Costa BurgeRica!

Costa Rica, what a beautiful country, lovely people apart from a few that want to take your stuff, it has amazing rainforests, jungles and volcanoes just to name a few things, I was so excited to be able to travel here and while I was secretly a little scared of the prospect of coming face to face with a huge tarantula or brazilian wandering spider I was very keen to get some good research done here. This actually was my second trip to Costa Rica, the first was unfortunately too busy to do anything that exciting, this time however I was determined... Determined to test out the best Costa Rica, specifically San Jose and it's surrounding areas had to offer.

Aloft Hotel Burger

Usual start to research project. It took over 25 hours of travelling (transitting included) to get here so upon arrival one is usually quite exhausted, full of stench and just generally feeling uncomfortable. Therefore it's the perfect thing to do, start with the burger offering at the hotel, it'll give you a good idea of the local produce and if theres any local things to look out for on burgers that may not be quite the norm elsewhere.

From the menu the hotel burger reads as "Brioche bread, meat patty, guacamole, sauteed mushrooms, monterrey jack, cheese, bacon, with house french fries on the side", certainly sounds like it has potential, and even though it differs from the usual cheeseburger type burger I get to assess a place, there is no choice here so I ordered it, minus the tocino and it comes with their house fries. As you can see that potential went straight out the window, this burger looked pretty boring to say the least, the patty nicely hidden under a way too big bun, some bits of avocado and cheese spilling out and some wedges on the side, boy what an anticlimax to lifting that klosh.

Straight down the middle the burger actually looked alot better, you could see the thickness of the patty and how well it was cooked, nice and pink inside, but looks can be deceiving. Upon eating it, the burger was quite dry and as suspected this bun is far to big and bready for it, only detracting more moisture from the mouth, the guacamole was bland, the mushrooms mixed with the cheese were not too bad, but overall as a complete sandwich I don't believe this is a triumph, some grilled onions would have been a good addition to the sauteed mushrooms and melted cheese combo and perhaps a smidgen of an aioli. If I had one burger on the menu at a hotel it wouldn't be this one. My advice, get a smaller bun, and change the sauces to some classic burger style ones, add some normal burger salads and serve up a nice contemporary burger that show cases the meat.

Verdict - Go to McDonalds literally across the road

Bobby's Burgers - Santo Domingo

Google is a great tool to give you an idea of what is around you and what people think of these places, I use it alot to help me in new cities to find places to eat and stuff to do. Bobby's Burger was one place that popped up on the map with a very respectable rating of 4.2, it was a little further away from the other places I saw so I thought this is a good place to get outta the way on the one day off I had here. I got the hotel to organise some transport (just a taxi) to the place, according to google maps (at the time of this writing) it opened at 8am, which I didn't believe and headed out around 11ish, by the time we got there it was nearly 11:30 and I was happy to see a sign that said something about 11:30, I could only assume this was their opening time, however my driver who was good enough to get out and ask as the place looked boarded up got told 12pm, I came all this way, as if I was not going to wait, so after getting dropped off at the supermarket around the corner I started watching the clock like a desperate alcoholic on a Friday afternoon at the office waiting for 5pm.

Ordering was a breeze, I had learnt the phrase of ordering a hamburger with beef and no bacon, no ham, no pork using google translator and when I attempted this the look I got back was like I had just asked for this in English or Polish, the guy had no idea what I was talking about... thanks Google (couldnt have been my 'perfecto' pronunciation... no way). Hoping that I hadn't insulted his mother or the baby Jesus I proceeded with the standard broken english and pointing. This was much clearer to all and I ended up with an American Cheeseburger, curly fries and a bottle of Fuze apple tea. About 7 minutes later my food arrives, first thing I notice is how standard this burger looked, basic white sesame seed bun, average thickness of patty and just very orthodox looking.

