Mick's Monster Burgers, Portsdown Hill | Takeaway review
I’ll give you into a clue about my identity, Dish Detective also has a day job; and it was because of this job I found myself on the road one bright afternoon during half-term.
I needed to get from Portchester to Havant. The satnav suggested the route via Portsdown Hill. A trip up the hill is a Pompey rite of passage (no we don’t mean that…), but it’s also home to the legendary Mick's Monster Burgers – otherwise known as Monster Mick’s. Portsmouth wouldn’t be Portsmouth without it.
Dish Detective’s last visit to Monster Mick’s was during lockdown #1, when the column was pulled, and I think we are still digesting the amount of food we ate that day. Now, days away from lockdown #2, we pay a visit to see how they are keeping up with Covid regulations.
A bitter wind whipped about us as I joined the end of the queue which has been roped off to ensure people are socially distanced and don’t spill into the car park.
The queue was slow-moving so I was delighted to reach the other side of a large, parked lorry, positioned to protect the serving hatch.
It’s outside and windy, but Dish Detective still wears a mask, and notes only a few other people doing the same – including workers.
As I queue, I can’t help but earwig the conversation of those workers, who are clearly hard at it but are discussing the latest news about the council employing marshals to monitor breaches of Covid regs. It’s causing some gossip and there are claims some other establishments in town haven’t obeyed. Burger, chips with a side of gossip please, brilliant. I note the names and vow to visit.
I order a small bacon burger (£3.60), chips (£2.50) and a can of Rio (£1). From past experience I know the Monster Mick speciality, a Gutbuster comprising a 1lb beefburger, egg, bacon, jumbo sausage and mushrooms (£8.10) – would finish me for the day, even the week, so I play safe.
I was given a number and waited to the side in another roped off area. The camaraderie of the other customers was notable. Everyone seems to appreciate we are all here because we know.
Shortly after my number was called and I headed back to the sanctuary of the car to devour the mountain of food. The chips are proper – thick, deep-fried and hot. Seagulls eye up the pile through the window. They know I’m never going to finish.
The burger is your classic burger van burger. Grilled and shoved into a huge soft white bun with greasy bacon on top. This is top of the burger van world. If there was an award for Best Traditional Burger Van Burger I’m pretty sure Mick would win. I’m not sure Mick has deviated from the tried and tested recipes of the ’80s but that’s OK, that’s exactly what we came for. Proper Pompey grub.
It’s a mighty fine lunch and the view is splendid, there’s something very special about it. And if you can enjoy a view like that with a good burger in hand - that’s worth celebrating.
RATINGS (out of five)