Sunday, 5 May 2013

Big Dirty Burger

Over the last few years the popularity of 'fast food for middle class' has grown exponentially, with the humble burger being a dominant player. People are no longer satisfied with grilled to death low quality patties, much effort is spent in sourcing rare-breed cows, finely selecting choice cuts to give a perfect meat to fat ratio with the right flavour profile and cooking it to a perfect medium rare (shhh, don't tell Westminster city council). It's got the stage where this is big business, only this week first round of bidding for Byron was for an approximate £100m, based on profits of £10m(!) for this financial year (see The Independent)  Not bad for only 30 odd stores. Put it this way, that's about £920 profit for an average store each day, if open 7 days a week. Obviously, there is going to be a difference between their scale and somewhere smaller like Honest Burger, that won't have the same economies of scale, but still, most of the top burger joints are constantly packed with +1 hour waiting times. With Five Guys and Shake Shack coming over from across the pond, it's hard for new smaller players to get their foot in the door without necessary investment to compete. 
Street food offers that flexibility of not needing as much capital to get going, and less of a commitment as a bricks & mortar place. Notable mentions for Bleecker St Burger, Burger Bear, & Mother Flipper. Big Dirty Burger are plucky young 'part timers' yet to be able to fully commit, but with a great range of burgers, it's worth keeping an eye out for when they appear. Luckily for me, they appear most at Camden Brewery, one of my locals; burgers and Hells larger definitely hit the spot on a weekend!

Whats on the menu, the Big Cheese, the Dirty Pig (slow clap for Dirty Burger, SoHo house for also coining this name), the Gangbang and the Dirty Hippy (a meat free option to keep the veggies happy, although they are never really). They certainly know their burgers though, and carefully chosen suppliers from the Rare Breed Meat Company for the meat to Miller's Bakery for their brioche buns (just like Honest, Bread Street Kitchen and Hawksmoor).

The gangbang sticks her filthy tongue out
The gangbang assaults the taste buds with an artillery of umani, salt, sweetness and bold beefy flavour. Unlike most other burgers out there, quite unusual combinations of blue cheese aioli and avocado, no doubt it will polarise opinion, but I really can't get enough of this. The streaky bacon is about as good as you are going to get, lovely and crispy. I can't stand a chewy bit of back bacon in a burger that you have to wrestle in between your teeth.  The patty itself is juicy and well seasoned, despite all the other ingredients it's still the star. The 'big cheese' is bit too sweet for me, with not much extra to balance the sweetness of both the tomato jam and the brioche

Cut through of the big cheese
They put on a Hot Cross Burger over Easter, and it actually worked suprisingly well with the hot cross bun a an appropriate substitute for the brioche. 

Hot Cross Burger
Check out where they will next be appearing on their twitter feed @BigDirtyBurger

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