The chain was founded in 1998 in Israel and, apparently, the first franchise owners coined the name “Burger Bar.” Over the last 20 years or so another 12 branches have opened around the country, and the brand acquired an enviable reputation. It was awarded the title “One of the best burgers in the world” by no less an authority than the magazine Business World.
So, to find out what all the hype was about, my companion and I journeyed to the BSR 4 complex on the border of Bnei Brak and Ramat Gan. According to the florid prose of the PR firm in charge of the promotion, NIS 3 million had been invested in the launch of the new location.
We glanced around at the decor – marble-topped wooden tables, standard chairs, a circular bar and exposed air-conditioning, and both of us wondered on what exactly this huge sum of money was spent. It was a diner, straight out of Better Call Saul.
Perhaps the food would be more impressive, or so we hoped. Certainly the service was good; our waiter, Matan, was polite, helpful and efficient, His Los Angeles-accented English was so good we didn’t even attempt to converse in Hebrew.
He suggested one of the special cocktails to start, and we readily concurred. My dining companion chose Sangria, a long drink full of mint and sliced cucumbers which was marginally alcoholic. Mine, on the other hand, was deceptively sweet – a vodka-and-lemon mix with peach and lychee juice. Several sips of this delicious drink and my head was up in the ceiling with the air-conditioner. Being a confirmed drinker, I am not easily inebriated, so it was a great feeling (NIS 28).
For a joint starter Matan brought us a plate of wafer-thin slices of roast beef with garlic confit, basil and olive oil. He thoughtfully provided mustard and several bottled sauces. The meat was very tender and tasty, although the chunks of dry toast that came with it were out of place. Garlic baguette would have been more welcome (NIS 49).
The menu includes chicken and turkey, but we felt it was our duty to taste the hamburgers.
I chose Baby Agadir, three mini burgers of 70 grams each with different toppings (NIS 69). The chopped meat really did appear to be 100% meat with no fillers. The toppings – fried onion, guacamole and tomato – added variety, while the buns were of the classic soft hamburger variety..
My companion chose an “Angus” which Matan laboriously explained was chopped entrecôte from a special and exclusive cow (NIS 69). It was cooked medium rare and came with sliced purple onion, pickle, lettuce and tomato. My companion seemed impressed with the dish.
We felt the best accompaniment to this homely food was draft beer and patriotically chose a local brand, a third for me (NIS 24) and a half for my companion (NIS 29).
A separate dessert menu offered a small but exclusive choice. My partner chose a marvelous melt-in-the-mouth chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream (NIS 39). I plumped for Pavlova Sorbet (NIS 34), an excellent choice, as the crispy sweet Pavlova contrasted perfectly with the tangy water ice.
We left after what we both felt had been a pleasant gastronomic experience and drove back to Netanya, agreeing that it had certainly been worth the journey.
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
BSR 4 complex