Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Restaurant Review: Meat Liquor

Oh good god the meaty coma. I am literally stuffed to bursting point following a very enjoyable evening at Meat Liquor.

Having taken a break from pulled pork taste testing, today's hangover of epic proportions deserved a serious fixer upper, only a burger would do. Where do you go for a brilliant burger in London? For the last 6 months or so the debate is huge, but anyone you talk to about the best burger in London, MeatLiquor will be on that list. We arrived at 715 on a Saturday expecting a long line, we were thrilled to be informed of the mere 20 minute wait at the bar. It was a sunny day (rare) so my reasoning for this phenomenon was people were mingling in bars later than usual so the queue didn't form until later on. When we left hours later the outside queue was looking a bit more like this, smug face.
Glamorous location, under the car park
At the bar we opted for the amazingly reasonably priced cocktails. A Henrietta Fizz and a Silver Angel. Some of the cocktails are much more cheekily named (two girls one summer cup for example). The smoking hot bar man (it must be a hiring policy) whipped these up a treat. As ever I had ordered the shortest drink known to man, so it wasn't long until I needed a top up. Luckily by this time we were being whisked to our table. We were seated at a table for 6 with two other couples.
Liquor Menu
Behind the bar
Cocktails in jam jars...for everyone else
Getting busy
Shake it 
I had resisted looking at the food menu until now (it is literally on the back of the cocktail menu, meat one side, liquor on the other) I was glad as soon as I glanced at it that I hadn't looked previously, I needed everything...right now. Hunger strikes.
Meat Liquor Burger Menu
I was tempted to just for the signature cheese burger but I'm a sucker for chili, so the green chili burger it was....and chili cheese fries. These two items actually make up two thirds of the #TripleChilliChallenge which also has a chili dog. The current record for eating all three of these is a ridiculous 3 minutes and 45 seconds. Seriously whoever this was is a crazy man (lets face it, that was never going to be a woman) the portion size of the chili fries alone were so large we couldn't finish it between us.

Other sides we opted for were onion rings (I wouldn't have if I hadn't seen them flying by onto someone else s plate they looked immense) and the slaw. I am a sucker for slaw since going to Pitt Cue. The portion of this was also incredibly large.
The view from our table, very cool decor
I love the simple no frills/DIY feel
What more do you need?
The food didn't take too long to arrive, reassuringly long enough that you knew it was cooked fresh, but not too long that I was chomping at the table. In the meantime I also ordered a tasty red, another cocktail. Not as good as the Silver Angel and yet again in the tiniest cup ever. Maybe they had seen me coming.

Once the food arrived there were no need for plates here, it was all on a tray to share (aside from the burgers which was ALL MINE). The chili cheese fries were everything you would hope they would be. Slathered in chili, jalapenos, cheese, mustard and absolutely filthy dirty. Hangover fodder if ever there was one. The fries inside were all good (once you got to them under all the topping). The onion rings were every bit as good as I was hoping they were going to be. The batter flaked in a satisfying way but was incredibly light. They were huge. I was impressed. The slaw was the only disappointment of the evening. As mentioned the portion was huge but it was pretty flavourless. I did eat some because it provided some relief from the spiciness elsewhere on the tray, but I wouldn't order it again.
Chili cheese fries
Green chili burger (front) mushroom swiss (back)
It wasn't long until we were groaning with over stuffing ourselves. The main event, the burger was drippy, greasy heaven (in a good way) it's bun was simple not taking anything away from the meat and toppings. The meat was thick and cooked on the rare side of medium rare - just how I like it. We weren't asked so this is obviously how they all come. The green chilies on here were deceptively hot, especially when combined with the chili fries. My mouth was pretty much on fire. We ordered some water which arrived in jam jars - as did most people's cocktails. Mine however...did not!
The Main Event
After a breather and a solid attempt at tacking this mammoth meal we threw in the towel. During this time someone took on the #TripleChilliChallenge, a lot of people (especially those who were queueing at the bar) went over to have a look as the waitress announced it on a mega phone over the noise of the restaurant. The music is fantastic and really loud. It suits the decor down to a tee. I would describe it a slaughter house come underground nightclub in New York. The only thing lacking in the illusion of being in downtown New York was the bathroom. They have clearly run out of effort come the toilets. They were just neglected but not in the satisfying way of the rest of the restaurant. Some of the graffiti is 'risque' particularly the plastic curtains you would see in a slaughter house covered in red paint. Not a place to bring a vegetarian.
We would suck at the #TripleChilliChallenge 
Once we had completely thrown in the towel the only sensible thing to do was order dessert. They only do two desserts the Brown Cow or the Black Cow. A Brown Cow is a root beer float. A Black Cow is a coke float. Two coke floats coming up.
Coke floats
I like the spoon
This was done in such a way the ice cream was hanging on the edge of the glass, it was really cool and hard work! We enjoyed this in a nostalgic way and managed to not make too much mess.

Overall this place is up there as one of my favourite restaurants in London now. The atmosphere is fantastic, the food is reasonably priced (burgers are from £6.50-£8ish and sides range from £3-£5 and the portions are huge.) which makes for a great combo. I think we were incredibly lucky getting in so quickly as I've read about 90 minute waits in the cold outside which is no fun for anyone. There refreshingly wasn't a feeling of table turning which is nice with a situation like that. The best burger in London? I take the challenge. I will enlist in the challenge to find it. Next stop...Lucky Chip??

Hats off to Meat Liquor - thoroughly enjoyed.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 4/5
Drink: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
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