26 July 2013

The Burger Bulletin: Elliot's Burger Bar Review

Borough Market is on both my regular weekend running route and my route home from work if I'm walking. Pretty much every time I pass through, I think, "I really must find a way to sample the burgers at Elliot's Café." You see, although the regular menu, which changes daily, is always very tempting, they only serve burgers on weekday lunchtimes, when I am at work.

Elliot's Burger Bar, Borough Market.

This summer, however, for four weeks only (well, for at least four weeks, anyway), Elliot's is putting on a pop-up burger bar, just across Stoney Street from the main café. They have a number of long trestle tables, some under the cover of the market roof. I was worried there might be a queue, but there were still a few tables left when I arrived at about seven last night. While I waited for my companions, I ordered a frozen margarita (£5), which was fruity and delicious — they also serve Kernel beer, Prosecco and a few other drinks.

Great styling of the cups and straws.

The menu is deceptively long-winded, given that there is only one option: a cheeseburger and fries for £10. It's not just any cheeseburger though; it's a "55 day aged native breed beef patty with homemade brioche and..." Well, you can read the rest on the chalkboard when you get there. The burger was really, really good. Very juicy and meaty and complemented perfectly by the cheese and the beef-fat fried onions. The Grauniad reviewer who was so critical of the Shake Shack bun will definitely approve of the seeded brioche.

Elliot's cheeseburger and fried potatoes.

The fried potatoes, however, were good rather than great. They are triple-cooked Maris Pipers, and for some reason, I've never had much luck with triple-cooked chips. Some of them taste fine, but the bigger ones tend to be a little dry. I would have preferred regular fries with salt and rosemary.

The epic menu.

£10 is also the price of a burger and fries at Disco Bistro. Maybe I've been spoiled by Bleecker St Burger and the other street-food vans, but I've got into the habit of sharing fries or having the option to order them when I want them. Somehow £10 feels more than £2 pricier than a £5 burger and £3 fries.

Burgernomics aside, Elliot's Burger Bar is a cool place to hang out on a warm summer evening. Stoney Street is right in the heart of Borough Market and there are lots of people hanging out having a pint or a nibble. The only slight negative note of the evening was when we were asked to move on after we said we weren't ordering another round because "it's getting busier," even though it wasn't busier than when we arrived and there was at least one free table and no queue. We weren't planning to stay all night, but being able to linger for a few more minutes would have been nice (to be fair, it was probably about to get busier, but still). Nonetheless, the burgers really are great, so I'd recommend you stop by sometime between 6.30 and 10 pm, Tuesday to Saturday, until 10 August.

Elliot's Burger Bar. 12 Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AD (Tube: London Bridge). Website. Twitter.

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