‘Big Ben’ offers challenge
The Londoner’s no stranger to a party. It throws down for Top Gear, Doctor Who, Wimbledon and soccer. Ahem, footy.
But for London’s biggest party, the 2012 Summer Olympics, the restaurant at 4215 South Sherwood Forest Blvd. is pulling out all the stops. The staff is planning specials tied into certain events, like track and field, and will have live bands as well. Oh, and then there’s the food.
Some say it’s a mind-blowing burger of Olympic proportions and that no one’s ever managed to eat a whole one alone. All we know is, it’s called the Big Ben. With 4 pounds of hamburger meat, an appalling eight rashers of bacon, four fried eggs, eight slices of cheese, heaped on a muffaletta bun and served atop 2 pounds of fries, it’s a staggering pile of food.
Usually, it’s served with a Tower of Beer for a table of four ($50), but if you tackle it on your own and finish in an hour, you’ll get it free, along with a T-shirt and a plaque on the wall of fame.
Which doesn’t exist yet. Because no one’s done it. Sounds like an Olympic challenge.
Luke Betts, the man behind the plan for The Londoner and a Brit, said the Big Ben/Tower combo is popular among soccer fans, who pack the place for games.
“People sat on the floor for the World Cup,” he said. “It was impossible to serve anyone. Not that we minded.”
If the giant burger isn’t your thing, you could opt for more traditional British food, like the fish and chips (french fries), bangers and mash, steak and ale pie, chicken tikka masala or shepherd’s pie.
If you’re showing up at the breakfast hour, The Londoner also offers a weekend brunch menu that includes traditional favorites (favourites?) like baked beans for breakfast. Dessert fare includes an array of puddings, cake and a Guinness float, which is exactly what it sounds like, vanilla ice cream and Guinness Stout with maple syrup. But no jelly babies.
Betts said that, on the whole, the food from across the pond goes well with south Louisiana palates. But not everything translates.
“You should have seen their faces when I wanted to put spotted dick on the menu,” he said.
Spotted dick is a boiled pudding made with suet, bread crumbs, flour and raisins.
If getting out in a crowd’s not your thing, you can always try cooking your Brit food at home.
How hard can it be?