Burger Breakout @ The Old Crown33 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1BH
3 months after his successful Pop-up at Chad's Place (see here), Dave Ahern is back with a permanent, and even more adventurous, venture in the heart of London, a stone's throw from the British Museum. The foundation of the menu is built on those burgers at the pop up, so the whiskey beast, swine time, the Bambi Bought it, and the baa-baa baby. In addition to these are the OC burger (with Devon Long Horn patty), the camilla burger (chicken burger), and the 'I don't need your bull' veggie option. Each comes with it's own bespoke sauce befitting it's own meat. The choices don't stop there though with steak, chicken wings (10 different sauces!),... each dish has it's own unique twist, with undoubtably a lot of labour (and love) required to go into each of them
The Old Crown is dangerously close to work, being within about 5 minute stroll. I have a feeling this might be a regular. Just maybe not for lunch again, to say I struggled for the rest of the afternoon at work was probably an understatement, they definitely give you a good feed! I've only been to the OC once before for a drink in the middle of a pub crawl, it's an unassuming little place with roughly ten tables (please correct me if I'm wrong). The staff are quite engaging with good banter, makes a change from other pubs comprising of service of 'W'at ya want'.
We headed over with 6 of our crew from work, I presumed the table would be split between the variety of burgers on offer. However, everyone went for beef a mix between the OC and the 'beast, as the waitress delightfully did her best 'beast' pose, something she promises to keep up.
|Who will do the whole menu?|
With our burgers we also got 2 lots of chicken wings, I'd been recommended the thai green curry, and also the guinness flavoured, and also onion rings for good measure. The burgers eventually came up from the depths below, presented on little wooden boards. Well beast by name beast by nature, these were not made in half measures, technically challenging to eat. Each Beast has a sourdough bun, whiskey mustard, 2 pieces treacle cured bacon, strathdon blue cheese, and of course the dry orkeney aged beef patty. Each burger comes with fries with horseradish salt. Didn't really get much of a hint of horseradish from these at all, which even in small doses can be quite powerful. The burger itself was epic, if perhaps too much mustard for my liking. The patty is perfectly cooked medium rare. Something which we were surprisingly 'warned' about when ordering 'The chef only cooks the burgers medium rare or well done', bit strange considering London is considerably au fait with burgers (look at the success of Byron) and that it's sacrilege to cook anything over medium. I can't imagine these patties well done. Think I would choke
Whiskey Beast with horse radish fries
Perfect medium rare
If I had a choice I'd choose onion rings over chips/fries, these BBQ battered one were great, and that Jack Daniels dipping sauce was phenomenal. Seems like Dave has a true calling to make genuinely great sauces.
Now, now children, please share
|The OC burger|
I got a small sample of the OC burger from Shahz, I think I maybe preferred this to the whiskey beast (I may need more returns to test this theory). The patty is from Devon Long Horn, similar to that Hawksmoor use, although I'm not sure what cuts are used here. The 3 cheeses of emmental, Monterey jack and lyburn gold work well together, I will go close to saying that this tastes how a McDonalds burger would taste if it had all the best ingredients.
Burger breakout is definitely worth going along to (probably not during work hours like we did) so you can chill out with mates have some good sharing food. I am very intrigued to try these drunken cow milkshakes, apparently the salted caramel one with dolche de leche, pretzels (!) and bourbon is amazing, but opinions are best left until I've actually tried it. All the more reason for another visit hopefully soon. I'll be sure to update this post when I try some other part of the menu.
Let me know, what people think of the other burgers on offer
UPDATE - 16/10/12
Temptation got the better of me and I've already been back to check out another of their burgers. In the time since the first day we went, it seems to have picked up a fair amount of notoriety on twitter and other blogs, particularly Burgaffair who've put it at the top of their 'London burger league table'.
This time I went for the Bambi bought it with the vension patty, tunworth, beetroot pickle and BBQ chocolate & quinze sauce. At £14 this is the most deer burger, would it stand up to it's price tag. The BBQ chocolate sauce is incredible, although make sure to cover up, it has the potential to drip over everything you are wearing. With the vension and the tunworth, for it's size it's just too rich, after about 3/4 I was struggling, maybe a smaller patty would be better for this one. Favourite is still the OC.
At last had a chance to sample the Salted Caramel milkshake, loved this, it is lethal without being too voerpowering like the alco shakes at MeatMarket. If anyone can do all 3 milkshakes in a sitting I will be impressed