Imagine the scenario: Cheech and Chong are crashed out on the floor of their student house in Oxford, worse for wear after an epic night out, kebab juice and lager stains down the front of their shirts, Camberwell carrot in hand. And one says to the other: “That kebab was rank. We should have got a burger, man.” And the other one says: “There aren’t any decent burgers around here man. Hey dude, we should open our own burger place.” “Far out, it could have amazing milkshakes with thick chocolate and peanut butter.” “Yeah and Zaphod Flaming Gargleblaster Margharitas.” “Yeah and the burgers would be massive and filled with everything you could ever want.” “Yeah, massive burgers with bacon and beef chilli and cheese and lettuce and atomic sauce that will blow your ass off.” Snigger, snigger.

“Yeah, and we could call them stupid names like Forrest Gump or Dead Elvis.” “Yeah, and if you’re burger doesn’t have exactly what you want in it you can just add it.” “Yeah, so if you want a fried egg and refried beans and a pineapple ring in it you can order that too.” Chortle chortle. “Yeah man, and if you don’t like burgers, you could have hotdogs and massive spare ribs as big as the table.” “Yeah, and the chicken wings would blow your head off.” Snort snort. “And there should be a burger that’s so big that you’d get a prize if you ate it all. “Yeah, we could call it the Godzilla Challenge. Man I would take it on right now!” “And what about inside man?” “Oh, it would have Star Wars wallpaper and The Millennium Falcon hanging from the roof.” “Yeah, and all my A Team figurines. And cars and planes.” “Yeah and we can have all our favourite films playing on perma-loop.” “Yeah, like Ghostbusters and Magnum and Jaws and The Dukes of Hazard.” “Yeah man. That would be awesome, dude.” Let’s face it. We’ve all had conversations like that at 4am. But who would actually put them into practice? Martin Bunce and James Reilly to be precise. And not only is Atomic Burger in Cowley Road a huge success, with a franchise opening in Bristol, but its sister Atomic Pizza has also become a cult classic. And the result? Insane. But great fun insane. And while it is like walking into a small boy’s fantasy world, Atomic Burger is brilliant and unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. My kids’ mouths were open and remained so, staring around them in amazement, especially when given the menus and asked what flavour milkshakes they wanted. They were actually screaming with excitement when they realised they could add spacedust which then pops in their faces and hair. “I’ve never been anywhere like this before,” one said. “I didn’t even know places like this existed,” the other replied in awe. We waived the starters, forecasting that the burgers would be man enough for the job. And we were right. They were ludicrous. And so we got going on the mammoth task of tucking into the Dolly Parton Double D, (although luckily the boys were too young to get the joke) — a double stacked burger with double American cheese and bacon (£11), the Babe Ruth, with hot dog slices, onions, ketchup and Frenches American mustard (£9.25), the Fat Tony with meatballs, American cheese and pizza sauce (£8.95) and the Dr Zachary Smith, Swiss cheese and mushrooms (£8). You can choose beef, chicken or veggie burgers and all come with a choice of side order which includes onion rings, sci-fi chilli chips or cosmic coleslaw. And then there was silence as they chewed and chowed their way through these mammoth offerings. Considering they eat like locusts, razing down forests of bread, cereal and carbohydrates faster than the Amazonian rain forest loggers, they had finally met their match at Atomic Burger. Half an hour later they were slumped in their chairs, unable to finish, looking faintly sheepish but mightily contented. And when we emerged back out on to Cowley Road, like Charlie Bucket being spat out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, my son’s friend turned and said: “What are you doing tomorrow? Maybe we could come back and do it all again.” Yup, definitely a big hit, for big boys and small, as well as all you Daisy Dukes out there. And who said dreams went Up In Smoke?