Burgers in suburbia

Meaty treats from a new spot in Ra’anana and a veteran bistro in Azorei Hen

Bang Bang burgers (photo credit: AFIK GABAI)
Bang Bang burgers
(photo credit: AFIK GABAI)
Bang Bang is a name born of a concept. Each hamburger patty in this new eatery is called a “bang,” and diners stack them to “build their own burger.” The result is that customers get their food fast but without having to settle for assembly-line fast food. Instead, they get to enjoy excellent burgers, consisting of choice beef and premium toppings, crafted while they watch.
The Bang Bang approach reflects the kind of innovative thinking characteristic of a group of young entrepreneurs that are carving out quite a gastronomic niche in Ra’anana’s industrial zone. The bare bones hamburger joint is the latest of four adjacent – and very different – dining establishments owned by the partners: Cafe Landwer, a bar named Shenkin, and the Pazzo pizzeria.
The culinary brains behind the group is chef Shahar Barnea, formerly of Cafe Noir and Sebastian and currently of the upscale Italian restaurant Pomo. He came up with the formula of combining three cuts of beef that are ground fresh daily on the premises. This recipe packs a lot of flavor into a patty that weighs only 130 grams.
This compact size not only encourages adding interesting toppings, but it also helps keep Bang Bang affordable. The basic Bang burger – one patty, with lettuce and tomato on a fresh bun baked in-house – is only NIS 29. The double Bang Bang costs NIS 38, while the Bang Bang meal – burger, French fries (or onion rings) and soft drink – is NIS 49.
The toppings come in four categories and have been chosen with care. The Veggies (NIS 5) include fried onions, grilled mushrooms and pineapple; Spreads (NIS 5), such as onion jam, are made from scratch; Cheeses (NIS 7) are imported and vary; and so do the Meats (NIS 9), such as goose breast. The accompanying French fries and onion rings may be ordered mixed (half-and-half); the latter are a cut above the usual formerly frozen onion rings.
Desserts (NIS 14) are equally high quality, but they come to Bang Bang pre-packaged: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in cartons, cones and cookie sandwiches.
Bang Bang
Not kosher
6 Hasadna St., Ra’anana
Tel: (09) 957-1990
Grinberg Bistro does burgers -- like its deli -- American-style
If the Raanana businessmen play their cards right, they might end up as successful as the compound of restaurants on Uri Tzvi Grinberg Street in the Azorei Hen subdivision adjacent to Ramat Aviv. Comprising Grinberg Bistro, Greco, Grinberg Pizza and Gelateria Grinberg, this string of eateries -- along with America-Tel Aviv on Ibn Gvirol Street in Tel Aviv -- is also owned by one group of proprietors.  
Grinberg Bistro (which was reviewed in this space on December 10, 2015) is a full-service restaurant with an extensive -- and eclectic -- menu. It also boasts a full bar, with eight specialty cocktails.
Grinberg takes particular pride in the New York deli section of its menu, which is headlined by a corned beef sandwich on rye, but actually dominated by hamburgers: four beef burgers, one crispy chicken burger and a vegan burger.
As is the case with most places serving premium hamburgers, the restaurant grinds its choice beef daily. The standard patty weighs 220 grams (just under a quarter of a pound); the triple burger comes out to about 600 grams of meat, while the burger on the children's menu weighs 110 grams. 
Grinberg’s Classic, or plain, burger (NIS 69) comes with a choice of eight toppings (NIS 9 each). It is great fun tasting your burger one by one with the entire spread of quality condiments: ketchup, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, red pepper aioli, garlic aioli, barbecue sauce, and, of course, the house’s special sauce. 
Our waiter, meanwhile, recommended the eponymous Grinberg (NIS 72) -- with bacon, caramelized onion, aioli, cheddar butter, tomato, red onion and lettuce -- as well as the Cuban (NIS 88), which comes with smoked beef, salsa verde, honey mustard, cheddar cheese, cheddar butter. The extra layer of meat, plus the multiple spreads, add pleasurable additional complexity and moisture to an already juicy and flavorful burger. 
The price of the burger includes cornichons, plus a choice of one of five sides, most of which are actually healthful. There are, naturally, two kinds of fried potatoes -- including Grinberg’s popular seasoned fries -- but also excellent “smashed” potatoes for those wishing to avoid fried carbohydrates. Diners may replace potatoes altogether, however, with one of three variations of salads, or cooked veggies.
Although the burgers here are considerably filling, fans of Yankee desserts will find plenty of deliciously decadent sweets on offer: gelato from the ice cream parlor next door; chocolate mousse and whipped cream dished out tableside from huge buckets; rich N.Y. cheesecake; Mississippi mud pie topped with meringue and chocolate ganache; and crack pie with caramelized banana and whipped cream.
When one person in a party is craving a burger, but others want to eat something totally different, Grinberg Bistro is likely to please all comers. 
Grinberg Bistro
Not kosher
Uri Tzvi Ginsberg St. 25, Azorei Hen, Tel Aviv
Tel. (03) 613-6132
The writer was a guest of the restaurants.