“Oh My God – there is Super Mario and He-Man wallpaper!”
“You have to go the loo, there’s comic book covers all over the floor and A TWISTER GAME on the wall en route!”
“I need a Scalextric on my ceiling. Fact.”
If you are anywhere near as excitable as we are and a child of the 70s / 80s, this is the kind of conversation level you may well expect when entering into the new Atomic Burger on Gloucester Road. After seeing all the toys from your childhood covering the ceilings, the temptation to return home and rummage around in the loft in the hope that all your toys have not all gone to Jumble Sale heaven is high! Atomic Burger = nostalgia. They even serve Lucky Charms cereal – the most inventive and sugary cereal ever!
The menu is also like a giant comic book: brimming with crazy titled options such as “Woody Allen” (salt beef sandwich) and “Dirty Dog” (hot dog that comes smothered in chilli, cheese and onions). The key focus is of course the burger (made to their own mad scientist secret recipe) – a choice of beef, chicken or veggie can be had with an insane amount of different toppings. I definitely recommend going with people who are willing sharers – my friend and I are old hats at choosing two suitable options that can be shared between us; why be limited to just one option!?!?
After much deliberation I shared a “Sergio Leoni” (roasted peppers, chorizo and sour cream; added some goats cheese for good measure) and the “The Chuck Norris” (BBQ pulled pork, american cheese and onions).
For anyone who is unaware of Chuck Norris – he is ten feet tall, weighs two tonnes, breathes fire and could eat a hammer and take a shotgun blast standing. Fact.
This is therefore the kind of impact you can expect from the somewhat genius meat-on-meat concoction.
Your next difficult decision is the side order – a choice of fries, coleslaw, salad (seems wrong) and onion rings. All four of us went for the sci fries – deliciously crispy double fried chips rubbed with chilli. For those with a larger appetite, you also have the option to “go atomic”: double burger and three sides! Wow! And if this still isn’t enough, add some appetizers to the table, such as a buffalo wings bucket or “space balls”: crispy coated gooey balls of cheese with a salsa dip – being fairly newly back into the dairy world the cheese was a bit too much for me, but guzzled down by the rest of the table. After reading some mixed reviews on the food here I was a little apprehensive; however, I can report all our burgers were the perfect combination of chargrilled outer edge whilst the meat stayed pink inside. The bun repelled the sogginess of what it contained to stay light. The sci-fri fries were also serious contenders for Nando’s peri peri chips- especially with the mustard mayo that comes as standard on the table.
The drinks also carry that hint of nostalgia – with their canned drinks including Cream Soda and Root Beer. Their large selection of milk shakes can be made even more exciting by adding popping candy space dust. Does anyone not giggle with popping candy in your mouth?!?! Definitely something you should never grow out of! I actually ignored all these tempting choices to go for the Bloody Maria – made with tequila rather than vodka, this drink definitely packs a punch! PHEW!
I know the burgers should have been the key element to my eve; however, I have a confession… My favourite part of the evening was actually the dessert: toasting marshmallows at the table! I am now addicted and will be adding marshmallows to the end of every BBQ (if we get any more sun!)
Any other massive Man vs. Food fans out there may also be hoping that the mass amount of food you can have here could be made into a food challenge. Fear not; again Atomic Burger deliver! Next visit, I am making my dinner date attempt the Fallout Challenge: a triple burger encased in two tomato pizza puns with XXX Fallout Ghost chilli hot sauce and a triple portion of chilli fries! WOW! Anyone who completes it within an hour gets a T-Shirt. I’ll report back whether the promise he showed finishing off his burger and space balls with ease comes through – could be my proudest moment of him. 😉