Under the hood the orthodox theme continued, a bright yellow slice of American cheddar, some browned onions, ontop of what looked to be a decently seasoned patty, the lettuce and tomato looked pretty fresh and I was happy to see bun that was not brioche... so sick of that crap. What I don't get is the 4.2 rating and the people that rave about this place, what a underwhelming boring burger, theres simply no effort here, its like a canteen that is churning crap out and this burger is one of them, the meat was devoid of taste, lacked texture and while it didnt seem a manufactured patty, it could well have been a preformed patty that have been frozen and stock piled for later use, not 100% sure of that but either way definitely did not excite, the burger sauce did absolutely nothing, didn't even taste it, it actually reminded me of the burger we used to be able to order at our high school canteen that had the meat patties in some kinda sick stainless steel warmer that had this meat juice they patties sat in. It also did not help at all that I forgot to request this to be well done (or at least medium well) to me it felt parts of the patty were quite rare, which I really don't like mince to be, particularly from a random place in central America. The curly fries were amazing, amazing bloody boring that is, I'm not complaining these are frozen, I don't really expect a burger place of this caliber to actually make their own curly fries but what I do expect is some taste, these were unseasoned, of course I can fix that with salt but why not try a lil chilli salt? or a paprika powder? or even a lime salt combo? If I come to Costa Rica again I won't be returning here.

Verdict - Effortlessly boring

Hamburguesas Mafalda - Cd Colon

Love the name of this place, reminds me of a word I use to refer to mates. I headed out to this establishment in the evening, I had to do quite a bit of work that night so I had to get takeaway and head back to the hotel, however it was only about a ten minute drive away. I walked up to the place and I liked the look of it, on the first story of some kinda plaza, it had nice comfortable outdoor seating and an interior that was bright with a clear view of the grill and prep area, the staff seemed to be in some kind of uniform and the area clean and organised. There was plently of beers and other alcoholic drinks to grab from the fridge to enjoy with your meal too. I didn't however like the way they 'chef' was getting premade patties from the fridge/freezer and putting them onto the grill, but hey it's got a very good 4.5 rating in Google, so let's give it a go.

Deciding to skip my attempt at ordering in Spanish I asked for for two burgers in English and sign language, the Queso which is only a 75gm patty, and a Media Libra which is a stark contrast at half a pound, both burgers come with standard burger ingredients and I of course asked for anything pig related to be excluded from the burgers. I got my order and my waiting taxi whisked me away back to the hotel in super quick time, maybe coz he understood my 'rapido!' calls. First up we have the Queso, it looked really dismal, basically could just see a bun, I know the patty is only 75gm but maybe get a bun to suit it then? Anyway I took my first bite, and well theres no other way to say this other than it was ejected from my mouth within seconds. This was like beef jerky... tough, hard and very dry, obviously nobody really orders this 75gm burger so the pre-formed patties are just sitting their rotting away and rather than throw them out they are served up to the suckers like me that are stupidly curious enough to try them. There's nothing else to say for this pathetic lil queso, it was binned immediately. I turned to the Media Libra and precariously opened it up, upon first inspection it seemed in better shape to it's smaller stablemate, it also had mayonnaise and a slice of tomato almost as thick as some patties.

Down the middle the meat certainly looked better, so I picked it up and dove straight in, I have to admit my first reaction was relief, not from the fact that it was a good burger but that I didn't have to spit the bite back out. I took a few more bites and with the combination of the mayonnaise and huge tomato I can say that it really does take quite the burgermeister to realise that the patty is quite dry, not only that but again this burger patty is devoid of any actual flavour, no beefiness no nice pepperiness, nothing it was just big. I've had my fair share of Argentinian beef in my life and was kind of expecting some tasty beef in this part of the world too but so far it's been very unimpressive, imagine getting a quarter pounder patty from McDonalds without any seasoning and anything else, just the patty and eating it, its kinda how this burger was, see, without the impressive technology packed into the creation of every McDonalds burger that ensures the supporting ingredients are pumped so full of crap to deliver that consistent maccas taste, you're just gonna get a disgusting bland meat substitute flavour. I tried to get into this burger, had a few more bites but the bitterness in my mouth from the disgusting queso coupled with the unsavoury lack of flavour from this guy just left me thinking I'll have to satisfy my hunger with the frozen unseasoned fries that have gone limp and soggy from the journey. I'm trying to think of something good here... oh yes, the tomato... that was one beautiful, fresh, firm slice of tomato.

