It’s National Burger day so it’s only right we have a battle of the beef patties. It ain’t the size and it ain’t the price… a killer burger will make you literally smile with every bite.
Nosh and Quaff:
It’s only right to start with a shout out to Birmingham’s newest eatery. No-one wants to spend £40 on lobster these days (unless they’re using their bosses expenses of course – oh hell, I miss those days!). Now as a freelancer I’m all about lobster for the masses, 20 quid a pop, perfect. As a regular in London’s Burger & Lobster I’m glad to see something similar arrive in Brum. The burgers are impressive – dry aged, naturally reared beef, tantalisingly topped with smoked paprika mustard mayo, sticky caramelised onions and a pickle or two (£14). For the veggies, a truffled mac and cheese burger topped with abalone mushrooms, watercress and pickled shallots (£12). Laughs in the face of any bean burger, right?
Digbeth Dining Club:
DDC legends The Original Patty Men are absolutely nailing the dirty burger fad. They stormed the street food game last year, winning Best Street Food Burger 2014. Their no frills but top quality ingredients is cooked with passion and skill. The beef is hung for five weeks, to hit its peak maturity and then masterfully cooked to perfection. Their love of TV’s Man Vs Food may explain their notorious Big Vern’s Krispy Ring (£6) – a gourmet burger delivered in a toasted Krispy Kreme donut bun with double smoked bacon smothered in maple syrup, ketchup and mustard. The rockstar of burgers?
Fleet Street Kitchen:
The casual but stylish decor and canal-side, outside seating may impress you just as much as the burger. Their beef is sizzled on a nifty indoor BBQ using south America lumpwood and blazing hot temperatures. Their passion for ethical farming and healthy cows flows across the menu. The Big Fat Burger (£15) comes stacked with bacon, cheese, onion rings and a side of fries and slaw. Burgers are served pink, so watch out! Once you’re stuffed/ satisfied you can burn off your guilt downstairs in The Basement club, which is free to (burger-eating) restaurant guests.
Marco Pierre White:
Some nights you’ve just gotta get dressed up, sip something fancy and screw all the other mouthwatering food on offer – as only a burger will do. It might seem a cardinal sin to order a burger amongst the host of delights on the MPW menu, but sometimes needs must. OK, it bucks the trend for “dirty” burgers, in fact it’s impeccably clean in comparison, but it’s still a winner. Their take on a classic American burger (£17.50) with smoked bacon, American cheese, burger sauce and brioche bun results in a suave beef patty (with a spectacular view).
I remember the first time my fella heard about this burger joint, he went into mission mode, you know, like when you’ve just stepped off a plane in America and need to find the nearest In-N-Out (oh, come on, everyone does that, right?). There’s something exciting about Five Guys, the brown paper bags, the fact you can have as many toppings as physically fit in a bun, the bold but simple decor, the insanely long drinks menu (100 options), the infectiously happy waiting staff… it’s so American, you’ll feel giddy. The burgers (£8) are immense, straight up with cheese or stacked with bacon, jalapeños, mushrooms, onions, pickles, relish, peppers and a variety of sauces. The fries are cooked in peanut oil, amazing so I’m told, not so much for nut allergy sufferers like me.
I’m quite literally salivating writing this. It’s not even 10.30 and I want a burger with the lot.*
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*instead reaches for the feta, avocado and spinach salad in the fridge. Girls, pah, so silly about watching their weight.