I don’t think the guy on the counter wants us to eat here. I’m not sure he wants any of us to eat here. After queuing for the best part of fifty minutes – alone, I add, whilst my girlfriend makes the most of Soho’s retail – he’s telling the couple in front of me that it’s a twenty minute wait for the burgers to be cooked. I move into my spot at the til, he shouts that he’ll be back in two minutes, which ends up being over ten, this time to tell me that the cook time is now forty minutes. Too many checks on the kitchen he barks. Had he told the queue that the wait was over an hour we would have gone elsewhere, but there is no chance that I’m leaving empty handed now. They take my £23 and we go to the French House for a Breton cider in one of London’s great boozers.
We return to find that the queue is still strong and they have made little progress on the orders. It’s the worst kind of bedlam inside. The kind with cameras on sticks and a bloke who confirms he’s an Instagrammer pleb by loudly proclaiming he’s “heard great things!”. They really do talk like they type. I assume he went outside and said “mmmm, looks great!” whilst wearing his heart glasses and sticking his tongue out. We get our food in a branded bag and leave to find a quiet spot to eat. It had better be good.
The choices of burger consist of house and classic of which we get both. One has a Big Mac style sauce, the other the ketchup and mustard combo. Two patties each smashed to the levels of Charlotte on Geordie Shore pissing herself. They push and scrape the beef so much that the grill can be seen through the tiny holes. There’s crispy edges and a browny black colour of a burger from a van outside a football stadium. Recently, I went to a local derby and was sat near a skinhead with the devil tattooed on his bonce. He spent 90 minutes standing on a chair trying to fight the away fans. I still can’t decide who I’d rather be stuck in a packed room with; him or the “heard great things!” pleb with the stick camera.
The burgers are good. Just good. Meaty, cheesy, balanced. The potato bun is good and does its job. The fries are like McDonald’s but crispy. It’s worth maybe ten minutes wait, but not more than that. One hour forty is insane, even if you can get to be in the pub. London has gone mad for them, like they did with Franco Manco and MeatLiquor, which means smashed burgers are going to be everywhere within the year. The closest we have in Birmingham is a street food trader called Stripclub, which we both agreed was as good, if not better. It’ll take less time to get here than it would to queue for a Supernova. London won’t want to hear that, but it’s the truth.
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