PB&J, Meating - Birmingham, UK

The clue is certainly in the name with Meating; an independent Birmingham restaurant specialising in burgers. With the bold claim of taking its guests to 'meat heaven' (no innuendo), the bar was high for this intriguing establishment.

The interior was a little strange. The closest description I can conjure was that it was like being inside a cartoonish cow-shed, complete with exposed piping and, frankly, random junk.  I am all for straying away from the typical burger restaurant themes, but I would at least suggest some kind of consistency in design and layout.

The menu felt more focused with a variety of strong sounding burgers. In-fact, I was lured in by just about every beef option on the menu. However, my sweet-tooth craving got the best of me when placing my order and I simply could not resist the 'PB&J' burger. Two beef patties, candy bacon, peanut butter, cheddar cheese, strawberry relish, lettuce and a gherkin on a fresh bun.

At £11.95 including fries and slaw, I was pleased with the reasonable price tag for a burger with two patties and a whole lot toppings. However, when the burger landed in front of me, I was even more impressed at the magnitude of this meal.


Whilst presentation left much to be desired, the sheer size of this burger more than made up for this slobbering mess. Accepting that this is perhaps the very definition of a 'dirty burger', I decided to tuck in.

The initial explosion of flavour was superb. There was so much going on in this burger that the tastebuds were assaulted with taste. However, this was also why this burger did not work. The level of intensity of taste was welcome at first, but soon became sickly and too intense.

Don't get me wrong, most of the ingredients tasted great; from the candy bacon and cheese to the peanut butter and strawberry relish. The issue was more of an imbalance in volume of ingredients, which also meant the taste of the patties were drowned out. Notably the bun was also a little dry, lacking freshness.


Because of this, assessing the meat in this burger is difficult. The menu had stated the patties would be cooked medium, which was 50% true with one patty being cooked about right and the other a little closer to well-done. The official site does not give much away about the cut or age of the meat either, simply stating a 'secret blend of dry aged beef'. *shrugs*

Meating clearly know how to produce monstrous burgers with intense flavours. With the the PB&J burger, the issue was not necessarily the quality of ingredients, but the volume of them. With too much peanut butter, strawberry relish and cheese going on, the taste of the meats were masked. After devouring this beast, I struggled to walk home.

Patty Master Musings:

  • My obsession with peanut butter clearly clouds my judgement of burgers. I will need to return to Meating to sample some of the other menu items.
  • I went for truffle fries with parmesan. Moderate at best. Didn't eat half of them either as I was so stuffed.
  • I wanted to award points for just how sickly this burger was. That's an impressive feat in itself.
  • Did I Dip It? I did not. With cheese, strawberry relish and peanut butter, there were already too many flavours going on.

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Balsamic Pulled Beef Burger, The Lost & Found - Birmingham, UK

The Lost & Found is a beautiful bar and restaurant located within a grand Victorian building. Both inside and out is a true marvel, with architectural magnificence defining every aspect of the establishment. Situated in Central Birmingham, this is a popular choice for evening cocktails, as well as a solid meal.

With typically British dishes lining the menu, spearheaded by a huge range of somewhat overpriced steaks, my decision to instead opt for the single burger available perhaps foreshadowed what was to come.

Never-the-less, the burger description was strong and lured me right back in; beef patty, balsamic pulled beef short rib, smokey tomato ketchup in a seeded cream enriched bun. Eloquent delivery with the aptly named 'Balsamic Pulled Beef Burger' - perhaps there was hope yet?

It is worth noting at this point that the service was shambolic. After waiting twenty minutes to be seated, we were told to instead to sit within the bar area. Following this, our order was seemingly forgotten about until we chased it after a fourty minute wait. For this place to win me over again, this burger needed to deliver... And then I received this.


I was at a lost for words upon receiving this burger. I had initially thought I had been served a children's meal. I am all about the taste when rating burgers, but the importance of size cannot be overlooked and this was concerning.


My experienced failed to improve after biting in to this burger. The bottom of the bun was thin and soggy, whilst the top was neither seeded nor cream enriched. In-fact, it tasted and looked like it came out of a Warburtons six-pack of rolls.


Both the meats were bland and uninspired. The beef patty, despite being cooked medium well, was tasteless, clearly under-seasoned. Having pulled meats on burgers is a great way to infuse flavour, but in this instance, it was lacklustre, with my expectations of a strong balsamic flavour not at all being met.

