Hawksmoor, Air Street – Review #4

Hawksmoor!! Hawksmoor, Hawksmoor, Hawksmoor!! What can I say..?? In the end I have to start at the beginning.
For me to do that I will approach this differently.
Unlike my previous reviews, this particular venue I have ventured too before, oh so many times before but not this particular site. Opened only a few weeks ago it has already booked itself up until the new year.

One of the key guidelines I promised I would not fall victim to in my reviews and blog, is to not compare any venues that I am writing about to any other venues I have been too. I believe I should write about that particular restaurant and only that restaurant, base everything I am critiquing purely on that restaurants merits alone.

However, today we are presented with
What I will call a fortuitous loop hole. Hawksmoor now has 4 beautiful venues that I can, if necessary, comment and compare on throughout this review. Why? Well they are in theory, the same restaurant, same belief, same wonderful team and most importantly their mantra towards Meat, food, cocktails, quality and service are unequivocally second to none!

The date – 5th November 2012


Reservations – – get in early people, this place is booked up and won’t change for a while so plan ahead!

The Scoop – the first of the Hawksmoor mini steak empire to delve into diversifying their menu to allow for equally delicious Fish based dishes. You can relax, they have not lost any focus on their love for the Cow!


Firstly, for the uninitiated to the wonderful world of Hawksmoor, this is about Meat. Pure unadulterated Meat. Of the cow kind. All the good parts of the black and white wonder, cooked to such requested perfection and desire that Gout should be listed as a side dish on the menu!
I mean let’s be honest, grilled bone marrow with slow cooked onions and the unbelievable Tamworth Belly Ribs already available as a starter, I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if gout was an option too, with a sprinkle of bacon, obviously!

I. Love. This. Place.

Allow me to wax lyrical…

One of my favourite sites in London ( The Old Cocoon site on air street) has finally been commandeered by my favourite steak house in the world (Hawksmoor, obviously!). You can imagine my excitement when I heard through the grapevine that this collaboration was occurring…

I was so excited I booked twice! That may seem excessive however Let me explain. On the day that the booking lines for the new Hawksmoor open they received over 3000 calls! That’s a serious hot line!
Fortunately I have been signed up to their newsletter for a few years now and I received a notification email informing me I could book a table in advance of this mayhem. I Duly obliged and taking the opportunity booked two separate tables three weeks apart. Why you ask? One for business and one for pleasure obviously. I did have in the back of my mind that I would book two so I would be able to sample the steak dishes on the first occasion and then I would break the mould and eat from the new and exciting Fish Menu… I won’t lie, if anyone reading this knows me, I just couldn’t bring myself to not have steak the second time too…ah well, Ce La Vie, there is always next time.

Now, let’s talk about the food!

First up, the starter. With so many delights to choose from as mentioned before including Brixham crab on toast with Mayonnaise and potted beef and bacon with yorkshire puddings, I was spoilt for choice to say the least. I could real off a further dozen equally delectable, unique and tantalising starter dishes however we’d be here forever.
I chose the Tamworth Belly Ribs, that’s right Pork!! Surprised?? No I didn’t think so. It is almost hilarious that this is considered a starter. The ribs consisted of two 1 inch fat and 4 inch long blocks of luscious, juicy, piggy meat coated in a thick rich sauce that to me can only be described as exquisite with a hint of curried influence!
Please note, the word ribs will conjure up images of basically 10 hollow marker sized bones with a thin meat layer of flesh. I want to make this point very clear, this dish barely has a rib in site, infact it’s quite pathetic how it can actually be called a rib when 90% of it is actually meat!! They should be called Tamworth Belly Meat fest!!
They are amazing. Pure and simple. Mouthwatering flesh that you cut through like a hot knife through butter! Each mouthful confirming the quality of the last.
An amazing beginning to what I like to think is the epitome of Meat greed.
Oh, there is a token yet delicious salad of purple cabbage that accompanies this that actually serves well to help digest and prolong the flavour of the meat.
God bless the Tamworth Piggies!


