07 December 2013

The Burger Bulletin: Big Dawgs Review

Update (2015): Big Dawgs didn't last long on Maltby Street, but The Woolpack is still going strong on Bermondsey Street.

The Maltby Street market is great and I'm there most weekends, even if just for a post-run doughnut. Sometimes, though, you're not in the mood for a big pancake breakfast and you can't face the queue for a salt beef sandwich. South London in general and Maltby Street in particular have been somewhat lacking on the burger front. Over the summer, The Woolpack had a grill out some weekends, but I hadn't seen it for a while. Last Sunday, however, I noticed a new player in the burger stakes: Big Dawgs, which offered burgers, hot dogs and even an indoor space to eat them in. Naturally, I had to go and check them out today.

It was a tough call between the Maverick burger (with Swiss cheese and maple bacon) and the Hog (with pulled pork and chipotle sauce), but in the end the former won out. While I was waiting for my burger to grilled, I was chatting to the staff and found out that Big Dawgs is, in fact, the new identity of the Woolpack's burger grill. The new name feels a lot more in keeping with the rest of Maltby Street and, of course, the name and the hipster-dog logo will go down well with the canine-cherishing clientèle of what may be London's hippest food market.

As with a lot of the other companies based in the arches under the train tracks on the Ropewalk, Big Dawgs' new space is kitted out with reclaimed furniture from LASSCO (also based in Maltby Street), in this case using a bathroom theme with black and white tiles, random taps and sinks, and a full-size bathtub — for the dawgs, perhaps?

When my burger arrived, it was big and meaty, and excellent value for £5. The beef was juicy and flavoursome and although I would have liked my bacon slightly more crispy, the sweet, maple taste was a nice touch.

I will be back, of course, to try the Hog, and they'll be adding new menu items next year, including a Philly cheese steak with a super-secret twist. Intriguing!

Big Dawgs. The Ropewalk (between Maltby Street, Druid Street and Millstream Road), London, SE1 3PA. Twitter.

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