London seems to go through food phases and now is definitely the time of the infantile. It is burgers and pizzas. And why not? When done well they are some of the purest and best dishes one can eat. But then, inevitably and like a spoiler comes the question; which is the best one? Where can you get the best burger, the crispiest pizza? It becomes infectious and a game of one up manship that unfortunately magazines like Time Out have become in thrall to. Each issue is now Top Ten “blah” and in being so loses a certain depth and appreciation of the variety on offer.
Anyway the answer to what is the best burger and best pizza is pretty simple. For the first Hawksmoor (here) and for the second nothing in London (here). But let’s move past that, let’s go past that listing obsession and focus on what Goodman can offer.
When Goodman first opened it got a raft of well, thanks, that’s pricey and nice but… reviews. Then they entered the burger warfare game and those of limited means (bloggers) descended on it to enjoy a bit of entry level high dining. And they were right to do so. The Russian owed restaurant has a nice American dark wood booth feel to it. It feels like a place to eat meat and smoke cigars.
Their burgers are good untroubled burgers (with a brioche bun). The meat is one type, ground and seasoned. My preferences on burgers are clear, I like the troubled and disturbed darkness that comes from different cuts of meat thrown together where they flavour off each other to create something more. This is not that but it is still fine one taste stuff.
The brioche bun was something I expected to have more difficulties with. I have always been a bit of traditionalist on the bun front. Thankfully, it didn’t attempt to be much more than a bun. It didn’t do what some burger joints do and pack itself so full that you need to cantilever your mouth to get it in or to forgo meals for a day before so you don’t fill up on bread alone. It was a container for the meat.
The meal itself was plain easy. The staff were forward, friendly and efficient. The Argentinian red Malbec the perfect accompaniment to dripping blood burgers. The price cheap for the location and quality (£13). They also do some very affordable set menus where you can get some USDA steak. It is somewhere I would happily opportunistically revisit as it is just off the hellhole of Oxford Street but probably wouldn’t travel to (but that is because Hawksmoor is 10 minutes walk from my flat).
Price – £12 for the burger but more with the wine
PS I am probably the last blogger in London to visit but I really dislike Oxford Street. I can’t really find any bloggers who dislike Goodman. The most interesting post I have read is probably Mathilde’s here as it throws in some history on burgers.