Now for the Main event!!
STEAK…. So many different cuts and sizes to choose.The rib eye, for meat with full flavour and juicy delights to the Fillet, a block of pure unadulterated red meat the size of your knuckle. Cooked correctly this should have a beautiful Red and bloody centre with a slightly charred and cooked frame!
One of my best friends told me that once in the past he was asked how he’d like his steak cooked. His reply, “take the steak and show it the flame, scare it a little and that’s it”… I loved that. Rare as in raw basically! I on the other hand i’m not that bloodthirsty although that may surprise you.
I like the fat in meat, marbling gives my meat the juices and flavour I dribble at the mouth for. As you may have guessed I chose the Rib eye. A healthy 400g block of cow cooked to Medium Rare perfection.


To me there is no better steak in the country let alone the world. Each Hawksmoor I have visited has never let me down. Perfectly cooked to the medium rare I require, evenly distributed fatty marbling giving it an equal amount of juiciness throughout the meat, allowing every bite to contain beautifully balanced flavour and sends my eyes rolling into the back of my head while I allow the steak to take me away, For each bite my focus is only in one place, my mouth!
One day I’ll talk to you guys about the 5 foods I’ll choose if I could only eat those 5 foods forever, for now I’ll tell you one of them is eggs, I’m telling you this because another great touch that Hawksmoor offer is the “extras” you can have with your meat. My choice, 2 fried eggs with runny yummy yokes!!…


I’m not one to shy away from words to describe my food and everything else in my life, indeed I find the use of words to draw the pictures one of my favourite hobbies, however I think you will agree that nobody’s words could do this steak justice like these pictures do.


Accompanying this magnificent beast we ordered the amazing Triple cooked chips, I think you will have to go far and wide to find chips as good as these, crunchy yet fluffy, which seems impossible but they manage it with ease. Add to this the wonderfully moist and “healthy” creamed spinach. The disgustingly wonderful Macaroni and cheese which in itself should have a “mains dish size” available too and finally a portion of Mash and gravy! Such good mash too! Creamy, that’s the word you want when describing Mash and Hawksmoor Nailed it.

Finally, the Coup de grace, The Bone Marrow gravy. A dish that only Hawksmoor could create and nobody can take away from them. The single most delicious liquid not consisting alcohol I have ever tasted! Pure, rich and thick with dark chocolaty features, the bone marrow Gravy is the jewel in Hawksmoors crown. A singular masterpiece, undeniably Devine it should have a health warning on it it’s that good!


My plate may have looked like a mess but every part of my meal was an explosion of flavours and rich, juicy food.


After the amazing Tamworth ribs, spectacular Rib eye and accompaniments I was spent. Fed and full. Smiling from ear to ear. Washed down with a deep fruity Malbec (Pulenta Estate) I sit back and closed my eyes, just for a moment reminding myself of every mouthful, every flavour and already nodding to myself in appreciation. Then it hits me. Something is missing. We call the waitress over and I utter the words that take me from 5 steps to heaven straight into 7th Heaven!!…



No restaurant has EVER come close when it comes to sticky toffee pudding. Infact every other sticky toffee pudding pales in comparison. It’s embarrassing just how good this is. I would go to Hawksmoor, sit at the bar and just order their Sticky toffee pudding, it’s that good. I genuinely believe that no matter how bad my life may get, that first mouthful will make me feel warm and special every time!! It is undeniably orgasmic.
The pudding is moist and warm, there is a river of hot toffee surrounding it like a Moat around a castle and finally to cut and balance those deliciously rich flavours is a dollop of thick wonderful double cream. Perfection. At £6.75, are you kidding me????

As we draw to the inevitable conclusion for my fourth review about a new venue for my old favorite restaurant, rest assured that they are so confidently getting better and better at what they do. Never resting on their Laurels, each site as magnificent and quirky as the other. Whether its the reclaimed science Lab bar tables or the subway station tiles and half moon leaded windows, Hawksmoor is without out any doubt my favorite steak restaurants in the UK.
We all have habits, Hawksmoor is my Habit and I love it.

They recently launched their new Christmas burger at their Seven dials site – Deep fried butter milk turkey, Hawksmoor sausage party, spiced cranberry ketchup, caramelized onions, crispy, smoked streaky bacon tipped with ogleshield cheese in a brioche Bun!!


Guess where I will be this Sunday lunch time??

Until next time Meat Lovers!


