The speedy success of the MEAT empire feels like the archetypal American dream story, only in burger form. Owner Yianni started out selling burgers in Peckham from a roadside food van. It was unceremoniously named Meatwagon, but popular, so much so that it evolved into Meateasy, a pop-up in an old pub in New Cross. Meateasy sold the kinds of burgers that draw the kinds of crowds only hyped up word-of-mouth can. Soon outgrowing the pop-up, MEATliquor, the first permanent bricks and mortar incarnation of the brand opened to great acclaim last year; again, with the queues. And now, the latest stage on the path to world domination – MEATmarket – has just opened in Covent Garden.
It had to happen of course. The current appetite for Americana in London seems unstoppable right now – everywhere you look there are burger joints, rib shacks and steak houses opening up – see the hubbub around Pitt Cue Co in Soho, or the Rib Man market stall in Kings Cross where the lunchtime hoards line up for rib pizza. But for burgers, head to MEAT, where the burgers are cooked medium well, and come on the drippy side loaded with condiments; messy eaters will be in their element.
Whilst some items on the menu will be familiar from MEATliquor such as Dead Hippy, and the fried pickled gherkins (which have people raving like the newly-converted) there are new additions – hot-dogs now join the menu, and there are some new burger appearances such as the Black Palace, a double patty burger topped with extra fried onions. One more difference: the new location is more geared towards ‘convenience’ so there’s a take-away option for those in a hurry and the decor leans much more towards the fast-food end of the interiors scale than the slaughterhouse aesthetic of Liquor. Still, the popularity of this place is sure to echo its previous incarnations. Go now, before those queues start. (Words: Jane Duru, Pic: courtesy of burgeranarchy.com )
MEATmarket is open daily from 1200 – 2300 at the Jubilee Market Hall, 1st Floor, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8BE. For more info visit www.themeatmarket.co.uk