A recent trip to London saw us trying to tick as many places off our ‘must-eat/must-drink’ list as we could in 30 hours.
All our lunch and dinner slots were already full when we were recommended Bleecker as “the best burger in London”. Our dilemma was solved by a quick Google; their speciality is the Bleecker Black burger, a double cheeseburger with beef black pudding. Black pudding is clearly a breakfast item, giving us a perfect excuse to squeeze in a trip to Bleecker for the most important meal of the day. We later found out that the Bleecker Black is temporarily unavailable (a situation described by Twitter users as “drastic” and “worse than Brexit”) but we’d already justified it to ourselves, so sod it. Burgers for breakfast it was.
The little black front of the Victoria branch faces directly onto the biggest Shake Shack I’ve ever seen. Must be stiff competition for them, we thought. How wrong we were. I guarantee that one bite of a Bleecker burger and you will never step foot in that particular branch of Shake Shack again. Anyone who does so is a fool.
A classic bacon cheeseburger and a Bleecker Blue (blue cheese sauce, onion, lettuce) are swiftly ordered and we ask for them to be cut in half for sharing purposes, as Bleecker don’t give out knives. We’re totally down with that, because what kind of sick human being eats a burger with a knife?
The patties in both are cooked to a perfect pink with meat that oozes quality; flavour this good can only come from using top notch beef (Bleecker’s is dry-aged, rare breed and pasture fed). This is a serious burger. I hate places that completely eradicate the flavour of the patty by piling it high with ridiculous toppings. I’ve learnt it’s usually an indication that the patty itself is shit. Here, it rightly takes centre stage, putting in a performance well deserving of an encore.
Both are encased in the much maligned sesame bun, which in most places seems to have been permanently relegated in favour of it’s trendier cousin, the brioche bun. It stands up perfectly against the beef, providing an ideal receptacle for the burger juices whilst still maintaining it’s structure.
The blue cheese sauce on the Bleecker Blue is very good, not too overpowering but still delivering a whack of flavour. It’s an excellent burger, but the bacon cheeseburger is something else. It is complete burger nirvana – the best bacon cheeseburger I’ve ever eaten – and at only £6 is probably the cheapest hit of euphoria you can get in London. That encore I was talking about? I sent my boyfriend in for a second one as soon as we’d finished the first.
Fries wise, Bleecker’s signature are ‘angry fries’, topped with blue cheese sauce and hot sauce. The flavours worked together but personally I just wasn’t that into it; I think the sauce took over and distracted from how good the chips actually were (they were very good).
Our last minute dash to Bleecker turned out to be my favourite of the weekend in terms of sheer unaldulterated eyes-rolling-back-in-your-head bliss. Yep, it even beat the 3 Michelin starred lunch we had the previous day. One week on and I’m still thinking about it more than men allegedly think about sex (19 times a day, according to the extremely reliable http://www.shape.com). I’ll be back for that Bleecker Black soon.
We visited the Victoria branch of Bleecker at 205 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NE. They also have branches in Spitalfields and Southbank.