Legit New York style burgers are closer than you think. You don't have to swim across the Atlantic like pre-fame Michael Fassbender did in that Guinness advert to find them, you just have to go to Spitalfields market or Canary Wharf and try the brilliant Bleecker burger for yourself.
It's a suitably inconspicuous spot – a small, no frills stall away from the main hustle and bustle of the market. It's fitting that there are no bells and whistles, no bizarre ordering system or Tupac holograms in sight. This joint does it the old school New York way, so it's straight up and all about the burgers.
Back to burger basics
Before we get into the meat of the menu, a bit of context: the scene is New York City, 2012. Zan Kaufman, a fresh-faced corporate lawyer, takes a bite of a burger at East Village burger joint Zaitzeff. World view irreversibly altered by the taste of this near-perfect patty, she resolves to create something even better herself. Having made a karmically positive career change (burger boss > corporate mercenary) Zan named her new venture after her favourite street in Manhattan, and Bleecker Street was born.
Let's get down to it – the burgers are exceptional. Bleecker St source their rare-breed, pasture fed beef from small farms all over the UK. Next stop for the meat is The Butchery in Bermondsey. These master butchers dry-age the beef for 40-50 days, which makes for a deeper flavour and meat as tender as an Elvis Presley ballad.
The Bleecker St menu
They've got all the classics: cheeseburger; double. Bacon cheeseburger; double. With some of their famous burger sauce, onions and lettuce on top, it's truly a taste of heaven. If you want to take the path less travelled, then there's a blue cheese burger smothered in cheesy goodness – or you can test yourself against the Bleecker Black. Strap in for double beef, double American cheese, black pudding and onions. It's a burger so brilliant, I could eat it once a day (unlikely to find a doctor who would endorse that decision though).
Vegetarians/generally healthy folk, there's also a veggie burger with tofu, blue cheese and hot sauce. The vegetarian stigma is finally (thankfully) disappearing, as even the most ardent carnivores begrudgingly admit that there's a benefit to a meatless Monday.
Side up with fries, sweet potato fries or angry fries – the latter are smothered in hot sauce and blue cheese sauce. Complete your red, white and blue masterpiece of a meal with one of their handmade shakes. The coffee one is not to be missed, and almost definitely necessary considering the food coma all of this is going to put you in.
This is truly a life changing burger. Whether you have your own patty-inspired epiphany, or just end up eating more burgers, there's one thing you can't deny: Zan helped make burgers great again.
If you want to try these unmissable burgers for yourself, order from Bleecker St Spitalfields now.