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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Food Porn, Good Food, Meat Dishes, steak


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Old Bengal Bar, EC2 – review #3

Being the owner of this exciting food-porn storytelling tool of a blog, I have the luxury of deciding all the weird and wonderful places I choose to dine in. Then, you the reader, allow me to tease and tempt you into hopefully breaking the monotony that we all happen to fall into of eating in the same 5 venues over and over again for as long as we can remember.
For this privilege, I thank you and can only hope that my words Inspire you all to step out of your comfort zone and give your mouth and taste buds the surprise of a lifetime, if only so that you, like me can enjoy the finer things in life and spread the wonderful word of Food!!

The date – 13th November 2012

The venue – Old Bengal Bar

Reservations – go the website and get booking.

The Scoop – D & D London’s newest venture into the city, and only a stones throw away from Liverpool st tube station, conspicuously situated down New street at the Old East Indian trading companies offices that have been derelict for the last 30 years. Great burgers, steak sandwiches and a beautiful array of bar food that will literally give their adjacent restaurant The New Street Grill, a run for its money. They also have The Fish Market and wine shop to compliment their versatility.


Anybody who works within the food and drinks industry will no doubt concur when I say the best part of our job is the people and relationships we have within this industry. We are all friends and we treat each other more than often like an extension of our family. We work together to help each other and very seldom is there ever a feel of competition despite how our respective brands, being it one bar to another or one wine to another, may be competing. It’s the most wonderful element to this amazing industry.

PJ and I had both not seen Milos for quite some time, infact I’m sure the last time We drank together he mentioned he was leaving the industry to set up a family business. So it was a wonderful surprise to hear that he had returned and was in charge of an exciting new D & D venture in the city.
Now to be honest, from my point of view there had been, much like the smell of freshly baked bread, a rumour going around that Old Bengal Bar does a mean burger. I must point out that most of my friends in the industry are well aware of my devious, carnivorous exploits and are very kindly always sharing their food based gossips and experiences.
Obviously, I was there to catch up with Milos but I definitely had an ulterior motive for visiting.
Once both PJ and I had finished our respective work based business discussions and suitably caught up with Milos we settled ourselves into the bar and ordered as suggested by rumour and confirmed by Milos the following burger and side dishes….

The Burger….


The Burger was delivered to us on a wooden board with an open bun, medium rare 100 % Angus Beef Meat, covered in thick oozing cheese, topped with an egg and strips of beautifully crisp bacon.
Accompanying this you have a thick leaf of lettuce, large round tomato wheel and a whole ring of purple onion, finally you have the top of the bun which is lightly cooked with a sweet glossy brioche like finish.
Both the tomato and onion ring are almost the size of the burger itself, exactly how it should be in my opinion.
I absolutely loved the DIY element of this burger, the whole onion disc would be too overpowering for me so to be able to pull off 4 or 5 of the outer rings, add this to the burger along with the lettuce, tomato and top hat of a bun was absolute perfection to me. The finished and ready to eat product could not have looked more delicious.


Layer upon layer of bright beautiful colours, each one contrasting the other creating a visual sensation that was only to be matched by the overwhelming flavours that oozed and teased my mouth from the first bite. I have to confess, The first moment I bit into this mesmerizing burger was so good that as I pulled my mouth away, I couldn’t help myself but take a further bite so as to capture even more of the Meaty, egg and cheese goodness.
Each mouthful more fulfilling then the last, I savored all the ingredients in this
magnificent masterpiece, not one flavor overpowering the other, all my taste buds standing to attention to make the most of a burger that despite it size would end far too soon.

To delay this inevitably sad end to what could place itself in my top 3 burgers of all time, we had ordered further side dishes that had once again been kindly suggested by the amazingly friendly and informative staff.
We all love the word “Home made”, but in a restaurant in the middle of the city, nobody could have possibly expected the delicate, flavor some, beautifully thin, puff pastry, wrapping the most soft and tender pork sausage to be available for their edible delights!


Alongside this I was again treated to what I can only describe as the most wonderfully tasty, warm and crumbly scotch egg. Made to perfection and hot from the oven, this I can quite confidently tell you was the best “Home made” scotch egg I have ever eaten.


I have already made plans to return and only sample the bar snacks as the previous two items of sausage roll and scotch egg were simply Devine and have left me anxiously curious to see what else The Bengal Bar food snack selection can delight me with.

