The first thing one notices about X-Burger House, the new Brazilian burger house in Kilburn, is that it is in the middle of nowhere. Well to those that live in Kilburn or Willesden (or wherever it is to the south of these) it won't be but if like me you've come from the West End you're talking 7 stops on the Jubilee line and a 10 odd minute walk from the tube station. A veritable marathon. I've just changed team at work though and a long goodbye lunch was on the cards so I grabbed a couple of colleagues and set about the journey.
Once you've made the trip it's a pretty nice place, decked in clean lined modern furniture and light and airy from the large south facing windows. The kitchen is open and a till area deals out takeaways to what amounted to 4-5 people in the hour we were there.
The X in X burger is short for Xis, or Cheese, and every burger here has the magic ingredient. On top of this we're treated to various toppings from the usual bacon and fried egg to the less usual chicken hearts, peas and sweetcorn - which I'm guessing show off the Brazilian heritage. Sides again run from the usual chips and onion rings to the less usual polenta chips and chicken hearts. It is cheap dining, with burgers running from £4.50 to £7 something, sides about £2 a glass of coke a quid. The menu also had some steak sandwiches and hot dogs but I didn't get to try those.
I decided to eat the bacon X (cheese) burger and went for the 7" - over 5" - option. I wasn't sure if the " was a dodgy shorthand for oz or if the burger would be 7" tall, out the two I was guessing 7oz but it may have meant 7" diameter as this was the widest burger I've ever seen. With such width, 7oz of meat or not, it has got to be a thin burger and my guess would be around the centimetre mark, it definitely looked like it had been made fresh though, the rough edges a tell tale sign of something hand shaped or squashed flat on the griddle.
We weren't asked how we wanted our burgers cooked and mine arrived moist with the slightest hint of pink. With such thin burgers it's going to be hard to have them much less done if you want a decent amount of charring though, which is pretty important for flavour and definitely wasn't lacking. Unfortunately the burger seemed to carry on cooking at the table and whilst the first half was pretty moist it got a bit dry towards the end. From the toppings bacon was streaky and salty and and in decent quantity and cheese of the thin sliced real variety, sliced tomato added to the moisture.
All in all it was a decent burger, although I would've preferred it less cooked through.
Sides were pretty damn good. Homemade chips were crisp on the outside and fluffy inside, quite roast potato like in flavour. Onion rings had a great crunch but maybe lacked a bit in onion. Polenta chips were a revelation, perfect chip shape with crisp exteriors that gave way to buttery soft polenta - get in there quick though as by the end the last couple had lost their crunch due to the steaming middle. One criticism of all three would be the portions were a bit small (we only ate two polenta chips before I took that photo), this criticism certainly couldn't be levelled at the chicken hearts with onion though which - at less than £4 - was absolutely huge, literally hundreds of the things griddled till brown and with a hint of thyme - absolutely gorgeous.
Whilst it may not be the best burger in London X-House Burger is a cut above the average burger bar and definitely superior to the average Kilburn offering. The Brazilian influence makes for a really interesting menu, with great sides, and I may even return to see what peas and sweetcorn are like on a burger. I'll even go so far as to add it to my list of reasons to go to Kilburn which now contains - The Luminaire, The Tricycle Theatre, Angeles and X-Burger House.