Review: Meat Shack

Hi there, (put ‘National Burger Day’ somewhere near the top for SEO purposes) remember the B-52’s 1989 hit single Love Shack? Of course you do, you wild party animal. Well, see below, I’ve composed a new version.

I’m headin’ down the Smallbrook Queensway
Lookin’ for the meat getaway
Headed for the meat getaway

I got me a mouth, it’s as big as a whale
And we’re headin’ on down to the Meat Shack
I got me a gut, it seats about 20
So hurry up and bring your burger money

The meat shack is a little old place where we can get together
Meat Shack, baby
Meat Shack, baby, Meat Shack 

Repeat until bored

Good right? I’m willing to write jingles for any food / drink provider in the West Midlands in exchange for free booze, food and cash.

So, burgers is it? I like a burger, I’ve even spent three of the last four years running pickle eating competitions at Mr Hyde / Street Feast’s National Burger Day Parties. What I’m getting at is – yes, I’m a high flyer in the burger world.

Moving to Birmingham I was slightly concerned about not finding anywhere decent, having tried Buffalo and Rye a few months ago and being left VERY disappointed. I was excited to hear about Meat Shack and seeing everyone on social media saying it was like properly good.

So, I went, and for once, social media was right.

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Buffalo blue burger

I had the buffalo blue burger and some onion rings, despite onions doing funny things to my arse – a price I’m willing to pay to provide you with top blog content.

The burger was superb, the Franks sauce, blue cheese dressing and candied bacon crumb all worked so well together that it’s giving me the right horn just writing it down.

The onion rings were fantastic too, perfectly crisp and with onion salt added to give my bowel a real good going over.

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Onion rings

Congratulations to everyone involved, well done, ten on ten, in other words:

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Want proof that I’ve eaten burgers before? Weird, but OK, check it: here and here.

Review: Yeah! Burger

After our incredibly successful review of We Serve Humans at the Jackdaw and Star (over  ****** potential impressions on Twitter achieved and a healthy ****** blog views reached – get in touch to find out the numbers behind the stars) it wasn’t a big surprise to hear from the marketing guys at the Star pubs again.

“Please,” they begged “will you come and review ‘Yeah Burger’ at the Star by Hackney Downs?”

“Hang on, let me get this straight – East London and burgers, right?”

“Correct.”

“We were hoping you’d say: ‘Yeah’.”

“Oh, yeah. So, are you up for it?”

There was only one answer to that: “Absolutely.”

Toby

I arrived twenty minutes before Tony, due to typically poor transport planning on his part.

“What shall I do?” I asked him.

“Go incognito,” urged Tony “pretend you’re just an ordinary schmuck from the street and see how they treat you.”

I ordered a pint and tried not to betray my celebrity status, but I fear the bar staff were all too aware that I had something special about me.

Tony

TFL fucked me, yet again, leaving Toby to try and initiate the blogger / vendor process.

Worried, I told him to get himself a pint, keep his mouth shut and not to do anything that could jeopardise us getting burgers.

I arrived to see Toby propping up the bar shouting about geese to a poor bartender.

Toby

“Fire me over a couple of GEESE please, barkeep!” I said to the bartender, wooing her with my wordplay.

There was a beer called ‘Goose IPA’ you see.

I had already bought a Camden Hells that I hadn’t finished, but I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to impress the young, possibly Australian woman behind the bar.

“GEESE, you see, is the plural of GOOSE!”

“TOBY! Leave that woman alone,” Tony shrieked as he ran towards the bar on entering the pub.

“What can I get you?” she calmly asked.

“Two goose, please.”

“GEESE!” Toby yelled again.

“Go and get us a table, Toby.”

Oooh political

As a pair of deeply political kinda guys we were pleased to see ‘Yeah Burgers’ getting on board with the General Election. 

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“Where the fuck is Sir Timothy Farron in all this?” Tony demanded to know.

“He thinks burgering is a sin.” Toby laughed to himself, “burgering – like buggering, like what gays do.”

