Harlem Soul’s The Harlem – 7/10

After my first visit during the opening of Harem Soul, I was hyped to go back and try the food. The sliders convinced me that there might be potential for a new excellent burger place. Talking to the staff of this fantastic venue, I was later invited to review the burgers properly so I couldn’t resist. So last Thursday I headed for the place, and I was welcomed by friendly staff and overall a pleasant experience, but let’s talk about the burger.

How tasty is the Motherf*#$&r? – 7/10

Looking at the signature burger “The Harlem” it was challenging to make a different choice. When a venue has a signature burger, you either try it or the most classic recipe and you can learn a lot about the quality of the burgers. While I was reading the ingredients, I think I felt one of my arteries preemptively clot.

BTW I’m going to start to automatically remove a point for any burger place that doesn’t realise the problem with whole leaf lettuce. F*cking shred it, please!

The burger had:

  • Beef Patties
  • Shredded Short Rib
  • American Mac & Cheese
  • House Pickle & Slaw
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Toasted Brioche

There is always excitement before you try a massive burger like The Harlem. I’m a large lad, and I certainly struggled to get a full bite through. As usual, the first thing we focus on is meat. It was fresh, and the burger was excellent quality meat. Sadly this burger has fallen into the pitfall of many other burgers. Whenever you have short rib meat, you get a lot of specific flavours that dominate a lean burger. You have to be careful to not overpower either of the meats. Combine that with the short rib being drenched in BBQ style sauce there was barely anything noticed by the burger itself unless it was a bite without the short rib. Lean burgers are fine whenever you have lighter flavours that you try to balance but whenever you go with a heavyweight like The Harlem, you need more fat in your burger patties to get that flavour out. The burger as a simple bite was much more straightforward in taste, which makes sense considering the leanness and the lack of spices. This is not to say that it wasn’t delicious, but the short rib was a bit too much.

The mac & cheese was something I haven’t tried in a burger. I thought everything was going to be lost but to be honest, the signature flavour of the mac & cheese was there through every bite. It was creamy and buttery you could feel the cheese flavour and the fat slowly creeping up your arteries. One of the best cheesy experiences I’ve had in a burger.

The slaw was like the base of a Tsasiki with courgettes, which was an interesting twist  I didn’t expect. The flavour was light and very bright. It was balancing out the rest of the overwhelming ingredients and had this very targetted freshness coming from the dill and courgettes. This is one of the best burgers sauces I’ve seen for such a heavy burger. One thing that ruined it for me was the single piece lettuce that spiled parts of the sauce on my plate.

The brioche was toasted and incredibly soft and delicious. A lot of burger joints need to check where Harlem Soul is getting their buns from!

Burger joint venue and overall experience? – 10/10

This is a great burger joint. There are a lot of craft beers both on tap and cans. Refreshing drinks and amazing sides. I cannot recommend the rest of the food experience enough. The fries were great there a lot of other flavours you can enjoy but keep in mind food tends to be on the heavy side.

Quirkiness level of the experience? – 8/10

It is not every day that you get mac and cheese in your burger and is the first time I have tried it. I think it was executed well, so now my expectations for mac and cheese are high.

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