The Hunger/Burger Games Part 4: Time To Catch Up ...

So many burgers, such little time!!

It’s been well over a year since my last Hunger / Burger Games post! To that end, all I can say is that I’m sorry! But fret not, I’m here to make it up to you by catching up on some insanely delicious burgers that I’ve enjoyed since my last post. Here goes …

Address: 115 Tooting High St, London, SW17 0SY
Instagram: @dipflippo
twitter: @dipflippo

This place had been on my to do list for a long time. Their big thing is to provide you with a bowl of gravy with your burger. And they’re best known for their thinly sliced roast meat in a freshly baked bread roll … but I fancied something a little more cheesy!

- The bacon cheese burger: A grilled beef patty with crispy bacon, cheese, (extra cheese), cabbage slaw, pickles, ketchup and mustard in a toasted brioche bun.
- Squeezy cheesy fries on the side.

This burger definitely makes my top ten. The patty is super juicy, the bacon’s real crispy and the bun was simply perfect. If you’re ever in south London go and pay them a visit.

Bleecker Street at Street Feast Dalston Yard  
Address: Hartwell St, London E8 3DU
Instagram: @bleeckerburger
twitter: @bleeckerburger

This was another one that had been on my list for a while; bringing New York style burgers to the streets of London (Old Spitalfields Market | Southbank | Canary Wharf | Dalston Yard). Bleecker Street Burger has been getting a lot of praise over the last few years, so I just had to grab one.
I managed to catch them at Street Feast, which is a street food market that’s open in Dalston every Friday / Saturday. There are 18 different food vendors to choose from, but my eyes were fixed to just one:

- The double cheeseburger: a double beef patty with double cheese and onions in a seeded bun.
- Angry fries, covered in blue cheese and buffalo sauce.

It was so worth the wait! I had reservations on their bun choice as it looked a little basic, but I am happy to admit when I’m wrong. It soaked up a lot of the juice from the sloppy burger.

Address: 54-56 Great Eastern St, Shoreditch EC2A 3QR
Instagram: @redstruebbq
twitter: @redstruebbq

I was working a mere 100m from this diner when it first opened, which meant that I HAD to try them out during the opening week … right?! The venue is amazing – very quirky, with a southern America style interior.
The menu is extensive and has a number of mains that I want to try, one being The Donut Burger … yep, I said DONUT burger! Two sweet glazed donuts replace the bun!
But on my first trip I went for a more savoury option:

- The Juicy Lucifer: Two house made Yorkshire-sourced chuck, steak patties (pit-fired over charcoal) with a melted spicy-3 cheese centre, fried onions, pickles, smoked peppered bacon, ballpark mustard, dirty sauce and devil wing bbq sauce on a toasted bun.
- Cheese Texas Toast.
- Buttermilk Slaw.
- Skin-on-fries.

The cheese melted within the patties is a genius idea and works very well! The combination of 3 different sauces ensured that the burger wasn't too dry (as the patties were rather thick), and they pack a punch, helping me understand its name!

Address: 129 Stoke Newington High St Stoke Newington, London N16 0PH
Instagram: @stokeybears
twitter: @stokeybears

After my praise for SB’s “The Angry Bear” (http://josephrwinter.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/the-hungerburger-games-part-3-stokey.html) in The Hunger / Burger Games Part 3, I had to go back to try out their cheesiest offering:

- The Grizzly Bear: 100% Sussex beef patty, topped with cheese, double oak smoked bacon and Burger Bears bacon jam ... with extra cheese in a toasted seeded bun!
- Fries on the side.

I have to admit that this one was better than my last at Stokey Bears! They’re menu isn’t that extensive, but with the burger options on offer, you really don’t need further distractions from such a great list. Good work Stokey, you’re doing London proud.

Five Guys - Soho
Address: 5-6 Argyll St, London W1F 7TE
Instagram: @fiveguysuk
twitter: @fiveguysuk

Five Guys opened its first diner outside the USA just 3 years ago in Covent Garden, London. Since then it has become one of the UK’s favourite burger joints. Next month they will open their 59th diner in Great Britain, which shows there’s a major demand for this chain across the country in such a short space of time.

