Meat Liquor – the famous Dead Hippie burger, and how I turned in to my dad.

The most hyped burger of the year in London, the one all these people are queueing for?

The Dead Hippie, at Meatliquor.  As ever, I’m late to the party.

In brief (long year, I’m tired): good enough burger.  Not the double-pattied nirvana the blogosphere promised, not a patch on this bad boy,  but tasty and carnal nonetheless.

Other highlights: the blue cheese dipping sauce that comes with the deep fried pickles.  (I hate blue cheese so I don’t say that lightly.)

The chicken in the chicken burger.  Brilliant texture, great crunchy coating, let down by a papery bun:

Deep fried pickles – conceptually great, executionally not quite: batter too soggy.

Onion rings – not quite crispy enough, again almost great.

A long, long time ago, when I was 12 and three quarters,  I went with my family for lunch to a groovy restaurant south of LA called El Ranchitos.  El Ranchitos was Californication-esque.  Grungy but not really grungy, dive-bar ish  but actually quite clean.  They played thumping loud 80s cock-rock, and more to the point they made mean burgers.

We’d been there a whole 5 minutes before my dad asked the hot tattooed waiter to turn the rock and roll down.  I can still remember the moritification my near-teenage self felt when the waiter said no, and my dad dragged us out of there.

Tonight, Matthew, I am my dad.  I can live with the Dexter-ish slaughter / blood themed decor at Meatliquor.

But the music’s TOO BLOODY LOUD.  I couldn’t hear myself think.

I stopped short of asking my hot tattooed waiter to turn the music down, but the thought crossed my mind.  Which made me feel old, which made me feel cross.

If I were 26 and on a date, I’d love this place.  It’s fun, it’s cool, and even though it knows it’s cool you can forgive it because it has a sense of wit.   I’d drink loads of the bourbon-based cocktails, wolf down the burger and think I was almost, almost in Williamsburg.

But I’m not 26.  I was out with friends, talking about adult things like babies and careers and unreliable builders.  And I was acutely aware that I wasn’t in Williamsburg, but I was 2 minutes from the back door of John Lewis, and had yet to buy most of my loved ones the right Christmas present.

So I didn’t love it.  I liked it though.  I really did.

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