Thursday, February 23, 2012

Royale w/ Cheese Report- Dicken's Inn London, England

It was the best of pubs, it was the worst of pubs. Sorry, I had to do that.

We popped into the Dicken's for lunch/dinner. Its a lovely, traditional looking 3 story plaster and timber pub absolutely covered in blooming flower boxes. Situated right on the St. Katharine's dock we walked across the creaking wooden floor boards to a large wooden table under a big window which offered a lovely view of the boats in harbor. The place was fairly busy with young families and locals and the 2 bartenders were doing a brisk business.

Ambiance score- 10. You are on the Thames, in the shadow of London Bride, in a hidden marina in an old pub. It doesn't get any better than that,

Here's where things start to head downward. I was wrangling a very active Kitty so I didn't manage to get a good photo of the burger I ordered. That is okay because it wasn't a very good burger. Okay, calling it not very good is being kind. I am not an unadventurous eater (I've had haggis- ew and black pudding- not so bad to name a few). I do not want everything to be as it is in the US (if I did why would I leave the US?) but what this pub managed to do to the burger in question is an offense to the memory of the cow which gave his life for that burger.

I am not certain how it came to be in a country that has the most spectacular butcher shops, that a beef patty was manged to be stripped of all flavor, fat and texture so much so that it tasted more like a damp sponge than a piece of meat. The chef tried to get creative and spread some sort of horrible tomato and sugar relish all over it so that when you bit into the burger you had the strange sensation of eating parmesan cheese that has been mixed with syrup- sickly sweet with a strange occasional vomit like after taste.

The sweetness of the burger (ew) could have been balanced by the addition of some briny pickles and sharp red onion. Instead they placed  flavorless pickles on the burger and a red onion the size of a quarter- not enough to counteract the awful sweetness.

The bun itself was some sort of soft roll that did not hold up to the mystery tomato concoction so as you held the burger, the bread disintegrated.

Burger Score- 3 (it wasn't burned and it was recognizable as a burger upon visual inspection

The side dish score is a little more difficult to come up with. The Brits as a whole have raised chip making to an art form. No really, they are better than waht we have in the US- usually. The Dicken's chips were not bad, not good just average and cooked from frozen which lowers their score to a 4 BUT they did serve me a perfectly pulled Guinness and yes, the Guinness here is better than we get in the US so they would get an 8 for that so we'll combine and average the score to give them a respectable total of-
Side Dish- 6

Dicken's Inn Total- 19 Go there for certain and enjoy a pint and the view but eat before you get there.


  1. Maura Spence
    is suddenly glad she is not in the U.K. seeing as she is too young to drink. i miss you guys! :}

  2. Since you clearly have lots of time on your hand to pursue blogs, what with having a toddler, a teen and a boat to deal with, let me add to your list. You should check out Serious Eats ( and, in particular, their burger section ( Great reading. Was the fact that your picture of your burger was in black and white a further comment on the blah-ness of the burger?


  3. Oh Cid, you have outdone yourself with your wonderful way with words. This should be published somewhere, somehow. Brilliant!