MEATMarket Covent Garden

MEATMarket – Wot no Queues!

I am not good with queues.  For food or anything else.  I am impatient and just a little inclined to grumpiness, especially when my stomach is involved.  So, I’ve avoided the offerings of burger maestro Yianni Papoutsis up till now.  Now, I know queues are meant to be a sign of serious quality.  But London is full of great places to eat and for me life is too short to queue.  A strategic move today though, I went into Covent Garden quite early to do a bit of shopping and figured if I found my way to MEATMarket early enough I would miss the rush.  And if the queue was too long I could go elsewhere.
MEATMarket Covent Garden


As it happens I got lost.  The address is Jubilee Market, Tavistock Street – and you can see the Neon sign blazing from inside the market entrance.  But you can’t get up to MEATmarket that way.  Or if you can, I never worked out how, despite negotiating my way around the stalls and tourists.  The easy solution is to walk along Tavistock Street looking carefully for a small door sign.  It’s a place that immediately made me smile.  Quirky signs hanging from the ceiling, a tongue in cheek menu and staff who looked genuinely happy and relaxed.  That may be because at 12.30am it was quiet – the only queue was one person in front of me ordering for his family.  Or perhaps it was just because it was the Jubilee weekend?


MEATMarket Covent Garden


Now, having finally GOT THERE, I really did over order a bit.  My excuse is that there isn’t much in the way of small dishes, especially if you want your meal to include a burger.  All the burgers are ‘doubles’ – and definitely real burger size.  And I wanted to try the poppaz too, which turned out to be  really yummy mouthfuls of jalepeno pepper and cheese in a crumbed and deep fried exterior.  But perhaps asking for fries too was just a bit optimistic.


MeatMarket Popper


My burger, the Black Palace was 2 patties, grilled white onions cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard.  And,  I really do get why these places get rave reviews.  It was very, very good – moist and pink on the inside with a soft bun and a great combination of flavours complementing the beef.  Was it the best burger I’ve had in London – well no, I’d still put Bar Boulud way ahead…and the Opera Tavern’s little sliders too.  But, at that price point (£7.50) it’s exceptional.


MeatMarket Covent Garden


As for the poppaz…well, they were spectacular and I’d go back just for them.

I watched the table next door with the largest hot dog I’ve ever seen, beautifully presented, stuffed with all the gubbins and laced with mustard.

MeatMarket Menu

This is a formula that deserves to work.  You can eat in at MeatMarket, at high bar tables or you can have your burger to go.  I don’t believe the queues ever get to the ‘impossible’ level because the take-out/eat-in option means that you should never need to wait for a table but I sincerely hope the lack of queue doesn’t result in a lack of hipness.  Because that really would be a triumph of hype over common sense.

The Mezzanine, Jubilee Market Hall, Tavistock St, Covent Garden London WC2
MEATmarket on Urbanspoon

4 / 5 stars     
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    • says

      honestly I could have just eaten the poppaz and fries. I didn’t try the hot dogs but they looked pretty amazing. Top tip, go with a friend so you can share things!!!!

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