At this point I must return to the piece de resistance, the Bengal Burger!!
I had not left it too long between bites however, often I find that if you break up your main dish with accompaniments such as the Triple cooked chips which were perfect for this creation, it allows each mouthful of the main event to be that much more delicious, as if every time you bite into this burger it’s a brand new sensation over and over again!! Waves of flavors and juices filling your mouth with ecstasy and joy.

Sadly, like all magnificent things it had to come to an end.
I’m not sure about everyone else but I always like to make sure that when I eat something as amazing and delightful as this burger, I create one final big bite that will literally fill my mouth perfectly with every element of the burger that made it such a time stopping masterpiece and it was, my final bite, probably better then the first and left me unlike any burger of this size and proportion, wanting another – immediately!!

I emplore you, I know the city can be cold and sometimes un welcoming but if you want an example of “the perfect burger”, you will do very well to find anything that comes close to this.

For me it is until next time Old Bengal, I’ll be seeing you again, very soon!!



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Beard to Tail – Review #2

When I was a kid, say around 10 I had an unhealthy obsession for Ribs from my then favourite restaurant “Mikes Kitchen”, which was a famous chain of restaurants in South Africa. I’m 31 now and for the life of me I can’t quite put my finger on whether it was the deliciously succulent ribs or the free gold badges you get when the waitress asks you maths questions and you get them right!!
21 years later I still have that craving for a rack of succulent ribs (and gold badges but we’ll keep that between us!) which leads me into my second official adventure in my blogging world.

The date – 17th of October 2012.

The venue – BEARD TO TAIL

Reservations – email but I’d get in quick as I’m sure they’re booking up fast!

The Scoop – Piggy and Whisky goodness. The team behind the 9th best bar in the world (Calooh Callay) team up to bring you hearty, meaty food to match their exquisite cocktails.


It had been a while since I’d seen Luke so when he text me to inform me of our man date at Beard to Tail, my alter ego #Thelostmeatmonster pricked his ears and taste buds to attention!
We were joined by another carnivorous friend of ours, Jenny who being female and a talented eat and drinker balanced our team out nicely.
With such an array of new and innovative culinary delights to choose from on the menu, I decided to opt to use my “Call a friend” card, I’m pleased to say my friends did too.
Now it just so happens that our “Friend” was one of the key ingredients to the Beard to Tail family, Miss Andrea Montague. Could there be a better guide??

To begin, I had Doreen’s black pudding salad with a Deep fried Hens egg! That’s right, Deep fried!! The food envy kicked in immediately. As you should when out on a new restaurant experience with friends, we opted to sample a mouthful of each others dishes. Luke had the B2T steak tartar with Kentucky Ale and Jenny the copperhead Ale mussels and smoked bacon. I can happily say I am no fan of Mussels and still can’t quite bring myself to eat something that chooses as a mollusc, to reside on rocks, therefore I did not try these but I definately approved of the Bacon!!
The Steak tartar however was divine, the one mouthful I sampled was more than enough for a mental note to order this as my starter upon my return.


Moving swiftly back to my entrée, a beautiful blend of rocket based salad, two generous triangles of Black pudding, a healthy splattering of roasted potato cubes topped of with a beautifully deep fried hens egg. Slicing through the deep fried egg only to watch the deep yellow yoke dribble out all over my black pudding, I literally felt my mouth salivate in anticipation. Perfectly balanced mouthfuls of pudding, rocket and deep Fried hens egg were as good as imagined if not better. I cannot encourage you more to try this dish.
For all men around who like me don’t understand the term “salad”, believe me when I tell you this is worth a jump into the “salad unknown”.

With our hopes high based on the delicious starters, we were eager to dig into our main courses.
Luke went for the braised pork cheeks with ginger and dill pickles while Jenny went for the pulled feather blade with green peppercorn hollandaise and flat bread.
For the curious who are interested what “feather blade” is, it is a cut of meat from the cow which sits on the side of the shoulder blade and when sliced looks like a feather with the nerve like the quill.
My mouthful of this was soft and juicy with so much flavour, I could’ve easily devoured this entire dish in a heartbeat.

