goodman’s “american disaster” burger
I’m a member of a fledgling book club. A book club where the food is as just important (if not more), than the literature being dissected. Inevitable really, seeing as I’ve taken on the self-designated role of venue seeker for each meeting. Past book clubs include Great Gatsby at the suitably retro-glam Bob Bob Ricard and a suckling pig feast at Mall Tavern to mirror hunger-stricken Pi’s food filled hallucinations in Life of Pi. Our latest read, The Hunger Games, is a tale of group of teenagers in futuristic North America made to face off in a brutal survival reality show, where only the victor is allowed to live. In my simplistic mind American teens naturally correlated to burgers, and I immediately thought of the off-the-menu In-N-Out style burgers and fries at Goodman that I’ve been desperate to try. A quick tweet to obliging head chef John Cadieux and it was all sorted – we were going to discuss books over an “American disaster” (name coined by John for his homage to the fast food joint) dinner.
We got there early on a Tuesday evening and the place was already buzzing. As there was no need for menus the focus was on the wine list, and after careful inspection B picked out Bonny Doon’s Le Cigare Volant 2005. A delicious wine full of red fruit but with underlying earthy characteristics which retained the American theme while doing justice to various Rhone varietals. John came out to say hello and asked if the American disasters were all we wanted – we opted for variety and went with 4 AD burgers and 4 original Goodman burgers. He popped back in the kitchen and soon mountains of food started arriving – towering burgers, sautéed mushrooms, carmelised onions all manner of sauces and bowl upon bowl of fries.
The AD burgers consisted of two thin patties covered with melted processed cheese (John actually bribed a nearby McDonalds for a stack!), a specially concocted thousand island sauce and salad. It was juicy, delicious, and most importantly the quality of the beef really shone through. However it was the thicker patty of the original (sadly no pictures as by the time I started on the Goodman burger my hands were covered in meat juices) that really showcased the smoky robust beef, though admittedly I preferred the double patty as I liked the extra lubrication that the oozing cheese sandwiched in the middle provided (plus, I am a sucker for that special sauce).
The ‘animal’ fries slathered with the sauce in question and more melted cheese couldn’t have done my cholesterol any favours, but who really cares when they taste THAT GOOD. Even when the burgers had been polished off and we were all bursting at the seams, we kept reaching for the fries.
I was all ready to bypass afters… that was until I saw the menu. I had reached my capacity but it all sounded too good to pass up so we shared three desserts between us. My favourite was the sinful Sundae with Brownie Ice Cream, Chocolate and Caramel Sauce which was sticky, gooey and oh-so indulgent.
That being said, both the Triple Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Brownie Base, and the Caramel Parfait with Crispy Rice and Milk Chocolate were pretty spectacular as well.
I’m not sure how successful a book club meeting it turned out to be as everyone was more focused on devouring the food than book talk, but the meal itself was incredible. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted, but if you are a burger fan I’d urge you to head over to Goodman to sample John’s epic tribute to the all-American burger (just be sure to ask ahead and give John at least a couple of weeks notice).
26 Maddox Street
London W1S 1QH
t. 020 7499 3776