Verdict - Recommended for tomato lovers

McDonalds - San Jose Province - Pozos

Here we are again, under those familiar glowing warm golden arches, as you would know being regular readers and all whenever I'm in a new country I have to try the Big Mac, I know somewhere on the interwebs theres another guy that does this, probably more than just one guy, but I started doing it first, I just didnt always write about it. Anyway I always take my time to order at a foreign McDonalds, I like to take my time look at the menu, see the little differences they have and also the special promos they might have going. Sure enough McDonalds Costa Rica had two separate promotions going, one celebrating some kind of Mexican fiesta with three appropriately theme'd burgers and another nacho style, which had basically nacho crisps stuffed into either a beef or chicken burger.

Obviously I ordered them all, I had the fiesta burger with guacamole, called the Original MEX and was a signature burger, and the beef nacho one. Needless to say I also got a Big Mac meal but opted for the yuquitas instead of fries. First up the fiesta burger, Im debating as I type this whether this qualifies for a farce food entry, either I did not like this burger at all, the bun was really disgustingly sweet, McDonalds usually master the amount of sweetness required in burger buns, take the cheeseburger for example, but this one was seriously like cake, the guacamole was hardly there as was the salsa, the meat looked a really filthy pale brown colour like the patties had been boiled and then kept in the fridge to harden up. The combination of the incredibly sweet bun, double boiled meat, undetectable cheese, complete lack of guacamole and salsa made for a terrible experience that was stopped after a few bites, I had to a few as the burger was astonishingly served with a wedge of lime, a squeeze of this on the burger did not help at all, strangely it didn't make it worse, it just seemed as bad as it was without it.

Moving onto the nacho burger, basically a beef burger on a corn dusted bun with corn chips shoved in. Not a pleasant burger to eat, and again a patty that fell short of my already low expectations for McDonalds 'meat', but the main problem with this burger was the corn chips, they had no place being there, it was just weird having this crunchy chip in the middle of a burger, and the cheese sauce, lord that was bad, I don't like nacho cheese sauce at the best of times, I find it disgusting, a sludgy filthy concoction of I don't know what that to me bears no resemblance to a cheese flavour of any kind that I believe was invented for lazy shites that can't be bothered to make nachos the real way with normal cheese melted under a grill, and well to that end this sauce was spot on, disgusting , sludgy and not cheesy at all, mercifully, despite being on the top and bottom of the burger it wasn't piled on like you see it on actual nachos sometimes. Another burger binned.

Onto the main event, the reason for the McDonalds visit, the tried and tested Big Mac. This particular Big Mac looked a little upset and angry, clearly wasn't happy, and doing its best to hide the meat. It was quite neat, but that's not saying too much as the amount of ingredients in this Big Mac appeared to be too little to actually cause a mess. This of course is nothing new, we've all seen Big Macs like this and pay little attention to it's protests as we start devouring it. Predictably it had the usual McDonalds taste with one differnce, again in the meat there just appeared to be some kind of different taste, but the beauty of McDonalds is that the rest of the carefully choreographed components came together to overpower this difference and deliver something that is more or less the same, usually you're not going to be paying much attention to a Big Mac so with that considered I think the general person would feel this is exactly the same as a Big Mac anywhere else. Lastly the Yuquitas, don't bother, stick with the normal fries, these seemed even more starchy that fries, and also seemed to soak in more oil, I didn't even finish one of them.

Verdict - Normal times, ordinary taste

Porky's Burger Bar - San Jose Province - Pozos

Starting to lose faith in the Costa Rican ability to deliver a burger that is truely world class I was starting to feel despair that I wasn't going to find a burger I actually like here, but I'm here on a mission and I had to keep going. Next up on the board was Porky's another funny name that reminded me of some classic movies. Again with a very good rating on Google of 4.5 I saddled up and headed on down. A nice location with its own carpark, a dark but lively establishment that had a good bar vibe and peppy staff that were eager to assist. After a good study of the menu I went with the classic burger, they have a choice of buns which I can't remember but the nice girl serving me suggested the jalapeno burger, which of course I had no problems with.

