So I've retreated to other markets on the weekends; the vendors at Maltby Street are absolutely amazing, the queue at the Monmouth there takes but a few minutes, and there are St. John doughnuts. If you have never had one, then you don't know how life-changing they can be. The custard is almost a slightly thickened crème anglaise, and it's heaven (I'm drooling Homer-style as I type this).
Back to the burger trail: I have also recently discovered Brockley Market, another great market near me. It's not massive by any means, but the selection is top-notch, and even all of the posh produce is very reasonably priced. And this past Saturday, 17/12, saw the debut of London's newest street burger purveyor, Mother Flipper Burgers. Naturally, I was there.
The first thing that I saw as I approached the stall was unsurprisingly the menu, and it appeared to tick most of my burger boxes - decent sounding beef which has been "course"ly [sic] minced, light brioche bun, and the obligatory clever burger names. What is it with burger joints and odd names for the sandwiches? Not a complaint, just a query.
The buns were out on display, and I must admit that they looked quite shiny and lovely; I'm often wary of brioche buns, as I fear that they might be too sweet, but let's just wait and see. The presence of multiple cloches to melt the cheese also warmed the burger-shaped cockles of my heart.
The gentleman behind the counter did tell me that the chuck contained somewhere around the industry-standard 20% fat mark, and that their burgers were served with American (hooray!) cheese. As it was my first time, I thought I'd have a plain cheeseburger, but there was a Chilli Flipper ready to go, so my decision was made for me.
I popped down on one of the benches in the market and took it out of its plain brown wrapper. First impressions were quite favourable: coarsely ground, loosely packed meat covered in an oozing layer of American cheese. Nice.Atop the patty was the "chilli" element of the burger; he had described it as onions and hot peppers (I forgot to ask which kind) slow cooked to produce a sort of relish. It hadn't been cooked long enough to achieve that; it was comprised of larger slices of the aforementioned ingredients that still had a bit of bite to them. Underneath the burger were some pickles, red onion slices, lettuce and some ketchup.
The chilli portion was tasty, if unspectacular. It had the slightest hint of heat, but along with the onions they had been cooked long enough to release a lot of their sweetness to complement the meat/cheese combination.
And as for the main event: it was a very good meat patty indeed. The depth of the beef flavour betrayed its 28 days of ageing, bordering on that almost steak-like taste. The meat was packed quite loosely, and although it wasn't a river of juices like a MEATliquor burger, it was far from dry. The raw elements underneath provided a crunchy texture to counteract the meaty softness, and the American cheese was generously applied, properly molten, and wholly dirty-delicious.
The bun had only the slightest element of sweetness on its top, and it yielded easily to my gaping jaw. I suppose that it was good, if unremarkable, but it did its job, stayed out of the way of the meat flavour and didn't break down; so in my book that's a success.
As mentioned, the chilli was nice, but I'd probably go straight burger next time. I'm still having trouble accepting that a "chilli burger" isn't covered with a mountain of Tex-Mex chili con carne, but again, that's my issue.
So altogether it was a very competent effort with just a few small adjustments required to make it amazing. But it was still quite delicious, and at a fiver it more than washed the taste of last Monday's burger from my mouth. And given that I've never had a good burger at Borough Market (although I haven't yet been to Elliot's Café), I am probably not going to be going there too often thanks to the vendors of Brockley Market and Mother Flipper.
Lewisham College Car Park
SE4 1UT (map)