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30/10/2006

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Ben Bush

I had a meal there before we started this blog and hated the place. I didn't think it was at all stylish. The cow outside may have 'steak' on it, but it shouts 'cheese'. It's more the new Berni than anything else. I also thought it was way overpriced. How much was your burger? I ordered the cote de boeuf for two, for one, if you see what I mean? The meat itself was fine - nowhere near as good as, e.g. Hawksmoor or Santa Maria Buen Ayre. The service was haphazard (seemed to forget which condiments I ordered) and when they eventually came. the bearnaise was not well made and the mayonnaise tasted like it came from a jar. Terrible place.

Mark

This is a terribly harsh judgement Howard. B&B is not trying to be the Hawksmoor or seeking to create the same atmosphere, following or reputation. It is a pretty decent bar in a popular location that serves nice enough food. From memory our burgers were about £8 each including chips and a somewhat offensive gurkin. (No one actually likes gurkins - why do they persist as part of our food culture - they should be assigned to culinary oblivion...along with dill). The mood was a happy friday night crowd and the place was full. As always Ben and I were seated in the window....a typical resturant trick (eye candy I think the American's call it). I agree that the service wasn't great...they could have been a bit quicker; answered our questions and got my bacon crispy - but they were plesant and friendly which counts for a lot. At £8 a burger you dont really mind that (at least I dont think you should), and the food is fine. The meat tasted great - better frankly than that at the Boxwood a few weeks ago.

I've been to Berni Inn's. The food tasted terrible, you were treated badly and the places were poorly designed. None of these things are true of B&B. Sure - I would not recommend it to someone who wanted to splash out on a very special meal or was a steak specialist or had £100 burning a hole in their pocket, but to pub goers of Borough Market in need of a decent feed this is a welcome addition to the area. I like it !

Ben Bush

The Berni comparison is more to do with the chain/corporate feel of the place, which is probably what starts me recoiling. Did you know that Black and Blue has Tootsies DNA (http://www.tootsiesrestaurants.co.uk/)? That's a matter of aesthetics, so people are welcome to disagree with me. I can't tolerate that mayo though. The overly-corporate sense feeds into the feeling of a lack of care and is probably responsible for the variable service.

Ben Bush

And now the picture's been posted, you can see that the tomato looks really anaemic too. According to their website (http://www.blackandblue.biz/menu/index.html) you'll pay £9 for that burger.

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