I normally don’t do posts dedicated to one place but I haven’t had a meal like this.

Last night I went to #meateasy, a burger squat by Goldsmiths College in New Cross and had a burger that can only be described as that burger. The onion rings only completed that experience. The one that triggers an involuntary memory and transported me back to my childhood…

But hang on, I never even liked hamburgers as a child, let alone onion rings. Until about the age of 15, I only ate chicken nuggets and if that wasn’t on the menu, then it was a plain burger. If a condiment touched it (because condiments are weird and creepy) I would not eat it, even if my tortured mom offered to wipe it off. And I had zero interest in onions until the age of about 20. To this day I can’t order a McDonald’s burger because the thought of pickles touching yellow mustard and ketchup gives me the heebie jeebies.

No, that wasn’t it. Maybe what it triggered was a meta-memory I had as a child trying really hard to like burgers since they seemed like everyone’s favorite food but as much as I tried, just couldn’t get on the meatwagon. Maybe what I felt was the Inception of burger fantasies, the burger pill in the Matrix or I dunno, maybe I just have a faulty memory that makes things up as it goes along.

Or it could have been that I ate a really satisfying burger.

Going into the place is really like entering an artists’ commune, though you could call owner Yianni Papoutsis a burger artist. He apparently travels to the US for several months at a time, trying out burgers all over the country and tweaking his recipe. That one seems straight out of Outliers so I guess we can even call him a burger genius or at the very least, burger-disciplined.

What makes me like this place even more is that even though he obviously worships the burger, Papoutsis maintains the burger’s humble roots and keeps it low-maintenance and simple. There isn’t a burger more than 7 quid.

Except for the occasional “oh my god,” “holy shit,” “uhh, wow” we ate in silence for the most part.

The onion rings are perfectly crispy on the outside and soft inside. Unfortunately, the fries were rather sad and seemed more like an afterthought.

Oh and the cocktails. Premium spirits at well prices. Insane, right? The skillful bartenders are from Soulshakers and they are pretty awesome. I had a nice Bramble and a really excellent Whisky Sour with egg white. Behind the bar counter was an enormous block of ice that was as big as a microwave.

Ha! Burgers and lots of lots ice. Can’t get more American than that. Despite what you hear, Europeans love us. They want to be like us. Or at least eat like us.

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