Libertine 004, Libertine Burger - Birmingham, UK

It is crazy that it has taken me this long to get myself a Libertine Burger. They are the latest burger addition to Digbeth Dining Club, formed in 2016 by a Warwickshire based chef. My first encounter with the brand, however, happened at the Independent Birmingham festival at the beautiful Aston Hall.

Served out of the side of a Renault Master, I can only think that if I was to be kidnapped, this is the van in which I would want it to happen. I am not too sure why that is one of the first thoughts that came to my head. The van is decorated well with the red, white and blue burger logo standing out most prominently.

The menu does not mess about. You are either having a beef or chicken option, all of which are called 'Libertine' followed by a number. Whilst the chicken burgers were buttermilk fried, making them instantly more difficult to resist, I had to opt for the 6oz dry aged beef going for the 'Libertine 004'. The burger boasted American cheese, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, pickles and smoky bacon on a seeded bun.

If I was going to craft the perfect burger, I would include almost everything above to do so. Bacon cheeseburgers are the staple classic in the industry for me and Libertine's rendition is a good one.

The seeded bun was fresh and lightly toasted, balanced well with the other ingredients. The salad and pickles were welcome as usual.

The American cheese was mild and moderately applied building additional flavour, paired well with the ketchup and mustard; the latter in particular standing out.

The bacon was beautifully thick and crunchy, perhaps driving the most amount of flavour to the burger. The patty was an interesting one. Made up of 20% flank, 30% brisket and 50% chuck, it was cooked through to the point where it was actually crunchy. Though the cook-time I will maintain as an issue, the crunch on the patty was delicious whilst still remaining succulent throughout.

The Libertine 004 was a solid bacon cheeseburger sourced from high quality ingredients. The balance and fusion of flavours worked well, though despite enjoying the crunch on the patty, it was still overcooked for me. In addition, I would have switched up the cheese to something more distinguished on the tastebuds. With that said, this was still a great burger and something is telling me Libertine Burger will be around for a long time to come.

Patty Master Musings:

  • The branded packaging was a nice touch. These guys have a great brand image.
  • I wore my burger socks for the occasion.
  • Did I Dip It? Great sauce combinations here, so no need.

Category Score


Best Lunch in Birmingham City Centre

Sometimes you have to take a break from that yawn-worthy salad or bland chicken & rice. Working in the city myself, the temptation to dine out is often an overwhelming one, particularly on that feel good friday. There are so many fantastic eating establishments in town for lunch, so expect a part two (and likely three, four, five, six) to this article at some point in the nearby future. For now, these are 10 of my current favourites:

Anderson & Hill - Certainly my favourite delicatessen in town, Anderson & Hill concoct some of the finest sandwiches around. Expect high quality cured meats and a delightful amount of cheese.
Price: £4-£5 for a sandwich
Location: Great Western Arcade

Mr Egg - Since its ownership change in 2016, Mr. Egg, now belonging to Happy Lemon (the bubble tea company), have completely reworked the menu. Largely Chinese-inspired dishes, I would highly recommend the Beijing wrap. I guarantee you will not regret it!
Price: £3-£4 for the wrap and most side-orders
Location: Hurst Street

Bill's - Delicious food in a great atmosphere sums Bill's up. Although perhaps one of the more expensive lunch plans compared to the rest of the list, I can guarantee the menu will hit the spot.
Price: £10-£15
Location: Bullring

Monty's - Monty's is a superior Subway allowing you to 'build your own' sandwich using fresh ingredients. What stands out for me is the portion size as each sandwich is piled high with goodness. I normally go for the chicken and avocado with lettuce, spinach and tomato, topped with a touch of mayo and salt & pepper. It really hits the spot!
Price: £3-£4 for a sandwich
Location: Colmore Row

Wrap Chic - When I think of wraps and burritos, Indian food does not immediately spring to mind... Until Wrap Chic came along. With incredible unique flavours, I can guarantee this will be a wrap you will be going back for.
Price: £4-£5 for a wrap, £5-£6 for a burrito
Location: Bullring

Pirlo's - Sometimes a lunch should just be a huge, sickly sundae or waffle. When that craving hits, get yourself to Pirlo's for your sweetness fix.
Price: £6-£8
Location: Coventry Street, Digbeth

