Pre-theatre Meat Marvel at Byron’s in Waterloo

photoProper hamburgers. That’s the war-cry of Byron. And whether you fancy a little something chilli, veggie or a good old-fashioned classic burger, they don’t fail to deliver their promise.

It’s amazing how often a simple burger can let you down. Imagine the scenario: you are suddenly debilitated by the Carnivore Principle: that familiar craving that creeps suddenly up on you until nothing but a quarter pound of compacted meat will do. The stuff that dreams are made of. You must eat meat. It must be now. So often, the bun of your imagination is filled with greedy promise, oozing juiciness that has you dribbling saliva. The reality is so different. You’re delivered up a mediocre slab of dry, tasteless beef – the kind of patty that would make the cow that gave its life to satisfy your yearning turn in its grave.

Byron burgers are different. They don’t make threats they can’t see through. They’re succulent, dripping with moisture, have just the right amount of mayonnaise and a gherkin on the side (this in itself is genius – put the blessed thing on the side! Of course!) These burgers are the perfect celebration of how good ground beef can be. Just as it is. And all for under £40. Scottish cows would be proud of their sacrifice.

The Waterloo branch is really quite unassuming from the outside. Imagine a launderette three huge windows wide, bright lights blaring into the dark January street and you’ll have some idea of what we’re talking about. For that’s what it looks like: a hotchpotch of signs span its three windows and a little condensation hazes up the glass. But, don’t be fooled. Its slipshod exterior is hiding a dark secret. This place cares more about the meat than the perfect design aesthetic.

This is no lay-by greasy spoon though. Inside, there’s an unaffected Americana vibe. It’s like a hip canteen with no airs and graces – the plaster has been scraped off the walls to reveal the century old London stock beneath. The chairs are the kind you fell off when you shouldn’t have been rocking at school. This place is all about simplicity. Honesty. And it really is no-nonsense: the décor, the menu, and the food. They get the job done and that’s all you can ask.

If you’re hungry and only a burger will do, this is the place. They have branches in London, Oxford and Kent – and they’ve even gone mobile (you can follow their ‘shack’ on twitter). But look closely at their website and you’ll realise it’s not just the Byron burger that’s all heart. Byron has raised £120,000 participating in Movember since 2010. It’s impressive…it’s meat with a conscience – what could be more perfect? Already I feel the Carnivore Principle slowly reaching through my limbs again. November 2013 might be time to sample the MOburger…all in a good cause of course!

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