Straight away I have to say that this was the first burger in Costa Rica that I ate in its entirety. This classic burger stands tall and proud, mainly because of the very thick meat patty that has a wonderful American cheddar melted perfectly over it, I should add though I had to request cheese added to it and to my delight under the hood you could see the classic combo of ketchup and mustard, the bottom of the burger had this aioli type sauce, could have been mayo but it wasn't sweet or too thick, it was a nice flavour that melded well with the whole bite.

Onto the meat specifically, this is what I have been expecting all along, a nice beefy flavour with regional tones (not that I have any idea of what those tones are here), it was a just a solid piece of meat that was still juicy and cooked through nicely for a patty leaving a bit of pink in the middle, the bun was great, it didn't try and steal the show, the jalapeno flavour was mild and you really had to think about it to get it, however the structural integrity of it started to fail past the half way mark, although if this is the biggest gripe you have with a burger you know you're having a reasonable meal.

The salads were just there, adding a tad of freshness here and there which is exactly what I wanted out of them. I also ordered the onion rings despite finding out they were the frozen variant and unsurprisingly they were pretty crap. I didn't care though, I was just happy I finally got a burger that I actually enjoyed.

Verdict - Get some pork on your fork

MAD Burger and Beer - Santa Ana

Another small burger restaurant nestled away in the burbs of San Jose in a plaza type complex. The restaurant is completely open to the car park with some seating outside and a few tables inside with a bar seemingly stocked with neverending variety of beers. I walked up to the bar and started perusing the menu, after deciding on a classic and a spicy I attempted to start ordering, I didn't have a lot of luck but the guys behind counter went and got the owner (I think?) who spoke very good English, and I was very happy to be able to relax and just talk somewhat freely for a change, after placing my order he suggested a couple of local brews to try which I did while waiting.

Let's talk about the spicy first, it looked fair when I opened the box, but that's where the fairness ended. In contrast to the somewhat dull outward appearance of this burger under the hood you can see the delicious avocado, and plenty of it, and some really fresh looking jalapenos, some lightly grilled onions and of course melted cheese over the patty that only allowed parts of the meat to poke out and those parts looked delicious. The bun was nice and simple, no weird flavours, just did it's job of keeping the burger together, the avocado was as good as it looked, so fresh and delicious, however the star was definitely the meat, again nice and pink inside, I'm glad I went with the owners recommendation as he understood how I wanted it cooked and he did it perfectly, great beefy flavour in the meat and the way the different parts of this burger came together really did make a party in your mouth, the cool refreshing taste of the avocado with the warm slightly slitherly onions, the hot melted cheese on the excellent beef with the kick of real jalapenos made for the best burger I've had in Costa Rica, easily beating Porky's.

Onto the classic, again the patty on this burger is identical to the one above, brilliant stuff, great cooking and even better taste, perfect cheese and being a classic it had the usual contenders of onions, pickles, lettuce and tomato. The one thing this burger had that I didn't like and definitely impacted the overall flavour of it was the bbq sauce. To me a classic burger has tomato and mustard sauce or tomato and mayo or something like that, not bbq, bbq is for a bbq burger, the sauce simply did not go with one of the main ingredients of a classic burger, that being the pickles, they just completely conflicted, I wondered why he had chosen bbq sauce for this burger, I guess it was because of the bacon, I of course removed the bacon from it, I wish he had told me that there was bbq sauce as well, I woulda swapped it out for something more suited to the remaining ingredients and then I'm certain this would have been another A+ burger. As it was though it was still very good, and far superior to most of the other attempts I've sampled here in Costa Rica.

Verdict - Go directly to MAD, do not pass GO, do not collect $200

La Hamburgueseria Tradicional - Heredia

With a name that obviously translates to Traditional Hamburgers this place was definitely always on the list of burgers to try out. Again tucked away in a corner of a little community plaza type area this was a tiny establishment, a couple of tables outside, a couple more inside and a very small kitchen that was completely viewable from where you order with a grill, a single deep fryer a little prep area and fridge all neatly side by side. I noticed a nice tea concoction in a large jar and found out they make their own little ice tea drink, given the heat and humidity outside I immediately asked for one, again another owner that spoke reasonably good english. It really looked like a mom n pop run store, although mom n pop were probably only just older than me. After a good study of the menu I went for the Angus which came with some kinda plum brandy sauce and of course the Tradicional without the jamon and tocino. I also got a side of wedges as they didn't have normal fries.

