It's not very clear where the hamburger originated, but the popular version has it that by the end of the 1800s, European emigres sailing to America on ships belonging to the Hamburg Lines were served meat patties quickly cooked on the grill and placed between two pieces of bread. Hamburg beef, salted and sometimes slightly smoked, was famous at the time and ideal for keeping on a long sea voyage. As it was hard, it was minced and sometimes stretched with soaked bread crumbs and chopped onion. It was popular with the Jewish immigrants, who continued to make Hamburg steaks, as the patties were then called, with fresh meat when they settled in the US. Burgers Bar might be a little crowded to eat at, but its sizzling open kitchen turns out delicious beef burgers with a selection of sauces such as garlic mayo, chimichuri, pesto, sweet or hot chili and BBQ. The menu includes three different sizes of beef hamburgers and a 200-gr. lamb burger, all dished up in a huge fresh bun with lettuce, tomato and pickles. A few salads and sandwiches with grilled chicken breast or peppered steak are also on the menu, while such desserts as halva mousse or Bavaria cream can be fun as well. Keeping in mind this is a self-service eatery, the staff was friendly and attentive, and you're only asked to place your order, give your name and take a seat - or stand next to the counter to watch as your food is prepared right in front of you. I ordered my burger medium rare topped with a slice of ripe tomato, a slice of raw onion and chimichuri sauce. It was perfectly grilled, juicy and appetizing. The onion rings I ordered as a side dish turned out to be too doughy and few frozen ones made their way into my dish. My companion for this meal, a fast-food expert, ordered the same wonderful 150-gr. beef burger and topping, with an extra garlic mayo sauce. But sorry to say, the French fries were no better than the onion rings. The potatoes were soaked in oil and all efforts at biting into them were disappointing. I revisited Burgers Bar a week later and had the chance to order the grilled chicken salad served with mixed lettuce, cucumbers tomato, onion, and vinaigrette sauce. What arrived on the table was more like chicken soup, due to the water used for rinsing the lettuce, which had not been spun or dried. When I asked to replace the dish, the staff once again proved to be helpful and professional. In nearly no time, they brought a very pleasing salad to my table with tender chicken-breast pieces, fresh vegetables and delectable sauce. The French fries were still somewhat oily, but I can't complain. Burgers Bar, 20 Rehov Emek Refaim, tel. 561-2333. Kosher Lemehadrin.

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