the Grand Union cheese burger

There are three things in life that I can’t say no to.

  1. ice cream
  2. burgers
  3. my boyfriend sleeping in

Offer any of those to me, in any order, or better yet – all together – and I am in a slice of catty heaven.

Well, Grand Union Bar & Grill proposed to take me to catty heaven and then some. Not only did they offer me burgers, they offered me burgers for free. And really, who am I to say no?

So after recovering from the whiplash suffered while hurling myself at YES PLEASE!,  last Sunday night saw me skadoodling down Camden Road (strangely, for the second time that day), ready for what I’d heard was going to be “burgers that are as huge as your head”.

Bring. It. On.

The Grand Union Bar & Grill

Grand Union Bar & Grill is a chain of casual pub dining establishments with various locations scattered across London. It’s probably somewhere I would never have chosen to go to myself, mainly because I’m allergic to pubs (beer. stinky. ewww.) and I’d normally prefer to eat in a regular restaurant.

Upon entering Grand Union in Camden, I held back a squeal of terror when I thought I’d walked straight into my version of Elm Street ~ a dark, claustrophobic pub.  But a desperate glance around revealed that the pub front was merely a decoy, probably to keep out noobs like myself and in reality, there’s an expansive back section, colourfully lit in a semi Orient-slash-Euro decor and much more conducive to sitting down and enjoying a meal.


Grand Union interior

Menu perusal was a five second job. Burger. Blue cheese. Done. Oh, and some sides – we settled on the hand cut chips, apparently voted something delicious by Time Out magazine, and the roasted butternut squash & goats cheese salad for an um… healthier alternative.

The chips were fantastically fat and mushy on the inside and crispy on the out – two thumbs up! The salad was very ordinary but I won’t hold that against the venue, they are a burger house afterall.

So moving right along…

roasted butternut squash & goat's cheese salad; hand cut chips

That burger, it’s as tall as my head

Given that I’d been told Grand Union burgers were frickin’ enormo, and the waitress even suggested we cut out a starter (because me, the eternal glutton had also ordered onion rings), I was expecting some monstrosity that would challenge the size of my entire torso. And maybe because I was expecting something so fantastical, when they brought the burgers out, I was a bit like “huh? it’s not that big, come on”.

It really isn’t that big, people. Tall yes, it was as tall as my head, but its girth? And I use girth like we’re talking about a tree but anyway, its girth? Not huge. Not at all. I think the thing was twice as tall as it was wide, which presented a whole different challenge in terms of eating with some semblance of dignity, but what the heck a burger’s a burger so we ho’ed right in.

Grand Union blue cheese burger

Taste wise the Grand Union burgers are actually pretty good. I ordered the blue cheese burger and it epitomised what I expect a burger to be – simple – a juicy patty, salad and some oozing cheese. Grand Union delivers all of this albeit in a burger that’s as tall as my head. But it keeps to the core of what a burger should be, not what it pretends to be, and in fact I’ve supported a fellow blogger’s pseudo petition to bring In’n’Out burger to London because when we talk about simple tasty burgers, they do it best.

Anyway, at £7-£8 a burger, Grand Union’s price point is right up there with the likes of Byron Burger and Ultimate Burger, plus a side of pub atmosphere, so if you fancy a few pints pre and post burger indulgence, then I’d totally recommend Grand Union.

For me though? I’d much more happily indulge in Byron’s A&W root beer float or Ultimate’s killer vanilla shake… I mean, at least those involve ice cream which would cover two out of three of my must-haves 🙂

ps: one very big GU downer ~ no dessert menu. No dessert menu!! 🙁

Grand Union Bar & Grill
102-104 Camden Road
Camden, NW1 9EA
0207 485 4530

The Grand Union Camden on Urbanspoon

8 Thoughts on “Grand Union: that burger. it’s as tall as my head.

  1. I went to the Grand Union in Ravenscourt Park the other day and I agree with what you said about the size of the burgers – absolutley huge…

  2. That’s what I’m talking about!! I’ll have to try this place as burgers are defo on my top list! I’ve recently had the pleasure of enjoying a byron burger with Kang… he ordered the root beer float and now I’m regretting I didn’t!!

  3. Wow that burger is the tallest burger I’ve ever seen! 😮 I wish they’d bring In and Out burger to Australia too *sigh*

  4. Gourmet chick: they are big but not as big as I had expected. I think Byron’s are bigger! GU’s burgers are crazy tall but kinda small in “girth” 🙂

    bethany: oh you didn’t? Root beer floats are the BEST. I’ll go with you again, Beth!

    Lorraine: It is seriously tall *LOL*.. and yes In’n’Out needs to globalise! 😀

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  6. I am gutted as my experience with GU in their new branch in Camberwell Grove was not good – the patty had an odd consistency and flavour, and it was badly overcooked. I read Gourmet Chick’s review and she also had a good burger, I wonder whether I got the chef on a bad day?

  7. The London Foodie: Hmmm I thought my burger was quite good, though not as good as Byron Burger, Ultimate Burger or say LA’s amazing Umami Burger. Maybe you did hit an off day, which is a shame! Would you go back and try again?

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