As food trends go, the dirty burger is one that has really blown up throughout London. One minute everyone was after refined meals and the next thing you know we are seeing deep-fried macaroni and sloppy burgers, all compliments of our American brothers. A lot of trends appear overnight and as soon as they have arrived they then disappear but the ‘dirty food’ craze really has established a strong presence and we can’t see it going anywhere fast.
It is a perfect choice if you are seeking a bit of comfort food and a bit of excess. No doubt popular TV shows such as Man vs Food definitely helped spawn a wave of crazily named burgers and portion sizes. The majority of people love the trend but are definitely beginning to realise it is best left for the occasional treat rather than a weekly occurrence. One writer summed it up pretty well by saying it is “the best worst food you’ll ever eat.”
So where did it all start in London? Well apparently a place named Dirty Burger can claim that title, which also has a sister chain named Chicken Shop. It originally opened in Kentish Town and has since spread to Whitechapel thanks to its success.
Since then we have seen the birth of gonzo style burger outlets such as MeatLiquor and their other chains MeatMarket and MeatMission. Each of these offers a slightly varied menu that will have you wanting to visit them all for their different takes on meaty indulgence. We particularly love the milkshake at MeatMarket that you can’t get from any of the other restaurants.
Now the ‘dirty’ theme of food has begun to appear even more regularly and they are competing with each other for your affection. Plenty of them have resorted to Man vs Food style eating challenges that will have you salivating but thankful you didn’t take the plunge. There is a definite feeling of one-upmanship as different restaurants seek to top each other for the most ludicrous and inviting meals. One that particularly caught our eye but will most likely require a colonic after eating is the deep-fried doughnut bacon cheeseburger (just Google it). We are definitely taking the most fun but potentially worst parts of our American neighbours culture and one wonders whether this will actively increase the level of obesity in our country.
There is a joke going around about the arms race of restaurant chains competing in portion size and sheer ickiness by piling on gloppy processed cheese and all kinds of fried and deep-fried bits and bobs to wet the appetite. The result is that whilst it may be very tempting and tasty, the byproduct is that we are all putting on two stones because of it. I myself realised I had been sucked into eating a considerable amount of ‘dirty’ burgers at one point and it wasn’t until I realised it was going to take its toll on my health that I stopped.
So will you jump whole-heartedly into the trend or ride it out? You are the master of your own deep-fried destiny.