WHERE? The Princess of Wales, Chalcot Road, for the monthly Tommy’s Burger Joint pop-up.
VIBE? The Princess had a make-over a couple of years ago, taking it from old-style boozer to something sprauncier. Some of the older clientele have hung on, but now there is a much younger feel, not least because of the decks in the corner by the fireplace. Large windows, high ceilings and the huge bar in the middle keep the Victorian pub feel on the ground floor; there is more space upstairs and down. We hadn’t booked a table, so were sent downstairs where there is less atmosphere, although we appreciated the intimacy and snug feel of sitting in a booth.
FOOD? We were there for the burgers. The menu was simple, and between the four of us we covered most of it: a regular burger, a cheeseburger, a steak-burger and the special of the month, the Italian burger. All with fries, of course. The burgers were yummy and suitable messy, although the steak burger was found to be the most tasty of all. The Italian burger was barely distinguishable from the regular burgers, although perfectly pleasant. The fries were excellent, crispy and tasting clearly of potato, and we enjoyed the old-school presentation, with the burgers wrapped in grease-proof paper and served in baskets with the chips.
DRINK? A glass of Champagne, beer and sparkling water. The bubbly was distinctly flat, but was replaced swiftly when we took it back upstairs, and I was very happy with my fresh fizz when it arrived.
SERVICE? The burgers are ordered at a hatch, which reminded us of the quasi-secret Burger Joint in New York – if you know it, you’ll know what I mean. I was impressed that my annoying egg-allergy was competently dealt with – the cheery staff were able to tell me straight away that the buns were glazed with egg, and I was offered a lettuce wrap for my steak-burger instead. Much relief to feel in safe hands. The burgers arrived swiftly, although without napkins, an absolute must for such a messy, cutlery-free meal. We couldn’t find any downstairs, couldn’t tear ourselves away to head upstairs to find some, so groped around in pockets for hankies to mop up the abundant juices.
HOW MUCH? The food came to £39.05; I have no idea how much the drinks cost, as someone else very kindly bought them.
And if it’s good enough for Pippa Middleton…
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