“Yes, I got it.”

The food

We didn’t try those political items as we thought we may be swayed from a truly impartial review.

So, we settled for a Gladiator burger, and a beef Coney Island hot dog.

The Gladiator burger was very much a burger, but with confit garlic mayo, avocado and most importantly chicken skin. The chicken skin was a delicious addition and the salty hit instantly cured Tony’s hangover.

Yeah Burger Gladiator burger
Gladiator burger


“Surprised it’s not GOOSE SKIN,” shouted Toby, looking around the pub, desperate for a reaction.

The Coney Island hot dog was a beef frank with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.

Toby scraped away some of the tasty onions as they do his IBS riddled stomach a right mischief – life can be so cruel.

Coney Island hot dog

Coney Island hot dog

“The bread should be OK seeing as it’s sourdough,” he assured the barman, who had a Jeremy Corbyn T-Shirt on, “the onions perhaps not! Onions for the many! Not for the poo!”

“Shut up, Toby.”

The burger and hot dog were excellent, as were the fries and sweet potato fries.

The side order of pickles was a bit sad, and not very pickly.

“Is everything OK with your food?” asked the bartender as she cleared our empty glasses.

“It is, very good indeed. But could you help us with something, what genre is the music that’s playing in here currently?”

“Um, I’m not sure who it is.”

“Ah yes, but is it… Grime?”

“It could be Grime. Yes. I think it’s Grime.”

“YES!” We had never heard this music before and were thrilled to be part of Corbyn’s grime scene.

You do not have to say anything…

Before we left, Toby wanted to get to the bottom of the barkeep’s mysterious accent.

“Hello, I’m Detective Inspector Twang, and I’m making routine inquiries today.”

“I’m sorry?” she had now become wary of our conversations.

“I’m from the Dialect Squad. Anything you say will be taken as evidence.” He winked slowly.

“I really don’t understand what you’re on about.”

“Sorry about him,” apologised Tony.

“999, ACCENT EMERGENCY” shouted Toby as Tony dragged him away and with him, his last chance to woo this enigma of a lady.

YEAH OR NAH?

It’s a YES YEAH from us for Yeah Burger at The Star by Hackney Downs. It’s a fine way to spend your summer afternoon; go for the burgers, stay for the grime and leave before you meet Toby.

4 Boys out of five

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Review: Little Social

I’ve seen Jason Atherton on Saturday Kitchen quite a few times, he wears tight t-shirts in that: “Yeah, I’m a middle aged man, sure, I look after myself. I like a couple of pints with the boys but I’m equally happy with a kale smoothie? Absolutely. What’s the big deal?” kind of way. And fair play to him.

Jason has 74,000 restaurants spread across the world. Many of them have the word ‘social’ attached to them.

City Social – you’re only allowed in if you had a part to play in the financial crash.

Social Eating House – the menu is inspired by bricks.

Pollen Street Social – the waiting staff all buzz constantly, only stopping once they’ve stabbed you and they perish.

And then there’s Little Social where the chef is a midget. It was here we went for a birthday lunch back in January! I know! So many questions, like: How has it taken me so long to write this up? Why didn’t I take a photo of the menu so I could remember what I ate? Aren’t professional kitchens potentially hazardous to midgets?

What I can tell you is that I had a cocktail, here’s a picture of it. It was very nice indeed.

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Here’s a photo of some butter, which I almost certainly had with some bread. If memory serves me correctly this was also perfectly pleasant.

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Here is my starter. Now, this was a beetroot based starter, and I do remember it as it was very nice.

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Here’s a mackerel. I think it was alright, I mean mackerel is always alright isn’t it really. Cheers mackerel.

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Here’s a bottle of wine we drunk. Notice the butter in the background, it’s been partly eaten. This lends weight to my earlier point about having consumed the butter with some bread.

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What can you say? A lunch time menu – 3 courses for £30 (I think, it was in that ball park) enjoyed in the knowledge that you’re helping a midget. Perfect.

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3.5 boys out of 5.