An Interview With London’s The Burger List – NJAFB 2016
Following on from bestowing burger blog extraordinaire The Burger List one of our Not Just Another Food Blogger awards for 2016, we took a few moments to sit down with curator Matt – the man responsible for making Londoners’ mouths water time and time again with his great burger shots.
hungryhouse: Hey Matt! Congratulations on winning a NJAFB award! So how did your obsession with finding great burgers start? Were you already something of a connoisseur before you started blogging?
Matt: My blog has been running just over 2 years, but my “obsession”, so to speak, started probably 2 years before that when i was introduced to Dirty Burger. This burger changed my life, it was just at the start of this “burger craze” so i was looking around to find these quirky new American style burger restaurants.
hungryhouse: And what was the moment of inspiration that led to the Burger List? Was there a certain burger you can remember when you were like: “I’ve got to start blogging about this?”
Matt: As I was finding more of these great new restaurants, I would post the photo on my personal Instagram and everyone would go crazy asking where these burgers were from. People would then go on to know me as the “burger guy” and told me that i should start a blog. After a year of deliberation and pure laziness, I thought I’d give it a go. 2 years later and i have 25,000 followers over all my social media accounts, which is pure crazy! I’m not a food critic, nor a professional writer, I’m just a guy who loves eating and talking about burgers.
hungryhouse: Matt, what, according to the Burger List, makes a great burger? What should other burger fans be on the lookout for when they’re perusing the menu?
Matt: For me, the top priority in creating a good burger is the quality of the beef. You could put every topping and ingredient into a burger, but if the beef is bad, it sticks out like a sore thumb. I love messy burgers, i love a huge amount of toppings, but recently I’ve been judging restaurants on the quality of their basic cheeseburger. But its not just the quality of the meat, its also how, and how well, its cooked. Take Flat Iron, for example.
hungryhouse: And what, dear God, should they avoid at all costs? Is there a particularly crap gimmick that stands out as the worst in all your years of burger tasting?
Matt: Try not to follow trends like pulled pork or wagyu just for the sake of following a trend, because most places don’t get it right. Be inventive, but be skilled. Learn about how to make your burger special in another way than just what you put in it.
hungryhouse: London’s pretty cutting edge when it comes to food, and burgers seem to be especially on trend at the moment, with loads of great chains opening. How do you see this developing in the future? Are there emerging burger trends that you can see catching on?
Matt: I think with the popularity of food markets like Street Feast and KERB at the moment, the burger craze will definitely carry on. But what we are now seeing is the independent places from 3 or 4 years back, like Meat Liquor, Honest, Patty & Bun, Dirty Burger, opening more restaurants every few months that they have definitely cemented the burger trend for the future. But I want to focus more on the street food/market side now, because these are the guys who are doing something different.
hungryhouse: We love your no-nonsense way of blogging – usually, each burger is reviewed with just a few vivid lines and one damn mouthwatering picture. In fact, the subheading to your blog is “guaranteed to make you hungry.” Is there one of your burger shots that got an especially positive response from your readers? A snap that still makes you hungry whenever you look at it?
Matt: Most of my activity is through Instagram, and people don’t want to read too much, they just want to scroll through and read a caption. So i write whats in it and what i thought. I also do full reviews and features from time to time, or if its a burger I’ve had frequently then i will just post the photo and info. But i think the Two’s Up from Burger and Beyond has been very popular recently, its definitely got one of the most likes on my Instagram.
hungryhouse: While you’re here, we have to ask… what’s the best burger in London?
Matt: My favourite place for a burger is Dip & Flip. Beef patty, which either roast beef or lamb, cheese, bacon, add a fried egg, dipped in gravy. I have created so many burgers there that I’ve run out of ideas!
Here’s a variation i made with a crusty roll:
hungryhouse: And finally – given the chance, who would you give a Not Just Another Food Blogger award to? Which blogs get a follow from the Burger List?
Matt: I wish i had time to read other peoples blogs! But i do LOVE a dessert, so anything that makes my mouth water – the sight of cake and ice cream!
About Matt: So aside from blogging about burgers, which requires me to eat out about 5 times a week, I also work full time for Apple, and im also a part time DJ. A typical day would be working at the Apple Store, then straight off for a burger with friends, then off to a club to DJ. But im doing the things i love, so i wouldnt change it!
In the next month i am launching The Burger List Youtube channel. But it wont just be me eating a burger and talking about it, Im going to have a lot of fun with it and have a lot planned, especially around festivals. A youtube channel is a very big commitment so this will keep me occupied for the future, I wont get time to do anything else!
Feature image via theburgerlist.co.uk