Burgers have been a big thing in London for some time now. When once they were detained in the menus of fast food joints and chain pubs, they have now exploded into just about every type of restaurant imaginable. They have been reinvented for fine dining, rehashed for international cuisines with kimchi and curry and raised to new heights in the quest for perfection in the many burger-specific restaurants that have spread across the city. Whilst there are whispers among foodies that burgers are passe and overdone, their popularity does not seem to be waining and you will still see queues snaking around the block outside any burger joint in town on every night of the week.
The competition among the many dive bars, walk ins and food trucks has vastly improved the quality of London’s burgers – in many of them you can expect to find high-quality meat, house-baked brioche and a range of toppings and sides previously unseen. This, coinciding with the trend for strong cocktails, created the perfect storm of dining in the city and everybody wanted a piece of it. They are cheap, readily available, damn tasty and you can eat them just as easily stood around a market as you can sat at a table. My friends and I eat a lot of burgers – we aren’t experts, but we know a good one when we see, and taste, it. And we all have an opinion on which is the best – when MEATliquor’s Dead Hippie came top of my Top 10 Burgers of 2012, many arguments followed. Some thought Mother Flipper was better and others argued for the merits of Dirty Burger. It was a contentious topic.
This is how the idea for Burger League came about. There are many burger lists online, from blogs and Time Out to the food sections of national newspapers, offering up their opinion on what is the best burger in London, and even in the UK. There is no real scientific test for this and, as we have seen, everybody has their own opinion on the subject. Burger League is simply a league table, created by myself and my friends, with our own take on the subject and contribution to the discussion. Overall, it is meant as a bit of fun and an excuse to eat our way around the UK’s burger restaurants.
It will not necessarily be the same ‘panel’ each time, and we’re not going to do some crazy test and all order the same burger. We will simply eat and score. The scorecards consist of seven catergories: patty (/10), bread (/10), toppings (/10), sides (/5), drinks (/5), atmosphere (/5) and value (/5). The scores will be averaged and added to the table, which can be found in the ‘Burger League’ link in the opposite column (or here).
I see a lot of burgers in my future. Elasticated waistbands at the ready.