Shake shack – hum…

For a few year now, a myriad of new Burger places have been popping around in the UK. From pub/gourmet to a more fast-food experience, it seems that the main brands from the United States are n, that are not MacDonalds or Burger King, are now here.

I was informed that shake shack has opened in the Convent Garden Market, very near to the other main competitor.

Had to go there to see what the fuss was all about.

It operates in a very peculiar fashion.
You get into the queue from on side of the restaurant, a very nice chap is singing at the door and handing out menus, you get inside the restaurant, order and get out at the other side with a remote alarm which will vibrate when it’s ready.

The order was for a double bacon cheese burger which name I can’t recall, some cheddar fries and a drink called 50/50, which is tea and lemonade. Cost is roughly £15

Firstly, the burger.
Have you ever had one of those Burger King Angus?
It’s exactly the same, but the kicker on this case, is that it costs twice as much and doesn’t taste any different.
The meat is OK, nothing fancy, the bun is all right and cheese is fine. The fries are pretty much McCain crinkles.

And that’s about it. Really.
It’s an expensive version Burger King and that’s all there is to say about the meal.

The staff , however, is outstanding.
The waiter on front was very happy about doing his job, the staff in the restaurant is nice and polite, the service is fast”ish”, and they will even find you in the middle of the Market to bring an unfinished order.

I’ll have to come back someday to try the shakes.

Food – 3/5
Choice of drinks – 4.5/5
Service – 5/5
Location – 5/5

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O Honorato, Lisbon – A must go

Finishing off a rather small Lisbon tour would need a visit to another very recommended burger restaurant, called Honorato, Hambuguers Artesanais.
Also a somewhat new restaurant, but a totally different vibe. It’s a mix of restaurant with a upscale bar, where they serve loads of Gin cocktails and coincidently, hamburgers (yay!).

There are a few locations, but the one I tried was in Rua de Santa Marta which is a very central location in Lisbon.

It’s a busy place. Some 35 minutes until it was possible to get a table.

First thing to mention, is that the service is a bit slow. 15 minutes until the drinks came it’s too much.
Good selection of natural juices.

I had a lemon and ginger juice, which was very tasty.

The only selection for starters I was made aware of ( The menu is much too spartan-like, with only burgers and nothing else), was the Coxinhas de Frango.

What a good starter. The chicken meat was well processed and it had a powerful cheese taste.

A good deal of time later, the burger came. The selection was a “X-Tudo”, a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg on top (seems like a recurrent theme withing new burgers places in Lisbon)

The burger patty is smaller than the buns that will mean that the first bite does not pick anything else than bread and lettuce. Second bite, though, much different.
The bacon comes first, and it is crispy and intensely smoked. The meat comes second and fills all the space in the mouth with a top quality, well-seasoned meat. Fried eggs should come standard with a bacon cheeseburgers. Always.

Fries wise, they seem to be home-made, but nothing special about them. Tasteless and devoid of character. The mayo helped a lot.

The burger was so good, I craved another one.
They serve

And in my opinion, this one is better than the regular.

Summing all up, Honorato has one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately the experience is somewhat less powerful considering the awfully dull fries and the long wait for service when seated.
Focusing only on the hamburger, it is a must-taste.

If you ever go to Lisbon, try them out. Be prepared for the service, though.

Food – 4.65/5
Choice of drinks – 4/5
Service – 3/5
Location – 5/5

Hamburgueria do Bairro, Lisbon – One of the best

Ah Lisbon…

Beautiful city, full of history, good food and drinks, great views and a lingering smell of piss. But there’s an aura that cannot be explained and draws me for more.

This city, and Portugal in general, are known for excellent seafood, pasteis de nata (get these cream pastries), piri-piri chicken (and not peri-peri, as a popular awful chicken restaurant claims to be), chouriços and more.
Gastronomically a great place to be and possibly the first fusion kitchen in the world. Excellent quality and very decent prices.

With globalization, the popular sandwich Bifana (pork steak sandwich), has given up some space for the all-American heavy weight sandwich, the Hamburger.
This has led some to adopt it and give it a little Portuguese twist.

After a lot of recommendations, I had the time to go the Hamburgueria do Bairro.
Originally situated near the Bairro Alto, which is an area mostly known for the night life, this restaurant has become very popular. At this moment they have opened up all around Lisbon.

Location link.

The entrance is very inconspicuous

and the restaurant quite small. It maybe sits 20 people very tightly.

So small, in fact that is recommendable to go during lunch time and to avoid weekends. It gets full very fast and will have a queue.

The selection has Portuguese influences. The bread in “Hamburguer do Caco” will exchange the bun for a “Bolo do caco” which is a wheat bread from Madeira Island that is done as if it were a cake.

The one I tried was the “Bairro Alto”

In short, a Bacon Cheeseburger with a fried egg and salad.

Taste matters. And in this case, the taste is all there. The meat is top quality. Flavorful, succulent, nicely made.
The bacon. The best. so crispy and smoky that becomes decadent. And to finish all off, the fried egg tastes like it’s homemade.

Each bite is a trip. And before you know it, the hamburger is finished 😦

On the side, some wrinkled, almost unsalted, fries that will have more taste than they seem to have.

The last five or so years have been very hard on Portugal. Somehow, the Portuguese keep reinventing themselves and every time I go back there, there’s something new to eat and to see. This small and relatively unknown restaurant chain is a great example of that.
Unfortunately, I cannot give enough praise to what they have achieved in terms of taste and presentation. Also, as this blog doesn’t reach everywhere it won’t have the coverage they deserve.

That being said, this is possibly the best proper Burger Restaurant I have ever eaten in ( Five guys sits in another niche, so they can’t directly compare, however taste is not that dissimilar).

And the price for all of this?
A meal for 2 (Hamburger and drink), €17.50. Not per person. Total.
That’s the cost, per person, at Byron’s. And this is better. Period.

Food – 4.65/5
Choice of drinks – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
Location – 5/5

Try this. You won’t regret it.