Last Tuesday, 27th August marked the very first National Burger Day in the UK, thanks to My Hyde. They offered 20% off burgers from restaurants all over the UK and organised a special event to mark this grand occasion along with Tweat Up, the guys behind Street Feast and Rib Stock.
On Tuesday morning, Twitter was buzzing with chat about the event, rumours were spreading about cronut burgers, people who hadn’t been able to get tickets were carrying out their own ‘burger crawls’ around London, #NationalBurgerDay was already trending.
My friend Paul and I discussed our ‘plan’. A list of the 10 burger joints showcasing their burgers that night was released and we decided which ones we wanted to try. We both had the same four places in mind and we decided to get one burger from each place and share it. And so, by 7pm on that beautiful summers evening, Paul and I were standing in the queue, waiting to get into Dalston Yard in East London.
We were lucky to arrive when we did as it was reasonably quiet and the queues hadn’t quite started yet, or so we thought. As we walked around we saw that Dirty Burger had no queue. This was on our list of places to try so we headed there and ordered our first burger. Fifteen minutes later we were still waiting and Dalston Yard was getting busier and busier. Paul and I saw queues forming everywhere so he went off to stand in line for the next burger place while I continued waiting on my Dirty Burger.
Finally, I got our burger and I headed over to Mother Flipper where Paul was queuing. We devoured our Dirty Burger in seconds.
It was lovely. Sweet and juicy with a soft steamed bun. Its just what we needed to kick off our evening. I know loads of people like their burgers piled high with all sorts of stuff but personally, I love a plain standard cheeseburger and this was that. Just what I fancied after a day in the office.
Ten minutes later there was still no sign of our Mother Flipper burgers so I decided to join the (very long) queue at Honest Burger. Paul and I WhatsApp’d each other from our separate queues.
Luckily, by the time I got to the front of the queue to order my Honest Burger, our Mother Flipper Burgers had arrived. So I ran over to where Paul had managed to get a seat and we dug in.
On the left is their Bacon Swiss Flipper – Swiss cheese, candy bacon, candy onions, BBQ sauce, ranch mayo. I loved this one. So many different flavours, it was like party in my mouth. On the right is their Dirty Barbie – double patty, American cheese, candy bacon, candy fried onions, tomato relish and barbecue sauce. For some reason this one just didn’t hit the mark. There was a flavour in there that I didn’t like and it fought with the other flavours. Paul felt the same way, so we both went back to the Bacon Swiss.
As soon as we were done, I ran back to Honest and picked up our next burger, the Honest Plus+ – a Ginger Pig beef & bone marrow patty topped with Red Leicester, crispy pigs cheek, shallot & parsley salad, red onion relish & homemade pickles.
This burger was very different from the others, it was ‘drier’, not that the meat was dry, it just had less sauce and didn’t slip around as much. The one thing that stood about this burger was the taste and quality of the meat. It stood out from the crowd as having so much more flavour and depth. The crispy pigs cheek gave it that extra burst of flavour and texture too. I loved this on flavour alone, but it could have done with being a little less ‘dry’. Also, the bun fell apart quite quickly. Meanwhile, Paul was off queuing at Disco Bistro.
Twenty minutes later, Paul returned with The Roller Disco Burger – rare breed beef patty, cheese, Carl Clarke’s special bun sauce and pineapple & bacon jam.
This was fantastic. Soft, sweet toasted sesame seed bun, juicy medium rare patty and the beautiful sweetness and saltiness of the pineapple and bacon jam. It got a bit messy but that’s what burgers are all about.
By this point, we had polished off five large burgers and we were stuffed. Luckily, we hadn’t filled up with fries. we just stuck to the meat, so we hadn’t quite got to the so stuffed we couldn’t move stage. However we certainly didn’t want anything else to eat. It was getting late and chilly so we headed home. There were still huge queues when we were leaving.
As we walked out we noticed there was a burger ice cream van…
After a fabulous night of eating 800g of meat between us, we worked our final verdict…
1. Mother Flipper’s Bacon Swiss
2. Disco Bistro
3. Dirty Burger
4. Honest Burger
5. Mother Flipper’s Dirty Barbie
But for taste and quality of meat, Honest was number 1 for me. (I think the bone marrow and crispy pigs cheeks helped).
The only downside of the night was that Paul and I were apart for a large portion of it, standing in different queues. It would have been a lot better had each stall been able to cook the quantity of burgers that were being demanded by the crowds. Saying that, all the standing around meant that strangers started talking to one another, discussing what they’d tasted and recommending where to go next. And that never happens in London.
I hope National Burger Day gets bigger and better for years to come.