First post of the year! Happy new year, everyone! I’ll start the year with a great restaurant that’s local to us, one that’s a short bus ride away from me (though likely more of a train journey for most people in London).

I know that there are a million and one burger restaurants and many of them are of a few particular chains. This restaurant, Dexter Burger, is an independent and has some seriously good burgers. Their prices may seem steeper than other burger joints (£9 for a hamburger) but a side of their excellent rosemary and sea salt fries are included. Bearnaise and rocket leaves are default, tomato and onion and jalapenos are free, and other toppings (like cheese) are a small supplement. For a supplement, the fries can also be upgraded. On our first visit there, we both got cheeseburgers (+£1) but I upgraded my fries to sweet potato fries too (+£1).

I really like their burger – it’s incredibly juicy and meaty and they mix a tiny bit of minced onion into the patty as well. The bun is excellent, holding its structure in the face of all those meat juices. Sweet potato fries are, of course, amazing.

Back in London, having a burger. It's good to be home! Also, Dexter Burger is our latest discovery and we love it.

Do ask for their homemade sweet chilli sauce (photo above, top right) – it’s wonderful and very addictive.

On a more recent visit, we tried their courgette fries (£3.50) as well and they’re just as good as I expected them to be.

Dinner at the excellent Dexter Burger in Purley last week.

I pushed the boat out and upgraded my fries to chilli rub fries (+£1.20). I had no idea what to expect but was delighted when presented with my pile of fries topped with a chilli sprinkle (the rub, I gather), a chilli mayo, and lots of pickled jalapenos.

Dinner at the excellent Dexter Burger in Purley last week.

The dessert list is short (two items) but the one dessert we have tried (their banoffee pie) was fantastic with lots of cream and toffee sauce.

Dinner at the excellent Dexter Burger in Purley last week.

I love them and am very happy to find a local independent burger place that’s excellent. Watch out for their opening times as they close earlier on Sunday evenings. They have a separate weekend brunch menu as well that’s enticing – baked eggs, pancakes, pork burger?! I’ll be seeing you again, Dexter Burger.

Dexter Burger
10 High Street
Purley CR8 2AA

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A lot has already been said about MEATmarket, the Covent Garden outpost of the Meatwagon chain, but I’ll toss in my two cents, keeping it brief. A couple of friends and I visited on a Friday night at about half past seven and I was surprised to see no queue whatsover. It took all of a few minutes to decide what to order between us, place our orders and then grab a table. The location above the Jubilee Market in Covent Garden made it all quite noisy with metal poles and tables clanging together down below us as the market was set up or taken down (we couldn’t tell which!). If the weather had been better that evening, it would have been nice to take away our order.

My Order

Between the three of us, we ordered most of the burgers/sandwiches on offer and all their sides. Their Philly Cheesesteak (£8.00) was alright. It was an impressive, overflowing meaty monster but it was almost overwhelmingly peppery and had too much green pepper.

Philly Cheesesteak

The Black Palace (£7.50) was a double cheeseburger with plenty of grilled onions. Unfortunately, this was just too greasy (it’s pretty apparent in the photo below). Everything was slip sliding all over the place – the burger could barely stay together in its wrapper and had absolutely no chance when unwrapped.

Black Palace

Best of the bunch was the Dead Hippy (£7.50), their supposed take on In-N-Out’s Double Double Cheeseburger Animal Style (but doesn’t an animal style burger have grilled onions?). Two patties, cheese, special sauce, lettuce, onions, pickle. Hmm…it sounds a bit like a Big Mac. OK, whatever it’s supposed to emulate, it was a fantastic burger.

Dead Hippie

The deep fried sides were all excellent. The Fries (£3.00) were crisp and the perfect burger accompaniment. The Poppaz (£4.00) were brilliant jalapeño and cheese croquettes that were best when fresh out of the fryer.

Poppaz

Inside a Poppa

Corn Puppies (£4.00) were mini corn dogs made with little Polish sausages. These were delicious with their tender cornbread exteriors, taut sausage skins and the sweet mustard dip.

Corn Puppies

Inside a Corn Puppy

A huge queue formed just as we were finishing our meal (oof, we were stuffed) and it was a good thing we were done too as our table was right in the middle of it all. It’s not a place to linger but I still prefer this outpost to MEATliquor behind Oxford Street since the queue moves quickly here and there’s lots of light to actually see your food. It just feels a bit wrong to me to queue for so long just for a burger (that said, MEATliquor’s Buffalo chicken burger was amazing).

Should I bother with the hot dogs or should I just stick to the fabulous Dead Hippy?

MEATmarket
The Deck
Jubilee Market Hall
Tavistock Street
Covent Garden
London  WC2E 8BE

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