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What an amazingly beautiful day it has been yesterday and the city was full of locals, students, tourists, and shopaholics alike soaking up the sun and roaming the streets of Freiburg, filling them like ants. We were right in the middle of it and completely lost track of time until our stomachs started growling to let us know a lunch was way overdue. It was lunch madness and almost every place around the Bermuda Dreieck (= Bermuda Triangle; a corner area in Freiburg) was packed with customers and some fast food joints even had queues oozing out their doors. Thankfully I had done my homework so we didn’t have to go on another hangry food quest and just around the corner, nestled between a garage something and another restaurant, Burger Chalet awaited us. As the name tells it’s a popular little burger joint and luckily the queue was sort of short and two lovely ladies allowed us to join them at their table for one of the rare options to sit outside enjoying the sun today.

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Burger of the Month: Himmel & Ääd Burger (Heaven & Earth)

Beforehand I had made plans to get my grub on with that ‘Alpenfeuer’ (Fire of the Alps) burger that comes with a chili-cheese-sauce, firy jalapeños and a homemade chili powder. Well, plans are great, but then life happens and as so often I did let another menu special item distract me and lead me off my  destined path. Without even thinking I heard myself ordering a medium grilled burger of the month, the ‘Himmel & Ääd’ (Heaven & Earth). Himmel & Ääd or Himmel & Erde is a popular and regional german dish, which is mostly common in the Rhineland, Westphalia, and Lower Saxony. In it’s purest version it consists of blood pudding, mashed potatoes, fried onions and apple sauce and actually so did this burger. Together with that juicy beef patty and wedged between two appropriately sized and perfectly toasted buns this just worked. All these very different textures and flavors merged together wonderfully and created something new and delicious. My favorite, besides the remarkable standard items of the burger, was the thin slice of tangy blood pudding, that added a spicy, almost creamy component on top of the patty. The tart and sweet apple chutney gave some fruity notes and the onions, being sweetish as well convinced with a light smokiness. The only thing that didn’t do too much for the whole concept and the flavor palette was the mashed potatoes, and frankly, it made it all just a bit more difficult to eat. I do get it though, it completes the transition of the traditional plated dish to a hands-on inventive burger. Fries were good.

Additionally to the fact that they know how to cook their stuff it’s worthy to mention that they are sourcing most of their ingredients locally, aren’t using any additives, the meat is freshly ground every day and they are making all their sauces themselves and from scratch as well. A lot of craft and thought goes into every burger here and the entire menu is also available with an in-house made vegetable patty for the vegetarians out there. The shop is small and cozily set up for a quick meal in a relaxing atmosphere, however, the glass barrier in front of the grill can’t save you entirely from all the food smell, so don’t mind taking a bit of burger scent home with you. The staff seems to enjoy themselves, is friendly and the guy  behind the counter was particularly fun to chat to. I was super full and happily content when we left and already have the next visit scheduled in my head. This time hopefully trying my original choice of burger and those fabulous looking rosemary potatoes. Thanks for the great grub.

Get Your Grub On!

Burger Chalet (closed on Sundays and public holidays)
Niemenstraße 9
79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
Germany
p: +49 761 278 382
http://www.burger-chalet.de/

FreiBurgern.

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BBQ Bacon Burger

Okay, so I am actually gonna take up writing again. The great thing is I have a lot of material to practice on as I still took loads of pictures during my year off, made notes about almost every mentionable meal and also have collected a big library of audio reviews, that I’ll try to transfer piece by piece onto digital paper. So don’t be surprised if there are some backdated reviews popping up in between. This one’s a rather recent one and a place I wanted to try for a while now. derfreiBurger was one of the places leading the rise of burger joints (the newer ones are mainly food trucks) in Freiburg and is located conveniently in a side street along Schwarzwald City. It’s a pretty tiny place with only few seating options; some bar kinda seating, a big shared table or if you’re lucky enough a little booth area for 4-5 people. It’s like a little fast food restaurant, where someone put some extra effort in, giving it a bit of a more homely feel.