I had my first Five Guys back in 2011 in New York, and was so excited when I heard the news that they were opening up in London. The difference in price though is rather shocking – A Bacon Cheeseburger costs £8.75 (roughly $12.75) in the UK! In America that burger costs $6.99 … meaning the same burger is nearly double the price in England!!
That being said, when you fancy a Five Guys, nothing else will suffice!
My go to at Five Guys is:

- The Bacon Cheeseburger with extra bacon, extra cheese (both are included FOR FREE), jalapeño peppers, raw onion and BBQ sauce.
- Cajun fries.
- Chocolate and peanut butter milkshake.

The fact that you can add ANYTHING (and if desired) ALL of the options from their list of toppings for no additional cost means you can really customize your burger to your particular taste.

Shake Shack – Abu Dhabi 
Address: Yas Mall, 1st Floor, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Instagram: @shakeshack
twitter: @shakeshack

Whilst I was in Abu Dhabi for work, I popped into Yas Mall to grab some food. What I did not expect to see was a Shake Shack, but there it was! I’ve been to a few Shake Shacks in New York and of course I went to the first Shake Shack that opened in Covent Garden, London back in 2014.

I normally go for the SmokeShack, but was interested in what would be on offer instead of this because pork is normally hard to find in the Emirates, and the burger usually features smoked bacon.

The burger was actually on the menu, but instead of bacon they’ve added smoked veal strips to replace the bacon, so this is what I went for:

- The SmokeShack: 100% all-natural Angus beef single patty, topped with hickory smoked veal strips, spicy chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce.
- Crinkle cut cheese fries.

In all honesty, the veal tasted exactly the same as the bacon you normally get in a SmokeShack. The more noticeable difference is that the chopped cherry pepper is a little spicier, which I actually preferred.

The Blues Kitchen – Shoreditch
Address: 134-146 Curtain Rd, London, EC2A 3AR
Instagram: @theblueskithcen

I'd heard good things about the restaurant within the quirky bar down Curtain Road. Their menu is very meat heavy which is fine by me. I went for the burger of the month as I was intrigued by the fried jalapenos:

- The Face Melter: A 7oz beef patty, topped with pulled beef rib, chilli cheese, fried jalapenos and rib man's bacon holy fuck sauce in a toasted brioche bun. 
- Fries.
- Crunchy Slaw. 

This was a great choice. The crispy jalapenos gave the burger a crunch similar to that of a hasbrown (which I'm always a fan of). The pulled beef rib and holy fuck sauce over the top of the cheese were a great combination. So many textures and flavours. A big fan and if I had my way, that burger of the month would be staying on the menu!

Centre 4 Burgers – Takayama, Japan
Address: Japan, Gify Prefecture, Takayama

From down a narrow back street in little Takayama, this has been rated one of the best burgers in Japan ... and now I can see why. Whilst on my month long trip around Japan, I got to enjoy some amazing sushi, yakitori and ramen, but after a few weeks I was craving a burger!

- Introducing 'The Special': A Hida beef patty, topped with cheese, white onion and crisp lettuce in a toasted bun, smeared with mayo.
- Fries.

Hida beef is from the Wagyu - the highest grade Japanese Black Cattle which have been fattened up for 14 months within the Gifu Prefecture. Because of the marbling, it makes the meat literally melt in your mouth. I have to admit that the patty is probably the best patty I've ever had.

If I'm ever in Takayama again (which I hope to be one day), I'm definitley ordering two of these!

The Wild Game Co. – Whitecross Street Market
Address: Whitecross St, London, EC1Y
Instagram: @wildgameco
twitter: @wildgameco

A stroll around Whitecross Street Market with friends led me to try out a burger that had been on my list since it was voted as the #1 Burger in London 2015 by Twenty Something London 

- The Venimoo by The Wild Game Co: A beef patty, venison patty, double cheese, bacon, bearnaise, red-jon and mustard in a toasted seeded brioche bun.

The bernaise and red-jon was something that I hadn't had incorporated in a burger before, but it worked, especially with the double cheese. It kept the patties moist right up until the last bite. Definitely a great find on a lunch break in London!

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