Sunday, November 19, 2017

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (London, UK)

102 Baker Street, London W1U 6 TL, UK

Gourmet Burger Kitchen is one of the many upscale burger chains that have emerged in London in the past decade. Founded by New Zealanders in 2001, GBK has been bought and sold by various big restaurant companies, who have now created some 60 locations cross the UK. While the main thing are big burgers, they also sell fancy snacks – like Haloummi bites – and chicken, salads, shakes, etc. The burgers can be made with beef, bison, lamb, or veggie patty.

I get the Bourbon Street (£8.95), which is a mustard grilled beef patty that comes with jalapenos, bourbon glazed mushrooms, sriracha mayo, salad (I ask for no mature Cheddar). The burger looks impressive: the bun is big but fresh and therefore not overpowering, the patty is thick and perfectly grilled (medium), and the various toppings give it a good kick. One of the best burgers I have ever eaten! I also get a side of Chunky Fries (£3.30) with Garlic Mayo (£1.25). The fries are thick and tasty, but a bit lukewarm, while the garlic mayo is creamy and thick, but far too expensive.

VERDICT: 95/100
Bit too expensive, but exceptional quality.

Woody Grill (London, UK)

1 Uxbridge Rd, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 8LJ, United Kingdom

Woody Grill is a London-based chain of “Turkish restaurants” with currently six locations. I visit the one in Shepherd’s Bush, which is a relatively small kebab restaurant that has both two skewers (chicken and lamb) and a stone grill for freshly made kebabs. It has a good offer of kebabs and shawarma.

I get a Lamb Shawarma (£5), which comes in a wrap. The meat is actually lamb and tastes good (not too chewy), the vegetables (cabbage and salad) are fresh and the sauces tasty. Overall a very good shawarma sandwich.

VERDICT: 87/100
Good and plenty

Leon (London, UK)

Western Concourse, King's Cross Station, London N1C 4AH, United Kingdom

Leon is a relatively new chain, founded in 2004, which has a growing number of franchises, almost all in London, but also in Birmingham, Oxford and Utrecht (Netherlands). They serves “natural fast food,” which mostly consists of exotic lunchboxes of rice and noodle dishes but also some sandwiches. I visit the small place in King's Cross station.

I get the Korean Burger (£5.75), which are big chunks of grilled chicken with shredded cabbage and pickles on a burger bun covered with a slightly spicy sauce. Overall not bad at all, as the chicken is moist and the bun not too dry, but could have been a bit spicier.

VERDICT: 86/100
Interesting chicken sandwich, which could make you feel healthy.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Daily (Potsdam, Germany)

Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 31, 14467 Potsdam, Germany

Daily is a new, self-declared “trendy” restaurant in downtown Potsdam, which serves burgers, coffee, and many other things, including ice cream – which can be ordered from outside in a special stand. I get two scoops (€2.80): hazelnut and limette. Both are remarkably bland and mainly creamy. At a certain point in time I couldn’t even distinguish the two anymore.

VERDICT: 74/100
Mediocre. Hope the food is better.

First Kebab (Potsdam, Germany)

Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 99, 14467 Potsdam, Germany

Around since 1996 First Kebab mainly serves Dinner kebab, in wraps or Turkish bread, as well as falafel etc. Nothing particularly special, they have two skewers: chicken and “lamb” – although they do offer whole wheat bread.

I get a regular Döner Kebab (3.50) with garlic sauce, onion, tomato, cucumber and some spicy flakes. the bread is a bit too crispy and there could have been more meat on it, but overall it tastes pretty good.

VERDICT: 85/100
Pretty good Döner.

Eismanufaktur Potsdam (Potsdam, Germany)

Brandenburger Str. 67, 14467 Potsdam, Germany

Eismanufaktur Potsdam is a bit of a hipster ice cream place that serves almost only more or less original combinations rather than classic flavors. They have some 20 house-made flavors, divided into a few sorbets and many more milk-based.

I get a cone with two enormous scoops (€2.60): quark, honey sesame, which is creamy but quite fresh, and Himbeer-Limetten, which is fresh and fruity.


VERDICT: 86/100
Quite good but a bit too artsy for me

The Best Hot Dog (Potsdam, Germany)

Brandenburger Str. 67, 14467 Potsdam, Germany

Small shop that serves a bewildering list of hotdogs, which can also be made with bratwurst, as well as drinks and candy. From Danish to French and from Chicago to Greek. I get a Chile Hot Dog (€2.80), which comes with chili sauce, fresh onions, toasted onions and Danish remoulade. The bun is toasted and dry, the sausage tiny and the overall experience underwhelming.

VERDICT: 75/100
Better stick with the bratwurst as the regular hot dog is below par.

Hauptstadtburger (Berlin, Germany)

Leipziger Pl. 12, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Hauptstadtburger is a hip burger joint in the food court of the Mall of Berlin. It has a real grill and serves several different kind of burgers and fries.  Very much based on US model. Ordering is insanely slow. Fortunately, the burgers are made quite quickly.

I get a Chilli-Cheese Burger Meal with fries and drink (€10.30): 200gr beef, chili sauce, jalapenos. Because of ultimate incompetence I actually get a different burger, seemingly a basic one with Mayo, ketchup, onion, tomato and pickles. It’s quite tasty, although a bit undercooked (asked for medium), and the bun is a bit too dry. Fries are crispy but kind of bland and, surprisingly, dry.

VERDICT: 80/100
Has potential but incompetence level is too high. Stick with burgers.

Falafel Me (Berlin, Germany)

Kurfürstendamm 166 in 10707 Berlin, Germany

Falafel Me is a small falafel place on one of the biggest shopping streets in Berlin. While it looks like a chain, it (currently) has only one location. It has a very limited menu: falafel, fries, and salads.

I get a Pita Falafel (€3.50), which comes with fresh vegetables, 3-4 falafel balls, and mild white (yoghurt) sauce and/or hot red sauce.  The falafel balls are not too dry, not too moist and the sandwich overall tastes pretty good.

VERDICT: 84/100)
Very affordable and very decent falafel on the go.