To select my participants, I have been using the Evening Standard's Best Burgers article that is dated 23 August 2018. I'll no doubt expand on the list in due course but it was a good place to start. This week then, it was Mother Flipper vs Bleecker.
Mother Flipper, you've just got to love that name for a start. If you want a Mother Flipper burger however, you'll have to either get lucky or have a plan because they're part of the KERB market thing which sees them move around such that on their website, looking at it right now, I see only three Mother Flipper opportunities in September: West India Quay (14th, 21st) and the Gherkin (27th). Being such an occasional market trader then, it ticks the 'burger with love' box. And while their signature Dirty Barbie looks interesting on paper (Barbie as in BBQ), and even more interesting in real life as the double patty makes it simply tower, to be fair and do a like for like, it has to be the standard cheeseburger.
The burgers here are 28 day aged chuck steak served in a glazed brioche bun and come with ketchup, mustard, onion, lettuce and gherkin. It's a good burger: it looks the part, it feels the part and it tastes the part. The burger condiments, like at Patty & Bun, are layered on the base of the bun so that the cheese on top of the burger with the bun placed directly on top of that can cook under a cloche melting and fusing the these three critical layers. It works a treat. At £7, I'm happy and this burger is a pretty tasty treat.
The standard cheeseburger here is £6.50, while other options include a double cheeseburger, a bacon burger and a blue cheese burger. Once again however, the battleground of burger-wars requires a level playing field in so far as possible. I like the fact that you can get a beer with your burger here and that is something I took full advantage of.
On the Bleecker website, they talk about the beef being king in their offering and using rare breed dry aged beef in their burgers. I assume that that's an ongoing commitment and not just for their specials (like their award winning Bleecker Black). I'm unaware of details regarding the beef/patty being described in the shop, but there again, I'm not sure I looked that hard so I'm willing to say it's me, not them here.
But while the burger was nice enough, it didn't blow me away and it feels like some of the love story has been lost in the business practicalities of running multiple (presumably homogenised) outlets. The bun is a (very) soft white bap that squashes down as you approach the burger without ever springing back, so that it's quite a flat affair before very long. The patty itself is topped with cheese, a lettuce leaf and a mustard based sauce, so nothing too fancy. And while the cheese is nicely melted in, it all feels a little too close to what you might reasonably achieve at home.