Wednesday, 3 August 2011

fourth july joe allen burgermonday meat-up

it's been a long time since the fourth of july burgermonday, in fact a month tomorrow. so yes, i know this is terribly late but i couldn't not write about it. burgermonday is the shape of daniel young's mission to seek out the best burgers and bring together some serious burger aficionados and food lovers. the fourth of july (celebrating the independence day of the land of uncle sam) took place at joe allen in covent garden which is a quintessential new york restaurant. in nineteen seventy-seven joe allen crossed the pond opening another one of itself in london's theatre district. tucked into a side alley of covent garden, joe allen is a simple space whose signature feature is walls covered with posters of theatre productions. it was and still is a popular haunt for journalists, theatre goers, production teams and so forth. 

the strangeness of dining with strangers is only momentary. daniel meets me and checks me on his list of burger eating attendees. i am then seated at a table with a canadian/british couple who blog at there is also a british lady who writes all about puddings at we were joined by an american woman and her lawyer friend and a gentleman whose name i have forgotten but whom i remember as the burgermonday regular. we had infront of us our menu specially put together for fourth july. to start there was a buffalo chicken slider with an apple and celery salad with a blue cheese dressing. the main act was a bacon cheese burger with french fries and to finish there was the american classic banana cream pie.

when our appetisers arrived we were actually rewarded with two. there was the slider along with buffalo wings. both the slider and the wings were good. the glaze on the wings had just the right tang which one of my fellow diners instantly identified as lea perrins worcestershire sauce. the salad unfortunately was a tad bit too meek. it missed the sharpness of blue cheese and mine had barely any fruit to add that much needed note of apple to celery. 

buffalo wing sliders
whilst we were eating daniel was telling us about his tradition of going to joe allen with his father to eat burgers and banana cream pie, and how the joe allen's in london is actually very similar to the one in new york. he also told us about the scottish chuck that our burgers were made of. it is apparently the coarsest ground of chuck you can get in london and is minced in-house. there must have been some swiss theme going on in the kitchen for when the burgers appeared the cheese sat on top of the patty in a cross, as did the gherkins. the onion was too thickly cut for my likes and so i decided to forgo it. the brioche bun had a hint of sweetness which actually went really well with the burger. i think most of us at table agreed that the burger patty could have done with a little seasoning. when i told my mum this she told me that the burger mince is never seasoned. after a little bit of research i have now discovered (thanks to the burger lab) that burgers patties should be salted just before cooking. so maybe the chef just forgot to put enough salt whilst cooking. the patty was cooked just right though, with the edges seared and the centre pink.
the joe allen burger
 a side view
we were rushed through dessert as burgermonday involves two sittings. i would have liked to sit over my banana cream pie and eat it slowly. it was actually surprisingly light. i am usually used to pies that are piled high with cream. instead, this one had a light drizzle of chocolate sauce.  

banana cream pie
now, i am counting down to my next burgermonday. meanwhile have a look at paul winch-furness' pictures from that night. also to signup for burgermonday visit be warned that burgermonday sells out super fast so if you really want to get tickets, you need to do it as soon as you get the notification. i had to try several times before i got lucky with the fourth of july meat-up!


  1. Always good to listen to your mum. She's right, burger mince should never be pre-salted.

  2. Another reason to listen to your mum. She was right, the burger mince must never be pre-salted.