Burgers, burgers, burgers. I’ve got nothing against a good burger and it’s great that London has some cracking joints to get them from. There’s been lots of excitement about the previously humble meat sandwich in the last couple of years elevating forming a piece of mince into an art-form. I wonder if perhaps it has gone a bit too far though, they are first and foremost supposed to be a quick feel-good hunk of greasy meat in a bun. And I’ve had my fair share of great burgers, everything from my local Dirty Burger for a quick cheap fix to Bar Boulud for an indulgent luxurious twist.
So forgive me if I’m a bit over the craze. That might explain why it’s taken me so long to actually visit P&B, the revered little eaterie just north of Bond Street. As heroic as the cooking might be (from Burgerman himself), I couldn’t bring myself to queue for a burger any more (not after the heady days of Meat Liquor anyway). But I found myself needing an early dinner at 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, surely a lull if ever there was one, and went for it. Still a bloody queue of course, probably 30 minutes or so. S’awright, we popped to the local offy (since they couldn’t serve us anything from P&B outside) and sat drinking cans of lager whilst trying to stare people inside into eating up and leaving.
Then, all of a sudden, we were in! We ordered two burgers and an order of chips between two of us. The beer selection detailed on the website was poor (I was very concerned at being forced to consume Red Stripe) but they also had a list of specials. Which included my new favourite Five Points Pale , outstanding, along with a very good selection of British and American craft beers. The order arrived quickly, to the house recommended medium-rare.
And, in case you had any doubts, holy shit these are good burgers. Super beefy, rich, fatty but not too greasy and very juicy. The bun is amazing, a sweet firm brioche to hold up to the juice. And the topping are all good twists on the classic. I had the Smokey Robinson with bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, caramelised onions, ketchup and smokey mayo. First off I very rarely have bacon on a burger since I don’t want any detractions, but this added good seasoning and texture with a single thick slice of quality pig. It sounded like too many condiments but was very balanced and the sweetness of the onions cut through the richness. The other was the “Jose Jose”, swapping chorizo for the bacon and pickled onions for the caramelised onions. Similarly superlative, with big chunks of chorizo and the same balance.
The money shot, in all its goodness. I’ll admit it was a touch overdone for my tastes, and will ask for rarer next time, but it’s certainly acceptable. The chips are skin-on, certainly my preference since it adds texture and flavour. Super salty with a hit of rosemary, they packed flavour and crunch into every bite, I wish we’d got another side of them in fact which is unusual. So, in and out for £30 with 2 beers, this is possibly my top burger in London and certainly the best in the sub £12 mark. I can recommend it highly, just make sure you have time to queue!