It might not be quite as intense as rock climbing or zip-lining, but a day of antiquing on quirky Portobello Road can still take a lot out of you. Replenish those precious calories at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, where you and your friends can relax and compare purchases over juicy burgers and chilly brews.
It’s just a little jaunt up the road from the market. Look for a chocolate-colored awning nestled between two shops and head on in. The light fixtures and thick vertical stripes of bright orange, yellow, and teal that wrap around the wood-paneled walls make you feel as though you’re staring down a tunnel into the 1970s. Hunker down at a banquette, and your server will hook you up with some free peanuts. At first glance, the burger menu is a little intimidating: Everything sounds amazing, and you’re going to have to give this some serious thought. That’s where the “While You Wait” section of the menu can help. Order some olives, served in a little glass with toothpicks, so everyone has something salty to snack on while they decide on which burgers to indulge in.
The Camemburger sounds fabulously decadent, with its truffle mayo and brioche bun, but the classic cheese and bacon with smoked cheddar and BBQ sauce has that simple appeal. You end up going for broke and ordering The Don — fully loaded with Gorgonzola and American cheese, pickled onion, and several condiments — and do your best to get your pals to order your second and third choices, in the hopes that they’ll share a bite. If they resist, try bribing them with an order of crispy sweet potato fries for the table.
The first bite of your juicy gourmet burger on its soft, buttery bun is an epiphany, and when that satisfying sting of Gorgonzola and the zing of pickled onion are cushioned by the creamy goodness of the baconaise (that’s right, baconaise), you know you’ve made the right choice. Speaking of right choices, don’t forget to have a gander at the beer and wine list. Check out the locally brewed GBK organic pale ale. It’s light, citrusy, and the perfect thing to wash down your burger. Clink bottles with your besties and debate whether you’ll be too full to split a couple banana milkshakes. (Go for it.)