Confession time: I’ve only just lost my The Meat Shack virginity. I know, I know; how is that possible for such a vocal burger monster? Despite being woefully behind the times (soz guys) I finally made it to the latest DDC offering to set up shop, and I can tell you it’s worth the hype – and then some. First a warning: be prepared to dribble when you see the following burger images..
The story goes that TMS gained fame thanks to regularly showcasing its ‘drippy filthy goodness’ (I don’t know whether that makes me hungry or horny, tbh) at Digbeth Dining Club. The owners have now set up shop on a side street next to Birmingham Hippodrome, above a bar. Beers and big burgers – what’s not to love?!
Despite having munched my way through several Shacks during visits to the popular weekly street food set up, until recently I’d not visited the permanent venue. Having now been reminded of the unadulterated joy these meaty slabs provide I hate myself for not going before now, but let’s focus on the positive and leave the self loathing for later, eh.
The venue itself – up some now much snapped stairs – is fairly small but a great use of space. The decor and seating set up is fuss free, making the food the focus. A concise burger menu awaits, along with some specials, and everything available sounds bloody amazing, including the sides. Ever heard of a frickle..?
Burgers come first above anything (unless you’re a terrible human being) so we grab menus and pick our pile. I opted for the Buff Bavarian (£8.50) special; a decadent sounding beast promising a belting curry kick. Sold!
The aged beef patty is juicy and boasts deep flavour, none of which gets lots with the generous toppings. The smoked Bavarian cheese is, quite frankly, nothing short of sexual, with the Dutch cheese giving a sloppy lashing of extra dairy.
Boasting contrasting textures thanks to the sauerkraut and pickles, this beauty rocked my world tbh, in no small part thanks the curry buffalo sauce. I unashamedly made sure everyone around me knew it much to the horror of my husband. Additional candied bacon crumb gave the mountain of beef a cheeky sweetness and only enhanced the burger. Also, can we just take a moment to praise the bun; I couldn’t care less usually but these actually make the burgers for me.
Ian enjoyed the Dutch Piggy (calling the bacon cheese burger “Banging”) specifically praising the contrasting flavours and the unequivocally high quality of the beef. The standout element for him ended up being the bun, which he praised for managing to be both tasty and sturdy; a rare treat when it comes to sloppy dirty burgers, let’s be honest.
We couldn’t visit without trying some sides, choosing the Buff Fries (£3.50) and Onion Rings (£3). The skin on fries – served in a basket like all dishes – are crispy, plentiful and, with the tangy blue cheese sauce and hot sauce, bloody delicious. The cider battered onion rings are unfathomably massive (one was basically the size of my face) and retain an excellent crispness. The additional dip is also spot on.
Swift, friendly service and excellent food – I can’t praise this place enough. We left stuffed, happy, and full of positive chatter about our first TMS experience. This place is well worth a visit – I will be back within the week, I’m in no doubt. Don’t forget you can also get 10% off with an Independent Birmingham card – you’re welcome, bab.
The Meat Shack, 17 Thorp Street, Birmingham, B5 4AT
*Disclosure: I won the meal as part of a Facebook competition, but all opinions and burger over enthusiasm are my own. We paid for our drinks*