Sunday, 10 April 2011

Bluefield Burger Company: King of Burger Delivery

"Incoming!!!"... That's the sound my mobile phone makes when a message arrives. The message was to the point: "16:00. Bluefield.". The reply had been sent before I had time to think about it: "OK".

Of course, there wasn't anything to think about! There was no way I was going to let my plans to go to the gym get in the way of beer and a burger. And not just any burger at that. As far as I'm concerned, Bluefield Burger is the best burger delivery company in Athens - its just a shame (and bliss at the same time) that there is only one of it. Other companies may be more well know, and may have the means to cover every end and every suburb of Athens, but when it comes to quality, Bluefield is in a league of its own.

In a nutshell, the story goes that a guy went to New York, learnt all about real burgers, decided to return to Greece and set up the best burger delivery company around. Lights, camera, action; he succeeded. I'm not going to write anything more because it has all been written about before. You can read more about the background of Mr. Bluefield Burgers (a.k.a. Aggelos Katopodis) and Bluefield Burger Company on (yes they have started franchising, so hopefully we'll see more of them soon - and hopefully the quality will remain the same), Athens Voice, Athens News, Athinorama, foodforthought and they have a facebook page!

Obviously, as well as delivery they have a sit-in area (otherwise why would we be going there - doh)! On entering the sit-in dining area, one is welcomed by small cows grazing in green fields of grass. It's really nice that this much attention has been placed on the look and feel of this area of a shop that probably does most of its business delivering its product.

Grazing Cows

The Dining Area

This is about half of the dining area. There are another two tables on the other side. A tiny shop with huge surprises!

We ordered a beer, a Caesar salad, onion rings, Fries with Chilli, Sesame Chicken Wings and Best of the West burgers. 

The salad was different as far as Caesar salads go. Nothing garlicky or anchovy about it. But nothing like the bog standard flat commercial white dressing you get in many average places. There was, however, something in the dressing that I couldn't put my finger on. I hate it when that happens. But it was really nice. Fresh. I was so hungry though, that by the time I thought of taking a photo, it was all gone!


Served in an icy cold glass. What could be more perfect of a sunny spring day!

Onion Rings

I've tried onion rings with flour, onion rings with bread crumbs and these: onion rings in batter. Can't decide what I like best, but these were damn fine onion rings.

Fries and Chilli

Ultimate comfort food. Absolutely delicious! Here of course, as well as with the burgers, fresh chips would have taken the dish to the next level.

Sesame Chicken Wings

Spectacular by any account: Sticky sweet and savoury exterior. Moist insides, tender, meat falls off the bone. Probably one of their best dishes.

Best of the West Burger

There is no such thing as the perfect burger. In the same way that there is no such thing as the perfect pasta or the perfect pizza. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal taste. HOWEVER, there are rules of thumb. 

First of all, look at the burger. Rule of thumb: the burger has to look appetising.

If you look closely at the Best of the West burger, you'll notice a thin layer of white sauce between the bottom half of the bun and the patty. Rule of thumb: add a fat based sauce (e.g. mayonnaise based) or other impermeable layer between bread and other ingredients to avoid bread becoming soggy. 

Notice the abundance of iceberg lettuce on top. It may be tasteless, but it gives texture (e.g. crunch) to the burger. Rule of thumb: add texture. 

Now look at the thickness of the patty. A thinner patty has more surface area to brown for more taste, but the difference between "bloody as hell" and "burnt to a crisp", would be a matter of seconds - and even so, to get the benefit of the larger surface area without overcooking the interior you'd need very high heat. A thick patty can be repeatedly cooked to order with satisfactory browning. Rule of thumb: thick patty. 

Next the bread; the moisture of all the ingredients must be enough to counteract the dryness of the bread. Use a dense bread and you're screwed. Rule of thumb: use a light bread or add allot of moisture. 

Finally the patty. If its dry, you have to add other ingredients to give moisture otherwise, it will be impossible to swallow. However, if you're going to cover the taste of the meat with a whole load of sauces and other stuff, you might as well use a cardboard patty. There are two ways to achieve moisture. One is to use good quality tender lean cuts of meat and cook it medium-rare to medium. You will loose out in taste but the health benefits are obvious. The other way is to use cuts that require more cooking and have more fat. These must be cooked well to allow the fat to melt. This is your traditional American burger. This is burger that The King of Rock and Roll had for breakfast. It has a smoky taste from the burnt fat, and a well textured interior because of the less tender meat used. However, it is also the type of burger that led the King to an early grave! In today's world, most people will find this type of burger less palatable, but at the end of the day its a matter of taste. Rule of thumb: you have to make a conscious decision about the cut of meat and how much fat will be in the burger.

Bluefield burger uses a mix of sirloin and brisket to achieve a very good balance of juiciness, tenderness and texture without the burger being obviously fatty. You can read all about their choices here.

Cookies. On the House.

Finally the cookies. Oh the cookies. I really wish that I'm not wrong in saying that these are absolutely home made using basically flour, butter, sugar and chocolate chips because they are; the dogs bollocks!

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