Review: Bleecker St – Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Bleeker

When Zan Kaufman decided to start Bleecker St Burgers in 2012, she was working in New York as a high-powered corporate lawyer. Moving for love to London, she ditched the corporate world for the burger startup scene, and has never looked back – and neither has London. Bleecker St is perhaps the most famous of London’s burger startups, vying for first place in the competitive landscape of London’s Best Burger.

We visited the Bloomberg branch on the 19th of October at lunch time, and were greeted with a sizeable yet well organised queue, far eclipsing the queues of the adjacent restaurants. Clearly we were on to something.

I ordered a Bacon Double Cheeseburger, going slightly off menu to add the bacon. The server immediately riposted with an offer of a triple bacon cheeseburger – I was completely unprepared for this. I panicked, and stuck to my original order. They famously served the Bleecker Black burger in the past – two patties separated by a thick slice of good old British black pudding – but as this seemed to be off the menu now we opted for cheeseburgers.

After an impressively short wait for such a busy venue, we received our burgers and set to work.

First impressions were excellent. This was a well constructed burger, the patties just slightly bigger than the bun, but well placed and layered with gooey American cheese. We liked the look of it. We went in.

Patty

The glorious patties

The patty was first rate. Immediately you’re hit with the nutty, blue-cheesy taste of dry ageing – more so than you’d expect. This was followed by a rich, juicy, lively beefy mass. The 4oz/113g patties were fairly thin, around the centimetre mark, making this double burger very approachable. The juices were unctuous and savoury. This was excellent, aged beef, I wouldn’t like to guess on the beef blend – rumour has it they use four cuts from The Butchery (http://thebutcheryltd.com/). It was well seasoned, edging towards the salty side, adding to the rich beefiness.

Toppings & Condiments

Toppings and condiments wise, this was a simple burger, with only cheese, bacon, onion, and a Bleecker burger sauce. However, this complimented the rich patties excellently. The same sauce was applied sparingly on (unusually) both the top and bottom buns – not in abundance, just enough to moisten the bun, without overwhelming the burger. This burger wasn’t about toppings, sauces, excess or frill – everything was there to compliment the beef. Two small rashers of streaky bacon topped the patties.

The cheese was a American yellow burger cheese, fully melted and gooey. It melted well into the bun and patties and glued the whole effort together without dominating. Rather than a “star of David” approach with multiple slices, they used a single slice on each patty, leading to a perfect distribution of meat and cheese in this double patty setup.

One thing that cannot go unmentioned is that we noticed that as the cook put the cheese on the burger, he first wiped it across the hot griddle, slightly softening it and picking up some of the flavoursome chunks of cooked, blackened beef, as well as a nice bit of beef fat. They do this to avoid the ‘cloche’ – the bowl placed on top by many a venue to steam melt the cheese – and give it a head start to melt into the beef. This leads to a better patty, as the burger gets steamed with the beef, making it wilt. Top marks here, Bleecker.

Bun

The true connoisseur knows that it’s the bun that makes the burger. These days, it’s easy to pick up some excellent meat and grind it at home for the perfect patty, but decent burger buns are hard to source.

Bleecker’s bun was a simple, straight forward sesame seed burger bun, lightly toasted, sourced from breadSTORY (http://www.breadstory.com/). Although there was little special about it – this wasn’t some rich and buttery brioche – it held together admirably as we progressed through our meals. The bottom bun arrived soggy with grease from the mass of meat and cheese it was supporting, gloriously adding to the flavour. This was not a clean eat.

Summary

In summary, this was a superb burger. A simple, beefy, rich affair, with no frills. Get yourself to Bleecker St, you won’t regret it.

  • Construction: 5
  • Lamination: 4
  • Patty: 5
  • Bun: 4
  • Toppings & Condiments: 4
  • Total: 4.4 / 5

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