Alexander’s plea is definitely from the heart – or at least from the mouth. He asks:
“Where can I get a decent burger in Greenwich?
Since GBK opened a few years ago it seems every pub and restaurant Greenwich has opted to try and replicate their Tower Of Babel style burger. The Greenwich Union was one of the first to follow suite with their 28 day Angus burgers for a whopping £12, a price almost as difficult to swallow as the burger itself, but now everywhere seems to be doing it. The last bastion of a normal burger, the Richard I, recently started a GBK style menu as well.
It would be nice to be able to take the kids somewhere to eat a burger in pleasant surroundings without them having to deconstruct their burger each time because it’s often brought out bigger than their tiny little heads. The Wimpy was a good stop gap measure for a while but now even that’s gone, so it’s almost a case of McDonalds or bust.
Burgers should be flat and round, not tall and impossible to consume without having to unhinge your jaw. Would you or any of your readers know where to buy a good old fashioned unpretentious flat burger in Greenwich these days? Preferably in a pub with a beer garden.”
Can anyone help Alexander and his tiny-mouthed offspring? I confess that I have eaten in GBK the grand total of once, for precisely that reason. It tasted just fine – actually rather good, but the towering pile of food was a nightmare to eat. It’s definitely a knife and fork job, which would normally not be a bad thing – a very civilised way to eat. But as I plunged the knife in, despite trying to hold it together with the firk, the innards all shot out across the table, ease of propulsion lubricated by the various pickles and sauces inside.
I have no idea where you can get a ‘normal’ burger these days. Comet to think of it I haven’t seen one of those burgers of my childhood for years. All the pubs seem to want to reconstruct the Gherkin, and most trendy restaurants are firmly in tower-building mode with everything from potatoes to carrot-batons. I guess it’s just the fashion, though I’m happy to say that there do seem to be moves against the stack-’em-high construction methods of posh food these days.
My review of the new brewery is still to come (which ticks the pub-garden box with a giant green tick), but I didn’t have a burger there, and didn’t see anyone else having one. I know that someone emailed me to say they had had one there. They omitted to mention the size of it, but since the price was a bit of a whopper, I’m suspecting another tower-job.
I went to the Wellcome Collection the other day. They currently have an exhibition (gruesome as only the Wellcome guys can do it) about obesity (curiously they also have one about personal identity – perhaps the two aren’t that far apart) and there was a display about ‘ideal’ portion sizes and ‘average’ portion sizes – a chilling little cabinet indeed. We tend to blame this obsession with supersizing on the big chains – but here we’re sitting firmly in ‘gourmet’ territory. The food might be better quality – but is there just too much of it?