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.

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