Burgers with a dark side - Meat Liquor Islington

Prepare yourself.

This is no ordinary burger experience.

Step foot inside the dimly lit corridor of Meat Liquor's Angel branch and you'll leave the bright lights of the real world behind as a blood red 'Welcome' sign ominously signals the way to burgers and a dark, mysterious underworld.

There's something 1984 about the place as you sit down under the watchful eye of a giant pig poster hanging from the ceiling and face a wall of television screens playing eerie CCTV style footage.

But it's ok.

It's purposeful, over-stylised decor (there's even an upturned McDonalds M signalling the toilets) is more film-set than horror-film so you aren't going to be getting nightmares any time soon. And you can trust me because I HATE horror films.

Ok apart from maybe the toilets.

If the rest of the place is verging on secret underground cult - this is full scale Blair Witch Project.

But it's fine - no-one spends that long in the toilets anyway and you'll soon relax once you are back and digging in to a juicy burger.

But for all it's ridiculousness and excessive decor there is just something about it that works. Much more than just a gimmicky dining experience, Meat Liquor has dedicated as much time to making amazing burgers as it has to constructing a hyper-real, yet believable sub-terrain den.

With just the right balance of high ceilings , exposed brick and semi- darkness, it feels dangerous enough to make Burgers exciting whilst still actually being a comfortable place to sit.

And the kitchen roll on every re-purposed wooden table that encourages you to get down and dirty with your burger that quickly dissipates any pretentiousness.

Because when your burger is a double patty cheese beast AKA The Dead Hippie Burger  - there is no way to eat that gracefully with just your hands. Yep you heard that right - little old me had a DOUBLE burger. Well you have to refuel somehow after a half marathon right?

And boy was that burger good! And not because I had just burnt 1,000 calories plus.

Served on the classic, American diner tray that all the cool kids seem to use these days, the Dead Hippie is a generous stack of meat and carbs.

The double whammy, mustard fried-patties were perfectly tender and juicy, oozing with cheese and the secret Dead Hippie sauce (it's even trademarked) from the sweet brioche buns.

Totally messy but totally worth it.

And also completely necessary for the levels of indulgence we needed after 13.1 miles of running. A feeling which was further helped by the humongous bowl of fries!! Loading carb on carb,
Meat Liquor certainly aren't stingy on the ol' food portions.

They are also pretty good on choice too. Obviously we went for the meatiest, messiest option but if chicken takes your fancy there are multiple burgers to choose from, each one dirtier than the last. (the chicken parmigiana sounds INSANE).

And the puddings sound equally filthy - the aptly named Filth Pie for example - an Oreo, marshmallow, coconut and chocolate pie. Or for those on the wild side - Jaegermeister Ripple Ice-cream. But alas the limitations of my small stomach stopped me from trying the sweet stuff so that was it for us.

We could finally escape from the clutches of whatever dark and macarbe creature ruled Meat Liquor's Burger underworld.

Stepping out blinking into the sunlight of the real world, we wondered where exactly had we just spent the last two hours. What did it all mean? Who was that pig looking over us as we gorged on meat and bun?

Whatever the conclusion, it doesn't matter. That Burger is enough to bring you back into the darkness in a heart beat.