Nancy-Louise Dyer makes a carnivorous pit stop
Brixton is brimming with burgers it seems, from the golden arches to post-hip dirty burgers, pop-ups, shanty shacks and sea containers. Enter Meat Liquor, formerly Chicken Liquor, by Meat Liquor.
I assume the chicken experiment has run its course and trailblazing new wave burger van man Yianni Papoutsis is back to what he does best. So it’s sort of new, with a meaty decorative refurb, but if you knew its distressed, funky, canteen-style diner before, you won’t be disorientated.
I don’t know about other Liquor outposts, but the best bits of Chicken Liquor are still on the menu. However, we are here for the beef. Burgers nestling in a jumble sale menu of Americana dining. Shakes, mac n cheese, wings, onions rings, hash browns, chilli fries, dirty fries, buffalo fries, slaw, deep-fried pickles, chicken burgers, a stray dog and an array of beefy burgers. Accompanied by some pretty interesting cocktails.
Nothing is something you won’t have seen in any number of burger joints, but I’m expecting to find out why, perhaps along with Honest, Meat Liquor consistently resides high on the London burger charts. So we dive into the cocktails. Yorkshire T is tea-infused Bombay Sapphire gin, pink grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice and soda in a chunky retro crockery “tankard”, or what about the Fallen Angelita? Tequila shaken with triple sec, agave honey and lime with a spicy tajin rim (that’s chilli, sea salt and lime).
Time for the main event and time to get messy. Burgers go with beers right? Cue Meat Liquor’s own brew, No Idea Beer, while trying to remember the last time we had our beer in the can. Apart from BBQs, probably way back in some sort of party preload or wandering down to the Fridge (if you don’t know about the yesteryear glories of the Fridge, poor you).
All made from dry-aged rare breed beef, we go for the Dead Hippie and the Chilli Cheeseburger, accompanied by a shared chilli cheese fries, smothered with beef chilli, cheddar cheese, onions, jalapeños and French’s mustard (if you don’t know about French’s Yellow, poor you).
The Dead Hippie is a chunky two mustard-fried beef patties, dead hippie (secret) sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and minced white onions and is pretty much right up my street. Like a Big Mac got seriously pimped in a boutique burger spa. I approve. The chilli cheeseburger, spicy chilli butter, red onions, pickles, lettuce and French’s is seriously chilli. Zing.
If you don’t like the rush of chilli heat, pick something else. Fries are an indulgent pleasure until you think about how much treadmill burns it off. Then a guilty pleasure.
We conclude we don’t have the gym time to eat here every day, but for a beefy, chin-dribbling stateside-tinged pit stop, Meat Liquor is firing out damn decent burgers, excellent cocktails and indulgently dirty sides.
Regarding the Dead Hippie, I will kill again.
Unit 12, Market Row, SW9 8LD | meatliquor.com/brixton | 020 7274 0939 | @MEATliquorBRX