Geez, I almost feel guilty…

…writing this one. I’ve got to admit the “gang” at Burger Nation were welcoming, friendly and well trained, but… Ooooh, this is gonna be a big “BUT”… “nice” just isn’t enough! I feel like a broken record, people!

OK, so PS, Princess, Warnink, and Deedee went to Burger Nation to find out what all the rave’s about. It was evening but Deedee frantically searched for her darkest pair of sunglasses cuz this place is lit brighter than those sterile rooms you see in Alien movies on TV! I mean, talk about feeling like you’re “in the spotlight”! People, what happened to ambience? Cozy not a word in your dictionary? If I ever go back – just cuz Deedee’s fair and usually gives a second chance (except to Classic Burger Joint, akeed), it’s gonna have to be during the day with my shades on to avoid the glaring light!

We sat down, got our menus and were handed a “Make your own Burger” form, which is actually cool, cuz you’re not just stuck with the menu items. They get kudos for this thought. We were told, Burger Nation serves ‘Chilled’ Angus meat from Tasmania, Oz. The waitress took our order. Deedee asked for the BN Burger medium rare, as usual. When Deedee’s burger arrived it looked interesting: blue cheese, the onions were caramalized, the patty was thick and the buns looked fresh… then she took her first bite and turned into the Tasmanian Devil! That meat was raw beyond medium rare. Guys… you gotta learn how to cook your burger patties. A medium rare burger is not Steak Tartar! Besides, you need to serve the food warm. I can’t eat a burger that’s warm on the outside and cold inside… it’s called technique! Figure it out!

Warnink had their regular burger – medium. His burger was cooked closer to a medium rare. The meat is OK, but he wasn’t too thrilled. As for their fries. We had the hand cut wedges which were fine but I’d put a little less of that Cajun spice they sprinkle on cuz it overwhelms the taste of the fries… just gimme fries, dude!

As for the Veggie Burger… Let me help you out here: think Burger Bun. You don’t stuff 3 pieces of falafel in a burger bun. You either make the falafel the size of a patty or you could try to get creative and come up with a real and original veggie burger. Yaani, let me make it simple for you, if PS wanted falafel that night, he would’ve gone to Sahyoun.

In the end, the head server and the manager asked us for feedback and we were honest. They apologized and brought us dessert on the house, which is “sweet”… BUT, don’t you love how after a place makes a mistake they think you’ll forgive them just because they gave you a piece of cake to nibble on? It would be nice to think about what effect your food may have on others before you stick your foot in your mouth.

Burger Nation is at the end of Hamra St. 01-346646.

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8 Responses to Geez, I almost feel guilty…

  1. Peter A. says:

    A burger this thick, straight out of the fridge, is impossible to cook over an open flamed grill. It would have to go into the oven for 5-10 minutes to attain a warmed medium rare or medium.

    This is also why I prefer the 4 oz. over the 6 oz. at Brgr Co.

  2. John says:

    Hi Deedee-I enjoyed reading this review on Burger Nation and to some extent I seize to agree with you on some of the points you mentioned.

    Your criticism of the food outlets, from what I have read so far this couple of weeks, seems to be a bit off the mark and somewhat subjective as it is purely based on your own personal taste. Unfortunately, not everyone likes to order a med rare burger. You want a med rare piece-a-meat? Go to Gauchos for a proper steak. This is a burger for Christ sake.

    And, if you fancy Sahyoun’s (or whatever his name is) falafel, then that’s were you go! The falafel on the menu is to give those non meat eaters out there an option while they dine-in with their cannibal friends, ya know! I don’t think the people at BN put it in there as their top seller since their speciality remains at selling burgers! It is simply another option to have.

    Sorry to be so forthright here, but I do get annoyed with unconstructive reviews :0)

    • Deedee McFly says:

      Thanks for your comment, John, and fair enough.

      Here’s my take on it: yes, it’s my choice to ask for a medium-rare burger and cooking a burger medium-rare is, for some, an art to perfect. I do have my steaks medium-rare too but there’s a huge difference between a medium-rare steak and a medium-rare burger. I’m assuming I can trust the meat at the places where I have my burger, otherwise, I wouldn’t order it that temperature, let alone eat there in the first place.

      As for the falafel burger, I understand that it’s a burger for non meat eaters, but there’s so much more one can put in a veggie patty that could taste great (vegetables is one, tofu could be another, the list goes on). Falafel is almost indigenous to this country and you don’t go to eat it at a burger joint.

      I don’t see my criticism as being “unconstructive”. If the places I criticize actually take my comments constructively they could eventually give their diners a better culinary experience. At the end of the day, each is entitled to his/her own opinion and I appreciate your feedback.

  3. Dinigar says:

    I also went there when they opened, i felt these guys are amateurs deedee, very lost, and from john’s comments, it seems they have a long way to go before they understand the principles of serving a medium rare client! Good luck…

  4. yasmina says:

    I had a burger there a while ago, it wasnt bad, but the fries are frozen, which i didnt really like, and so are the onion rings…i felt the concept is really close to lord of the wings.

  5. Warnink says:

    John,

    As the Warnink “who wasn’t too thrilled”, I can’t claim to be unbiased but at the end of the day, DDMac’s blog is just that, a blog. In other words, a personal account, so of course, it is going to be subjective and let’s be honest here, when it comes to reviews, however much their authors might like to pretend otherwise, this kind of writing is nothing if not subjective.

    In response to your “this is a burger, for Christ’s sake” comment, I can only assume your experience of burgers is of the MickeyD’s/fast-food variety. You might try reading more food writing. The idea that burgers, like other forms of red meat, should be cooked according to order is neither new nor unusual.

    So if places like BGR Co, Burger Nation, ie ‘gourmet’ burger joints, are going to offer their clientele the opportunity to have their patties cooked the way they like them – and no one is forcing them to do so – they should be able to deliver what they offer. Isn’t that one of the most basic criteria by which any of us judge a restaurant? So if the chef is unaware of the difference between medium rare and kibbe nayye, he or she probably needs a quick refresher.

    Finally, not once in the piece did DD say she fancied a felafel. Her point was that if a restaurant like Burger Nation – which has gone to the trouble of sourcing its meat (as opposed to just buying whatever crap is available at Spinneys) and keeps it chilled and not frozen (presumably to preserve the taste) – is going to present customers with a vegetarian option, then perhaps three felafel patties in a bun is a cop-out and a disappointment.

    Personally, I thought the staff were very personable and tried to be as helpful as possible (for which they get a star) and that the meat was tasty (but then mine was properly cooked, though served cold). However, my fries were so heavily seasoned I could barely taste the potato and I didn’t enjoy the experience of eating under the kind of lighting that is only really appropriate at a night-time football match.

    For me, until these issues are resolved, I’d rather order a burger from Shtroumpf, which at least that is delivered to my door hot and which costs me 40-50% less than my ‘meal’ at Burger Nation.

  6. Andrew says:

    Dude just go to McDee or McDeedee… seems your taste buds & taste would do better there. I’ve tried the place and it’s probably the best in B-city

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