Against my instincts, I went for the BBQ-Bacon-Burger (EUR5.80), that comes with a fried onion ring and loads of bbq sauce. When it flew out the open kitchen my first impression was, that there’s something off with that patty to bun ratio. Don’t get me wrong the meat is definitely big enough for that price, it just gets a little lost in that huge roll, which doesn’t do it actual justice. They get the freshly baked buns from a local bakery and use only fresh, well-seasoned beef for their burgers and you can actually taste that extra bit of craftsmanship. I also enjoyed that sweet and crispy onion ring very much and absolutely loved their homemade smokey bbq sauce. That last one was important because there was loads of it, like close to sloppy joe’s kinda loads (so you better like it saucy). For me, the bacon strips could’ve used a couple more seconds on the flat pan to crisp up but were nice and salty anyway. Pretty good.

So the place is tiny but also not meant for you to spend hours in it, the people working behind the counter are genuinely nice and the food is mostly homemade, pretty tasty and for that very very reasonably priced. So to sum things up, I maybe would have wished for a thicker and juicier patty in general but in that price range this is a great burger overall and I’ll probably come back and check out some other menu items, like that Chilli-Cheese-Dog that caught my eye. Thanks for the delicious burger and all the best.

Get Your Grub On!

derfreiBurger (closed on Sundays and public holidays)
Schiffstraße 16
79098 Freiburg
Germany
http://www.derfreiburger.de/

Sitting in the park, waiting for you.

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Bacon Cheeseburger & Crinkle Cut Fries

One of the things I had to do whilst in New York was finally hitting Shake Shack. We arrived after the big lunch crowd so the queue wasn’t too bad and it took us just 15 minutes to reach the front and another 10 minutes for them to get our orders out. I must have mixed up something when placing my order as we did get the burgers without the lettuce, tomatoes and all. Just plain bacon cheeseburgers and unfortunately, I realized it a little too late to change it back.

It was a decent tasty burger, nicely sized and grilled. The buns were proper, didn’t dampen the flavours and overall held their part of the deal. The meat, however tasty, was a bit underseasoned for my liking. I know they take special pride in the natural flavours of their beef, but I just wished for a pinch of extra salt and maybe some pepper. The cheese was nice and tart and the bacon added some very welcome saltiness but could’ve been crunchier. Because of the missing freshness of the vegetables, this felt a bit greasy so I’ll have to make sure to order all the works next time. Reading this back actually doesn’t sound too flattering but I still really liked that burger, it just wasn’t what I had expected. The famous crinkle cut fries were good too but actually could’ve used a bit of salt as well.

I like their whole sourcing approach and how they try keeping things as natural and healthy as it is possible  when it comes to burgers and fries. Also, this branch must be fabulous to get out for a relaxing lunch if you’re working in the area as Madison Square Park provides enough shade and a relaxing atmosphere to get a nice break in between your day. One of the nicest fast food joints I have been too.

Get Your Grub On!

Shake Shack (open daily)
Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street
New York
NY 10010
United States of America
p: +1 646 474 2606
https://www.shakeshack.com/home

Burgers of the Rising Sun.

imageNow this was on my long time to do list for two reasons, first because I never really had some deluxe Japanese Hamburgers before and secondly because this place is somehow linked to the guys from Yazawa Yakiniku, which I haven’t been to yet myself but heard only great things about. So today was the day and the lord and I came down here to finally check it out. For how much their steaks cost, the place was surprisingly simple setup, with dimmed light and booth seating options just like at any other casual Japanese restaurant.

However, we both had the Masa Hamburg which is pretty much a high end 200gr hamburger patty (also available in 300gr)  which in our case was topped with a perfectly beautiful sunny side up and served on a hot sizzling plate. Making the first cut right through the middle was amazing as the egg yolk ran down in between the patty and started bubbling from the heat of the plate together with all the meaty juices. Okay so the looks were pretty awesome but more interesting was if the flavors could keep up with that. Unfortunately they couldn’t, don’t get me wrong this was a nice patty, soft with a light beefy taste but nothing that rocked my world and the fried egg, even though good looking, was just ordinary egg and it all was surprisingly under seasoned as well. Now there was salt and pepper on the side and also the onion jam had a nice flavourful touch but for $30 ish I had expected just a little bit more. At least I have tried it now, no regrets.

