Thursday, 2 June 2016
Burgerac's Burgershack at the Social, Fitzrovia
The best thing about reviewing a burger joint (apart from the actual eating of the burger, of course, if things go well) is that I don't need to feel guilty about passing judgment after eating only one or two items on the menu. I can see Burgershack at the Social do a mushroom burger, and a Korean chicken burger, and a lard-fried buttermilk chicken burger, and based on the chicken burger I tried at their outpost at the Royal Oak in Marylebone one lunchtime a year or two ago I'm sure they're all lovely, but really any burger joint's success is measured on the strength of its main offering - the mighty cheesebuger. And that's just what I ordered on a recent trip to Fitzrovia.
And here it is, in all its glory. "Burgerac" is an ex- burger blogger who knew what he was talking about when he was writing about burgers, and knows exactly what he's doing now he's making them. A nice thick, loose-mince patty, seared to a good dark crust but pink inside, with a layer of salty, gooey American cheese soaked into the top of it. Beneath, a few thin-sliced pickles and white onion, and finally that all-important cross-hatch of Heinz ketchup and French's mustard. If I'm being brutal the one thing I'd change is the bun, which is it a bit bland in taste and with a slightly dry texture, and could perhaps do with a quick MeatLiquor-style steaming under a cloche. Having said that, it did hold its shape to the last bite so it is doing something right.
If I have one complaint to make about the "Hot'n'blue fries" (fries with Buffalo sauce and blue cheese on them; Bleecker Burger do them as "Angry Fries") it's that I could really have done with being allowed to order a smaller portion, as this was an unfeasibly vast amount of fries for one person for £4 - I think I managed about a fifth of them before giving up. However, they were very good - the blue cheese element wasn't too funky or too thin, and the fries maintained a good crunch.
And that's pretty much everything you need to know. A short review, this, of an uncomplicated and refreshingly unpretentious little operation, doing a few things very well and for not much money. A final bill of £15 didn't even add on a charge for (friendly and attentive) table service, so I left a few quid anyway. It's all too easy to get burger fatigue from all the myriad of dreadful copycat places that have sprung up in this country over the last few years, but it's always worth making the effort to go to a decent burger joint and remind yourself that there are few things more easily enjoyed than a nice big, bloody pile of loose minced beef in a bun.