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Nov 15, 2011 08:40 AM

Meat Liquor - why do you guys think??? [London]

Went and had the famous Dead Hippie burger from the new Meat Liquor joint on Welback St...I hate to say it, but it seriously wasnt that great, the burger was wayyyy overseasoned. Personally find the house burger (the one that used to be secret) at Spuntino's to be much better, didnt need any sauce or anything on it.

Am I the only disillusioned one??

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  1. I've not been to Meat Liquor but I've eaten Yanni's burgers before. I do think they're excellent, the patties are fantastic and I can't offhand think of burgers I've had that are significantly better.

    At the same time there's no doubt that the guerilla dining hype results in rather elevated expectations. Not tried the Spuntino burger though.

    18 Replies
    1. re: ManInTransit

      Maybe it's just the Dead Hippie that's overspiced. Personally, I wouldn't eat anything with that name. :-) I'm going to try this place soon and see what my Yank palate thinks of it.

      1. re: zuriga1

        Yes, It is a really stupid name. It's his take on a Big Mac. Have had one or two before but not at Meat Liquor. I also really don't like the amount of jalapenos he puts on the Bobcat Burger - far too many and they detract from the taste of the meat. Don't even know if know if he serves Bobcats at Meat Liquor because I haven't been.

        1. re: cathodetube

          I'm going to try and get there soon, but as I said below, am more interested in the cheesesteak than the hamburgers. On a side note, I bought some Heston Blumenthal hamburgers at Waitrose the other day. I thought they were very tasty.

          1. re: zuriga1

            Have tried the cheesesteak when he was still the Meatwagon. Don't know how 'authentic' they were as I haven't been to Philly. What is a HB hamburger? Why not make your own? That is what I do. Actually I make cheeseburgers! with French's and red or sweet onion slices.

            1. re: cathodetube

              Philly Cheesesteaks are apparently impossible to recreate, according to my Philadelphian friend, because the Amoroso rolls are so distinctive. I've never had one, but he was pretty insistent...

              1. re: brokentelephone

                Can you ask your friend what kind of peppers are traditional? The Philly cheesesteaks I had at Meatwagon had green peppers he cooked on the grill. Have read that roasted red peppers are good/better. And the type of cheese used varies also, apparently.

                1. re: brokentelephone

                  I have to agree that the rolls are something special and pretty distinctive to Phila. The meat has to be shaved just right, too. I can't remember now what type of cheese is usually used. I'm glad I ate tons of them as a kid and now I don't miss them (or hoagies) all that much. I lie.

                  1. re: brokentelephone

                    It's not just amoroso rolls... and no one puts green peppers on a cheesesteak. it's with or without which just means with or without friend onions. Some places use cheese whiz, some places provolone, but most use american cheese. the best cheese steak shops gut the rolls (pull out most of the bread filling to basically leave just a crusty shell and leave more room for the meat and cheese. Born and bread in Philly and raised on cheesesteaks.

                    1. re: expatlondon

                      Absolutely... no peppers in a real cheesesteak. By the time my kids went to uni in Phila, long after I'd moved away, they were putting cheese whiz on the fries. I guess things morph a bit. I've been alerted about Pickle and Rye in East Sheen. Apparently they do Philly cheesesteaks as the owner is from 'our' town. I'll get there, too.

                      1. re: zuriga1

                        Have you ever made your own, and if so, what would you put in it? Also what kind of meat would you use?

                        1. re: cathodetube

                          Are you picking on me? :-) Back in the Stone Age, when I first got married, we got a meat grinder as a wedding gift. It was so big and we had a tiny graduate student flat, but I kept it and probably used it once or twice over many years. If I made my own, which I would never bother with now, I'd probably use a cut with some fat in it and In the old country, I think it's called chuck. I'd rather put things on the hamburger rather than in it, except maybe for some spices.

                          I'll check if it says what Heston uses for his. I think the package just said 'different cuts of meat.' Maybe sirloin mixed with chuck would be nice.

