Monday, 17 February 2014

Starvin' Marvin's, Greenford

How many times have we all driven past Starvin' Marvin's Diner on the A40 into/out of London and looked in wonder at this beautiful slab of kitch 50's Americana. A beacon of shiny stainless steel hope set against the miserable shitness backdrop of Greenford. 
I still can't not look at it when i drive past, risking a potential fast-lane shunt. It offers a hint of the apparently happy, care-free lifestyle of 50s America, and it always makes me smile.

Inside its every bit as authentic as the outside. Everything you'd hope a Streamliner Diner would be: Red pleather booths make up the majority of the venue seating with matching stools set against the bar, Black & White checkerboard floor tiles, a Wurlitzer jukebox playing Rock n' Roll, Americana pictures on the walls, neon signage everywhere and a cheerful young waitress with a nice smile. 
Ok its a little old and could do with a bit of a refresh, but its still a fun place in which to sit and absorb the retro surroundings. The place was completely empty this Monday lunchtime, and as I ordered at the bar, I was told to sit anywhere. I chose a booth, sat down and just as i started to smile at all the crap on the walls, the waitress apologised and said i couldn't sit there. She didn't speak great English so wasn't able to explain why, so i moved to the next booth which she seemed happy with. Mysterious. 
I have been eating the occasional burger at Starvin' Marvin's for the last 20 years, and after each visit i vow never to go back due to the appalling food they serve. But as the years pass and the negative memories fade, i am lured in again by the look of the venue and every 5 or so years i give it another go, in the hope that they have re-vamped the kitchen and are serving up some good stuff for a change. This visit was just like the rest. I hoped they had heard about the blooming London burger 'scene' and wanted to get in on the action.
Unfortunately, you can predict the rest. The burger was fucking atrocious pitiful. I paid an extra pound for 'scottish beef', making the total for a burger and curly fries £8.50 iirc. The patty was dry, overcooked, semi-cold, tasteless and dense in a super-economy-cashncarry-frozen-burgers-for-burger-van-sale-only kind of way. The bun was stale, and also of the same 'as cheap as possible' variety. There was an unmelted slice of tasteless plastic cheese, a single small tomato slice, some chopped raw onion and chopped lettuce bits. Yummy. At a guess i'd say the ingredients were so cheap they were actually given away to save space in the budget food establishment they came from. At most 40p for the lot. 
So there we go. As time ticks away and life goes on and the world changes dramatically in so many ways, there is one absolute constant to be found on the A40 near Perivale: Starvin' Marvin's burgers will be eternally shit. But I'll probably be back in 2018.

3/10 (Venue 8, burger 1)

starvinmarvins.co.uk
A40 Western Ave, Greenford, UB6 8TF
020 8998 5132

22 comments:

  1. This place used to be in Salford Quays in Manchester back in the day, before it was loaded onto the back of a truck and taken down there. I loved it when I was a kid and it did the most amazing plate size waffles with maple syrup and ice-cream. It was also the first place I ever had an ice-cream float. If I had the money I would buy this place put it back on a lorry and cart it back up north and make it good again. I have such fond memories of this place and it upsets me that all the reviews you read about it now are sooooo bad, especially as the setting is sooooo authentic and cool

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  2. Hi Thomas, apols for the tardy reply. Its something of a landmark in London, for me anyway. And as you can probably tell, it pains me that they peddle such mucky food. If i win the lottery i'll buy it and make it awesome. As a venue its epic.

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    1. It pains me too. I am the creator and original owner of Starvin' Marvin's. The first diner in Salford Quays was destroyed by fire, courtesy of the local mafia. The A40 diner was built in 197 and arrived on site in October that year.

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    2. Neil, sorry, please what year was this?

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    3. Hi Neil, I'd love to hear the story of the origins of Starvin' Marvin's. Do you have any old photos etc? Please get in touch, Cheers!

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    4. Hi Cheeseburgerboy. I've only just seen this, I'll send you an email

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  3. Hello everyone...

    This place is no more - I walked passed it today; I came from Perivale and I noticed as I walked over the foot.bridge over the A40 and saw it looked kind of 'empty'. We it sadly is - I went up closer to the building : the jukebox is gone; the automobile row of seats at the entrance is also gone; the postage is piling up inside. I peered through the shutters and saw the seats are being dismantled. I need to find out what is going on. It's obvious it has closed down. Will it be dismantled and set-up somewhere else? The hygiene was terrible here but the food always a treat !

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    1. That's sad to hear, lets hope some burger fan has bought it and will turn it into the coolest burger spot in the country !

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  4. Most of all I will the curly curly fries... sigh

    :-(

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  5. Just came across that this has closed. I used to LOVE the one in sAlford as a kid it was brilliant I always wondered why it had gone and didn't know there was more out there.

    Now being a huge Burger/BBQ fan I would love to have a place like this.

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  6. Any news.....is it being dismantled to be set up somewhere else?

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  7. check out the "Swiss cheese" in the top picture ...it looks super fake possibly synthetic , If this is what Swiss cheese is, its a sad commentary on the state of Euro-rash society and another good reason to BR-Exit tout suite!

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  8. check out the "Swiss cheese" in the top picture ...it looks super fake possibly synthetic , If this is what Swiss cheese is, its a sad commentary on the state of Euro-rash society and another good reason to BR-Exit tout suite!

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  9. Is there any updates on Starvin Marvin I would love to find out what is happening with the inside possible purchase of some memorabilia

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  10. I'd like to know as I would buy the place if I could

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  11. This place makes a rat infested KFC look like Afternoon Tea at the Ritz carlton.
    Thank god they closed down, they got what was coming to them.

    Peace.

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  12. Is there any update as to whats happening with this place? Its still sitting there derelict and rusting away!!

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  13. Hi there - any updates on this place would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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  14. Hi I go past everyday and sadly the travellers have now taken over the carpark. This is likely to end in the building being a shell in no time at all and being reduced to dust

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    1. Hi Dusty, thats a real shame. Lets hope they havent ripped it to bits before the law move them on :(

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