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The Lucky Chip

Drew Smith finds himself in burger heaven

Written by . Published on February 7th 2012.


The Lucky Chip

HACKNEY’S finest. The Lucky Chip’s Sheen burger – Charlie, like the cheese,  is from Philly which is smeared across the base, beer braised onions for sweetness, broiled beef, applewood smoked bacon spinach under a soft bun. It may well have changed by now. Ben Denner has been obsessively developing new takes on the cliché hamburger for the past six months changing meat, buns and relishes at a blistering pace and in the process becoming a cult, existential champion of the street burger which it might be said has been fairly moribund in recent years.

"It suffers from the too-big-to-get-it-in-your-mouth syndrome, but I am being picky – James Beard’s burger did that too."

Blog pundits including Burgerac have him up there with a five star rating among the best of both street food and the hot burgers even rivaling the Marylebone’s Dead Hippy at MeatLiqor – but that is a double patty so perhaps it is cheating. And MeatLiqor has a dining room, where Lucky Chip has an open yard beside the bicycle bus at Netil market – turn right at the top of Broadway Market, go past the school market and it is on the right –  where the temperature currently is minus or plus one, the roof is the sky, the walls are the bric a brac stalls, cutlery is fingers and a plastic carton and a few old tables have been nabbed from the used furniture tenure and are shared with House of Umami who do all things, well with umami, like oysters.

LuckychipbendennerLucky Chip's Ben Denner

Sometimes Ben decamps to the warmth of the Sebright Arms, E8 9AG. But Lucky Chip is still a pop-up and if it rains he may not show. Find him on Facebook.

Keira Knightly has been seen here, which is something like Shoreditch’s variation of three Michelin stars these days. To get technical it is a three man operation in a trailer. Your burger takes fifteen minutes so you have time to browse the market stalls and appreciate this is not being banged out for you, but crafted. The broil station, the bun station and the man himself working the mayonnaise and ketchup like a percussionist… Is it that good? There is going to be great burger come out of all this creativity soon. This week’s Philly is meat-centric which probably suits eating outside, the bun is secondary (an argument) just about holding all together before it sags some like a Philly paunch. And it suffers from the too-big-to-get-it-in-your-mouth syndrome, but I am being picky – James Beard’s burger did that too. The man is a star.

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