                          I seriously counsel people not to load up on too many high fat foods, starting when they are young and to get their lipids checked, even in their 30's. It saves on big health problems later in life. Off soapbox.......

                          1. re: zuriga1

                            Oh, yes, was picking your brains! Wondered if you had ever made a cheesesteak? Assumed you had made hamburgers in the past.

                            1. re: cathodetube

                              Never made a cheesesteak as I knew it would be inferior to anything I'd eaten growing up in Phila. Luckily, life took me back there quite often until I left to move here, so I had many fixes over the years. Even better in some ways than the cheesesteak is the famous 'hoagie' sandwich, the best was always from Lee's Hoagie House. I've never had anything again quite like that.

                              I don't have an outdoor grill over here and my husband doesn't eat beef very often, so I have to usually do my hamburger eating solo and in a restaurant.

                  2. re: cathodetube

                    From what I remember from the packaging (now thrown away), the HB hamburger is made of different cuts of fantastic beef that are mixed together. Who knows? It did have a nice taste and was not too huge, which I liked. I sometimes put some cheese on top and melt it.

                    1. re: zuriga1

                      i highly recommend the burgers delivered by the east london steak company


                      i found they compare quite favourably with those on offer at meat liquor, using excellent beef and different cuts in each burger

                      1. re: damien76

                        Thanks for that info. Had a look at their website and it looks great. I can't see anything about delivery charges so I emailed them.

                        1. re: cathodetube

                          Free delivery over £25. They also do Meantime Beer at a good price.

                  3. re: zuriga1

                    So when did you go and what did you think?

            2. Wasn't overly impressed. The burger was okay, but the chicken wings were awful... Mac and cheese was yum.

              4 Replies
              1. re: expatlondon

                Glad to know it wasnt just me! it wasnt overseasoned as in too spicy, the burger itself was just super salty, so much so that it killed the taste of everything else in it?? Maybe its just teething problems...the fried pickles were pretty addictive though

                1. re: cookiebitch

                  Mine yesterday was on the salty side and boy was it greasy, I felt like I needed a shower after. Funnily enough I thought the Big Apple hot dog was greasy as well due to the oil coming off the onions. Would like to know how these compare to what you get in the States?

                  The texture and flavour of the burger were great, in particular I liked the chew involved on some of the coarser bits of beef. Fries were ordinary and I would recommend the fried pickles or onion rings instead.

                  If anyone's looking for a cheap meal off Oxford street I recommend their starter of chilli fries which were a massive portion for £5.

                  1. re: damien76

                    I wish Big Apple would offer raw chopped onions instead of the cooked ones. Know what you mean about the grease factor.

                2. re: expatlondon

                  I went last night with a few friends.

                  Totally backwards experience to expatlondon. Our wings were quite good, and the mac'n'cheese was inedible. The wings were tiny and despite not being overly crispy, we really enjoyed them. The meat was perfectly tender, and the buffalo sauce was light and quite vinegary which really set them apart from most places in London. The mac and cheese was waaaay overcooked (the macaroni were honestly as big as penne due to overboiling).

                  The burgers were all really good -- I had a dead hippie and thought the double thin patties were great (i prefered them to my fiancees single thicker pattie), the bun was crispy with a slightly chewy interior, and the pickles and toppings were all very nice.

                  We had one of each side, and everyone loved the deep-fried pickles. They're in an almost tempura batter with a side of blue cheese dipping sauce and the combo of everything was really excellent. As were the onion rings, and the super skinny fries.

                  Our only qualm was the awful service -- our waitress knew nothing about the menu, forgot what we ordered, and was essentially useless, albeit very sweet.

                  Afterwards, I didn't feel excellent but that is to be expected after any meal with 4 deep-fried sides and a very very fatty burger. His meat must be a 30% fat becuase even after cooking to medium it was dripping.

                  1. Why does this thread say Why do you think? Is it because we shouldn't be thinking at all due to our brains being clogged with cholesterol?

