Dip and Flip, Wimbledon

Gravy. No roast is complete without gravy. I feel strongly that this could be extended to chips, sliced meat sandwiches and burgers. Obviously. To make all your dipping dreams come true Dip and Flip serve up a side of gravy with every burger and sandwich. As if they weren’t tasty enough already, the gravy adds that little bit of… hmm… that little bit of… DAM tastiness. You get me? Wondering why my sandwich has a candle in it? Yeh! It was my birthday meal venue of choice and I don’t regret it one bit.
I went for the sliced beef sandwich with Dijon mustard, gherkins and white cabbage slaw. Gravy in it and gravy on the side. Chips were smothered in mozzarella and… gravy!
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On previous visits I’ve had the Dip and Flip burger – cheese burger topped with sliced lamb…

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This is a no book kinda establishment so get in early or be ready to queue. The Wimbledon branch is the biggest so head here if you’ve got a large party. Otherwise go to Clapham Junction or Tooting. For true comfort food that goes above and beyond your standard burger, Dip and Flip is the place.
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Franks Hamburger House, Cogenhoe

Frank’s Hamburger House offers a lipsmacking, tummy rumbling selection of beef whether it’s in their Steakhouse or Hamburger House(s). Both can be found on the Wellingborough Road with a third venue recently opening in Billing. Although the Cogenhoe venue is poorly advertised it nonetheless serves the most delicious burgers (amongst other things).
After booking an hour before arriving to eat we were greeted by not only a friendly team of waitresses but a snazzy, smart interior. It looked impeccably clean that I would happily have eaten my burger straight off the table.
The menu boasts a wonderful selection of burgers, from the Express Lift Tower (double burger, cheese & bacon) to the Middleton Wholesome (burger, bacon, stilton & beer battered onion rings), the latter of which I went for. The bacon was perfectly crispy and the burger brilliantly juicy. It featured just the right amount of stilton and the onion rings were certainly nothing to complain about. The chips… let me tell you about the (bottomless) chips. They had been cooked to perfection and were the right balance of crispy and fluffy. It all came with a great, fresh salad.
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On the side we had halloumi with a balsamic glaze. The halloumi was cut into generous sized chunks and went down like a dream.
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Overall, service was quick and warm and the food was everything I expected. This isn’t a slapdash hamburger joint but serves up gourmet, tasty burgers. The starters and sharing plates coming out of the kitchen looked incredible, hence why a visit back to Franks is on the agenda.
Franks Hamburger House, Station Road, Cogenhoe, Northampton, NN7 1NH
(01604) 281964

McDonalds Sustainable Beef in Their HAMburgers from 2016

Sorry, I couldn’t help but crack that joke… which wasn’t funny but it’s done now.

After hearing about McDonald’s pledge to begin using verified sustainable beef by 2016 I was greeted with a mix of emotions. To begin with I thought, well what a nice idea but GOOD LUCK it’s not going to happen. When I really started to get my teeth into it and words like WWF and Farm Assurance popped up a small halo appeared above the golden arches in my mind. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration but I was impressed. And there was a larger than life Big Mac floating around to the side of the page which, I won’t lie, made me furious at McDonald’s for making me hungry. Joking aside, I loved this idea of sustainable beef…

But, I started to think, what is this doing for British beef and British farmers? There aren’t any British producers on the Members Board of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) who are working to put together a framework for best practices of sustainable beef, but solely American, Canadian and Australian producers. And, as pointed out by McDonalds themselves, it is a tough job creating such a framework as every country works with different ecosystems, breeds and processes! So I had a little look for this framework, but could I find it? No. Not only that but I wasn’t impressed by the GRSB website. For a company, supposedly leading the defining of sustainable beef I expected something a bit more professional. Or a link to the draft framework that McDonalds are so proud of. I suppose the UK hasn’t got the biggest beef industry, nothing like the size of American ranches but I was surprised to see that China (producing 11.6% of global beef) doesn’t have a representative on the board.

The McDonald’s website informs us that the GRSB began its work in 2011. So, 3 years its taken them to bring together these guidelines (which aren’t even the final product) and it’s going to be another 2 years until they just BEGIN to buy sustainable beef (of which they have defined themselves). I feel there is a severe lack of hard, solid goals for McDonalds to strive for and annoying consumers like me to feel reassured by. Nonetheless, I still admire McDonald’s for these lofty statements because passing a company-wide goal like that must have been a tricky job.

But, is this an example of sustainable fashion? We’ve seen company after company pledge to become greener, more efficient, more sustainable. So is this simply a glorified PR move? A way to make consumers (like me) feel better about ordering that big fat Big Mac.

As much as I hope McDonalds meets its goals, I really do (as a daughter of beef farmers) I can’t help but think it’s all about keeping up with the trend of sustainability and provenance. And that’s not a bad thing. If this is what consumers wants then please McDonalds, deliver!

I would love to hear your comments, no doubt there are some corrections needed so please, don’t hold back. As a consumer, this is what I think having used trusty old Google, and I can guarantee, that’s more than what the usual consumer will use.