28 Sep 2014

Hello, Meat Liquor Leeds!

Let me introduce you to the newest arrival on the Leeds, steadily expanding, burger scene. Leeds, Meat Liquor. Meat Liquor, Leeds. I'm a big fan fan of this cult London born brand, much loved for its burgers and cocktails, and couldn't wait to check out their newest branch. We visited during their opening week on a Friday evening and expected to queue for a while. To our surprise there was no queue and no customers inside the clinical looking diner. Were we in the wrong place?

meat liquor review leeds


Scott, one of the co-founders, was on hand to explain the Leeds Meat Liquor concept to us. It turned out that at Meat Liquor Leeds you can make reservations! Not sure how we managed to miss this? The space is split over two levels with seated dining in the basement for the full Meat Liquor experience, and a 'fast food' friendly area upstairs that serves the full food menu with a very limited cocktail menu.

After a brief wait upstairs and despite the fact they were fully booked we managed to snag a table for three in the basement. Downstairs we felt underwhelmed by the decor. We didn't feel like we were in the Meat Liquor we know and love. The low ceiling and wooden section dividers are suited to any generic chain restaurant. They only have a small space to work with and its by no means unpleasant, it's just not WOW! Dim the lights, add some neon signs and paint more supersize graffiti - that's what we expect from Meat Liquor.

Quickly our drinks arrived, for the boys cans of hobo beer and my first cocktail was some kind of grog. This rum punch was too sweet and lacking in rum for me so I swiftly moved on to a Yorkshire Tea. This cocktail was my favourite, I've never had tea infused Tangueray before and the flavours blended surprisingly well, especially when served with refreshing pink grapefruit juice! Dangerously good, tea will never be the same.

Weirdly, my cocktails were served in ugly glass tankards so they didn't look sexy and inviting like a cocktail should. They were pretty pricey too at £7.50 - £10, so I'd expect the presentation to be on a par with Leeds' more premium bars. I'm not sure if this is some kind of bizarre nod to Yorkshire, but for the record we drink from martini glasses "oop north" too! 

Our food and service were spot on! Once we were seated comfortably, with our drinks, we collectively drooled over the menu and debated how much, rather than what, to order. We were all ravenous and predictably ordered a banquet of food: tobacco fried onions, chilli cheese fries, hippie fries, bingo wings, a dead hippie burger and two green chilli burgers. The latter we were advised, just had a "kick of chilli."

When we were first seated there were a few empty tables around us but they soon filled up and the place was buzzing. Even with full tables our waiter was never too far away to replenish our drinks and entertain us with his Yorkshire wit. Soon our food arrived, casually presented 'diner' style on two red and white paper lined trays. My grainy photo does not do it justice, the food looked perfect and we couldn't wait to get stuck in. 

Eating at Meat Liquor can be a messy affair and we were grateful for the kitchen rolls on the table. Each dish was super tasty and not greasy as you'd expect with American food. My favourite was the bingo wings, the hot pepper sauce is just incredible and soooo moreish - sticky fingers guaranteed!

Each burger was juicy and delicious, grilled to be pink in the middle aka. perfection! I like that they are not too huge and I don't fall into a sleepy comatose state post consumption. In my humble opinion, Meat Liquor serve up the best burgers and I'm so happy they are now available in Leeds!

Lets recap on that green chilli burger with afore mentioned "kick of chilli". The green chilli butter was very spicy, so that "kick" was actually a big and powerful one! It was fun trying to eat it all but in the end I gave up on the top part of my bun but my determined burger buddy succeeded. 

Meat Liquor's chilli cheese fries are also pretty special, as are the hippie fries - their hippie sauce is cheesy with a mysterious, tangy twist. The new tobacco onions arrived in a mini mountain form so we didn't manage to finish them, I think only an army of onion lovers could. 

We left once we'd finished our meal rather than staying on for more drinks like we usually would at Meat Liquor. Overall the food was fantastic but the dining experience didn't quite match our expectations. We'll definitely be back for our burger fix and those new to the Meat Liquor brand should definitely pay a visit.

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