Finally, after 21 years I was transported back to my Rib loving days of “Mikes Kitchen” when I was served a full rack of BBQ bourbon ribs with grilled corn on the cob. I cannot begin to describe just how good these were and I will have to leave you waiting that little bit longer as I take you through the side dishes that we chose to accompany our main courses.


First let me make this clear, these were far from side dishes!

Double dipped daddy chips were as you can imagine absolutely delicious. Chunky double cooked chips to break the meat fest we were endeavouring on. Second to this was the bubble and squeak, another amazing potato based side dish with a healthy measure of cabbage to add that extra flavour. Thirdly we chose the east side coleslaw. I am of the opinion that coleslaw is underrated and under used as a side dish and it did not disappoint with a refreshing hint of apple to coincide with the strips of red cabbage and onion.
Last but sincerely not least we were treated to what can only go down as a classic and iconic Beard to Tail master piece, the Meaty Beans. So much so that I emplore the owners of B2T to make this a Mains dish! chunks of luscious meat and beans in a rich meaty sauce almost took my attention away from the huge glistening rack of ribs in front of me! I honestly don’t think I left much of the meaty beans for Luke and Jenny, sorry guys!
And now, onto my main event.
A huge rack of BBQ ribs generously covered in a wonderfully sticky bourbon based sauce. A mini pet hate of mine is when a dish hasn’t got enough sauce or gravy on it, well it’s a good thing my Ribs came with a pot on the side of the aforementioned delicious sauce just in case, if not only so I can dip those double dipped daddy chips into the sauce!! Boom.
The ribs were exactly what you want, sticky, meaty and fall off the bone tenderness blessed with a coating of some of the tastiest bourbon sauce I have tasted to date! I was kind enough to give Luke and Jenny one of my ribs although very begrudgingly!!!
I ploughed through those ribs like it was my last meal on this earth! So good I would have ordered another round of ribs immediately after given the chance.
In fact I am more than happy to take up the Beard to Tail BBQ Bourbon Rib challenge that I have heard whispers may be happening in the near future! That’s how much I love these ribs. A tip of the hat for the wonderful grilled corn on the cob as an accompaniment.



Beard to tail had hit the proverbial Nail on the head, a perfect balance of gluttonous meat and juicy goodness surrounded by wonderful variety and palate pleasing dishes. I will be going back very soon as what I described today doesn’t begin to describe the amazing options to gorge on the menu.


It wasn’t the end….
We glimpsed this amazing creation in the corner of our eyes and just had to have it.


Guys and girls, if you haven’t already halfway through this review emailed the guys at Beard to Tail for a reservation please do, life is about enjoying all our experiences and I can guarantee this is one experience you will enjoy. Over and over again.

I’m just trying to get 10 people together so we can sample the Whole suckling pig option they have on their menu.

Get in my face.


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Burger & Lobster – Review #1.

I have spent the last 3 or 4 years toying around with the idea of telling anyone who wants to listen about my food based exploits and it seems quite appropriate that the tipping point came this weekend.
I have always been of the opinion that we all have good experiences in life however when something great comes along we can’t help but want to tell everyone about it!

The Date, the 13th of October 2012, this saturday just gone.

The Place, BURGER AND LOBSTER, Clarges street, London.

Reservations, you can’t make a booking. Arrive early, get your name down and wait patiently at the bar. ( It’s worth it!).

The Scoop, the clue is in the title and so is their simplicity. 3 items on the menu. You guessed it, they consist of Burger (option of cheese and Bacon) which I highly recommend. Whole Lobster (option of bigger sizes) and for the folk who don’t like to crack shells, the unbelievably elegant Brioche Lobster roll.

The price, simple – £20 for each dish.

please note – there are options for larger/heavier lobsters at a slightly higher price.


The Burger – what can I say, as close to perfection as it gets.
My criteria for a classic burger is simple.
– A thick glazed bun, capable of withstanding any meat that’s held between its two parts, soft enough not to mask the flavour of the meat within it.
– Burger to be made with quality meat, handmade with classic ingredients (onions, breadcrumbs or similar, salt, egg and pepper).
– Accompaniments – fresh tomato, fresh lettuce and fresh onion.
Light mayo or similar acceptable.

Now, going back to the burger and I do apologise for drifting off on specifics, I had heard rumours that the quality of the burger at Burger & Lobster was not of the standard compared to the other two lobster based items so as to compensate for the relatively cheap Whole Lobster prices.

