This week’s review took us the Red Squirrel in Maida Vale, at which I arrived a solid 25 minutes late thanks to a complete Bakerloo line fail. Thankfully, notable locals @richardgay and @dext37 were on good form, and enjoying a warming ale as I arrived. The Red Squirrel is owned by Faucet Inns (who now also own the Warrington) and they conveniently offer two burgers for just £10 on a Thursday evening.
Because of the open-plan kitchen in the middle of the pub, when you walk through the door a wonderful charcoal grill smell slaps you around the face, much like the Ibizan heat when you step off a Ryanair plane peak-summer. Our initial dilemma (two burgers for £10, three people) was easily solved by ordering four burgers: two medium rare, one medium, and one ‘test’ of well done.
And they were good. Medium rare and medium all cooked to perfection, although the well done was a tad underdone. The meat was tender, tasty and moist (a “darn good burger” said Dexter). The strong cheddar was a good touch, the bacon was lovely and charcoal grilled too, and although the caramelised onions weren’t for me, the boys both spoke highly of them.
The bun was charcoal grilled (sense a good theme here?), and was strong and held its own. The chunky coleslaw (yes coleslaw, not ‘slaw’ – bonus points from me there, Red Squirrel) was decent and a nice addition. The chips (cooked three times as Dexter noted from stalking the open-plan kitchen) were salty, soft, and crisp, and liked by all of us. In fact, the only negative here was the burgers arrived a little cold.
The lovely waitress from Pamplona deserves a mention, as does Dexter’s question shouted straight after I spoke to her in fluent Spanish, “WHY DON’T YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND??”. The staff were all friendly, and I was impressed with the pub itself.
By this point, having eaten a burger and a half now, the novelty of the lovely charcoal grill smell was beginning to wear off. As the smell stuck to my delightful blue cardigan, it also followed me all the way home, where I mainlined some Innocent smoothie as burger penance.
This isn’t a gourmet offering, but at £10 is very decent, and already beats other locals. On a Thursday, for a fiver however, this is an absolute bargain, and I’d recommend locals to give it a shot.
I’ll be back. And not just to practice my Spanish.
Total: 7, solid burger, nice pub, absolute bargain on a Thursday.