Most of the burger joints in Leeds have had their Santa thinking hat on for the last month in preparation for their own versions of the Christmas Burger. This year Meatliquor have also jumped on the bandwagon and gone all out with a full Christmas menu which they're calling the XXXmas menu, because as we know all know by now, Meatliquor don't do things in halves.
Although several people may squirm at the idea of Meatliquor bowing to the (Christ)masses and producing such Christmas themed delights to be fair to them it probably makes good business sense. In December restaurant bookings are jam packed with Christmas party bookings with most people looking for a bit Christmas sprinkle and joy at their parties; and possibly a pig in blanket or two and a mince pie. Meatliquor can offer you the pigs in blankets but sadly not the mince pie (who really likes mince pies anyway, I'm sure most people just force them down their throats in the spirit of Christmas!).
Meatliquor's XXXmas comes in two parts, just like your favourite Christmas movie, there is the food menu and of course the alcoholic menu.
The XXXmas drinks are festive inspired cocktails with quirky Yuletide names, such as the Pinot Grinchio (ketel one citron vodka, apple liqueur, fresh apple, lemon juice, passion fruit, pinto grigio) or the Snowballer (ketel one citron vodka shaken with fresh custard and lemon juice). Not wanting to pass up a chance of mid-week drinking (it is almost Christmas after all) D and I chose the Pink the Middle (rhubarb gin, raspberry, lemon juice, palm sugar topped with soda) and the Sloeflake (gin, sloe gin, lemon juice, cane sugar topped with fizz) respectively.
The Sloeflake almost blew my socks off a short but powerful cocktail, the Pink in the Middle as fruity and girly as it looks D loved it (that's the cocktail not D although sometimes applicable to both).
The food menu took the most deliberation despite only consisting of four options. There's the XXXmas burger, the XXXMas dog, the Xmac & Cheese and XXXmas Garbage Plate. There was a point where I was hankering for the garbage plate, but seeing this list of food which it included I wasn't sure my belly was in the right state of mind to take it on. Instead I opted for the XXXmas burger, if every other burger joint in town is having a shot at it surely I needed to give it a whirl?
The XXXmas burger presented me with a sausage and stuffing patty, roast turkey, crispy bacon, gravy and cranberry sauce. By the time the burger had reached my ever waiting mouth the gravy had seeped in to the bun creating a trim around the bottom. Meatliquor is known for its messy dishes, the rolls of kitchen roll present on each table is kind of a give-away you'd probably be best wearing a bib, the gravy in the burger bun made this even more so as it disintegrated as I ate it, more so when the sausage and stuffing patty started to break in to pieces with each bite with bits of turkey sliding out with such force I feared for not only my lap but D's also. It's a messy affair, but as mentioned this is usually the case with Meatliquor, cleanaphobes need not visit.
D was also enticed by the Garbage Plate but for one reason or another (I suspect the chilli cheese fries swayed him away as having two portions of fries would be an overload) and he instead ordered the XXXmas dog.
D described his XXXmas dog as like eating a roast dinner in a bun, I had a little nibble on his sausage (steady) and the pork was pretty good, seasoned and herby it was more than what I was expecting from a hot-dog sausage.
There are a lack of Christmas sides, unless you order the Xmac & cheese to share so we turned to the regular menu and ordered a portion of hippy fries and chilli cheese fries. I'm not too sure how well D's side, the chilli cheese fries, went with his dog and the mammoth portions would leave me filled on the fries alone had I ordered them. I lapped up my side, the hippy fries, which was ever so slightly more matched to my main with the appearance of onions which complemented the gravy in my burger.
Meatliquor aren't famed for their desserts, you'll struggle to find any. What they do well in the absence of desserts however are shakes, alcoholic shakes. The XXXmas shake is named 'You'll Regret it in the Morning', mostly likely due to the amounts of alcohol that has been ploughed into it, you definitely won't regret it at the point of drinking. Vodka, amaretto, gingerbread syrup and vanilla shake combined together to form what D remarked as the best drink he has ever had. Forget the gingerbread lattes from Starbucks (they've basically added extra sugar and spice to cover the taste of their shit tasting coffee) and spice up your afternoon Christmas shopping with one of these bad boys instead (and a side of wings as you will find no better in Leeds).
In between courses (that being alcohol, food and then alcohol courses) I flicked carelessly through the table literature and happened upon a leaflet advertising Meatliquor brunch. They had me at the unlimited North Star Coffee if I'm honest but throw in a breakfast burger and a bloody Mary I'd drag my sorry ass in to town to indulge, even if I have spent all my cash on Sambuca the night before and have to dip in to my overdraft or mortgage deposit saving funds.. I'm sure it would be worth it.
One last look at that Christmas burger... stay tuned to see how it fairs against others in the city....
I was invited by Meatliquor to try out their XXXmas menu, as usual opinions remain honest.