From Barcelona with Love

Posted: October 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello everyone,

It has been a long time since I haven’t posted on this blog. As some of you might know, I left Beirut in September 2012, and stayed for a year in Paris. Last month, I moved to Barcelona, and I am planning to stay here until at least next year!

So yeah, it’s going to be hard reviewing the Rod’s, Shake Shack, or whatever new burger joint that opens in Beirut. But let’s take this opportunity to go global.

For the meantime, here’s a little wrap-up of the many burgers I have tried in the past few months…

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Homemade in Barcelona. Jamon Iberico, Salsa Bravas, 200 grs of fresh meat


ImageKIOSKO BARCELONA – BURGER CATALAN

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 CAMEMBERT BURGER – BORDEAUX, FR.

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 THE HOMER SIMPSON BURGER – QUICK, FR.

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 THE CUTTLEFISH INK BURGER – LEFTY’S, PARIS

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 CHICKEN BURGER – POKHARA, NEPAL

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 BBQ BURGERS – ROD’S BEIRUT

We just spent a weekend in London, and, between the five the plates of fish & chips and the three gallons of beer we emptied in our stomach, we had to try Byron, a restaurant that is said to serve one of the best Hamburger in town by many locals.

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Byron first set foot in London back in 2007, and now has nearly 30 restaurants in London, Oxford and Kent. They serve proper hamburgers, for approximately 8 £, excluding fries, as well as delicious milkshakes.

Byron London

 

I personally ordered the Byron. Between the buns you’ll find bacon (lots of it), aged cheddar, lettuce, fresh onions, tomato, and the secret Byron Sauce. Simple burger that works pretty well.Ingredients are fresh, bacon is top notch, buns are fluffy, meat is okay. We can’t expect the best meat from such a big chain.

As for the drinks, you can’t beat the oreo milk-shake, best I’ve ever had.

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If you’re wondering where does the name Byron comes from, well the waiter actually told us the story, but we were too much hangover to understand anything. If anybody knows it, please comment!

 

PS: Seems like The Burger Tribune is featured in this month’s issue of The Gate Magazine, check it out!

One of the things I miss the most since I came back from California is In’n’Out Burger, that place where hamburgers taste like nowhere else, so simple, yet so good. If you have never heard of In’n’Out Burger, please read the review I’ve made some months ago on this blog (and then kill yourself for never having heard of that divine place).

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Le Camion Qui Fume is one of the many new burger joints frenchies are crazy about. Quality ingredients, friendly atmosphere and cheap prices. However, there’s one thing about Le Camion Qui Fume that makes it different from anything else you can find in Paris. Despite its français-sounding name, it is actually a real Food Truck that looks like it came straight from Los Angeles. It flips burger all around town, with a very precise schedule.

I went there at 1PM, and I had to wait a good 40 minutes in the cold to get my burger…but what a burger. Hearing that girl at the cash-register with a strong Californian accent, I immediately remembered all the double-doubles I ate at In’n’Out that tasted so good. So, without checking the menu, I just asked her for a “double-double with fries”. She didn’t ask me any questions, and I got my double-double…

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Wrapped in paper, my burger was there. Between the buns, two patties of pure fresh beef, pickles, caramelized onions, lettuce, and two slices of cheddar. One of the most basic burger recipe you can imagine, yet it was simply amazing.

If you happen to pass by Paris, this is a place I definitely recommend:
Le Camion Qui Fume : Facebook Page

 

 

 

One of the things I love to do when travelling to other countries is going to McDonald’s and testing stuff that is not on the menu in our beloved Lebanon. It’s very interesting to see that McDonald’s, while being a global firm, with restaurants in 196 countries, still manages to listen to its consumer in each market and to regularly come up with new burgers.

For example, in France, where consumers are attached to the good quality of ingredients, they have a Charolais on the menu, a burger which patty originates from a very well known breed of cattle that is raised in Charolles, FR.

I went to McDonald’s yesterday in Paris and ordered two very interesting limited edition burgers they had on the menu: the McBaguette and the Red Chilli Pepper.

Let’s start with the McBaguette. If Hamburgers were french (pronounce ham-bour-gais), they would have tasted like this. First of all, throw away the fluffy buns you’re used to, and replace them with a crispy Pain Baguette. Second, get rid of the Cheddar Cheese, you’re in France and what you want in your Hamburger is Emmental, with plenty of holes. Finally, forget about that Barbecue Sauce, you shall have  Mustard sauce in your hamburger, with a sprinkle of pepper.

While the McBaguette emerges from a very interesting concept, its execution is really bad. There’s just too much bread and mustard, so you end up chewing your burger with a strong taste of mustard, and you can not even tell the presence of the meat. Since I like the concept and I have nothing else to do with my life, I’ll probably end up doing my own McBaguette in my kitchen, and I’ll post an article about it!

After that, I had the Red Chilli Pepper. This is probably the most spicy burger I’ve had at McDonald’s. It’s a regular quarter-pounder with cheese, with the exception of peppered buns and a very hot sauce mixed with raw onions. Way too hot in my opinion, but if any french folk is reading this blog (and I know there is), please give me your opinion!

