LONDON -- When I arrived in London in late December, I was hearing a lot of buzz about a place called Meat Liquor. Those happen to be two of my favorite things, so I headed over Welbeck Street, near the Bond Street Tube Station, to check it out.
Even though I was clearly in Central London, what I found was a distinctly American burger bar. The decor of the medium-sized restaurant is decidedly rustic -- even without the splashes of bright red paint that look more than a little like blood splatters. It looks sort of like it was decorated by the set designer for Sweeney Todd. Or by Mr. Todd himself.
The menu is simple, as a burger menu should be. I went with a basic bacon cheeseburger and was very pleased with it. It had a wonderful smoky flavor, and the patty was thick and juicy -- there was no qualm about cooking it medium-rare. The fries that came with it were just OK, but this may be one of the only places in London where you can ask for fries, not chips.
(By the way, there is Key lime pie on the dessert menu “in the Florida style,” but I didn’t try it because I was liking the place too much to be disappointed.)
The young staff was more than laid back, but they were quite welcoming, even to a couple from the Colonies. We especially liked the bartender, who appeared to have gotten out of bed only a few minutes earlier but who answered all of our questions amiably.
Well, all except one. There was a list of things not allowed in the bar tacked to a wall. There were the usuals -- no skateboarding, no dancing -- but there were some colloquialisms we didn’t recognize. No shirttailing, was one. But when we asked the bartender, he blushed and said that he wasn’t allowed to say -- we’d have to Google it.
I did, and let me just warn you that the definition will be something along the lines of what you’ll see if you Google santorum.
But that’s just the sort of irreverent place this is. Don’t go if you’d be embarrassed at the definition if you were to Google it while you’re sitting there, or if you don’t like loud places with a young clientele, or if you don’t like having American food in a London restaurant.
Meat Liquor is at 74 Welbeck St., London. Check the website for hours and contact info.