Angus was up first, as the lady was bringing the burger towards me I could see it went from looking quite nice to a little worrying. The main reason was the bun, it didn't look toasted, it looked tough and it looked like it was going to be a bit overbearing. My first bite confirmed the worries of the bun, I didn't like it at all, it's also infused with herbs, alot of rosemary for sure which interfered with my experience. Thing is, my experience could have done with some interference as this was the crappiest angus beef burger I've ever had, it reeked of oldness, certain parts of it had that jerkiness quality of just being hard and tough, parts that were not old and tough had that very distinct non beefy taste to it, I was extremely put off by this strange variation on the same patty, and the fact that the bun was so annoying really just compounded the issues for me, as I went further into the burger I noticed the distinct lack of cheese, that is until I got to the middle, where there was this little mountain of stodgy, thick orangey cheese, it was difficult to eat and those parts felt like u were eating rosemary and cheese on bread with some filler. That plum brandy sauce combined with the heavily carmelised onions on the bottom of the burger did not improve things at all, in my opinion a failure of a burger that I made it half way through, so that'll do for this one.

Next up was the tradicional, sadly on the same very untraditional bun, although this had some promise, the cheese was properly melted, it had ketchup and mustard so I still had hope. Like a candle in a hurricane though that hope was out in a flash, that bloody bun, its awful, they would be doing themselves and all Costa Ricans the biggest favour by selling them as doorstops or something, if they insist on keeping it, at least give us the option for a normal hamburger bun to be used, the meat here wasn't of course Angus, just standard local beef mince I'm guessing, and I suppose it sells much more as this patty was definitely better than the Angus, not in the flavour department but in the non-jerkiness like department.

The burger also had the same heavily carmelised onions which on this burger I think was too sweet, the ketchup and mustard combo was nice but not enough to make me think I'd bother having this again, the positives for this burger was the cheese was properly melted over the patty and the salad was fresh, but everything else was below par the meat again suffering from that lack lustre no beef flavour, also did I mention the bun? Which I can now, after having two of them, can confidently say is rubbish. The two of them were probably suspicious of me, especially the lady she kept watching me taking the pictures and then giving me an awkward smile, they seemed like a nice couple running a little business but perhaps they should do something else. Maybe focus on the tea, that was definitely deliciously refreshing with mint and fresh lime and not too sweet... loved it The twice fried wedges were surprisingly good, but hardly anything to brag about, as they arent exactly theirs.

Verdict - I'll just have a tea thanks

Café y Restaurante El Trompo – Heredia, Flores

Trying out random places is something I love to do, this place has no real reputation for burgers, nor does it make a claim about having a particularly good burger, it was close to where I was at the time so this was the perfect candidate for the random burger test. As soon as I entered the restaurant I was thinking this place must do quite reasonable food, and 5-star rating on Google, something I am starting to learn doesn’t hold a lot of weight here, at least for me, anyway it was packed, a bustling little café that had selection of hot dishes to choose from for lunch from a bain marie there was also a menu which I didn’t bother looking at, I used my basic Spanish hamburger ordering skills to ask for a classic hamburguesa with carne de vaca, cedello, quesa Americano, letuchga and tomato, the nice lady behind the counter even understood when I said no tocino, no jamon. I also got some papas fritas.

While waiting I was a little worried the burger would come out and be quite rare, so I went back to the lady and said hamburguesa well done…. She had no idea what I said so I decided to type it into Google translator and let her read it off the screen… she read it, looked at me, nodded and smiled. So I went back to sit down… I wasn’t quite sure whether she thought I meant well done as in nice job or in fact that I was referring to how the meat should be cooked, oh well, I wasn’t going to go back and bother here again. After a moderate wait of approximately 10 minutes the chef (I presume from the outfit and hair net) came out and delivered the plate to my table. My first impressions were very good, I was quite happy, it’s exactly what I was expecting, a good decent, no frills burger, kinda like a milk bar burger back home minus the beetroot of course. The meat looked reasonable and nothing was causing alarm, under the hood it looked great with perfectly grilled onions and that classic american cheese slice and very importantly the sauce was not doused all over the place, in fact she put a few extra sachets of tomato ketchup and mayonnaise on my table.

