Tempted, but not quite willing to join the epically winding drive-through McDonald's queues? Sick of your own sub-par barbecue offerings? Beginning to seriously hanker for a proper restaurant burger, dripping with molten cheese?
Well, things are starting to look up. Restaurants may have been closed due to lockdown, but many have, in recent weeks, begun to get savvy, whether it be by pivoting to a takeaway service, collection only, or offering meal-kits.
And one of the latest to do so is burger outfit Patty & Bun, which under normal circumstances has joints in London and Brighton, but have since transformed their operation, and you can now get hold of their burgers across mainland Britain. We gave their new DIY meal kit a try…
So what's included?
Everything you need to assemble four Patty & Bun burgers – namely, two 'Ari Gold' cheese burgers and two 'Smokey Robinson' burgers.
That includes: HG Walter beef patties, smoked streaky bacon rashers, golden brioche buns from Bread Ahead, square slices of Red Leicester cheese, Smokey P& Mayo, and pots of pickled red onion (for the Ari Golds) and caramelised onions (for the Smokey Robinsons). Plus, full step-by-step how-to instructions.
What's not included?
You have to provide the ketchup, lettuce and tomato (if you're so inclined; you can always go salad free), and salt for seasoning the burgers before frying. And chips!
Can you order a veggie/vegan version?
Yes. The vegan kit features plant-based versions of both burgers, including plant-based patties, vegan cheese and rashers of THIS Isn't Bacon.
How much is it?
Each kit costs GBP 25, plus delivery costs. You can upgrade and get 4x Patty Pils Beers too, for GBP 33 per kit.
I adore a burger – whether it's a gooey double-cheeseburger, or a huge patty tucked inside a floury bap, topped with thick crescents of burnt white onion and lashings of sugary ketchup from a burger van. But I don't have a barbecue, and have historically been rather skeptical of ones cooked indoors at home (they're just not the same…), so my last was cooked by a pro and scoffed days before lockdown. Patty & Bun's DIY kit though has somewhat dampened that skepticism.
I went for the meat version, and putting it together is as simple as making a sandwich: crisp up the bacon, fry the burgers (four minutes each side), top with cheese, and assemble. Quick and easy. However, the kitchen did get very smoky, and it seemed a bit of a waste of energy to turn the grill on just to melt two slices of cheese – as suggested – so instead we laid the Red Leicester on the patties during their final two minutes' cooking, and it worked just as well.
We also didn't toast the buns quite enough (too hungry, too impatient, only ourselves to blame), which meant they didn't have quite the right crunch-to-softness ratio, and I'd definitely recommend using beef tomatoes, if you can. Our cherry tomato slices kept making a leap for the plate with every bite.
However, it's definitely a step up from your usual homemade burgers. The meat is excellent quality, the bacon nice and salty, and the Smokey P& mayo amazing for dunking wedges or fries into. And it's brilliantly messy to eat.
And though it's not quite the same as unwrapping a hot burger from its greaseproof wrapper, after it's had a chance to properly meld cheesily together, P&'s kit will definitely keep you going until that's truly possible again.
How to get a kit:
Order online at pattyandbun.co.uk. Delivery is GBP 6 in London, and GBP 7 to the rest of mainland UK. A delivery date can be chosen when you order.