Wooden board: check. Silver cup o'fries: check. Little pot of burger sauce on the side: check. By serving its burgers thus, All Star Lanes invite comparisons between its burger offering and similarly presented burgers at some of Burgerac's top London burger spots such as Bar Boulud and Rivington Grill.
However, if my experience the other night is anything to go by, ASL's burger totally fails to walk the talk...
Here's what happened: I took a hoard of peeps to All Star Lanes on Brick Lane after the other week's Burgermat Show opening at Beach London on Cheshire Street around the corner. We all needed some food and another drink or two and it seemed only right that we went for burgers. All Star Lanes twitterer-in-chief has been tweeting me for a while asking me to do a review so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to sample ASL's burger offering.
The truth is it probably wasn't the best night for me to do a review. I was so hungry by the time we headed over there, I could have eaten a cow pat in a bun and convinced myself it was the best thing ever. I was also a little tipsy and giddy from the joy of putting on the Burgermat Show. We got a table for ten, placed our orders and waited hungrily for our burgers to arrive. Took about 40 minutes. Fast food, this ain't.
When the food finally showed up I wasted no time assembling the burger adding pickles and the least frilly piece of lettuce on the board. I added a scoop of the thousand island dressing and also added a splodge of the barbeque sauce that was on the table. I was super-duper hungry so practically inhaled the first mouthful or two, before realising that actually, there was going to be no WOW moment with this burger. Here are the notes I took:
Bread stale, dry and chewy.
Patty beefy but overcooked, chewy
Strange acrid bitter taste I can't put my finger on.
Bacon, tasteless, soft.
Fries limp, soggy, cooked from frozen? - taste of old chip fat.
Thousand island sauce with finely chopped gherkin is quite nice.
When we'd all done eating, I asked Roxy, one of my dining buddies (and my favourite ice cream blogger), why she only ate half of her burger. Her response summed things up rather well: "I was chewing a mouthful of burger and I couldn't work out whether the thing that was chewy was the bread or the meat."
I was also in the company of fellow Burgerac contributor, the enigmatic Cheeseblogger. He too had noticed the strange bitter taste that pervaded our burgers. He had a theory: "It's that barbeque sauce. It's off." I gave it a sniff and it did seem to have an aggressively acrid smell. Did I, you might well wonder, try a little more of the sauce to work out if that was indeed what had saved the burger from total blandness, (though obviously not in a good way)? Hell no. I rallied the troops, we paid our bill and we fucked off. Probably never to return.
All Star Lanes
95 Brick Lane
London E1 6QL
Call for opening times and bookings: Tel : 020 7426 9200