Now I suppose it's possible my memory is playing tricks on me but I am sure Ed's Diner used to worth going to, the ideal antidote to a few too many strong continental lagers Up West. I remember many nights when at least some of the damage was undone by taking on board a decent burger, some good chips and a couple of cheesy classics from the counter-top juke box. This mini chain of retro diners was a welcome addition to a West End hardly overflowing with decent fast food.
Now obviously things have moved on a bit in 2007. A new breed of quality burger joints has emerged, new contenders such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Hamburger Union that have, in turn, helped inspire this blog's humble hunt for the Best Burger in London. So has Ed's Diner raised its game to meet the challenge of the new pretenders? Quite the opposite it seems: on the evidence of last Friday it seems to have packed up the game, thrown away a couple of vital components and sold the rest on ebay.
Friday night at 9:45 in a West End burger bar. How long would you expect to have to wait for a table? Fifteen minutes? Half an hour? Longer? Or no time at all... I actually thought the place was closing up early. In the 20 minutes or so I stuck around the only other diner was a member of staff. God knows why: he must have known how bad it would be.
I knew from previous experience there was no point in ordering my burger rare (some line about them not being allowed to - I only went back for the purposes of the BBIL quest) but I was hardly prepared for the overcooked, underseasoned industrial tasting rubbish I was served up with. And as if that wasn't enough it came with grated cheese. Grated cheese on a burger. WTF? The whole point of a cheese burger is to have your meat smothered with an even layer of tangy goo, somewhere between seasoning and sauce. Ed seems to think you'd rather have a lapful of cheesy flakes to go with the ordinary chips and the cheap and nasty ketchup. Dreadful from start to finish, the only saving grace being that start to finish takes only about 20 minutes. And you don't have to queue.
Burger: 1/15 (for the presentation)
Ed's Easy Diner, 15 Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JE 020 7836 0271