MEATmarket - Bring your daughter (mother, wife, husband or indeed anyone) to the slaughter.
Perhaps a particularly gory sentiment, but when a kick-ass new burger joint, founded on the principles that make MEATliquor such a success boasts its very own wall of converted vegetarians, there isn’t really any other way of describing it. MEATmarket, situated in Covent Garden, is remarkably similar to its parent burger joint. Like MEATliquor, it’s tucked out of the way in an unlikely location - an abandoned fast food dining area on the upper deck of Covent Garden’s Jubilee Market Hall (with few directions) is where this little gem calls home. The decoration resembles MEATliquor as well, with toilets again being named ‘chicks’ or ‘dicks’ - no prizes for guessing which is which. The overall sensation of MEATmarket is more relaxed than its predecessor; not that MEATliquor would ever be described as uptight, but the use of self-service drinks machines and counter service make the venue seem more easy going. It’s still not a place you’d want to take young children, but for older teenagers it’s a lot more fun than BK or Maccy D’s.
Wall of the fallen - converted veggies
The menu is more limited, but this isn’t a problem. The ‘take-out-quick-fix’ ethos of the place is facilitated by a smaller and simpler selection of food that features staunch MEATliquor favourites such as the Dead Hippie, Double Bubble and Philly Cheese-Steak. There were no onion rings (a shame, considering just how good they are at MEATliquor) but the fries (£3.00) are as good as ever, in perhaps a bigger portion, if that’s even possible. This time, I opted for a Dead Hippie burger (£7.50) - a messy wonder that is utterly rich and satisfying. The quality of the meat is so high that the taste of the patty, its succulent beefiness, is discernible from the rest of the strong tastes that surround this particular burger. Dead Hippie sauce is an infinitely superior version of big mac sauce, which when combined with mustard tastes phenomenal. There isn’t any salad of which to speak, other than lettuce, but this is definitely a case of ‘less is more’ - if anything else was crammed into this poor bun it would probably disintegrate. The bun itself is wonderful: soft bread that somehow manages to hold itself together despite the fact it is covered in sauces and tasty beef juices.
When I last went to MEATliquor and wrote about the overall experience, I commented that it was a shame that milkshakes were not an option. While I’m not deluded enough to think that they feature at MEATmarket because of the ponderous writings of this food fanatic, I fully welcome their sudden appearance. They’re basic, but then, that is in keeping with the rest of MEATmarket; milkshakes are premade and kept in a fridge, so when you order one it takes literally seconds to get it (the fast food philosophy at work). I chose a ‘Hard’ Beige (£5.00) which as the names suggests is alcoholic. Although not as boozy as the cocktails on offer in MEATliquor, it still packs a noticeable tickle. The Hard Beige is a blend of vanilla ice-cream, maple syrup and bourbon and has an absolutely wonderful taste, something that compensates for the size of thing – probably 33cl. It’s clearly a place designed for a speedy lunch or a convenient take-out meal, and working towards that aim, MEATmarket truly excels. The service is speedy and you pay when you order, allowing you to eat and leave as you choose. If you fancy more of a leisurely burger experience, MEATmarket won’t be the place you’re looking for, though, for a quick and easy bite to eat, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better burger.
Go to: MEATmarket, The Deck, Jubilee Market Hall, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8BE