This was perhaps the most disappointing burger reveal I have ever witnessed. The size of this burger would barely feed a child and unfortunately the taste was nothing special either. A bland patty, with bland pulled beef topped topped with far too little sauce, means this burger is a low scorer. Stick to just drinking at this place -- or at the very least, avoid ordering a burger.

Patty Master Musings:

  • My party ordered roast dinners. Although not overwhelming either, they were at least reasonably sized and not created for Stuart Little.
  • At £12.95, this was £1 more than I had paid the day before at Meating, where the burger was three times the size.
  • Just avoid ordering a burger from here. Full stop.
  • Did I Dip It? Yes. The fries came with a mustard & rapeseed mayonnaise which was sadly the highlight of the meal. Dipping required from first bite.

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Steak Le Triomphe Des Truffes, Haché Burger - London, UK

London burger culture gets stronger by the day, with chains such as Byron, Five Guys and Honest Burger commanding the capital. Spoilt for choice on my day trip, I took a break from the manic Stable Markets and ventured to one of the smaller London chains; Haché Burger.

Located just off Camden High Street behind Inverness market, Haché Burger is an eccentric French-themed restaurant with a bold message: “Burger Connoisseurs”. Notably, Haché Burger has previously won Timeout's “Best Burger In London” award, so there was substantiation in that core message, and I was more than keen to test it.

The restaurant interior was simplistic, with the unique tone driven through the slightly out of place chandeliers. The atmosphere inside felt a little stale, perhaps due to the fact I had visited at lunch. On the plus side, the staff were efficient and friendly throughout the meal, luckily earning that frustrating mandatory service fee.

Perusing the menu was both bizarre and joyous. The variety in burgers was commendable, though some items on the menu felt a little out of place or unnecessary, given the restaurant theme. At a first glance, I was very much lured in by the “Steak Louisiana”; a burger that combined my second food love in life: peanut butter. However, I shied away from this to instead try something more aligned with the French theme and what could be considered the 'signature' burger: "Steak Le Triomphe Des Truffes".

This burger boasted truffled Gruyère cheese, a sweet balsamic truffle glaze and pickled onion, served with a side of rocket, tomato and red onion. Interestingly, a choice is given on the bun between ciabatta or brioche. I went for brioche, almost out of panic, with the idea of a ciabatta burger overwhelming my thought process. Perhaps something worth returning for...


The burger arrived with the 'lid off' so to speak. At this point it clicked with me that this restaurant had an undertone of arrogance. Whilst not necessarily a bad thing as it certainly has earned this right, this is still a burger joint, however you want to spin it. Regardless, it looked appetising and was presented well. I popped the salad on to the bun and 'closed the lid', ready to tuck in (none of that was a euphemism).


Biting into this burger was a wonder for many reasons. With a dynamic layer of diverse flavours evenly distributed throughout, it was satisfying that the patty was the most distinguished taste. This was further accentuated in the fact that I had requested medium rare and had actually received medium rare; unfortunately a rarity in many burger joints. Haché Burger brags the finest and freshest ingredients, using 100% prime Scotch beef steak for its patties. The quality of the meat was evident with a solid fat to meat ratio and a great resounding taste.


Reverting back to the 'dynamic layers'; these were delivered through the Gruyère cheese, sweet balsamic truffle glaze and pickled onions. All of these ingredients were distinctive but delicious, especially the balsamic truffle glaze which was truly original for me. Importantly, none of it was overpowering either, which is easily done with a vinegar-based glaze.

Haché Burger delivers a truly unique burger. From the high quality meat through to the balsamic truffle glaze, you can expect a range of flavours executed impeccably. Whilst the restaurant and menu is a little hazy in its delivery, you can rely on the fact you will be served up a fantastic meal.

Patty Master Musings:

  • What is with the mandatory service charge? If we get awful service, we still have to pay a minimum of 10%? There is a leap of logic here in that the waiters could effectively do anything and still get their tip.
  • My reasoning for 'Brioche' over 'Ciabatta', aside from panicking, was the concern over how firm and crisp ciabatta would be. I cannot imagine favouring a crispy bun. On my second visit to Haché , I will certainly be sampling it.
  • Did I Dip It? I demolished this burger so fast, I had not even realised ketchup was on the table.

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