Sunday, 15 April 2012

Burger Joints

The 'Umami' burger, Umami, Los Angeles

I love a good burger, and out in California, there was too much temptation...I like the informal atmosphere you get in a burger bar, and you can have a filling meal without breaking the bank (I don't even  think I need to mention the milkshakes!) and in American more is more - you get fillings you never thought possible out there. My favourite is American cheese, avocado, caramelised onion and mayonnaise.

Best burgers in LA:

Mel’s Drive-In: this place is such good value (and was right by our Hotel!) – dotted all over LA but I love the one on the famous Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, the cheeseburger and banana milkshake is to die for. Plus, you have the added bonus of seeing a part of history. Spencer Tracy pulls up to the Hollywood diner in 1967 film 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner' and was used at the centrepoint of 'American Graffiti'.

In N Out burger: socially responsible, reasonably healthy, and a basic menu (burger, fries and cheeseburger are essentially the only items on the menu)....this chain is only in California and is loved by all.
Rumour has it, there is a ‘secret’ menu too. The website itself claims that these aren't a secret, but this is apparently a double bluff! If you order something called a 'Flying Dutchman' or 'Animal Style Fries', the name comes up on your receipt!

Animal style burger
Cut-in-half burger
Animal fries
Secret Menu images from
Umami burger: I’d heard great things about this place from locals, so I made sure this was on our hitlist. There is something about the grilled bun, soaked in sauce that tastes incredible. And although a negative point for some, I like that the burger is simply as it comes, no swapping fillings or asking for the meat to be well done. They take pride in their work.

Top burgers in London:

And across this side of the water:

The Diner: this American style diner has restaurants across central London: Shoreditch, Kensal Rise, Islington, one  just off Carnaby Street and a new location on Shaftesbury Avenue. It'ss a great place to catch up with friends after work with their traditional booths and 'hard shakes' fuelled with alcohol.

Byron Burger: I love Byron, despite the fact it has become a bit of a nationwide chain. I like that their venues are always a bit unexpected (the fact they have kept the facade of the old Pub it has taken over on Wardour St), the decor is different in every one, and that the burgers are plain and faultless. Also, they are partnered with Movember and if you go in with a moustache (men only, I'm afraid!) in November, you get a free burger!
Meat Liquor: I can't say from experience, as I have never actually been (the idea of queuing for food seems a bit archaic to me), but if you want to know the hippest place to go for a burger right now, then this is it. You need to get there early (or be prepared to queue) and with your whole group, no reservations. It's dark and there are DJs. But apparently the burgers are worth it. I'll wait to hear your thoughts!

Bodean’s: okay, so this isn’t a hamburger but the pulled pork sandwich hits the same spot! And with fries, it’s only £6.95. Bargain.

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