Let me clear this up, This Burger is exquisite and epitomises everything you could ever want for in a classic burger and is worth every pound both in cost and the 10oz of meat that you get for it!

With the added cheese and bacon option you could not ask for better and I do not say that lightly with over 46 comparative burger experiences to judge it on.

In my opinion there is only one way to request your burger be cooked, medium rare! and that’s how it came, 70% pink tenderness with 30% of cooked goodness around the edges.
Sitting on a bed of crisp lettuce, topped with thickly cut tomato, red onion, glued softly together with thick cheese and topped off with 2 rashers of thick smoked bacon.

A mouthwatering feast of flavour that will have you waking up in a cold sweat, Licking your lips wondering how long you have to wait before you can justify to yourself that it’s ok to go back for a second helping!!…


The Lobster – I am not one to cut corners or favourite one food type over another however as stated early on, I am a Meat Man. Yes yes, lobster is a type of meat however in general not meaty to satisfy the needs of a red blooded South African.

In this instance however I must digress, there are times where even the most stubborn red meat lover has to acknowledge the quality of such a tantalising and mouth watering sea dweller.
The lobster, straight from Canada is offered steamed with the option to grill afterwards on the Robota style Grill (recommended), for that smoky after taste that so many opt for.
Succulent fresh white meat cooked to perfection and to top it off, the all important ingredient, a silver boat full to the brim of lemon and garlic butter!! You can, pour it grotesquely all over that juicy meat and shell or rip and pull the flesh from its carcass and dip into the butter to your hearts content!!
I dare say there can be no more a complete or better lobster experience unless you were sitting in an equally desirable restaurant on the east coast of Maine!!…

The Brioche Lobster roll…


As you will see above it overflows with tender mounds of meaty lobster, lubricated with B&L’s special Japanese Mayo made with rice wine vinegar.

I will prepare you in advance, at first you might assume that the size of the Brioche lobster roll pales in comparison to the aforementioned dishes but please let me assure you that ordering two of these would be rapacious!
Instead, close your eyes and allow yourself to capture every mouthful of flavour and texture.
Upon your last mouthful of this lobster roll you will be happy and content knowing that you have just experienced something utterly special and satisfying and that to order a further Brioche Lobster roll will only sully your inevitable future visits.

something that I have deliberately overlooked until now is the all so necessary side dishes that are included with all of the three dishes above.

Two silver tins, one of fries and the other a side salad of equal proportion accompany these dishes to give them an equal balance of carbs, salt and vegetable necessity.
The Fries – which are thin, crisp and covered in salt are a suitable side to the mesmeric burger or luscious lobster and Lobster roll.
The Salad – a mixed Green salad with Rocket, onions and Parmesan with a sprinkle of crispy croutons allowing the diner to momentarily feel better about the glutton fest in front of them…

This is my first complete entry into the world of “Thelostmeatmonsters” journey. Burger & Lobster is already a firm favourite with a lot of the “in the know and industry” crowd however I hope that after you read this I have given a reasonably concise and educated account of what will be in store for your palate and belly sometime in the near future….

All in all I can guarantee that once you finally pull yourself away from your table and out of the door, that you will already be setting a date in your mind for your next visit and no doubt you will be itching to visit their new Burger & Lobster site in Dean street, Soho.


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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Burgers


My journey to salivating food salvation…

Life can be painted in many ways, today I finally commit to my threat of sharing with the masses the privilege of my eating In some of the coolest, innovative and down right gluttonous culinary establishments.

I will be brutal, it will be pornographic and you will salivate, but fear not I will lay myself on the line so that you the readers are better informed and prepared for when you choose to venture out and eat in my world.

Born in South Africa I cannot escape my inherent obsession for Meat. Burgers, steaks and chicken wings will feature heavily with the occasional splattering of Pork, lamb and sea food.

Strict criteria for each food type and cooking standard must be adhered to which will be outlined for every dish worthy of a place in the LostMeatMonsters “Hall of Flames”.

Ultimately The “perfect” burger, steak or lobster will never be found or labelled, for as in life,”TheLostMeatMonsters” quest is the Journey, not the destination…..

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”….


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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Thoughts