The taste of this burger was completely classical of a milk bar burger, and I loved it, the meat was seasoned well and tasted like I expected it to, the cheese and onions together with the sauces went very well with that patty to create a very nostalgic feeling for me, if this thing had a slice of beetroot I woulda have been in historic heaven. The standard hamburger bun was exactly that, standard and perfectly fine for this scenario. This burger was better than 50% of the burgers I’ve had from specialty places here. I also looked around at the other tables and there were some pretty delicious looking dishes being feasted on for lunch. If you ever find yourself in this location… you have to try the food here, good honest tasty cooking.

Verdict - Genuine classic

Naans & Curries – Pozos

What journey to another country to try out burgers would be complete without an Indian feasting to cleanse the palate of all that burgering? No journey, is the answer you’re looking for. I am of course a butter chicken freak and have eaten hundreds of them in a few different countries, I do consider myself quite the connoisseur of them, and definitely seekh kebabs, lamb (or mutton) ones of course. I wasn’t sure what kind of Indian food to expect, I know it’s not a particularly popular cuisine here but I did know that there’d be an Indian restaurant here and that there’d be Indians running it. After some research on the internets I settled on Naans and Curries.

Located in a very fancy courtyard with plenty of other dining options around it certainly looked impressive. I was running quite late though, it was 10pm, I had been out at the beer factory most of the evening and only just managed to get here, one of the waitresses politely told me that the kitchen was closed, I could see a few tables only just starting their meals though, so perhaps there was a chance… Now I was a bit tipsy to say the least and when it comes to tricky situations like this, the combination of the alcohol in my blood and the sheer determination to get the butter chicken turns me into a master bullshitter. Immediately I turned my facial expression to utter despair and I looked around like I was lost, I got the attention of another waiter and he approached, I anxiously explained that I had come to Costa Rica specifically to try this Indian food, I am from Australia and I was told by a Costa Rican there who happened to be dining at an Indian restaurant in Sydney of a place called Naans and Curries, where the naans are baked to perfection and the curries flow like the rivers of Babylon and that it was located in San Jose Costa Rica, so on hearing this I booked a ticket the next day to fly all the way here from Australia to have this food, I went onto explain to their now very confused but somewhat fascinated expressions, that I only just arrived and took a taxi straight from the airport here and that tomorrow I had to go home again in the morning, so my only opportunity to eat this food would be now. Miraculously it worked, they said they’ll ask the kitchen to cook my order, but I had to have it take away.

Short time later I was back at the hotel with my bag of Costa Rican Indian food. The lamb seekh kebabs looked pretty nice, no crazy deep red or bright orange colours here, just normal roasted meat colour, you could clearly see the herbs and spices they put into the mince. You could also most definitely taste them, a mild to high level of good seekh flavours exploded in the mouth with each morsel consumed and the mint chutney served with it was so intense, one of the best I’ve had in a long time, it’s something that is so often not paid much attention to but when you get a good one it really does elevate the seekh.

Eager to hit the main course I opened up the rice, naan and butter chicken, all of them looked great, the rice was fluffy and had a good amount of peas in it, the butter chicken consistency and colour looked spot on and the naan was thin and soft and as expected for naan wrapped in foil for 10 – 15 minutes. I got stuck straight in and immediately was confused by the flavour of the butter chicken. I mean it was nice, I like it, it was even familiar, but despite appearances this wasn’t a butter chicken. Where was that creamy tomato flavour, where was that smokiness and that buttery goodness? It wasn’t here that’s for sure, after a few more mouthfuls it was clear to me that this butter chicken tasted very much like a vindaloo, it was tangy and vinegary. It also matched the consistency of a thick vindaloo more than a butter chicken too when it was in the mouth. The chicken pieces were cooked very well, were not dry and had that skewer hole in them to prove they had been in the tandoor, they just didn’t taste like they were. But still, all things considered this was a nice tasty curry with pretty good ingredients, had I ordered a chicken vindaloo I’d have been very happy. For someone that ordered a butter chicken and got this I was still at least satisfied. The soft thin naan had a great garlic flavour and went very well dipped into the butter chicken gravy, I really enjoyed it.

