After my recent observations about Shepherds Bush I will watch what I say about Kentish Town. It is home to another of my favourite gig venues the Forum and up until recently there wasn't an awful lot around there. You could go to the Old Assembly Rooms for a pint and chance a kebab but you were always best to just go into the Forum early and soak up the atmosphere and Red Stripe. I walked up there from the West End after work and after the faux cool fakery of Camden it was nice to arrive in a normal area of North London. The area has certainly changed, I wasn't sure where to go pre gig so reached out to twitter and was amazed by the number of new places I was recommended. I'd bought tickets to see Public Service Broadcasting here on a whim, Big Matt couldn't make it but fortunately Nick my old housemate was at a loose end so came to join me. We had a quick pint in the Oxford Arms before wandering out armed with several recommendations to find a bite to eat. We happened upon Pizza East first, as you may have seen I wasn't a massive fan of their Notting Hill outpost. We were about to move on when Nick saw a very unobtrusive sign for Dirty Burger which appeared to be around the back of Pizza East. And lo and behold in a shack adjoining the LA Fitness car park was Dirty Burger.
Walking in was a bit of a shock, it was a bit Cabin in the Woods with a large central shared table, perches around the wall, a powerful heater and an open kitchen to one side serving up food and drink. The menu is very limited here, cheeseburger, fries or onion fritters and an array of drinks. It was busy with people either eating or waiting for their order to be called out. I got my head together saw that this was just like upstairs at the Soho Bodeans and we put our order in. A couple of cheeseburger, fries onion fritters and a couple of beers. Despite it being busy we soon got a seat at the big central table and food came quickly. The burger was good, dirty like it said but best of all were the super crispy clean tasting fries. I was less taken with the onion fritters, too thick and oily, they need to re-think those. We soon settled in and the sparse decor grows on you, it had a nice buzz and a good mix of clientele (fellow giggers, locals and even a couple of tourists). The burgers aren't huge but neither are they expensive so Nick and I decided to have another one. My second was better than the first, the patties are cooked on a hot plate so this one had gone crispy on the outside whilst retaining the beefy moistness in the centre.
So despite initial thoughts that this was a fast food gimmick we settled in for an hour and finished our tasty food in convivial surroundings. The food and drink came to under £20 a head. For a fast food place the service was friendly and helpful. We really enjoyed ourselves, it's a bit different to other burger places but the food certainly punches it's weight. We were quite full after all those burgers and waddled the short stroll to the Forum where we saw a cracking gig. Public Service Broadcasting are certainly an offbeat group but despite their set up initially appearing gimmicky they quickly had the crowd immersed in their clever live show. Great musicians belting out some top tunes, as I had learnt earlier with our earlier trip to Dirty burger I shouldn't be blinded by initial impressions. Top night out.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Food 8 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9