Saturday, 20 February 2010

Pub Burgers

There's been more written about burgers than any other topic on the blogosphere. Peeps like Cheese & Biscuits who is campaigning to get In 'N' Out to open on this side of the pond and my pal, The London Foodie who is on a mission to track down the best burgers in London. In fact, I reckon I might be the only food blogger not to have written about burgers – until now.  

The consensus on the blogosphere seems to be that the burger at Hawksmoor is the daddy, although Goodman has its advocates. But as you're paying a fair whack for the burger, these places are for treats rather than the everyday. This seemingly leaves us with the boutique burger bars; of which I visit Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) most frequently. Mind you, it's not as good as it was since it became a chain and I became a total food snob.

Of the other contenders, many love Byron but I'm not sure what the fuss is about (that said I've yet to try the Big D). I haven't tried Haché or Ultimate Burger and I'm not sure there are any other chains worthy of a mention. Truth is these posh-ish burger bars are not where I'd go for a burger-fix as I reckon some of the best burgers are found in boozers. I'm reluctant to use the g-word but I mean the kind of gastropub that make their burgers from scratch.

I know I'm straying onto dangerous turf here as I'm called 'Mr Noodles' not 'Mr Burger' which is why I dragged out The London Foodie and Dr G to give the burger at The Harrison near Kings Cross the once over. This wasn't my first choice for a pub burger but the place I had in mind, the Gunmakers has a rotating menu and the burger isn't always available.

Now the burger at The Harrison was by and large a fine specimen though not without flaws. Personally, I was a little disappointed with the bun, which didn't hold the burger in properly and there were also issues with consistency. Two out of the three burgers were fine but poor Dr G lucked out with a slightly overcooked burger.

That said I think the burger here is a cut above the gourmet chains with the patty having a definite own-made feel about it. Other than poor Dr G's, the burgers were thick and juicy and a steal at £9 (including side salad, coleslaw, and fries or fat chips). The only downside is location as although The Harrison is a decent pub, unless you live or work nearby, I'm not sure it's worth trekking over for a burger and a Guinness. 

I will from time to time be posting on pub burgers so do let me know if you think the burger at your local is worth writing about. I'm willing to travel but I'm more amenable to Central London and South London boozers.

Many thanks to The London Foodie for the photos, I'd forgotten my camera and the ones I took on my phone were pretty crap. 

Harrison Gastro Pub on Urbanspoon


  1. Sadly you've missed the boat with the Big D - it was only on the menu for a limited time. Will you be trying the newly opened Guerilla Burgers?

  2. That was a good shout, thanks for taking us there. I would say it is definitely worth a short tube trip, the burger was meaty and juicy and their selection of beers as I remember were also very good.

    I've been meaning to go to Hawksmoor for a while now but their burger is only served from monday to friday and lunch times only which is a bit impractical... I think I might be taking a couple of hours for lunch one day soon.

    Good write up (hadn't seriously considered Goodman until now).

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  3. Haha as I was reading I was just thinking these aren't noodles! But you rightly admitted to it anyway :) I love traditional burgers so GBK is not top of my list. I think Byron is nice because it tastes "healthy" ie not greasy and fatty. And the Ultimate Burger (BBQ Beef Burger) is another of my faves.

    Am yet to try Hawksmoor and Goodman burgers.

  4. Lizzie - shame about Big D but Byron's more pressing need is to get some decent buns. Just been on Guerilla Burgers website and I don't think I'll be going any time soon. For fear of sounding like an old grouch, I can just picture this place being rammed full of yummy-mummies, their screaming over-indulged offspring, and giant prams during the day. And on a slightly unrelated point, their wine comes in tiny 125ml measures i.e. 50ml less than what I know as a small glass of vino.

    LF - Fair point, The Harrison is worth a short journey. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the location is not the most salubrious unless you like staring across at 1960's tower blocks.

    Catty - I also need to get round to sampling the burgers at Hawksmoor and Goodman. On everyday burgers, the best pub burger will trounce the best the gourmet chains can offer.

  5. I can't remember the last time I had a burger. I'm going to make some Aussie burger this weekend!

  6. Burgers are definitely a hot topic in foodie circles (on twitter at least) right now. London isn't quite there yet when it comes to regular meat-patty-paradise, but it's getting better. That said, homemade still beats most places hands down.

    Thanks for the tip on The Harrison, it's kind of on my way into town and so i might make a slight diversion for a Saturday lunch next time I'm on my way through.

  7. 3HT - like all your recipes, I look forward to it. Although, there will probably be beetroot in the burger. At the risk of upsetting Aussies and Kiwis everywhere, what is it with you guys and beetroot?

    Grubworm - The Harrison doesn't serve food on Saturdays. Now I know you're a fan of the Gunmakers so do let me know if you see burgers on their menu.

  8. Mr Noodles - I'll be sure to shout it out if i see it on the menu. If you have the chance and like a stout then get yourself down there for a pint of imperial Stout - it's back on - the best beer i ever tasted.