Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Meatwagon, Peckham Rye, SE22

The Meatwagon, famous largely for last year's pop up restaurant The Meateasy, is back. Their van got nicked last year, so they've decked out an American ambulance with a grill, of course. 'Guerilla dining' is how they refer to themselves, and they kind of operate around this nothing-wasted-on-frills-so-enjoy-top-quality-food-instead run down shabby vibe, which is kind of in vogue at the moment and certainly seems to be permeating a lot of London's most beloved trendy restaurants, Spuntino and Polpetto being two that come to mind. A burger van, basically. 
I love a good burger, so I travelled to Peckham, where the Meatwagon started out. (Peckham! You have to get a train from Victoria! I'm sorry, I know it's a bit pathetic, but I'm a North London girl for the time being.) Following the invitation of a friend, we went have a drink in the Rye, and enjoy a burger from the new incarnation of the Meatwagon which was stationed outside, grills-a-sizzling, Kasabian-a-blaring all in that nice twilighty summer evening glow. And a goooorgeous smell. 
So was it worth it? Pretty much. I opted for a cheeseburger, £6.00, which was brought to my pub table. It was thick, sticky-cheese encrusted wedge of happiness, served in a lovely glazed bun which absorbed the juices and flavours, without turning into a sog fest. Proper runny burger cheese as well, none of this 'mature cheddar' rubbish. It needed the addition of ketchup, as I'm a bit of a ketchup fiend, but apart from that it ticked all my boxes. Very rough round the edges, with grease and pink juice dripping down onto the paper plate with each awesome bite, gloriously disgusting, onions everywhere. It made a bloody mess and was a bit tricky to eat, but somehow I managed, hah.
Others I was with went for the bacon burger, £7.00, which also went down extremely well. My boyfriend chose the 'Dead Hippy' burger, a kind of Big-Mac-esque deal with the main interest point being that the meat was fried in mustard. Does anyone else even do that? It was the first I've ever heard of such a thing. In any case it was wonderfully spicy without being overwhelmingly mustard-y, (although he did prefer mine, in the end.)
Phwoar, meatyyyy.
Although staff seemed surprised and a little perplexed when one of our party asked for no cheese on his bacon burger (causes him migraines), and we could have done with some napkins, overall it was a really chilled out, enjoyable experience, and a damn good meal. I desperately want to sink my teeth into another one. 
The Hawksmoore it ain't, and their burgers aren't pretty, but oh yes, I'm pretty delighted I did make the trek dahn sarf to Peckham to give them a whirl. Do make every effort to catch the wagon if it's nearby, they seem to be doing the rounds nowadays - or make an evening of it like we did. 

The Meatwagon, all over London, 


  1. In n Out do the mustard-while-frying thing on their burgers when asked, so that's probably the inspiration for the dead hippy.

    mmmm, burgers.

  2. Kai, I'm actually SET on getting one of these fabled legendary In-N-Out burgers when I go to San Francisco in August, I've heard very good things...

  3. I plan on subsisting on nothing but.

  4. Hello this some constructive feed back for all those involved with the MeatWagon and Meat Easy, especially Yanni.

    After being a loyal follower of your great burgers and making the shlep from North West London to New Cross on numerous occasions.

    To wait for hours in the crazy queue only seen at Disneyland during August for your amazing burgers,
    there is serious danger of ruining all your hard work by undoing everything you have built up reputation wise over the last couple years.

    I went to the MeatWagon this week with such expectation and joy after Meateasy closed, but sadly I was so DISAPPOINTED.

    I ordered the ADDICTIVE Dead Hippy the main feature being cooked in mustard to give a delicious deep depth of flavor. However what I got was a grease laden normal cheese burger. Couldn’t taste any mustard.

    With every bite the GREASE OOZED in to my mouth and fell all over my plate.

    The bun was a little STALE and my girls meat was raw. No…not pink.. or rare.. but raw.

    I know the difference, eating at many steak places including: Hawksmoor, Goodman, Wolfs, Santa Maria Del Sur (Awful),

    Gaucho, and recently at Gordon’s Maze(best staff as with all of Gordons places), cafe de Paris( of the best?), The Rainbow Room(NY city),

    to name but a few places SO I feel I know the difference between rare meat and raw meat and my girlfriends meat WAS raw in part.

    The guy trying to explain defensively that its not raw, and then switching tact by saying its meant to be that way(mm..didnt help) as if I m in the wrong and I don’t know good cooked meat.

    Forty five minutes after my burger all I could still taste was…grease!

    This really is sad because the Dead Hippy when cooked at MeatEasy was one of the BEST burgers I have ever had.

    And again I have had some in the homeland of the burger: In n Out, Jack in the Box, Hardees, Carl’s Junior,

    Apple Pan, plus the whole host of NY cities choices, not mentioning non fast food chain places,

    Meateasy burgers were some of the best, especially the Dead Hippy.

    So please Yanni no more sub quality fare in this smash and grab type cooking in the van.

    Please the quality and intention to detail and freshness should be the same from Florence. Especially when prices are the same as the dining house from the Van-£15 for two burgers.

    Yours A worried fan.

  5. Hi Anon, just so you know I sent this on to the Meatwagon people


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