Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Honest Burgers (Soho)


Honest Burgers is much as you would guess, a simple place which knocks out very decent burgers with little fuss. Their Soho outlet is their second after Brixton, and believe it or not, the side street location is rather calm – both in comparison to Brixton Village and also for the environs of Soho itself. It even features some outdoor seating.

There is no booking here of course, so expect a good wait. It’s very popular, as Brixton openings seem to be upon roll-out. There’s a predictable “I preferred their earlier stuff” caché in labouring the Brixton origins (as with Franco Manca), but as I’m from North London (and not the Home Counties via art school), Soho suits me just fine.


My burger (sourced via The Ginger Pig) is cooked medium-rare without the quibble of neighbouring Byron. The patty is high quality, fat and incredibly juicy. Smoked bacon adds a lot of flavour, but the cheese doesn’t dominate too much. Nothing worse than some gastro-pub whacking on masses of Quickes Cheddar or similar to turn a burger into a cheese roll.


The bun is contemporary-default brioche, it comes with pickle and some other bits, and most importantly it comes with chips. Rosemary salt chips in this case, and quite impressive they are too. At £9 (£8 without bacon) for both burger and fries, it stridently competes with Byron at the cheaper end of the quality burger market. 


Drinks range from lemonade in jam jars (retro Mason-style, just to remind you it’s 2011/12) to a decent range of beers including a decent selection from Redchurch. Their pale ale is a faithful rendition of a Pacific Northwest ale, but not so sickly in the floral and hoppy as some can be.

Service was swift, but even with the hordes of disappointed would-be diners ogling our burgers from the cold, we didn’t feel pressured by staff to hurry at all. They take your number and call you, so the queue is managed in a more amenable way than many other places. I hate to invoke the obvious, but it really is an honest proposition; superb burgers executed with understated flair but with fun design touches ranging from great typography to the trivial, such as these cool straws - seemingly on-brand in hunting green. Brighton is to be their third outlet I hear.


In London, and particularly W1, you can’t rest on your burger laurels (or should that be BRGR?) for too long, but it’s my current pick over Tommi’s for top sub-£10 burger in these parts. The rosemary chips, drinks and meat quality swing the balance quite considerably. So go now, if you can get in. 

Food9/10
Drink – 8/10
Service - 9/10
Value8/10
Tap water tales4/10 (none offered or requested)
Staff Hotness7/10
Honest Burgers (Soho) on Urbanspoon 
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