What makes a good burger? Soft bouncy bun, the kind that doesn’t tear at the slightest prod? Juicy medium rare patty, with a specific meat to fat ratio? Gooey cheese, salty and generous enough to drape over the lettuce, but not so much that it takes over?
And so it goes on.
You know what should be top of that list in these thrifty times? Value for money.
I’ve been mulling over this for months. I live in London and too often I find myself in pubs. Not a bad place to be, but pubs can be guilty of overpriced yet average food. Sad times my friends, and there’s been some drunken tears.
The White Ferry House is a central London pub in Victoria, zone 1. Other pubs I’ve tried in central London have made questionable efforts at burgers. Cask – used to be good but more recently they’ve gone down the shitter. There’s The Thomas Cubitt – this pub is on my official shit list for crap expensive burgers and staff so rude I’ve thought they were playing a very funny prank on me. A few other pubs have made OK burgers but not good enough to warrant a post on here.
What do they all have in common? They are stealing my hard earned cash. In many London pubs you’re looking at least £13 for an average to poor burger (single patty), sometimes without chips. More tears.
I’m going somewhere with this. The White Ferry pub, that zone one London pub, has now collaborated with the Burger Craft people.
On a mid week whim, we found a nice seat outside in the sunshine. Inside it’s a little old man’s pub (the pub is little, not the old men). The aging punters were wearing a magical look of half delighted/half bewildered at the sudden influx of youths in their local boozer (not me, I’m not young). I felt their frustration, but detected some joy at the opportunity for fresh meat. And I don’t mean the burgers.
The menu is pretty extensive as far as burgers go, and they’ve made some impressive creative attempts at an Italian burger, and a veggie burger offering more than a mushroom smacked into a bun. I like that effort. All of the burgers come with fries or mini hash browns included in the price. We also ordered some saucy chili fries, for the road.
Look at the bill. Look at it. It’s not bad is it, for London. A cheeseburger with chips comes in at £8 (similar price to fast food style burgers at Shake Shack in Covent Garden for example, post here).
I’m not going to say these are the best burgers in the world, but you know what, they are good. The chips are fantastic – comforting and soft – like my granny’s roast potatoes. My bacon jam was runny to the point of being saucy not gloopy, and it had an intriguing combination of spices – reminding me of, er, Christmas. But it grew on me. The patty was fuss free, in the good way. Tomato – bad. Cheese – simple American – and good.
I won’t demand you schlep across London to try these, but if you do find yourself here, you’re basically saving money by eating good burgers. And that’s no bad thing.
Burger Craft make burgers at a few other London pubs. See Twitter for details.
The White Ferry, 1a Sutherland Street, SW1D 4LD