Overall I was very pleased with my experience at Naans and Curries and can definitely recommend it as a place to get a good Indian meal when in this area of Costa Rica. I’m not sure I 100% concur with the analogy from the guy in my imagined up story, but given the chance, I would eat here again, a few times, to try out a lot of their menu.

Verdict - Take your pants off (you’ll need to after feasting on this)

Tapuy Burger Crafters – San Jose

We’re at the end. This is the last burger stop of the BurgeRica adventure, I’ve had my eye on this place for a while now, it’s quite centrally located, right in San Jose, and it’s also ranked a perfect 5 in Google reviews, now based on other ranks and what I actually got this doesn’t mean anything but still a perfect 5 is definitely worth noting. I’m also heading out here on a Friday evening. It also has some very interesting burger creations that seem to have been crafted with good thought. Located really close to the national stadium I was told there would have been no chance to get here had there been a game on.

Inside it was a smallish shop but had a few tables inside that frankly aren’t that comfortable, but hey, you’re not coming here to lounge around. I also found out that the place had been open roughly a year and they are happy with how things are going. I ordered the bacon burger minus the tocino, which of course made it a cheese burger and I had to try the capresa which came with mozzarella and basil pesto, each came with papas fritas and some kinda drink, I had one while waiting, it was pretty sweet but tasted reasonable.

After unwrapping the baconless burger I wasn’t immediately impressed, another burger where the bun is dwarfing most of the ingredients, under the hood turned out to be under the patty as the cheese had not only melted onto the meat but onto the crown, everything looked in order, meat looked nice too, right down the middle you can see the meat was cooked very nicely however the coverage of it was a problem. I could also tell at this point this bun was gonna be great, soft, slightly crusty and sesame seeds on top, a perfect burger bun in my opinion. There is strong flavour from this cheddar, there’s a fair bit of it too, luckily the ratio of other ingredients, particularly the very nice bun balance it out to make quite a nice meat sandwich, I was worried it was going to get a bit stodgy but that didn’t happen, and despite the lack of sauce the burger was juicy and moist enough, you get sauces on the side but I didn’t use them, I tried a little mustard on a bit, which was nice, but I preferred this burger the way it was served.

Moving onto the capresa, I love mozzarella and I love pesto, so when I saw this, despite it being a bit strange to have on a burger I had to go for it, and boy am I glad I did. This was so delicious, the mozzarella when so well with the beef and even better with the pesto and bun, seriously I think I could have eaten this burger without the beef, it was just so yum and then the cool tomato comes through with its freshness just to give you a bit of relief from the richness of the pesto and the cheese combo. I preferred this burger much more to the first cheese burger I had, with the mozzarella and pesto it’s almost like cheating. Definitely recommend this. Overall I’m pretty happy with my burger experience here and am quite pleased to finish off burgeRica on a positive note.

Verdict - Whip that mozzarella

Smash Burger - San Jose International Airport

Okay so it wasn't quite the end, I forgot about Smash Burger at the departures area of the airport here. I had this burger last time as well but was too tired to take notes and couldn't remember the details after the massively long travel time it takes to get back home. I went for the Classic smash with fries and a bottle of water.

After ordering you sit down with a number and they bring the order to you. It arrives at the table served open, I didn't mind that and perhaps its a way to keep the burger warm until you're ready to put it together and begin consumption. After assembly it's a smallish burger but I have to say it looks pretty awesome, the ingredients look fresh and I also noted that the patty looked like an amorphous shape, like it was squashed and formed randomly on the grill, which of course is a good sign they are using a fresh ball of mince, something I had confirmed later by a member of staff.

Fresh, this was one word I honestly wasn't expecting to say while eating this burger, but I have to give credit where it's due and this burger really tasted good because of how fresh everything felt. The meat while not amazing was quite nice with a good texture, the sauce on the egg bun was just the exact amount required to compliment the other ingredients, the crunchy red onion was a great touch, together with the standard issue cheddar cheese all came together to really flip my low expectation on it's head. One of the best airport burgers I've had.

Verdict - Much better than the slop you're about to be served on the flight

Posted 01.05.2017

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