Punctuation counts, kids.
‘At Squeezed, my wife had legs akimbo’.
reads differently to:
‘At Squeezed, my wife had ‘Legs Akimbo’.’
This is why we pay attention in English class. There’s a lot of detail in the Squeezed menu, a lot that needs your attention.
Down here at Cargo on Wapping Wharf it’s predictably busy. Packed into those little containers is an awful lot of good eating, more than some whole cities’ worth. Root (reviewed here). BOX-E. Seven Lucky Gods. Gambas. Woky Ko. Pigsty. Josh Eggelton’s Salt & Malt. Freddy Bird of the beautiful Littlefrench, also reviewed recently, has brought his pies to the development.
Squeezed is tiny, and currently serving collection only: a small menu, by burger specialist standards. Hopefully this means refinement by trial and error and feedback.
Even if Legs Akimbo makes you think first of Ollie Plimsolls, and ‘Reverse Cowgirl’ raises some interesting questions (“What does that mean, daddy..? “Ummm…Ask your mother….”) then it’s clear that Squeezed is all about burgers and their trademark lemonade, which is tart in all the right ways
Seats are at a premium so we end up in the sun, on the steps opposite Wild Beer. The veggie burger- that ‘Legs Akimbo’- is a jumble of thick field mushroom slices, layered with heftily acidic pickles, the whole thing substantial and subtly meaty. Shoestring fries, chilli in the pickle, smoky chipotle: this is as far from your bland ‘will this do?’ meat substitute as I can remember. It’s £6.75.
Fries comes dosed with smoky-sweet ancho salt. They’re exemplary things, a deep gold with lots of those crispy shards you hope no one has their eyes on but are prepared to fight over.
Like I said- details. The St Werburger is even better, a double beef which It risks trying to do too much when so often, it’s simplicity that wins the burger day. It has a bit of everything: a little acidity and salt, a touch of shallot sweetness, a hint of smoke and heat from the chipotle ketchup. It’s running down my forearms before I finish. It’s excellent. For £7.90 it’s obscenely good value.
By any definition, it’s a hot mess. Similarly, it’s one of the best burgers I’ve had recently. It all squeezes together voluptuously- always desirable, because a burger should work as hand food, and if it needs skewer to keep it all together it’s missing the point- but it’s a deliberately oozy, drippy, smeary thing. And all the better for it.
‘This is too good for just the kids’ menu’ is my daughter’s reaction. She’s right. I still hanker after a ‘kids’ burger she had at The Cauldron in St Werburgh’s a while back, a herby pork patty which was annoyingly good.
This one is made to the same high standard, the opposite of some pallid afterthought. This one keeps it simple with beef, cheese and ketchup and is £6 with fries. There’s nowhere to hide, in other words- but this has the same quality which shines out of the St Werbergh- and no patronising of younger customers.
She follows that with ‘I wish I had room to eat that again right now’. At breakfast the next day she suddenly reminisces about the same burger; coupled with her recent one-word review of Salkaara I realise her reactions have more honesty, immediacy and unwitting eloquence than so much that floats around. (I’ve told her that if she ever comes out with ‘OMG it was to die for!’ she’s out of the will, but it’s best to establish ground rules early in life.)
Squeezed does that rare thing. It reminds you that something essential simple and quick to eat can transport you to a few moments of sheer focussed enjoyment. It’s enviably good.
Thur 5.00 – 9.00pm
Fri 12.00 – 3:00pm / 5.00 – 9.00pm
Sat 12.00 – 3:00pm / 5.00 – 9.00pm
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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.