FOOD: Meat & Shake Watford
I love a burger, me. Whether it’s a swanky one from a top restaurant or one I’ve quickly whipped up myself- I don’t think you can beat a decent burger for dinner.
There have been a lot of changes to Watford recently. For those local, or close to the area, you’ll know that a cinema is being built, money is being invested into the look of the place and they’ve massively increased the food offerings – restaurants are popping up left, right and centre.
Originally, I almost missed Meat & Shake when I first walked past it as it is located right next to GBK, and unless you pay attention you don’t realise the buildings are split. Being a new BBQ joint right next to a GBK the competition is high in terms of quality.
The place is very Shoreditch/ East London looking. Big lit signs, exposed brick work, old leather and lots of wood. Nice feel to it but I sometime think that BBQ restaurants all have a ‘theme’ to them when it comes to the design. It’s all rustic, making you think more care goes into the food than the design when really the design probably cost a fortune sourcing all the props etc.
We booked for 2pm on a Sunday afternoon and it was busy, but not overwhelmingly so. We were given menus and, one of the minor issues from the day arose. Apparently, they had had a very busy weekend, and because they cook all meals fresh (always, always a good thing), they hadn’t ordered enough food to accommodate the amount of traffic. This meant that five dishes were off the menu – a little disappointing as the burger I really wanted wasn’t available.
Moving onto drinks, the restaurant boasts on its website that it only offers halal meat and no alcohol. I was a little disappointed as I love a cider with a burger but it’s a minor concern for me. Instead, the beard and I shared a homemade lemonade pitcher (amazing), my brother’s girlfriend had a fanta (served in a glass bottle –swish) and my brother had a milkshake.
Oh. My. God, these milkshakes were amazing. Unless you have an incredibly sweet tooth, go for the smaller size but I can’t recommend getting one of these enough. My brother ordered the Salted Caramel flavour milkshake (I’m a sucker for salted caramel) and it was beautiful, so much so that I finished the last bit off for him. It was sweet, with a real kick of salt that you could really taste.
Onto the food. They offer burgers, hot dogs, steaks, chicken, ribs and more. It’s actually a pretty varied menu considering it’s not pages and pages worth of dishes. I ordered the Von Longhorn, which is: Aioli, Tomato, Seasonal Salad, Monterey Cheese, Sautéed Onions, Turkey Bacon, Onion Ring and Stanton Sauce. I’m not going to lie, it was big, and it was messy. It resulted in a lot going onto the wooden board it was served on instead of my mouth but it’s a small price to pay. The burger meat was cooked to my liking – always medium rare- the onion ring was proper onion, none of this blitzed up stuff and the burger tasted beautiful, I couldn’t actually fault it. My brother and his missus had the Smoking Bandit – Smokey Chipotle Mayo, Tomato, Seasonal Leaves, Smokey Cheddar, Sautéed Onions, Smokey Turkey Bacon – and it came out on a wooden board with a glass dome lid which was full of smoke. It look so cool but I didn’t manage to get a picture. The beard had a steak which he said was cooked perfectly and had hardly any fat or marbling.
Another natch, the burgers come served on their own. No sides, no chips, no salad, just the burger, but these burgers are pretty substantial in terms of size – none of this flat McDonalds style crap. Therefore, always make sure you check out the sides when ordering; they offer a great amount of sides, and our table indulged in the Pit Beans, Onion Rings and Sweet Potato Fries. The Pit Beans were my favourite – BBQ beans with pulled meat mixed in, they had an amazing smoky flavour and a thick sauce which made for a winning combo.
After the mains and sides, we were too full for a dessert so opted straight for the bill, which was served in an old cigarette tin – a nice touch. Overall our table loved the food and the place and will definitely be back again.
You can find restaurant locations, opening hours and menus on the website here.
Thanks for reading,