On a recent trip to London, I got a burger-related tip from Leila McAlister, owner of the renowned cafe and gourmet food store Leila’s Shop in Shoreditch. When London’s leading artisanal Polish sausage purveyor tells me where to eat meat, I listen. I followed Leila’s sage advice and made my way to Box Park on Bethnal Green Road.
Box Park is touted as the world’s first pop up mall–never mind that it will be around for 5 years, which by my definition makes it a just plain mall–and consists of around 60 stacked shipping containers repurposed as retail spaces. On the ground floor, there are clothing boutiques and other fashiony things, while upstairs there are food shops with outdoor dining spaces and views over Bethnal Green Road.
My destination was Bukowski in Box 61, where burgers are cooked in a Josper charcoal oven. There’s other stuff on the menu, too, but when there are Hereford beef patties on the menu, who cares. I went for The Purist, a 6.3oz burger served with oven-dried tomatoes, lettuce and pickled gherkins, and mayo. The patty’s fat content, dressings, and soft but sturdy bun combined to make a pretty damn good burger, all for 5.5 GBP. I washed it down with Hopdaemon’s Skrimshander IPA and enjoyed the unseasonably warm February afternoon, longing for the birth of a Rome-based Bukowski Grill.