Since the beginning of summer, I have been going all around Lebanon, and probably ate three good dozens of burgers. I went to Classic Burger Joint one or two times, had mini-burgers between two vodka lemons at Sporting, tasted Burger King’s California Whooper on my way back from the beach, paid a visit to St. Elmo’s on a lazy Sunday…There is no way I could remember all of the burgers I ate this summer but I’ll definitely remember the one I had last week, simply because it was the best I had in a very long time. I am not afraid to say it, this is probably the best burger you can get in Lebanon for the fairest price.

Garage 78 St. is a bar that opened very recently on the Alleyway street in Hamra. They have open draft beer for happy hour, good music, “we like you” discounts and three Burgers on their menu. We went there, ordered 3 Almaza and each of the Burgers: The Classic Cheese, The Southwest Cajun Ranch Burger and the Sloppy Joe.

The first one is the Sloppy Joe, a mixture of ground beef, tomato and probably onions served in a hamburger bun. It constituted a good appetizer, and was priced at 15000 LBP. Enough to fill you up before starting to drink like a picky in Hamra

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Then comes the second burger,a Classic Cheese. It is made of cheddar cheese, tomatoes, fresh lettuce and a divine amount of medium-rare cooked home grounded beef (yeah that’s a lot of adjectives). The recipe is extremely simple, but the meat is extraordinary (above every piece of meat that I have tasted in Lebanon, including brgr. Co), the ingredients are fresh, and, as a result, the burger is excellent!

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The Southwest Cajun Ranch Burger is even better: Take the Classic Cheese you just ate, and add to that bacon, jalapeños, Ranch Dressing and onion rings. Considering the quality of the ingredients, as well as the perfect ratio of bun to patty (good enough to hold everything together and low enough not to encroach on the meat’s taste) and of patty to toppings, this burger is probably one of the best I have had this summer. You want to know its price? 18000 LBP. Cheaper than all of the other places justifying their high price tags for high quality meat…(you know who am I talking about)

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So bottom line. GO to Garage 78 St., on happy hour, pay 14$ for open draft beer and order the Southwest Cajun Ranch Burger, you will thank me for that. Actually, writing this post made me so hungry that I’m going there at 6. Cheers amigos!

Hello Everyone! I hope all of you burgerheads had fun this summer. I personally started my holidays last week and looking forward to the last days of sunshine in Beirut! Anyway this is not a blog about my life so we’ll go straight to today’s subject! Hot Dog & Beyond

This is a new place that opened at Le Mall Dbayeh, right next to Classic Burger Joint (talk about competition ;)).
My visit to HD&B reminded me that there is a very thin line between a Diner and a Fast-Food restaurant. HD&B is standing right on that line. The place serves mainly Hot Dogs-they have more than a dozen on the menu- but also some hamburgers, all prepared right in front of you, from their open cuisine. The price of the burger ranges from 15000 LBP for a simple chicken burger to 18750 LBP for their signature burger, including french fries and a side-salad.

The three friends that were with me ordered Chicken Burgers, Mozarella Burger and Mexican Fajita Burger. Feeling adventurous, I went for the signature burger

 

 

 

 

 

Our overall opinion on these burgers was that the sauce was really good (especially the Aioli sauce I had in the HD&B Burger), the toppings were fresh, but the meat was definitely the outsider of our the combo. We could definitely tell it was frozen and not fresh, the patty is really thin, and, when I cut a bite to taste it alone, it simply was not good. Concerning the fries, we had diverse opinions concerning them…I personally enjoyed them.

Last but not least, we ordered some BBQ Sauce and this is what our waiter came with…Now trust me I know how is a cup of BBQ sauce supposed to look/taste like, this is cocktail sauce. We asked him if he were sure that it was BBQ sauce. He very confidently answered that yes, it was BBQ sauce but mixed with ketchup (because the HP BBQ sauce was “ktiir 7ar”). If you are wondering, no they do not have BBQ Burgers.

 


So the bottom line about Hot Dog & Beyond…Well they should not have gone beyond 😉

Review: Sea Way’ Okaibe

Posted: August 23, 2012 in Reviews

Last Monday was a National Holiday in Lebanon. Free as birds, me and my friend decided to take our bicycles for some well needed exercise (when you eat so many burgers, you somewhat need to find a balance…). We rode along the sea road, and all the way to a small fishermen village called Okaibe, a few kilometers before Jbeil, where we rested at a wonderful place called “Seaway” and where I also ate a “Beach Burger” (After 25km under the sun, I could authorize myself…)

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So first of all, the beach. We felt in love with the place. The sea is very clean, the music is top (Rolling Stones, The Doors…), and the entrance fee is only 10000 LBP. A very Batroun-like beach that is yet closer to Beirut.
Now after 25km on a bike, what can be more rewarding than a good Hamburger. For 6500 LBP, they offer the Beach Burger. It is very Lebanese (i.e. full of coleslaw) and was cooked right in front of me. I added a slice of cheddar, requested some tomatoes and voila. My Burger on the beach, with a bottle of Almaza, we’ve got a winning combo over here. Even though the meat was frozen, and the burger had nothing spectacular, the atmosphere and my hunger state made it a great experience. Will definitely come back

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