Published on March 2nd, 2015 | by Gavin1
Stokey Bears, Stoke Newington
Summary: Stokey Bears has managed to recreate the atmosphere that endeared us to Burger Bear over the years, and will undoubtedly gain even more followers with this permanent home
Burger Bear Picnic
Street Food aficionados will be well aware of Burger Bear, a pop up diner created by Tom Reaney, a man with a huge passion for beef patties… and disco beats. They just so happen to have won a host of awards since first setting up in 2012 and have been so successful that they’ve been able to open their first proper restaurant in October 2014 on Stoke Newington High Street. Having taken in my first Burger Bear at Red Market over a year ago, I’ve been keen to get another fix of their famous bacon jam filled beauties.
Stokey Bears has taken to the Stoke Newington culture like a duck to water- wooden picnic tables, exposed brickwork, and even t-shirts adorn the walls for decoration; there’s no need to worry about your dirty converses when entering this establishment. The menu is equally simplified, with just four burgers (including one vegetarian bean burger) and the option to double or even triple stack for those with a bigger appetite. Naturally we order all three beef burgers (well it would be rude not to!).
The kitchen roll on the table offers a hint about what’s to come- and when our food arrives I can see why standard napkins would be horribly inadequate. The juices are flowing, the heavenly smell of bacon is making me delirious; but before I get messy, there’s another dish on the table that I love even more than a good burger, arancini. And not any old risotto version of the Italian snack, today’s special is…wait for it… mac ‘n’ cheese arancini (queue hysteria). They must have known I was coming because they took two of my favourite dishes and combined them to incredible results, so good that we order a second portion. We order a portion of chicken wings too (£5.50), which come in a gorgeous orange buffalo sauce and are deep fried to just the right amount of crunch.
And finally onto the burgers; classic cheese (£7.50), Grizzly (£10), and Angry (£8.50). The Grizzly is the most impressive judging by appearance with double staked patties, cheese, oaked smoked bacon, and THAT bacon jam. After the first bite, I knew I made the right choice tucking into this one first; the bacon jam gives this a unique edge that makes it my favourite of the three. But that’s not to say the other two are inferior- far from it!
In the classic cheeseburger you can really appreciate the flavour without any distractions, and the quality of beef sets Burger Bear apart from any ordinary burger. The Angry burger is topped with Helluvapino relish and Holy Fuck hot sauce, created by another street food god, The Ribman. Despite the intimidating name, it’s not as hot as I’d initially expected and adds a pleasant heat to my burger- it was a tough call but runs a close second to the Grizzly, in my humble opinion of course.
In fact, everyone I’ve talked to about Stokey Bears since my visit likes a different burger for different reasons; and that’s the beauty of Burger Bear. Despite the differing opinions, all burger lovers are in universal agreement that their burgers are in the upper echelons of the London burger hierarchy. In Stokey Bears, Tom has managed to recreate the atmosphere that endeared us to Burger Bear over the years, and will undoubtedly gain even more followers with this permanent home.
If you feel to carry on the evening with a cocktail, we highly recommend you check out Original Sin bar downstairs.
Stokey Bears, 129 Stoke Newington High St, N16 0PHShare This Post