Since 2013, my girlfriend and I mark out National Burger Day in the calendar, and I choose a place in London that is renown for offering up some of the most delicious beef concoctions.
Last year we tried Bread Street kitchen, and in 2013 we tried Bar Boulud. This year however, I decided to try something different. We went for the National Burger Day party, in association with Street Feast, Mr Hyde and Big Eater, in Dalston Yard, East London.
If you live in London, you'll probably know Dalston Yard as the ultimate foodie place in London. For their 2015 National Burger Day party, they brought together a collection of some of the best burger restaurants and vendors from across the UK.
From Honest Burgers and Lucky Chip, to Le Bun and Smokestak, this place had it all. Tickets were £16 in advance, and got you three free drinks in the venue. But to be honest, I was only really there for the burgers....
First up, we headed straight to Hot Box. I've had some of their beef before, and it was awesome, but this time around, they were offering their Piggy Burger: A dry-aged beef patty, cheese, pulled pork collar, white onion, crunchy pickle and scotch bonnet infused BBQ sauce. OH YES.
This really set my burger gland off, so I had a look at the menu to find my next burger fix.
With 17 other burgers to choose from, my brain couldn't decipher which one to go for next, so we opted instead for a giant size watermelon cooler cocktail and a pint of Czech Kozel lager.
Whilst Claire was chilling out with her watermelon and gin cooler, I headed off to choose our next burger, and took a look around Dalston Yard.
The place was starting to fill up, so it was time to make a decision.
And then I got distracted by Jose Cuervo breddos chilliback shots. They were free with the ticket, and I was passing, soooo.....
Basically you took a shot of Jose Cuervo tequila, and then followed it up with a chilli infused taster. Yum!
Focus, I told myself. Get back to the burgers! I walked around the corner and headed for the Toddy Shop Slider, being served up by Roti Chai.
This was a dry aged beef and pork patty, bacon chilli chutney, kasundi mustard and smoked cheddar. And the shot? This was the toddy. It is an alcohol made from tree sap and mixed with pineapple juices and spices. Delicious!
We had finally finished the watermelon cooler (well it was the size of my head!), and looked around for our next intake of meat.
We past Honest Burgers...
We passed the Jameson Pickleback shot stand (you could tell it was still early as there was a LOT left)...
...and then finally decided to head to Le Bun.
Ready? This is burger porn at it's finest.
Dreamt about this rich beaut of a burger from @lebunuk all night after devouring it @mrhydeldn's #nationalburgerday party yesterday. What can I say? I'm a sucker for truffled foie gras burgery goodness... #foodie #lebun #foodiegram #burger #burger #streetfood #streetfeast #latergram #foodporn #sloppy #foiegrasburger #truffleburger #indulge #instayay #foodstagram #londoneats #londonfood #foodiegirl #awesome #bestburger #vscocam #lovefood #dinner #wow #awesome #guiltypleasure #cheatmeal #fooddream
What was in that burger I hear you ask? It was an aged brisket and chuck patty, foie gras, shaved summer truffle, truffled beef jus and American cheese. Not heard of Le Bun before? You have now.
The best part about so many awesome burger providers in one small space? There were plenty more pattys to try.
Next up, we couldn't resist the lure of B.O.B.'s Lobster.
At B.O.B's, you could get a 40-day dry aged patty, jamon iberico, sauce foyot and jamon dust in an 85g package for £6. Or you could add succulent lobster onto your burger for an extra £4. It was a no brainer.
We placed our order with the smart men in black bow ties and aprons and waited patiently.
Soon enough, the lobster and burger arrived.
Once again, this burger was tremendous.
I know what you're thinking. There's no way these two can go around and taste 17 burgers. And you'd be right. By this point, we were quickly heading towards a full tank. There was only space for one more burger.
Based on previous experience, and having tried some of the best beef brisket I've ever tasted at Hawker House night market last year, there was only one place we were heading for: Smokestak.
Smokestak constantly had a queue, so we had to time it right to ensure B.O.B.'s lobster had settled before we got stuck in.
Smokestak were offering an 80g burger called US. vs UK. It was filled with USDA brisket v. Hereford dry-aged patty, smoked bone marrow and candied red onion.
Salivating? So were we. We placed our order, got in the queue and stood in silence as we watched Smokestak at work.
Carving up the bone marrow...
.....and serving up the burgers.
Once again, Smokestak delivered. It was melt-in-the-mouth, grease-dribbling delicious. Claire certainly enjoyed it.
Next year we'll be choosing a new location and trying a new burger, but if you want to experience different, awesome, tasty burgers in once place in London, keep an eye on National Burger Day 2016. It's probably the only place in London on the 27th August where it's normal to be in a crowd of people that look like this:
For more information, keep an eye on www.nationalburgerday.co.uk.