There’s been a lot of hype about hotly tipped burger joint Honest Burgers recently. Located in the uber trendy environs of Brixton Village, it’s a perfect gem of a wholesome fast food outlet, with glowing reviews from The Guardian and Metro, amongst others. Despite all this and only living round the corner, it was not until November 2011 that I finally ventured there one Friday night.
Brixton Village, for those who’ve not been, is well worth the trip and has been championed as one of the most exciting new ventures in London by food critics and punters alike. A collection of old market units, it’s got that gloriously rough and ready feel, though clearly a huge amount of love has been put into each independent outlet, with a genuine and overt passion for good food and drink exuding from each doorway.
On arrival at Unit 12, we were greeted by the cheery front of house guy, armed with clipboard and pen. A quick glance over his shoulder and it was clear that we were in for a bit of a wait. Forty minutes later and we were in. Seated on high stools at wooden benches in the window with a lovely view out at the rest of the hubbub and the open kitchen behind us.
The first thing to mention about Honest Burgers is that the menu is very limited; you essentially have the choice between chicken, beef and veggie with a few extras you can throw in plus some specials, but that’s basically it.They’re also unlicensed, as are most of the Brixton Village food outlets, so you can either bring your own booze or just have a can of coke (which we did).
After a quick look at the menu, there was only one option for me; the eponymous “Honest” burger which was composed from succulent, chunky Ginger Pig dry aged beef (which I asked for rare, and they actually delivered – a good sign!), served with red onion relish, smoked bacon, mature cheddar cheese, pickled cucumber and lettuce (£8.50). The burger bun was glazed and the accompanying side of hand cut chips with rosemary salt were beautifully fried and satisfyingly salty, with parts of the potato skin left on (which I love!) A few bites in and I realised what all the hype was about.
Erstwhile, my boyfriend went for the veggie burger – a glorious fusion of Brixton Village vegetables – cauliflower, sweetcorn, shallots, spices, coriander and cucumber yoghurt (£6.50) – served in the same way, with vintage bone-handled cutlery and wrapped in crisp, white paper for that real fast food feel.
As is so often the case, it’s the little details that make all the difference and really add to the overall experience. One thing I thought was really cute at Honest Burgers is that they gave us the bill in an old, battered tobacco tin – a really nice finishing touch. Definitely worth a tip! We’ll be coming back here again for sure.