04 July 2013

Venturing Fourth

The past week has been so hectic that I hadn't been running since last Thursday, so I dragged myself out of bed at 6.40 am to do an abbreviated river route in the mist. This is important both because of the way the weather improved over the course of the day and the amount of food I ate. 

Disappearing Shard

This morning we covered the desk of my visiting US colleague with flags, banners and red-white-and-blue balloons. She was impressed, especially when later in the day, we offered up some patriotic cupcakes, courtesy of Hummingbird.

Foolishly, perhaps, I went to KERB for lunch and ordered a pulled pork sandwich from Miss P's BBQ. I say foolishly, because I knew there was a good chance of a burger later on and even I don't usually eat that much meat in one day. The sandwich was great though — a tasty bun, overflowing with juicy, flavoursome meat and coleslaw. It's just with hindsight that the catfish might have represented a marginally healthier option.

Miss P's pulled pork sandwich

I am a big fan of Shake Shack and visit the New York branches, especially the Madison Square Park original, at least once every visit, and I've been looking forward to the opening of the London branch for months now. I was a little puzzled as to why they were opening tomorrow, though, given today's late (and given the opening of the London branch of Five Guys today). But it turned out they were doing a launch party today, guest-list only. Despite bringing a bona fide New Yorker and plenty of burger credentials, we couldn't talk our way in.

Instead, we went to Meat Market, Meat Liquor's more casual sister, and picked up some burgers, fries and bourbon shakes, and headed outside to sit in the piazza, watching a self-proclaimed entertainer talk up his grand finale for about 35 minutes. I haven't been to Meat Liquor in ages, and the burgers were really good. I say "burgers" because it turns out that at Meat Market, all of the menu items are doubles. Oh noes! I ordered the dead hippie (two burgers, cheese, onions, dead hippie sauce, etc), and we shared some fries.

Meat Market

"Who are you calling a dead hippie?"

By this point I was completely stuffed, but we wandered round to the back of Shake Shack and found we could watch their entertainment — a posh hipster band from Cheltenham called Young Kato — and those lucky party guests on the other side of the star-spangled barriers. Mini-burgers, mini-shakes and mini portions of fries were all on offer, but only to the lucky invitees, who didn't even seem to want them. Pick me! Pick me! Yes, I know I'd already had a delicious double-burger, but it was the principle of the thing.

Young Kato playing Shake Shack London's launch party

Surely you can spare one mini-burger?

Sadly, despite lingering for a while (the music was quite good, actually), samples were not forthcoming, so we headed home. As it was such a gorgeous evening, I walked home along the river, watching the sun sink down behind Somerset House and turning St Paul's and London Bridge into beautiful silhouettes.

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