Remember my post on the Duffin and it’s creator Bea? Of Bea’s of Bloomsbury? And remember how sad I was that the diner location that operated near my flat had closed?
Well, good news, folks.
Turns out, there is a MORE than acceptable reason for that diner location to close: Bea is working on opening it in a permanent location, under the name Stax. There she will serve not only delicious pancakes, french toast, and The Best Bacon in London, but also burgers and other American fare.
Last Monday night, I was privileged to go to a preview night for that diner, where Bea and her team served up some sample burgers and other yummy items. The evening was hosted by Young & Foodish, as a part of the Burger Monday series, which is exactly what it sounds like…burgers served on a Monday by various chefs/restaurants. There’s also Pizza Tuesday, Spag Wednesday, Wich Thursday, Fry Friday and Coffee Saturday.
My ticket for this particular Burger Monday featuring Bea’s delicious food came courtesy of Louise, who didn’t feel that her organizational role in the Best Birthday Surprise Ever was enough of a birthday present. She treated me and another friend, Sarah, to Bea’s Burgers as a belated gift.
Wonderfully, the burger was not the only amazing treat on the menu that night. Our meal started with Bea’s version of an AWESOME BLOSSOM. American readers will know all about this fried delicacy, but it has yet to transfer across the ocean, so I had the joy of witnessing three people (friend Gareth was also with us) indulge in this amazing taste experience for the first time.
And of course, I had the pleasure of enjoying it myself. Bea’s version was different from the typical Outback Steakhouse or Chili’s version (as you can see from the image above). The onion was smaller, but we were served one between two, so the smaller size still meant we each got more than enough. The fried bits were thicker and crispier and spiked with something slightly spicy, all of which made it even better than the mass-produced versions at chain restaurants. And the spicy mayo dipping sauce was deeeelicious.
Then came the burger. They were large and glorious looking. The grilled onions and tomatoes were thick cut, the beef was substantial and perfectly crumbly, the cheese was all American. Overall verdict: yummy.
After we were totally stuffed with burgers and awesome blossoms, we were presented with dessert. And what else would Bea serve than her signature creation? Yep, that’s right, it was a duffin. This duffin came as part of an ice cream sundae, though – drenched in caramel and hot fudge sauces, topped with ice cream, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.
It was incredible. Even on an already overstuffed stomach, I just couldn’t get enough of it. So so so good.
After the meal, Bea gave a little spiel about her vision for the diner and for American food in London. I was sitting pretty much directly across from where she was standing. Besides very obviously taking pictures of her while she spoke, I kept making little squealy, gaspy noises of delight.
I’m quite sure she thought I was completely insane. I was totally fan-girling and geeking out over her, since she’s basically living my dream and I want to be her and everything she bakes/cooks/does is amazing.
As a special bonus that night, since it was the day before Pancake Tuesday, we were each given a little Stax Pancake Mix before we left. When Bea came around to our table to drop off our mixes, I got the distinct impression that she couldn’t put them down and get away from our table fast enough. I think she knew that if she stopped to chat, I would never have let her go and probably ended up hugging her inappropriately or trying to hold her hand or something. I can’t say that I blame her.
The next day, I took a special detour to one of the bigger grocery stores on my way home so I could get the buttermilk necessary to make the pancakes that night. It was a pleasure to enjoy some delicious American-style pancakes with real maple syrup for dinner. Just extending the tastiness of the night before, and increasing my love for Bea.
Seriously, Stax can’t open soon enough. Please let it be somewhere near my flat again.
I promise I won’t geek out too much when I visit, Bea. Maybe.