For many, Bleecker is the burger.
A tiny stall tucked away in the furthest corner of Street Feast on a muggy Saturday evening, not long after they started up: but sometimes you just know, don’t you? From that first bite. You know.
Dalston was no fluke: I loved them on the South Bank too, and no trip to London via coach to Victoria feels quite complete without them being first stop on arrival, or last before the homeward leg.
And yes, sometimes both. They’re that good.
And the best bit? You can get that same magic at your front door, right now, with their Bleecker At Home kits.
Four cheeseburgers £21, 2 doubles at £21, Four double cheeseburgers? £30. You will be staggered to know I bought the latter. you can add fries and alcohol to your order- we had Siren Soundwave IPA but you can add wine, Tiny Rebel ale and even a G&T.
As founder Zan Kaufman says- and you wish more would take to heart- ‘I’ve always believed that burgers are about the beef’.
It needs saying. It’s not about stacking them ever taller for Instagram, it’s not about ocelot sweetbreads or marmoset pâté: it’s just excellent beef, seasoned well, cooked pink and teamed with well-chosen accompaniments. It’s that easy.
Except if it was, everyone would be this good. Bleecker makes a virtue of the obscenely simple idea that great beef will make great burgers.
Nationwide delivery is on Fridays and it’s all made easy for you.
Patties, seasoning, cheese slices, sauce in a branded squeezy bottle. Little has been left to chance. Even the rolls have been ready-sliced, which given my world-class ability to fashion dramatically angled wedges from any loaf, is a wise decision on their part.
That crucial beef is from renowned butchers Aubrey Allen.
In keeping with the whole nostalgia thing I stayed faithful to the house style, because their strength is simplicity.
Beef with legs, deep mineral savouriness of properly-aged meat, meat hung for flavour rather than quick profit. All of the above.
Its a brilliant recreation of the eat-in experience, down to the four step process of eating a Bleecker.
First the anticipation, the knowledge that you’re about to eat a truly excellent burger.
Then the eating, usually in silence, all the better to appreciate what you’re eating.
Then the sated, post-prandial glow.
Then the inevitabe chasing any fallen sesame seeds with your finger and hoovering them up with a juice-slicked finger.
This kit works brilliantly. There isn’t a meat-free version for delivery- unlike in-branch, but these are cheeseburgers are they are meant to be. The leftover seasoning and sauce mean that you can improve any subsequent lesser burgers. And let’s face it, most of them are.
Delivery is on Fridays, just in time for your weekend burger orgy. As the industry takes tentative steps into recovery, these deliveries and the others I’ve tried (Dishoom, Burger & Beyond, The Ribman, Bao, Andy Low ‘n’Slow and of course the remarkable Clay’s) are a trend which I very much hope continues.
If Bleecker are old favourites, be prepared to be impressed all over again. If you want to recreate those seemingly far off trips to Bleecker, order a box.
If you need to discover for yourself just how good they are, order a box. If you’re wary of braving London for some time yet, then these kits are going to scratch that burger shaped itch.
We know we live in troubling times: disease, political and economic instability, men wearing baseball caps in restaurants. But when you find yourself reaching for the reassurance of predictable excellence, these Bleecker kits are a sure thing.
Recommended without reservation. But you already knew that.
Bleecker At Home
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This blog is a very simple thing.
I won’t try to sell you any hand lotion, exercise programmes, coffee syrups or Patagonian nose flutes. You won’t find tips on dating, ‘wellness’ or yoga mats.
I write because I love it (and food, as indicated by my increasing girth). Greed happens to be my Deadly Sin of choice, but at least it is never shy of providing me with subject matter.
A simple thing, then: all you get is me wittering on semi-coherently about places I’ve eaten at; hence a ‘restaurant blog’ rather than a ‘food blog’, although there are a few recipes scattered throughout.
From mezze to Michelin ‘fine dining’ and all points in between.