Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Guerilla Burger Cheeseburger

£5.60 buys you this seriously uninspiring cheeseburger. Another £3.10 will get you a bowl of cooked-from-frozen Crinkly Fries. Wrongness.

Whilst it is my oh-so-noble mission to sniff out the best burgers London has to offer, it's inevitable that occasionally I stumble upon one that is probably best avoided. The Cheeseburger at Guerilla Burger, near Selfridges, is one such burger. Pancake-like, it's as low in flavour as it is in height...


If I was at a drunken student barbeque, then the above plate of food might be considered "a good effort". However, I'm at a restaurant. A London restaurant dedicated to burgers. And I have no idea why the folks at Guerilla Burgers think the above plate of food might be considered an attractive proposition. Is this cheesy stodge in front of me representative of their vision of burger perfection? I fucking hope not, it looks horrible. I plonk the bog standard tomato, lettuce and some onion on top of the cheese blanket (complete with eye-like bubble) and put the lid on after squeezing on some French's mustard and some Heinz tommy-k. Even with the salad in it, the burger, bun-and-all, stands at an impressively two-dimensional three centimetres tall. It's one of the least appealing burgers I've faced for quite some time. Still, maybe it's a taste sensation...

Er, no. It's not a taste sensation. It's woefully bland. Neither the patty nor the cheese has any redeeming qualities. Actually there is a flavour, but it's neither beefy or cheesy (or redeeming). I can only describe said flavour as both dirty and greasy. I persevere. I take another photo. I try just a bit of the patty on its own. I close my eyes, chew gently and really try to discern something worthy. I give up. I try one of the Crinkly Fries. Yes, they have been fried, but from frozen. I sigh and find that I'm actually shaking my head in dismay...

As I sit there looking at what lies before me I admit to myself that I'm baffled. What the fuck is this all about? It's not of the American school of fast food, and it's definitely not street food. Nor is it (rather obviously) an attempt at a gourmet burger experience. If indeed this style of burger has a name, then it is a lazy-ass school dinner burger. The kind of heated-up-by-dinner-ladies crap that Saint Jamie (Oliver) has crusaded against in recent years. There's a complete lack of joy here.

Despite the fact that the fries were also fucking shit, it has to be said that the staff I encountered at GB were delightful. But cheery efficiency just doesn't make up for bland food. Whoever the brains behind Guerilla Burger is needs to wake up and smell the coffee. London's burger landscape is evolving rapidly. There's a food revolution happening not just in restaurants, gastro pubs and dedicated burger joints all over town, but on the streets too. When you can buy food from a market stall that's served in a paper bag yet looks and tastes a billion times better than what's offered here, then what's the point? Do the people that run GB ever eat out in London? Do they think what they're doing passes muster in today's burger landscape? Fuck, do they even like burgers? I'm sorry to say it but Guerilla Burgers feels like a scam to take money off unsuspecting passers by, rather than a bone fide burger joint.

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Guerilla Burgers
35 St James Street
London
W1U 1EU

Tel: 020 7486 1511


8 comments:

Chris said...

It's run by the guys behind Giraffe - a new "concept" apparently their rather eccentric owner came up with one rainy afternoon in an effort to squeeze more money out of credulous middle-class Londoners too posh to eat in Maccy Ds.

I don't think they have ever eaten a proper burger, or care what one is. It certainly doesn't feel like it when you eat at Guerilla. But yes, the staff - bizarrely - are lovely.

JC said...

Wow. That looks really bad.

I'm surprised you didn't give it 5* - I suppose it wasn't served on a Burger Monday night.

Anonymous said...

My only question is, based on the above review, why on earth did this place earn TWO stars? Sounds like a one star experience. It's of note that, looking at reviews to date, you seem reluctant to dish out the dreaded uno star.

Burgerac said...

@ Anonymous – Each burger I post about is considered (as far as objectivity is possible when it comes to the dish I love most in the world) with the same criteria in mind. And actually this scored two stars - though only just. The bread wasn't stale, the burger wasn't over cooked or undercooked (just tasteless) and there weren't any (obvious) pubes in the burger... I wasn't ill afterwards, I'm still alive, even though clearly disappointed. Believe me, if I have the misfortune to suffer a one star burger, you'll know about it...

@JC – Ah, I understand from the tone of your comment that you still haven't lost your virginity. Good luck with that by the way

Kavey said...

The colour of that bun is seriously disturbing... and can see your photo is white balanced so it's all down to their bun!
Disturbing...

Dan Jakes said...

@Burgerac - I love this site, I am a Burger enthusiast and have sampled many of your reviewed burgers before someone sent me yuor link...

Too few are the places I can read serious articles/reviews on Burgers and see Virginity jokes.

Admiral Codrington is my fave in London so far...

Anonymous said...

You should definitely try the burgers at The Betsey Trotwood in Clerkenwell, absolutely perfect.

Justin Berkovi said...

The problem is, like Giraffe, this place is all about money and not food. It's about sourcing the cheapest quality ingredients but dressing it all up in marketing and great happy staff. Your experience seems similar to that of mine in countless Giraffe restaurants which I used to frequent a lot because it was easy with the kids. However like this place Giraffe's food quality is actually extremely poor - tasteless rubbish with fancy 'world' names. A shame. Hopefully one day they won't be allowed to get away with it!

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