Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lucky chip, 14th January

We headed out at what was already way past lunchtime, down to Broadway market. We thought a stop at yum bun for one each and then sharing a banh mi before taking a leisurely stroll home in the sun would be a good way to while away our Saturday. But the food gods were against us.

First, to the school yard where yum bun are normally located. They weren't there. Ok, so we'll just both get a banh mi. We brave the crowded gauntlet that is Broadway market to get right to the end where the vietnamese ladies set up. They weren't there either. That's when Stephen suggested we go to Lucky Chip. 

There was quite a queue but it was a Saturday afternoon, even though by this point it as well past lunchtime. We joined it. It completely obscured two other food stalls, and we felt a bit sorry for them as no one would really even know they were there if you weren't already in the queue for Lucky Chip. But the fish guy seemed to get the odd person in the queue who was hungry enough to want to have a quick oyster while they waited, and I daresay the cheesecake guy got a few people who'd noticed him and wanted dessert after their burgers.

It took no time at all for our extremities to become extremely cold. I had purposefully left my scarf and gloves behind, thinking that if we were walking back, I'd warm up in no time and wouldn't have a need for them. I did not expect to be spending over an hour queuing for a burger. And when I say 'a burger' I do not mean one apiece because I do not even like burgers. This was part of Stephen's quest to find the best burger in London. While we waited, people kept going past with stupendous-looking onion rings and I decided that's what I wanted in place of a burger. I was also going to get a hot dog, which I had heard were pretty good as well, though my main thoughts were on the onion rings. With maybe a little garlic aioli. Finally, we made it towards the front of the queue and fortuitously some chairs freed up so I went over to nab them while Stephen queued the remainder of the time to order. I saw him texting and moments later my phone went off. He was informing me that they had run out of onion rings. Curses on you food Gods! Curses!

He ordered some chips instead. 

All through the last hour he had been debating on which type of burger to get. They have some specialty burgers, named after various film stars, which have interesting toppings. Stephen couldn't decide between the Sheen (philly cheese, cheddar, beer soaked onions, applewood smoked bacon and burger) or just a regular cheeseburger. Forty five minutes into waiting, with our noses colder than anyone's nose should be, Stephen declared that he didn't care how good the burger turned out to be, this would be his final visit. Nothing is worth queuing this long for. I suggested that if that were the case, then maybe going for the Sheen over the normal cheeseburger would be the way to go.

When he joined me at my seats (outside, and next to some heaters which curiously weren't turned on) he told me he'd taken the plunge and gone for the Sheen, which came along not too long after we were sitting. As did my hot dog and chips. Once again, I forgot to take any pictures, but the burger looked really good. Stephen was going to give me some as a way of easing me into burgers (I think I should take them up) but he was enjoying his so much he clearly forgot all about giving any away. The one little criticism he had of it was that it was a little overdone for a medium burger. However, he said that given all the sloppiness on top of it, a slightly sturdier burger was probably not such a bad thing.

My hot dog was ok. It definitely was a hot dog and not just an English sausage in a bun. But it still wasn't quite an American hot dog. And the bun was good (definitely better than some I've had) but it wasn't quite right. Hot dog buns should be longer versions of hamburger buns - slightly sweet like brioche. The chips were pretty tasty but I suspected not a patch on the beetroot onion ring beasts I had so set my heart on.

As we walked back to the bus stop, too cold to do anything but get back as quickly as possible, Stephen mused aloud about his next visit. "I thought you weren't going to go back there again," I said. "Well, next time I'd just make sure I got up early and got there before the lunch rush," he replied. I doubt, and I suspect he does too, that there isn't really a 'lunch rush' with Lucky Chip, just a steady stream of hungry hipsters. So I guess that's as good evidence as you can get that the burgers are pretty excellent.  

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.