The 3rd and newest outpost of the Meat burger restaurants is located in Hoxton in Hoxton market. Despite having previously lived nearby, when hearing about the address, I felt a bit indignant – there was a market in Hoxton I didn’t know about?!? Why have I not been told about this and dragged my poor husband along while I annoyingly take photos of everything and study each and every stall for 5 minutes while he gets more and more bored? Turns out it’s a small area, primarily a car park out the back of the Holiday Inn on Old St. Less exciting.
MEATmission offers something different again to MEATmarket and MEATliquor, which I greatly admire. Instead of keeping the same format and menu, they create a few new menu items give each new restaurant a slightly different atmosphere, a surefire way to make sure they are not simply regarded as ;just another burger chain’.
This 3rd restaurant differs but allowing for bookings. Anyone who has stood in line at MEATliquor should be pleased with this point of difference. The name is taken from the Christian mission that used to reside in this location and in honor of this, a glass stained ceiling let’s in light. Tall booths line one wall. I’m so short I had to twist and climb a little to get comfortable, and of course the first thing I did was drop my beanie under the table against the wall. Like a clumsy chump I managed to get it out. The tall booths do, however afford a good view of the room.
There is whole bunch of new burgers on the menu here, as I gleefully discover. I immediately disregard either of the chilli burgers. I once ordered the green chilli burger at MEATliquor and it was the one thing that I have ever ordered from the MEAT guys that I have totally hated. There was probably the equivalent of 3-4 tablespoons of pure green chillis chopped up and slapped on the burger. Even after scraping most of, I still had tears – tears! Lesson learnt – these guys take chilli seriously, and I do not.
Presentation is still the same – everything arriving at the one time, paper towels still in abundance and the usual ketchup/mustard/mayo combo is on every table.
New to the starters is currywurst. Sweet sauce, topped with curry powder, these were great. More food should be served on sticks. I even experimented and created my own french fry/currywurst combo. MEATliquor can have this idea for their next restaurant for free.
Duncan went for the dirty chicken burger, also on the menu at MEATmarket. Anything battered and deep-fried is always brilliant. The smell of raw onion was pervasive for hours after.
I went for the pastrami and swiss. Here is an embarrassing admission. I know MEATliquor is a burger place – I have eaten there on average once a month since they have opened their restaurants. However when I saw pastrami and swiss on the menu, it didn’t click in my brain that it would be a pastrami and swiss burger. As such I didn’t think to ask for it to be cooked my usual medium rare. Bollocks. As a result my burger was a weird combination of being all dripping and messy but my patty was drier than I would like. The crispy pastrami had a bacon like effect on the burger, all salty and delicious, while the russian dressing and sauerkraut cut through the pastrami with all its acidity and tanginess.
Fries were their usual crispy, salty, reliable self. I quite like the slightly German slant MEATmisison has gone for. Also on the menu is a Peckham dip, their take on a french dip sandwich, something I will need to go back for, having eaten the glorious version at Spitalfields bar and also the one at Electric diner only yesterday (post coming soon). There are also the Monkey Fingers; a take on Buffalo Wings, these are the same concept, only boneless – imagine – sticking a fork straight into chicken pieces and not have to mess around with fiddly useless bones. The other half is severely chilli-adverse so these will need to be consumed with my chilli-loving friends soon.
I’m curious to see how people will take the ability to book at MEATmission (can be done through their website). I poked around a little and there is plenty of availability over the next few weeks, even at peak times on Saturday nights. I suppose time will tell whether the complaints of having to stand in line were real and people will take advantage of the ability to book or if burgers are something that people prefer to eat on a spontaneous nature and will simply not bother, turn up and just like to grumble along the way. Personally I don’t mind the waiting, but I guess we’ll see.
No matter what, MEATmission will do well – they know good burgers, they know their target market and along the way keep creating new burgers to keep the loyal customers interested. Smart burger people, who know what they’re doing. Imagine that.