Some entrepreneurs invest thousands of dollars, sometimes millions, in state-of-the-art restaurants hoping with that good food may follow. Others start-off with a wholesome recipe and a mere grill and end up making some magic. I’m talking about Burger Nation, yes that not-too-shabby little corner spot that had recently opened in Hamra.
I’ve seen the Facebook Ads and the Twitter account (@burgernation) and a review here and there, but to be honest I never really paid much attention. But after an exhausting shopping session in Hamra on Monday, I accidentally fell on it and it sure was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had in a long time.
You see, we walk into these hyped up burger joints popping up all over Beirut with big expectations hoping to fulfill our ongoing quest for the best burgers in town only to be disappointed at times, content others, and rarely ever satisfied.
The place was packed.We were greeted by a cheery, bright-eyed waitress who spoke perfect English and genuinely seemed like she loves her job- a quality rare amongst waiters nowadays. Grass-fed Angus, make your own burger, Belgian fries, I was overcome with sheer happiness.
We started off with some hot crispy coated onion rings that came with two AMAZING dips, ranch and another one that tasted very similar to McDonald’s Big Mac sauce. That set the mood for what was yet to come.
And then, we saw two beautiful burgers make their way to our table, a 8oz for the big man and a lovely 6oz for lil’ me. We had ordered them medium-well, brown on the outside, with a lovely pink shade on the inside. Lettuce, tomatoes and aged cheddar sat atop those patties, accompanied by a scoop of coleslaw and Belgian fries.
Where do I begin, to tell the story of how great a burger can be? The thickness of the patty was superb and the bun was as soft yet sturdy as one would hope. It was big, but not sloppy, and the flavors, went so well together.
The burger was great, but then I tasted the sweet fresh coleslaw, and the just -right fries, ordered some more of that ranch dressing and munched away. Good for Burger Nation putting as much importance to getting the side orders right!
Why am I so impressed? There is no real kitchen in this place , instead you have a corner behind a counter, with a chef on the grill and another making the burgers. That’s all it took for these folks to make it happen. And mind you there may be plenty of places in town with a similar concept, ut Burger Nation’s swift service, friendly staff, to-the-point menu, and most importantly GREAT Burger, got it right.
The Verdict: 8/10
Price Range: 47,000 LL including to Cokes.
Would I go back? I’m on my way right now.
And NO: I did not get paid to write this- although I wish I did! Bisoux