Archive | February, 2012

Sizzler

29 Feb

Sizzler Cheeseburger Cut

Sizzler LogoAll over Thailand (apx. 40 locations), Tel. 0-2108-3113, Website: www.sizzler.co.th

Rating: 5.5/10

Overview: I’m not quite sure what makes this place so popular in Thailand, but whatever it is it’s working. The places always seem to be busy. The lines to go in and the Sizzler Exteriorhoards of people sort of turn me off to this place though. I think in all my years in this country, this was probably only the second time I’ve eaten at Sizzler. In fact, I don’t actually remember eating at one before, but I’ll just attribute that fact to it more likely than not being a less-than-memorable experience. Most of the restaurants that I’ve seen are quite spacious and have a lot of window space – which is good as it opens up the room a bit … and with so many people, the more spacious feeling, the better. The place did give me pseudo-cafeteria vibe, with people walking around everywhere and making multiple runs to the central salad bar. Anyway, the menu features 3 burgers … I went with the Cheese Burger

Cheese Burger: THB 380- (US $12.67)

“Aus. beef patty, deep-friend onion strings, tomato, lettuce and processed (Swiss)cheese on a sesame seed bun.”

Sizzler CheeseburgerFor a 380 baht I was telling myself “this had better be one damn good burger” … as it turns out it was just ok. I suppose for the money, you are getting decent value if you eat A LOT from the salad bar, a plate of shredded cheese and bacon bits should help ensure you get your money’s worth. Anyways, let’s get to the beef of the burger. This one was a whopper (not the BK kind, although the patties did taste similar); it really was huge. I did try to get a figure on how big the patty was, but I was just reassured over and over that it was beef!? Made from Aus beef, the patty had decent flavor and a nice meaty texture. However, I suspect that it was a pre-formed, frozen patty. The shape and density sort of gave it away. I could be wrong, but if I’m not, then the guys in the kitchen are perfectionist who like to make perfectly circular, dense patties. The meat was a little too dry for my liking and there wasn’t Sizzler Cheeseburger Cutreally anything on the burger that effectively countered this. Pair a dry patty with a big ol’ bun and the experience is a pending disaster. Luckily the bun, athough too big, was fresh (a little on the sweet side) and so were the lettuce and tomato. The cheese was a bit of a let down. In the description they said double Swiss cheese … I hoping for some premium Swiss, but what I got was processed knock-off. Who was I kidding, I was at Sizzler’s. Fries were fine, nothing special there. The Verdict: The Sizzle Fizzled. A safe but relatively generic burger experience. Not the best burger in Bangkok. If you’re at Central Rama 9 looking for a burger, I suggest heading to On The Table or even Hippopotamus.

 

Other:

Serving Time: 20 min

MRT: Rama 9

Hours: Mall hours

Burger Factory

21 Feb

The Burger FactoryEkamai Soi 10 (across from Health Land), Tel. N/A, Website: www.facebook.com/theburgerfactory

 

Rating: 7.5/10

Overview: This past weekend a friend sent me a message asking if I’ve been to this place yet … truth be told, I hadn’t even realized it was open – so I have Yoo to thank for directing me here. Tucked in the back of a quiet strip mall (just next to Health Land), Burger Factory is welcoming burger fans and offers both outside and inside seating … far enough away The Burger Factory Exteriorfrom the main road where you won’t be too bothered by rush hour traffic. With a name like Burger Factory, I was expecting (read: hoping) for a more industrial feeling to the place … but what I got was something like a cross between Audrey Café and Greyhound. The venue is still comfortable and the staff was friendly and attentive. Add to that, that I was there probably on just their 3rd or 4th day of soft opening, I’d say they are on the right track. They are currently serving off of a temporary menu … so it’s hard to say what additions they will make in the future. For now they have apx 9 burger variations, including a salmon burger and ‘Shroom Burger for any pescetarians or vegetarians out there. (: I figured that I would go with their signature burger for my first visit … I placed my order and happily waited.

The Factory Burger: THB 250- (US $8.33)

“150g Aus. beef patty, sautéed onion, fresh onion, tomato, lettuce, bacon, burger cheese and BF Sauce on a homemade bun.”

The Factory Burger - Burger Factory BangkokLet’s kick things off by talking about the beef. Here’s the deal, I’m told they use imported Aus. beef – ground in-house. Props for that. If places want to effectively maintain consistency, I think this is the way to go. I ordered my burger Medium, and I’d say it came just a tad overdone, but not by much. Flavor and consistency wise, it was almost there. Personally I would have liked a bit more salt, but this wasn’t a deal breaker. The aspect that took down this burger a notch for me was the bun … and this could have also been what set this burger apart from others. They make their buns in-house, and as such you can count on freshness. The unfortunate part for my visit was that the bun was a bit doughy, or rather it became quite doughy once the burger juices/burger sauce was added to it – to the point where it The Factory Burger Cut - Burger Factory Bangkokwas sticking to the roof of my mouth and teeth. It wasn’t horribly bad, but enough to the point where it detracted from my overall experience. It seems they are aware of this problem, because they asked me what I thought of the bun. Anyway, I like the fact that they grill both sides of the bun; it was a nice touch. All the toppings were fine, and I though that the gilled onions added a nice, subtle sweetness to the burger. The placement of the lettuce could be improved a bit – it was bit chunky and what was supposed to create a barrier between the burger and the bun … didn’t really work. You also get your choice of potato salad or fries with the burger … I went with the fries. Not bad at all. Also, I think they were letting guests sample some of their other dishes; they gave me a couple of their sweet&crispy chicken wings and a strawberry mojito. I liked the wings a lot; the mojito was a bit sweet for my liking. The Verdict: I’d say a definite must try in the Thonglor-Ekamai area. Fix the bun and as Arnold once said “I’ll be back”.

