“It can’t be this place, it looks like a strip club!” Not the usual way to start a burger eating extravaganza, it must be said. Walking down the street, it was a little hard to find. Grey walls, darkened windows and no signs. At the corner door at the end of the block, some pink neon lights and a serious-looking bouncer cemented the questionable aura. “It can’t be here”, we said.
After confirmation from the bouncer that this was in fact MEAT Liquor (and not, as it seemed, a strip club), we walked in to a large darkened room adorned with murals and old architectural features. It was so dark, in fact, that our eyes didn’t adjust in time, so I ended up clinging onto the bannister and quasi-abseiling down the steps lest I blindly stumble face-first to the wooden floor.
I was with Charlie, a friend of mine who shares a love of fast-food and take-out. We’ve long talked of and critiqued the heavy hitters, listed our all-time favourite mainstream burgers and railed against ‘limited edition’ burgers that, rather than using new ingredients, feature as their special guest nothing but a sad looking, solitary slice of bacon. Yawn.
MEAT Liquor is not a mainstream burger joint, however. The place looks stunning and the menu is mouth-watering. The ‘Dead Hippy’ (2 beef patties, ‘dead hippie sauce’, lettuce, cheese, pickles and minced white onions) illustrates the kind of biker-club vibe the place is going for. Raw, no-nonsense and packed with attitude, the ethos goes from décor to food.
The side salad comes under the heading ‘Rabbit Food’. As such, it probably goes without saying that vegetarians need not enter.
We, on the other hand, instantly went wild. We ordered the Chili Cheese Fries (definitely enough for two as a side) which features meat chili, onions, jalapeños, mustard and a complete covering of cheese.
Next, I ordered a burger I’ve long pined for. Buffalo wings come in a special sauce – unsurprisingly called ‘Buffalo Sauce’ – which is paprika based. It’s hot and moreish. I’ve long (because inside my slender physique is a fat person screaming to get out) wanted a chicken burger that featured the sauce. MEAT Liquor has one on the menu.
The Buffalo Chicken Burger is plastered with the stuff, along with a blue cheese dressing, atop of the crispy battered chicken patty. It was amazing, as was the burger Charlie went for; beef based with sauerkraut.
The service was great and fast, though our hearts sank when we discovered MEAT Liquor only serves canned Coca-Cola, so no pints of draught are available. For a place like this, you’re visiting to feed your gluttony, so draught only feels fitting (not to mention that draught Coke is not only the best type of Coke, it’s also as Coke was first intended to be served).
I’d like to review the desserts, but we couldn’t eat another bite. We chomped our way through the whole, delicious platter. If you like burgers, this place is a treat. It’s so popular there can even be queues, but it’s well worth the wait. And, if that wasn’t tempting enough, they’ve a host of delicious cocktails to enjoy…
You’ll find it at 74 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 0BA. Or visit their website here.