Actor Vincent D’Onofrio put on 70 pounds to play Leonard in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.
Apparently, that’s the biggest ever weight increase for a film role.
I’ve often thought about what it’d be like to get paid to plump up. Sounds fun, but I imagine it might take the greasy shine off eating lardy treats, and you’d eventually feel a bit like a foie-gras-chugging duck.
I was reminded of this when watching foodie centrefold pictures of one-month-old Butta Burger’s wares, which were littering social media.
Oozing cheese, giant schnitzel-like pieces of chicken in buns, milkshakes and crispy bits of bacon. Oh my. I imagine this would be a one-stop-shop for enthusiastic method actors.
Apparently they baste the inside of their burgers with their own seasoned butter, hence the name and the slogan; “Everything is better with Butta”.
They could have added a Bernard Matthews style “bootiful” in there too.
In the midst of the pandemic, this place was set up by former nightclub promoters and food lovers, Simon Bays and Graham Atkinson, who currently operate from a takeaway and collection only premises and operate exclusively through Deliveroo. However, as orders have been 50 to 60 per cent higher than anticipated, there’s already potential expansion in the pipeline.
After the recession in 2008, loads of burger places sprung up, and I wonder if something similar will happen again post-covid, in a drive towards affordable comfort food.
We got our plates and knives and forks out and waited on the sofa like a pair of hungry baby gugas in their guano-plastered nest.
Although he wanted the Smokey Q (aged beef patty, crispy fried onions, marrow mayo) or the Reuben (aged beef patty, salt beef, American cheese, pickles, burger sauce), I made my plus one have the Truffle Steak Frites (£10.50). It features one of their 35 day dry-aged beef patties - slim, rather than chunky, and with a rich and smoky chargrilled flavour - a smudge of truffle dip and one of marrow mayo, as well as a handful of pale skinny fries, all sandwiched in a soft and sesame seed sprinkled bun.
It was definitely fancier than your average burger, though still pretty feral.
My Kiev (£10) number consisted of a 24-hour marinated baseball-mitt-sized chicken escalope, which was coated in a craggy, crusty, ultra-savoury and salty fox brown buttermilk batter. There was a little grating of Parmesan on top and the see-sawing piece of poultry was harnessed to its bun with a slick of cumin-spiced black garlic dip.
I’d accidentally bought an additional pot (£2) of this slick sauce, but it didn’t go to waste, as we also had to contend with a helping of their three cheese fries (£5.50).
These were different from the skinny numbers that had come with the burger. They were fatter, and harnessed tightly together with an orange mixture of melted mozzarella, cheddar and crispy Parmesan sprinkles. It was like an edible papier mache project.
Pure filth, in a good way, as was the helping of “Buttamilk fried chicken wings with chicken gravy mayo” (£6), which were juicy wee flappers. However, I think they’d forgotten the gravy mayo, or maybe it fell out of the delivery person’s bag and is being lapped off the road by a very happy dog.
They don’t do sweet stuff at this place, presumably because you’d have to be an eating machine to get that far.
I did, however, manage a few dainty sips of their palate-coating cherry pie milkshake (£5.50). I hoped this wouldn’t end in a scene similar to the blueberry pie munching competition in Stand by Me, but it would serve me right for overeating if it did.
Anyway, it was more delicious than I wanted it to be - thick, malty, ice cold, and with a melted ice-cream texture. They’d had to transport it with layers of cling film over the top, so it wouldn’t slosh everywhere, and, as if it were molten gold, they’d managed to not spill a precious drop. I appreciate it guys.
After munching myself into oblivion, that’s me a tad closer to be cast in an all female take on Full Metal Jacket.
Everything tastes better with bootiful Butta.
52 Rose Street North Lane
(0131 210 0356, www.buttaburger.co.uk)
How much? Dinner for two, £34, excluding drinks
Places to Try Nearby
Chez Jules, 109 Hanover Street, Edinburgh (0131 226 6992, www.chezjulesbistro.com)
Here’s another place that’s good for an affordable blow out, with dishes including their steak frites and cassoulet de canard. They’ve been open for delivery and takeaway through lockdown, depending on restrictions. Check their Instagram account for updates.
Oink Hog Roast, 38 Hanover Street, Edinburgh (07388 388 202, www.oinkhogroast.co.uk)
At the time of writing, Oink were planning on opening again in February, subject to regulations. Let’s hope it’s happened, and we promise not to walk past one of their shops (also at Victoria Street and Canongate) again without stopping to order a pork roll with apple sauce.
The Pakora Bar, 96 Hanover Street, Edinburgh (0131 225 1115)
It’s been a while since we were in the centre of town but we still remember the smells wafting out of this small venue, which offers dishes including haggis pakora with sweet chilli sauce. It’s currently offering delivery through Deliveroo and Just Eats. Updates are posted on their Facebook.