Boozy burgers with princely trimmings at POW BRXTN
You’ve heard of Bob’s Burgers. Meet Ted’s Burgers.
In POW, aka The Prince of Wales. An interesting pub in that through my late teens and twenties onwards, it was never my go-to pub. Clubby Dogstar, yep, Duke of Edinburgh and its stoner garden yep, after hours at the “Canning”, weekly. POW is definitely still a pub, it has its clubby upstairs, but downstairs its principal raison d’être is the serving of booze to boozers.
They have a glimmering pizza oven in the corner, relatively decorative (as in underused) the night we popped in. We have come to meet Ted, erstwhile South London foodie creative and POW pop-up becoming ongoing in-house purveyor of dirty burgers and gastro-pimped, BBQ-infused Americana.
Booze and burgers, not particularly groundbreaking in a world of burgers and booze but our Ted has nice little gastro twists to his ostensibly MOR menu.
Enter two slightly bruised gentlemen. While I do this by night, by day I work in government publishing and let’s say an ongoing potential global pandemic has been keeping myself and Sanjay pretty busy.
We want comfort food, we need comforting. I want Ted to surprise me a little, but in the end wrap his arms around me and tell me everything will be alright. Draft Corona (no pun intended) and draft craft ales also assist. Ted also does steaming Sunday roasts and weekend brunches but his principal evangelism is the tabernacle of burger.
In between downloading the intensity of the workday, we chose Ted’s classic cheeseburger, his pimped-up fish finger sandwich, spicy popcorn chicken and the entirely indulgent sounding BBQ brisket fries. I am hoping some slow-cooked development work has gone into the mix.
Retro blue-tinged “army” tin crockery arrives. The popcorn chicken could have been a little more “popcorn crisp”, but this is nice seasoned chicken nibbles with chilli kick, mango mayo and chives. The brisket fries? Possibly the star of Ted’s show – 16-hour slow cooked brisket, BBQ sauce, melted cheese and sour cream draped over skin-on fries. Recommended by your heart surgeon? Possibly not, but Sanjay and I aren’t heart surgeons.
Battle of the burgers: cheeseburger versus fish finger sandwich. Ted has put some love into the sandwich. Three chunky homemade white fish “fingers” (more like lower arm size), with a tartare infused “tarslaw”, creamy Emmental and a creamy secret “top” sauce. Not so much of the Birds Eye.
The cheeseburger does what a good burger should. Nice patty, baby gem, BBQ sauce and scatterings of red onion and pickles in a toasted non-brioche bap. Evolutionary not revolutionary. Comforting David Attenborough hug rather than Che Guevara guerrilla insurgency. And no less for it.
The fish finger was a challenge, mostly for size. Ted doesn’t like empty tummies. Pretty good though with tangy tartare trimmings, not just batter and anonymous fish.
On a different night, as mildly gastro diners, we might want a more creative departure but there is creativity in the little touches, the homemade sauces and the rich depth of the brisket. Augmented by Ted’s entrepreneurial foodie enthusiasm.
I could get a burger down the road, but not sure where else does such sexy beefy fries and a “filet” at the golden arches may never seem the same again.
POW BRXTN | 467 Brixton Road, SW9 8HH | pow-london.com | tedburgers.co.uk | @pow_london