Other:

Serving Time: 15 min +

BTS: Ekamai  | Parking: yes (limited)

Hours: 11 am- 11 pm

Note: They are planning on closing one day of the week, this info was not yet available.

Bangkok Burger Feature: Sliders (Mini Burgers)

18 Feb

Woodstock Bar and Grill

Overview: For the purists out there, all of these little burgers probably wouldn’t pass off as sliders – but for the sake of this post, we’re going to go with the loose definition on Wikipedia and say they do.

You might be wondering where the term “slider” comes from, and some that believe the term originated in U.S. Navy ships, where the burgers they served were so greasy that they would just slide down the counter as the ship rocked back and forth on the sea waters. And others believe that the term came about to describe small greasy burgers served at military airfields that would just “slide” down one’s throat. But regardless of where the actual term came from, many credit White Castle (a fast food chain with the invention and popularization of the slider and as such, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention them. Here’s fun and informative video by them about sliders. Also, here is another post that delves into the difference between Mini Burgers and sliders, so if you’re interested, you checkout this post on AHT.

Anyways, lets move on to the beef of this entry … the burgers. I’ve visited all three of the venues before to review their standard burgers … but while I was there these little guys stood out and I made a mental note to revisit and eat them. We’ll go though them in alphabetical order.

Bangkok Burger Company

BBC Sliders (THB 295.-/US $9.83)

Bangkok Burger CompanyThis was the first of the three places that I visited. The order consists of three mini burgers: Plain, Triple Cheese and Bacon Cheese. There’s not really much that differentiates these guys from the other burgers on the menu, aside from their size. If you like the style of BBC burgers, then it would be safe to say you would enjoy these 3 burgers. I think for a medium-size appetite, you’d be content. In my earlier review of a BBC burger you’ll note that I comment on the consistency of the patty (I prefer all-beef, no fillers), I’m not a huge fan of “soft” burgers – however,  I think the size of these burgers gives the patty a little more resistance the their larger counterpart (read: makes it not as soft) and that’s a plus for me.

Firehouse Pub & Restaurant

Firehouse MiniBurgers/Sliders (THB 260.-/US $8.66)

Firehouse Pub and RestaurantWhen I went in to do my original review of this place, there was a guy eating an order of these … and I’ve wanted to try them ever since. What attracted me to this particular set of 3 “sliders” was that they were/are served to you with a set of 4 dips/toppings (on the side): Bacon Bits, Guacamole, Peanut Butter and BBQ Sauce. So aside from just being smaller, they give you a totally different burger experience, which is nice. They come standard with cheese and grilled onions (which is a mandatory topping to even be considered a “real” slider by the purists) – I mention this for the non-onion lovers out there, just order them without. Portion wise, it’s on target like BBC – just enough to satisfy. If you go in for a set, the peanut butter is a great first choice to experiment with.

Woodstock

Mini Me’s (THB 195.-/US $6.50)

Woodstock Bar and RestaurantHonestly, I wanted to order these just because of the name … it’s so cute I could eat it (and I did). The ultimate pairing would be an order of these Mini Me’s and a Fat Bastard (a hefty 1-lb burger option). As you may or may not be able to see, these suckers are pretty small and they don’t come with anything other then cheese on top … but don’t let that deter you. They are pretty tasty. The patties are well-seasoned and there is a lot of flavor coming out of them. You get 4 with each order, but I think that you’d need to eat at least a couple of orders to get full. To be fair though, I think that is the actual point of sliders … to eat a lot of them. Just an FYI, the other places come as a meal set – these are all alone – but, they are listed in the appetizer section of the menu so this shouldn’t be a surprise. (you can also see my original review of Woodstock here – it was the first-ever entry for BBB, so I’m sure they deserve a follow-up review.)

Verdict: I’m not going to give my typical rating this time around, but I will say that of the three I think that you get the best value for money with the Firehouse MiniBurgers. Size wise, FH and BBC are pretty close – and they both come with fries – but I really like that you get dips with FH. And, if you know my burger style preference at all … you can bet that I’d go with a meatier patty.

Below are three more pics of the burgers … one of each in the order I listed above. If you know of any other places that serve mini burgers/sliders – please share in the comment section.

Bangkok Burger CompanyFirehouse Pub and RestaurantWoodstock Bar and Grill