4023 - If Mediterranean food is your thing, 4023 is a must. If Mediterranean food isn't your thing, 4023 is still a must. My personal favourite on the menu are the souvlakis which are packed full of flavour and can be served as part of a meal deal with chips and a drink.
Price: £3-£5
Location: Stephenson Street, just behind Grand Central

Original Patty Men - I mean, c'mon, it has to be on the list, right? Conjuring burger magic from Thursday through to Sunday, this is a lunch destination that will make you want to cancel the rest of your afternoon.
Price: £7-£8 for a burger
Location: Shaw's Passage

La Vera - Somewhat of a hidden gem, La Vera serves up some of the best pizzas in the area at affordable prices. That wood-fired pizza oven makes all the difference.
Price: £6-£8 per pizza
Location: Martineau Place

Medicine Bakery - Open only Fridays and Saturdays (for now), this hidden bakery will blow you away, serving kronuts, cupcakes, flapjacks, focaccia and more. I am yet to have anything from the menu that I disliked.
Price: £3-£5
Location: High Street, near Victoria Square


The Burger, Dirty Bones - London, UK

My work-trips down to London are made all the better knowing I can sample (and expense) all that the 'Big Smoke' has to offer. Wandering in to Shoreditch this time around in search of the perfect patty, I find myself at the doors of 'Dirty Bones'; an NYC-inspired restaurant.

With high ceilings and a wonderfully crafted bar area, 'Dirty Bones' feels right at home in Shoreditch bringing a unique tone to a warming dining experience. Whilst the atmosphere was not all there on my visit, I can attribute this down to the fact I visited on an early lunch-break. My next visit I'll be sure to return on an evening to sample both the food and drinks available.

Let's talk menu. I’m inclined to believe the signature choice at Dirty Bones is the ‘Mac Daddy’, though tackling this beast ahead of an afternoon full of meetings did not feel like the wisest choice. I wanted to enjoy it knowing afterwards I could kick back, put my feet up and revel in the glory of what I’ve just done. It’s okay. I’ll return for the ‘Mac Daddy’ when the time is right. For those pining to know what it’s all about: brisket & dry aged steak, topped with pulled beef short rib, mac & cheese and cayenne & coffee-spiked BBQ sauce. Sounds like anarchy between a bun.

Instead I went for the peculiarly named ‘The Burger’. Does it not seem bizarre to name one burger the ‘Mac Daddy’ and then the other ‘The Burger’? It’s like calling one of your kids ‘The Almighty Favourite Child Steve’ and the other one ‘Plain Roy’. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s a pretentious stamp, like this is ‘The’ burger. Let’s go with that and move on swiftly.

Burger naming conventions aside, ‘The Burger’ still boasts a pleasurable description of ingredients: brisket & dry aged steak patty, black treacle bacon, gorgonzola sauce, pickled jalapenos, baby spinach and chipotle aioli. That doesn’t sound like ‘Plain Roy’ to me at all.

It was a stunner. It had style, it had grace, time to slam it in my face (I’m getting that on a t-shirt).

The prominent flavour was most certainly the gorgonzola sauce which was sharp and salty, perhaps slightly overpowering, though not a flavour I minded wrestling with.

There is certainly a kick to ‘The Burger’ that comes through both the pickled jalapenos and the chipotle aioli. Between the two, the heat attempts to offset the blue cheese potency from the gorgonzola. Monster flavours smashing around the taste buds.

And then there’s some spinach so you can feel good about what you’re doing.

The bacon was thick, but somewhat burnt, retracting from the black treacle taste, though delivering a welcome crunch to proceedings.

The combination of brisket and steak for the patty delivered moderate flavour, but due to the harsh cook-time, a lot of the juices were zapped out of it. It was otherwise well-sized and balanced to the other components.

‘The Burger’ at Dirty Bones is a top choice if you’re in the Shoreditch area. The gorgonzola sauce runs the show with this burger, though it is complemented well by the kick from the aioli and jalapenos. Whilst the meat was a little underwhelming by comparison, the overall quality of ingredients and synergy throughout make it a solid meal.

Patty Master Musings:

  • The fries were served in what looked like a small cottage pie dish my nan would use. With onion and garlic salt, they were surprisingly very good. At first glance I had written them off as plain McDonald’s wannabes, but there were good flavours here.
  • 'The Burger' is £9.50 alone, though available for £10 with fries on the Monday-Friday lunch menu.
  • Plain Roy approves of this burger.
  • Did I Dip It? Plenty of flavour through the gorgonzola sauce, so no need.

Category Score


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