                    1. Went a second time yesterday and enjoyed it again.

                      The burger is way greasy, but I still found it pretty delicious. I rate it as something similar to what would be available at an American burger chain (think Johnny Rockets or Fatburger). Not mind-blowing, but a solid example of a diner type burger which is otherwise unavailable in London.

                      The wings were pretty good again -- this time the chicken must have been a bit plumper because they weren't mini, and the same goes with the chips -- they're making McDonalds type fries instead of really thin shoestring potatoes. The mac'n'cheese is off the menu now.

                      Our server was great, and the lineup outside only took about 5 minutes (on account of it being around 3:30pm).

                      I'm quite often in this area and am usually at a loss where to eat so am definitely keen ML opened.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: brokentelephone

                        Headed there on thursday before Christmas at mid afternoon, no queue and spare tables. As others have said I thought to service was sweet but pretty useless - we had to flag down waiters for everything.

                        Cheeseburger was OK and I wouldn't mind eating it again. Deepfried pickles OK but preffered the onionrings. The burger is very, very greasy. I recognise this recretes the "traditionl US" style but is it liked because of this link to a style of cooking or because it makes it a better burger? I assume the "greasy" burger of the classic american diner is a result of the burgers being cheap food. So is a better burger a burger with better meat and less grease. Or is it less about the taste and mre about the mythology. Thoughts?

                        I followed this burger with one at Opera Tavern the same day and thought it was significantly better "food" but cleary not the nostalic radhouse burger.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          I think that the usual, traditional hamburger found in the States for the years I lived there was made with a cut of meat we called 'chuck.' It has a great deal of fat in it and thus the greasy result. As people got clued in to the risks of fat in the diet, many burger places started using less fatty cuts such as sirloin - a dryer hamburger and not as juicy of course. Chuck was always a fairly inexpensive thing to buy and did make for cheap meals. It's also used for meatloaf.

                          American minced beef, from what I remember, is now graded by fat content such as 75% beef, 99% etc. but I may be wrong about this. One forgets!

                          The website Young and Foodish has one article rating all the burgers in London.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            You pose a heavy question, PhilD.

                            Do I like ML simply because I (sort-of) grew up eating this kind of burger? Probably, but I do like to think my preferences aren't wholly shaped by nostalgia.

                            The best hamburger I've ever had was in Amsterdam at the Hotel Pulitzer. Was my opinion shaped by smoking loads of dope? Probably!

                            1. re: brokentelephone

                              I was there about a month ago, around the time of the initial hype. I went around midnight on a Friday night with two friends and we all had the dead hippe burger with fried pickles. I have to say it was pretty good - the pickles were addictive! A tad greasy yes, but that's what you expect from a burger, right?

                              1. re: Nii

                                "A tad greasy yes, but that's what you expect from a burger, right?" - thats the crux of my question, everyone seems to accept that as fact but is it? Ceratinly it is the standard for a lot of burger places in the US but is it really the best burger or just an imitation of a type of burger. Defiately tasty, definately fun, but is is a definative burger, or are burgers with better quality beef and less fat better? I undestand lower quality meat and more fat is better if you are in the business of selling them, but is it really better than the top quality wagyu burgers sime place are now selling?

                                1. re: PhilD

                                  But the cheaper cuts of meat have better flavour, and fat is a good thing as it carries that great flavour.

                                  I think wagyu is massively overrated; I had a wagyu burger and it didn't taste of much. My fillet-eating friend tells me I'm missing the point and it's all about the texture. But I prefer flavour over texture. Give me a rib-eye over a fillet any day of the week.

                                  It's personal preference at the end of the day.

                                  1. re: spli

                                    Totally agree it is personal taste, and totally agree bad wagyu is bad meat and does not make good anything (and there is no standard for wagyu so in reality it can be anything). But I do wonder how much the twitter hype gets in the way of taste and how much personal taste is influenced by fashion. In London burgers all seem to be "authentic American" and greasy is good, in Sydney last year it was all Wagyu and flavour (although I see the uber-trend of US diner and fast food Korean getting a hold there as well).