The Balvenie Stories Tour UK 2020
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Yup you read that title correctly. Mexico is probably not best known for its burgers but hey whoever thought the Japanese food would be so bangin' in Sao Paulo, Brazil or the BBQ be so damn delicious and tender in Tokyo, Japan or even the tacos (including the handmade tortillas) to be so legit in Melbourne, Australia. The world is getting smaller and access to information is getting almost too easy. No one can hide.
In recent years there has been an internationally recognised gastronomic explosion in Mexico and in particular (for this story) Mexico City. Two of the top 50 restaurants in the world are located here - Pujol and Quintonil. The thing is this is not a new thing to Mexicans. Various climates and the contributions of many cultures over the years has created an ever evolving kaleidoscope of produce, flavours and experimentation. In very recent times this experimentation has breached the bag of ‘Mexican food’ and into other vastly different cuisine. World class pasta from Sartoria (think Green Tortelli, the Mexican greens - 'Quelites' in a Jersey cow butter emulsion topped with fresh sage), seasonal sushi with local and international ingredients from Rokai or Mamey flavoured Gelato from Neveria Roxy. It's hard to ignore the biggest trade partner of Mexico not just fiscally but some would argue, culturally. The United States of America.
Cue the burger. America’s sweetheart next to the Statue of Liberty having a Budweiser in a crowded dive bar singing “Don’t Stop believin” whilst Tom Cruise is jumping on Oprah's couch under a TV showing the world series baseball. You get the idea.
After much evaluation and spirited conversation with a lot of my friends worldwide (via whatsapp) here are the agreed-upon rules for a good burger and the framework for this article.
Admittedly most of the burgers reviewed sit somewhere from lower-middle of the field (cost wise) to the gourmet end of the market.
Havre 77, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
From the lineage of Maximo Bistrot. A french restaurant with burger that doesn’t look like it belongs there. Oh boy it does. These chefs are cooking french food all day and when they get their french style mitts on a burger - magic happens. The pattie oozes love and bursts out of the super fresh, perfectly baked bun. And that CHEESE! It must be because of the other dishes on the menu have quality cheese hence… It’s even fun ordering the Hamburger de filet de boeuf. How classy. This burger is a religious experience.
Calle Dinamarca 44, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The Japanese are famous for balance. This burger is a masterclass in exactly that. Would have scored a perfect 10 if the buns were the same temp but weirdly one was cold...twice. From the perfect density bun to the perfect sized pattie cooked to perfection (every time) with agua to the perfected seasoned and sized french fries. It’s just so good.
Plaza Villa de Madrid 6, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Get this. An MMA gym by day and a burger joint covered with porn on the roof and semi clad wrestlers. What a joint. They even serve your fries in a dog bowl. The burgers are fresh and hot. The parts by themselves aren’t overly amazing but the combination of the thick pattie, good buns, 2 cheese and caramelised onions create a symphony of simple greatness. It’s a big bite burger at a price that’s near impossible.
AND some bonus burgers! Boom!
Bargain Basement - Burgerama
Av. Pdte. Plutarco Elías Calles 1050, Reforma Iztaccihuatl Nte., 08810 Iztacalco, CDMX, Mexico
Straight up burgers at killer prices. That’s all I have to say there. You’ll get more than you’d expect. Bimbo buns, Straight up beef mince with a good level of fat. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
Baller Section - The Palm
Campos Elíseos 218, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Is it good? It’s certainly big. Monstrous 400gramer. So much so we thought it was a burger for 2 people. After finishing the burger we struggled to walk. That hasn’t happened for quite a while. Now the burger itself. It’s one of those burgers that has all the specs but they couldn’t quite get it to amazing. Good meat but overcooked for the instruction. The bottom bun came out soggy as the bun was sitting under the cooked pattie whilst we presume they did something else. An absolute no no. Details people details. Overall a great place with a whisky bar and an outdoor section with the whole place tucked away in the Intercontinental hotel.
Dresde 2, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
The best beef burger at Niddo is the fish burger. Yup, I said it. The sirloin burger is nothing to write home about and I had to try multiple times to check as everything else I've had on the menu has been super solid including the presentation and service BUT one day I ordered the fish burger by accident and damn. Balanced, cooked perfectly and juicy. So for all you vegans out there here’s the burger for you! - (if you decide to become pescatarian while you transition back)
Tabasco 109, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Fried Chicken Burger.
Another mistaken order and ended up with the Chicken Burger. I ended getting the Beef burger 5 mins later but it was too late. I was in awe. And love. It’s sooo good. The ‘normal’ beef burger doesn’t compare at all. Flat and middle of the road on just about all fronts. The chicken burger on the other hand. Or as the Americans call it - a chicken sandwich - is just pure epic.The chicken is juicy on the inside and crispy on the inside with just the right amount of seasoning and cabbage/carrot and beetroot salad in a dijon and tabasco dressing. My gawd. It’s a masterpiece. Easily the best burger available on Uber eats.
And that’s it. My list for Mexican burgers for 2019. Believe me, I would have tried over 30 different burgers for this list and gained an undisclosed number of kilo’s for you. Yes, you. Some of these burgers I had to have twice just to make sure of my rating. Sometimes 3 times. Jaja. I certainly hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to get in contact about other lists you’d like to see. I’m happy to make more body sacrifices for all of you guys. That’s how nice I am.