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“That’s without a doubt the best thing I’ve put in my mouth in seven years”, mumbled my vegetarian friend Hannah, as she chowed down on The Dead Hippy at the newly opened Meat Liqour on Stoke’s Croft.
And whilst The Dead Hippy might sound like it’s chock full of lentils, goat’s cheese and all sorts of virtuous veggie delights it’s not – it is in fact two perfectly pink beef patties, cheese, pickles and Meat Liquor’s secret sauce, sandwiched in a beautifully shiny Brioche bun.
And it turned Hannah!
Granted, she’d been having a wobble ever since I fed her pigs in blankets and belly pork at our Christmas party last year, but it’s testament to the standard of Meat Liquor’s burgers that an otherwise loyal veggie would fall so dramatically off the wagon for their meat.
Meat Liquor has quite possibly been one of the most anticipated openings in Bristol. Not just because of their reputation as purveyors of some of London’s top burgers (they started up in London some time ago and have since expanded to Leeds, Brighton, Singapore) but because they took their sweet bloody time about it! Plans for the Bristol branch were announced what feels like a lifetime ago, and despite various different launch dates being banded around it took well over a year to finally open it’s doors in the old Dynamic Heating Services store on Stoke’s Croft.
So…was it worth the wait? In short…fuck yeah.
As I’m sure you already know from the sheer volume of burger reviews we post I’m fairly easily pleased when it comes to burgers, but Meat Liquor have nailed the perfect combination of top food, a great location, good service and an all round excellent atmosphere so well that I’ve been three times since it opened a month ago.
The menu brings together a solid choice of beef, chicken and novelty dishes (the XXXmas Burger and the Garbage plates to name a few) but it’s also got an impressively wide range of vegetarian and even vegan options. When we visited on their press night their team filled us in on how they’d designed extra vegetarian and vegan dishes especially for the Bristol audience – something I think shows a real understanding of their new location. It’s not that we’re difficult to please here in Bristol, but you open a chain restaurant on Stoke’s Croft and unless you’re really paying attention to detail you’re highly likely to get frog marched out of there, and Meat Liquor seem to have clocked this straight off the bat.
But back to the meat…
On my various different visits I’ve tried the Green Chilli burger, The Dead Hippy and the Buffalo Chicken burger – Meat Liqour’s also really big on sides, offering up some of the best deep fried pickles I’ve had in town. Out of the burgers The Dead Hippy’s the resounding success of the menu – a posh take on a Big Mac but filthy enough to make you feel really naughty after you’ve finished. The Mac and Cheese fingers from the Christmas menu are utterly filthy, incorporating Stilton, Camembert and deep fried, and the Chilli cheese fries are monstrous – I salute anyone who goes in for these on their own.
Prices are reasonable, with burgers all coming in at less than a tenner and sides costing no more than a few quid. That said, Meat Liquor are the latest to fall prey to the dreaded chip tax – charging extra for fries. It’s not enough to put me off, but it’s enough to mak
e me wrinkle my nose ever so slightly before getting distracted by some other deep fried goodness on the menu.
On top of a solid food menu Meat Liquor also offers more in the way of cocktails and shakes than you could ever wish for. Surprise highlights are the boozy shakes, especially the Jaeger shake (trust me on this!) and the Bourbon maple shake. Cocktails are also considerably more impressive than you’d expect and not overpriced either, meaning Meat Liquor has just shot to the top of my list of ‘Places I’d like to line my stomach before I go out and get shit faced’!