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MEATliquor, Marylebone

April 6, 2012

A couple of months late (as usual), I have finally jumped onto the MEATliquor bandwagon. I’ve been to its precursor #MEATEASY before; the winning combination of a juicy, medium-rare beef patty heavy with liquified fat and topped with a layer of melted cheese that only American slices can provide, all sandwiched by a soft bun that doesn’t totally disintegrate after soaking up the burger juice meant that the 45 minute wait was worth it. But we had a seat and a drink when we waited.

At MEATliquor, if you arrive anytime after 6:30pm, you are faced with a waiting time of anywhere between 30-60 minutes, outdoors. You can peer into the windows and watch the people who had the fortune to arrive early stuffing their faces while you wait, which only fuels your hunger. After an hour’s wait in the cold, I suspect any offering of food would be ravenously stuffed down your gob and set your tastebuds on fire.

Thankfully, I didn’t have such biases to cloud my judgement. My friend and I arrived at 5 minutes past 6pm. We walked straight in and managed to get seated immediately, although we did have to share a table. It doesn’t matter if you’re rubbing elbows with other fellow diners, as the music is so loud anyway that you can barely hear yourself talking. It all fits in very well with the dirty, gritty dive bar theme: male toilets, for example, are only indicated by a “Dicks” sign, and the interior is bombarded with paintings that no parent ever wants their young child to see. It’s not just a burger, it’s a MEATliquor experience.

I was curious to see whether its new location in central London, just off Oxford Street of all places, had any effect on its burgers. I could smell the grease (in a good way!) as I walked into the street behind Debenhams. And surprisingly, the location works. You almost feel gleeful as you turn down a side street off the busiest shopping street in London, to a seedy carpark where lots of dodgy activities could take place. Kind of like you’re about to engage in some delicious, illicit activity yourself. But let’s talk about the burger.

It’s still the best burger you’ll find in London, especially at £6.50. You’ve still got the beautifully cooked medium-rare patty, heady in its beefy, cheese-infused smell, sweet crunchy pickle, and a greasy golden bun with the requisite shiny cracked top. Kitchen rolls are provided on the table, as they were at #MEATEASY, and they are absolutely required. A bib wouldn’t go amiss. The onion rings were the best I’ve ever had, with perfectly seasoned batter and the sweet onion that left me with a breath that gave me a wide berth on the tube.

Admittedly, I was slightly underwhelmed at first. But a few bites into my burger, I realised it wasn’t an experience you could repeat at any other location in London. Other blogs have waxed lyrical and sung the praises of the cheeseburger and other such beefy, greasy delights on the MEATliquor menu. We didn’t order anything other than the cheeseburger and onion rings, but given the chance to go early again, I’d be delighted to try everything else on the menu.

As a minor quibble, I was quite happy with the level of service we received until we were about to leave. The bill for the two of us came to £26. Our burgerette had been nothing but sweet the entire time (but forgot the tap water, despite remembering our cocktail and juice orders), but after we put £30 on the table, we were asked if we wanted change. I wasn’t expecting to pay less than £30, but the fact that we were pressured to give her an answer on the spot made us feel awkward and shameful that I hesitated. I always expect to have the change brought back even if I don’t want it, so was caught off-guard by the question. It’s a small point, but nevertheless tarnished the entire experience a little bit.

BUT, all that said, go. Go before 6:30pm, drink from the well-priced cocktail list, and just enjoy the fact that you’re in a seedy bar/restaurant stuffing your face with the best burger in London without having to trek to New Cross.

74 Welbeck Street, Marylebone

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Queen Tharni, Ruler of the Universe permalink
    April 6, 2012 8:54 pm

    Those onion rings were SO good!!! I know I said the queuing was ridiculous but I would gladly do it now for some more of those haha.

  2. April 10, 2012 5:01 pm

    Thanks for the link – you’re lucky to get seated immediately

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