Reaching for a couple of positives here, price wise, it's pitched only slightly above McDonalds, at £5 for a cheeseburger. Byron is £6.75 for theirs, and many places are of course £10+. And it is just a fast food kitchen in the same way that McDonalds is: you go to a counter, order, collect your food on a tray, eat and leave. There's some interesting extras on the menu too like 'Frozen Custard'. The milk shake is not bad and the Concretes (frozen custard - basically ice cream) is okay too and comes with various additions like chocolate, caramel and marshmallow; admittedly, the 'concrete' knocks the spots off a McFlurry, but not I would say Ben & Jerry's.
But this is all about the burgers and here, these £5 cheeseburgers in all their forms are simply bland. They are thin, at times have an almost paste like texture so you never really feel you're biting in to meat, and on my ShackBurger (a cheeseburger with ShackSauce whatever that is), it was only the taste of cheese that came through with bread the only texture; both the burger and the ShackSauce were totally lost. On the classic Cheeseburger, the bun was soggy on the bottom and throughout, seasoning was absent.
We note that the menu says all burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise requested and admittedly we failed to mention that medium rare would be the preference but the patties are so thin that we have to believe that medium rare would be a real challenge for them. The result is that after having the burger, you don't really feel like you've had a burger, hardly a result given that the absence of taste is unlikely to be matched by an absence of calories.
Every blogger and non blogger is going to go, because you have to see for yourself, so there's no point telling anyone not to bother. But after that, in our view, the fuss will die down and this will be just another burger chain outlet. We doubt this time next year the London food scene will be paying any attention to it whatsoever. Maybe five years ago you couldn't get a decent burger in London but that's no longer true, and whether it's Patty & Bun, MEATliquor, Honest Burger or Dirty Burger, or indeed many other places (the list being too exhaustive to list them all), we believe that there's much more that's much better out there right now. They've won the PR war for sure, but they certainly haven't won the burger wars.