o's first time in brixton was to eat honest burgers. i couldn't think of a more worthy reason for his first visit. another equally worthy reason would be if we were wanting pizza as brixton is also home to franco manca. for a first timer he's definitely better at getting around brixton because i had us going around in circles through market row. it was when we both got soaked because the clouds decided to shed their load in torrents that o or more likely his iphone took charge. around electric lane large speakers blared with music and the smell of barbecued jerk spice sat trapped in the moisture after the rain. i have to confess that as much as i love coming to brixton, a rainy day here draws the worst of the smells from the earth. add to that the smell of raw meat as most of the area around electric lane and avenue is home to fishmongers and butchers. it's not for the faint hearted. or maybe i have become too sanitised.
twitter had informed me that honest burgers is really good and shortly after that young&foodish put honest burgers on its list of top ten burgers in london (honest burgers clocks in at number eight). honest burgers say they are inspired by british produce. the meat for the burgers comes from ginger pig who specialise in cattle raised on the north york moors. there is no doubt that the meat is excellent quality. we had a short wait to be seated during which time o and i roamed around brixton village. most of the space is taken up by cafe's, bakeries and eateries. there is a specialist bakery called the wagfree bakery (an acronym for wheat and gluten free) from where i bought a bloomer made from rice and almond flour for supper as well as some chutney from brixton cornercopia.
|brixton village interior|
honest burgers is quite tiny and most of its space is dedicated to the open space kitchen where the burgers are cooked. we have a little difficulty choosing. i go for the stilton cheese burger done medium rare. o has the special which is on the menu for three weeks which is a beef, basil, mozzarella, fennel, salami and sun-dried tomato mayonnaise. the burgers come with rosemary salted handcut chips. we are served rather promptly. i press my burger to compact the ingredients and bite into it. the juice drips down my chin. there are layers of flavour here. a sharpish stilton countered by a sweet red onion relish, the crunch of fresh lettuce rendered easier to eat because it is cut into a manageable size. on the side i have a dollop of english mustard mixed slightly into ketchup to tame its peppery heat. there is a complete silence on both sides of the table as both of us just eat.
|honest burger board|
|honest burger, special of the week|
|honest burger with stilton|
|inside the burger|
after o finishes his burger he looks up to me and says very seriously, this is the best burger he's ever had. i'd say this is the best burger i've had in london. the 'honest' in honest burger is more than just its name. it is proof that it really is truthfully a burger. you can add and subtract things like relish and cheese but if i had to eat just the patty on my own, i'd do that very happily. i am sure o and i will be back for more honest burgers. as for the chips, i didn't think much of them although the rosemary salt added not only great flavour but the woody fragrance of the herb goes so well with red meat. i felt that the chips were a little dry. maybe a slightly thicker chip would be nice. what do those who have tried honest burgers think?