Masa Steak & Hamburg Tokyo
11 Unity Street
#01-03 Robertson Walk
Singapore 237995
Tel: +65 6836 2529
http://masahamburg.com/

Nothing kraze about it.

imageMy aristocratic mate and I went skating around Marina Bay scaring off some pedestrians and ourselves and when we became hungry we didn’t want to venture too far from MBS and so decided to go for quick and dirty and have some Korean style burgers at ‘Kraze Burger‘.

I had the K.B.++ mainly because of the promising extra fried egg but what came out to our table was a pale oatmeal bun (special order) stacked with some rather sad looking toppings. The bun was just too big and dry for the small piece of meat which reminded me a little of one of those frozen ramly burger patties and unfortunately didn’t bring many flavours with it either. The egg was overly well done with a bright yellow yolk and quite bland as well and I couldn’t actually tell what the special in the kraze sauce was all about. Admittedly the best things about this were the fresh and crunchy lettuce, the sharpish thick slice of onion and the extra sour pickle, nothing amazing but at least some flavours.

I thought to remember ‘Kraze Burger‘ as being alright but tonight and for the price we paid I didn’t see anything that I would fancy having again.

Kraze Burger
2 Bayfront Avenue
#B2-54/55 Marina Bay Sands
Singapore 018956
Tel: +65 6688 7844
http://krazeburger.com.sg/

Blurry burgers.

imageIt was Friday night and we had our mind set on burgers. ‘De Burg‘ and ‘Omakase‘ seemed far and we wanted to have something new again so I suggested the ‘Blur Guys’ down at Tanjong Pagar that I wanted to try out for quite some time now.

I had the ‘Prime Beef with Streaky Bacon‘ burger on a wheat bun and must say I was more than positively surprised and equally impressed. The thick patty was grilled perfectly to a rose and juicy medium, had the right texture and tasted fantastically beefy. It was stacked rather minimalistic with just a thick layer of gooey and salty gruyere cheese and some likewise good and salty bacon, which maybe could’ve been a tad more crisp. The truffle mayo was tasty but too strong and dominant that it nearly overshadowed the great meaty flavours. Thankfully it didn’t so completely and therefore now I have another delicious burger on my list which is worth the calories. “Sidewise” and unusual for a burger joint they didn’t have any fries on their menu but served potato salad instead. That wasn’t a real deal breaker for me but if you prefer your burgers with the fried sticks aside you might want to opt for their Boat Quay branch as I have seen on other blogs they should have them there for you.

I liked ‘Two Blur Guys’, it’s a small burger/cafe joint with some really tasty burgers. The beer selection offers some rare choices like ‘Vedett‘ as well, which makes it a great first stop into a night out and I will surely stop by here again soon.

Two Blur Guys
1 Tras Link
#01-13 Orchid Hotel
Singapore 078867
Tel: +65 6636 4183
http://www.streetdirectory.com/twoblurguys/

It’s ramen, it’s a burger, it’s awesome.

imageTime was slowly running out  until some of the pop-up eateries at Gillman Barracks were about to disappear and so I finally made the effort on this hot Saturday and came down here to try them out.

My first order was the ‘Bulgogi Ramen Burger‘ from ‘The Traveling C.O.W.’ which also has a food truck going around the city. I wasn’t too hopeful that this was going too be much of a taste surprise but more of a gimmick kinda way of playing and switching the ingredients around. I was quickly taught differently when I took my first crunchy bite out of this. The panfried noodle paddies, even though super crispy and crackling away, were nice and chewy on the inside and held up pretty well throughout me going to town on it. The fresh lettuce and tomatoes added some more rather fresh crunchy textures and the bulgogi beef just tasted crazy good – juicy, sweetish savoury like it is supposed to be. I just hoped there would have been more of it. Only the sesame dressing they used I couldn’t really pick out in between this flavour bonanza but overall this was great stuff and less messy to eat than expected. Nice job.

I wasn’t too sure if it even makes sense to write about something that’s about to close down but I read somewhere that they are planning to take this on to their truck menu and really wish that’s true, hopefully even with a normal burger patty version in tow.

Update: In the meantime they also broiled up some mean ‘Wagyu Burgers‘ at Laneway 2014.

The Travelling C.O.W. (Chef on Wheels)
The U Factory (now hopefully on the road)
Boiler Room, Blk 39
#01-10
Singapore