Nothing motivates me like food can. You are more likely to make me win a marathon by dangling some kind of food at the finishing line (except vegetables), than to make me run for my life by unleashing a pack of hungry wolves on my very calorific butt. And that is saying something because I’m so sedentary, I might as well be dead, but I can’t be, because I’m growing a mysterious layered belly.
Ridiculous weight gain aside (oh really, you didn’t know how it happened, Rachel?), I get very hungry at work, and yet, I hate shoving food down my throat in 5 minutes in front of the computer, because you can’t consume very much in 5 minutes, can you? It is on days when I clock 12 inhumane hours at work that I summon some kind of I’m-the-boss-and-I-am-going-to-eat-till-I-burst inner voodoo, just in time for dinner. Today is such a day.
I dropped the husband a text, asking him out on an impromptu dinner date. The keyword, if you haven’t realised already, was dinner.
What should we have? Italian? Nahhh, we’re having it this Friday. Fajitas at home? Gawwd, can we not cook? Chinese? Nah-uh, done to death this week.
Racking up a mental search with cuisine wasn’t working very well. So we thought about locations.
We’re a short drive away from Upper Street. Cool, let’s narrow it down. Ottolenghi? Hmmm, tempting but no, too ladylike for a rough day.
Then it hit me. Byron. Burgers. Period. I needed something that I could wolf down in my grubby clothes and bare face without feeling self-conscious and a good burger sounds like the perfect way to be unglamourous.
We’ve been to Byron a couple of times, but we always ended up at the branch in Westfield. It was our first time at the branch in Upper Street today and boy, did it look pretty different from the polished one at Westfield. We stepped into what seemed like an abandoned building with somewhat derelict warehouse interiors. Someone’s saved a bunch on renovation fees. But it was kinda cool, certainly made me feel comfortable and it wasn’t depressing at all, plenty of light was coming through the large windows.
Service at the Upper Street branch was more prompt than the one at Westfield, and certainly more friendly. We even knew our server’s name, Jack. Our objects of affection arrived in less than 20 minutes, thanks to Jack and the quick kitchen, just in time to stave off my ridiculous hunger.
Dinner was straightforward. I had the Gruyère cheese burger, M had the blue cheese burger and we ordered a portion of skin-on chips and onion rings to share. The onion rings were brilliant, as usual, crispy light spiced batter giving way to sweet onion. Mmmmm. The skin-on chips were good sturdy chunks at Westfield, but soggy and dismal at Upper Street. The burgers were yum, like that at Westfield. Of course, they couldn’t compare to my super Shake Shack experience in New York City, but these burgers were still better than great. I don’t usually like burgers, but the soft fluffy buns, moist beef patty and gooey Gruyère at Byron make me crave for burgers. Uncomplicated, delicious, hearty, satisfying, those are traits of a good burger, no? Making me forget about my gruelling day? Now that’s what a great burger can do. Till then, my Shake Shack love, I shall cheat on you with Byron, unless I find another burger of course, one that gives PhDs away for free, but that’s pretty unlikely. Erm, right?
Byron is located at:
341 Upper Street, London N1 0PB
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