Dutch Piggy, The Meat Shack - Birmingham, UK

The Meat Shack have been working the Birmingham burger scene since 2012 and have built a worthy following, including myself, who crave their 'dripping filthy goodness'. This continued success has led them to opening up a restaurant in Birmingham's Southside above the equally new Thorp17 bar.

The restaurant is simplistic in design with personalised artwork on the walls and rustic tables and chairs. The atmosphere was buzzing, as expected for an opening night, and despite being rushed off their feet, the staff were attentive, welcoming and thankful.

One sign of a good burger joint is in the menu and 'The Meat Shack' did not disappoint. With just five burger options in total (including one vegetarian choice), quality is the name of the game. There are also four choices of fries, as well as onion rings and fried pickles (yes please!). The burger selection includes a 'classic', a blue cheese burger, a hot burger, a bacon cheeseburger and the vegetarian halloumi burger. I opted for the bacon cheeseburger, delightfully named 'Dutch Piggy': aged beef patty, dripping Dutch cheese, American cheese, streaky bacon, iceberg-red onion, pickles, ketchup and chipayo.


Hello, dirty burger! Delivered in a black plastic tray, the 'Dutch Piggy' stood boldly with cheese oozing down, thick bacon peaking out and the vibrant onion and pickle base, all between a brioche bun.

And let's begin with the bun -- fresh, sturdy and balanced. Dirty burgers are commonly guilty for the soggy bottom due to the saucy interior, but the bun held everything together perfectly, whilst still remaining well-proportioned to the rest of the components.

The 'Dutch Piggy' includes ketchup, chipayo and two types of cheese. The two sauces combine to form a solid burger sauce, with a slight kick. The cheeses melted across the patty and were generally mild in potency, but complemented the burger excellently.

The salad and pickle were a welcome addition too, particularly the latter building on the dynamic flavours.


The thick crispy streaky bacon was one of the most potent flavours on the burger, adding a tasty crunch to each bite. The patty itself was tender, though notably cooked more towards well-done. Despite retaining its juicy goodness, I would have been intrigued to enjoy it a medium cook-time instead.

Ultimately, the 'Dutch Piggy' is a top-notch burger: rich in flavour, balanced and fresh. I have no doubt the Meat Shack will be sticking around for a long time to come and they are the perfect addition to the growing burger scene in Birmingham City Centre. I will be going back. A lot.

Patty Master Musings:

  • I had the 'Buff' fries which were topped with 'franky sauce' and blue cheese dressing. They were great, but a little too salty.
  • The staff really were great. Despite being extremely busy, they remained humble and attentive to each table. This was refreshing.
  • Did I Dip It? With two types of cheese and two sauces? Absolutely not.

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Buenos Aires Burger, Las Iguanas - Birmingham, UK

Having enjoyed the 'National Burger of the Year' for 2016, I was intrigued to hear that the 2017 winner was awarded to Las Iguanas' 'Buenos Aires Burger'. For those unaware, Las Iguanas is a Latin American themed restaurant chain operating across the UK. Probably your first guess for burger of the year, right?

The menu includes a range of South American cuisine, including tacos, burritos, fajitas and quesadillas. There are also typically three burgers on the menu; all of which I have ignored on my previous visits, largely because the rest of the menu sounded more appealing.

However, things change when you slap a burger of the year award on to the menu and if that doesn't sell me in to it, I'm not sure what could. Let's look at this number then. The 'Buenos Aires Burger' boasts a chargrilled, aioli topped, 100% prime short rib & chuck beef patty with crispy baby gem lettuce, smoky pork chorizo, caramelised onions, Emmental cheese and fresh chimichurri in a toasted brioche bun. Wow, right?


I mean okay, this was a moderate looking burger upon arrival. I was certainly not blown away by the presentation, though I guess my expectations were perhaps too high given the accolades this burger comes with.

On paper, the ingredients have endless potential. In reality? I have had much better. Let me start with the good: the caramelised onions. These were delightfully sweet and boldly attempted to offset the smoky pork chorizo.

Unfortunately, the chorizo, whilst well-flavoured, was a little too prominent in the burger. The thickness of it almost matched the patty and it quickly overpowered the palate. On top of that, it was too dry within a burger that lacked a real 'sauce'.

The Emmental cheese was layered on the patty and was relatively mild in taste, but well proportioned. As for the chimichurri, I'm not sure where this was but I certainly couldn't pick up the taste.


Funnily enough, the same could be said for the aioli topping on the patty. Non-existent from what I could tell. Instead, the patty was a little dry and clearly overcooked. As a positive the meat did taste seasoned, but unfortunately this could not redeem it.

I think the reality is the burger that won the 2017 'National Burger of the Year' is not the same one put in front of me on my visit. This could be down to a bad day in the kitchen or that this burger descends in to average when produced to a mass market. Either way, it is disappointing not knowing what the true burger of the year tasted like. The 'Buenos Aires' is a middle-of-the-road attempt with the pro's coming in the form of the caramelised onions and interesting mix of ingredients, whilst the drawbacks include the overpowering chorizo, a dry patty and an absence of chimichurri and aioli. Maybe next time I guess?

Patty Master Musings:

  • To add insult to injury here, we were also chased down the street and accused of not paying the full bill. They had somehow overcharged us for desserts we didn't have. This was not particularly thrilling giving we were only one of a few tables occupied in the entire restaurant. Oh well - the service was otherwise friendly.
  • The lunch menu is reasonably priced with some good choices on it.
  • Did I Dip It? Ketchup was required to reduce the overpowering flavour of the chorizo.

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