors, Charles Bukowski.
First thing to note - the place is *tiny*. At a best guess, I suspect they could squeeze about 20 people in at a reaaaaal push. But there'd be a lot of ribs in elbows and table sharing. Not a massive problem, though, there's a lot of outside space (and heated sort-of inside space) in Boxpark you can eat your burger in (and I'm fairly sure they do take-out). If you can get a seat though, it's kinda sweet inside. Lots of wood and very cosy. 
The menu is just what you need - a few simple burger options (I think they do more bits in their (hopefully bigger!) Brixton place). I ordered a 'Fat Gringo' and a sparkling water. I'm happy it came in a bottle I could drink from, because they serve it with a metal cup. I'm not sure if you've ever had to drink out of a metal cup, but there's just something wrong with it. Annnyway.
I didn't have chips this time round, but we had chips last time. I've gotta say, I wasn't impressed with them. I just think burgers should come with fries. The chips at Bukowski are more like big bits of fried potato. That said - if super chunky chips are your thing, these will be right up your street.
The burger arrived on a paper topped metal plate with a couple of slices of (pretty decent) pickle pinned to the top. The bun was delightfully soft and fluffy. The burger was the loose sort of sloppy mess I'm a fan of, and reminded me of the fantastic Fattburger popup I loved last year. Working upwards, there was jalapeno mustard and lettuce underneath the patty. The patty was pretty decent - I asked for medium rare - it was probably nearer rare, but nothing I was unhappy about. There was lots of flavour, and a lot of drippy mess. The patty was topped with (Monterrey Jack?) cheese, red onion, a little tomato, and candied bacon. It would be wrong for me to go on without talking about the bacon. I'm about 95% sure it's the best bacon I've had in a burger in town. Last year, the burger that came with candied bacon was a special my colleague had - but we both tried it, and it was exceptional then. I have a feeling 'The Fat Gringo' I had that's on the menu now was the special he had back then (when I probably went for the cheese and bacon burger).
I can't really recommend you take your partner here for dinner, but I'd happily recommend it if you're in the area shopping, or your work nearby and want a decent burger for lunch. At a tenner without chips, 'The Fat Gringo' isn't the cheapest, especially based on where you are (you could have a cheese and bacon burger for £7.95) but it's worth it for the bacon alone. The Diner around the corner probably represents better value for money and is certainly a nicer place to eat, but then you can't get a 'Fat Gringo' there.
Overall, probably a 7.5, nudged to an 8 for the bacon.
Unit 61, Boxpark, 4-6 Bethnal Green Road, 
Shoreditch, London, E1 6GY 
Tel: 020 7033 6601
Unit 10, Market Row, Brixton MarketSW9 8JX
Tel: 020 7733 4646
Bukowski Grill on Urbanspoon

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