The above picture was taken outside a warehouse in an industrial estate in Peckham on a freezing Thursday night. You can’t quite see it due to the glow of the fluorescent lamps but Jen is smiling. One might ask why anyone would be smiling in such a situation? The reason is simple; she is halfway through eating a burger by the Meatwagon at one of their occasional “meatings”.
Before I continue with this review I have to admit I am completely and utterly biased in favour of the Meatwagon. Any restaurant or food event which involves random locations, post industrial scenarios and secret get togethers is, for me, absolutely perfect. I have been tempted to go to Los Angeles for a long time just to try out Kogi, a Korean Mexican taco truck, for the same reason.
So to the food, Jen’s burger was good. She had a chilli burger and it came spicy and sloppy with all the toppings and medium rare in the middle. The three friends who we dragged to the depths of Peckham with us also had similarly good burgers. It was only mine which disappointed as it was a bit over squashed, a bit under seasoned and a lot overdone. It did give me an excuse to eat half of Jen’s though.
Intermittent production line quality aside I would definitely recommend the burgers which are in the same league as Byron Hamburger (review here) or a bit better. It wasn’t quite in the same league as the burgers I eat (very regularly) at Hawksmoor or Goodman. But, it is half the price at £6.50 (and you get to go to Peckham). Where the Meatwagon (and I feel Goodman) can’t compete with Hawksmoor is that the burger tasted like it was made out of one cut of meat. The Hawksmoor burger has a greater variety of flavours which run darkly through it as they throw a few different cuts in the grinder and top it off with some bone marrow.
Still, there was one area where the Meatwagon stood out and this was its craptastic American cheese. It reminded me of the Shake Shack in NY and the dirty joy of burgers there.
However, this meat story doesn’t end here. For meat puddings we had a Philly Cheesesteak. It was the best one I have ever had in this country. It was the only one I have ever had in this country. Even if it hadn’t been it would have still have been the best for the simple reason of the cheese. The Philly Cheesesteak was street food perfection. Thinly grilled steak, green peppers and liquid craptastic American cheese smeared around the bun. And apparently Yianni, the owner of the Meatwagon, is the only person in London who can get such terrible cheese.
Price – £15 for a burger and Philly Cheesesteak which is far too much food for anyone sensible
PS a massive thanks to Simon Doggett (here) for tipping me about the Meatwagon.