Archive | August, 2012

Grace’s American Burgers and Grill (Hua Hin)

23 Aug

Grace's American Burgers Hua Hin Burger Cut

Grace's American Burgers Hua Hin Sign29 Naebkehat Road, Hua Hin Soi 51 (map), Tel. 032-531-191, Website: FB Page

Rating: 7/10

Overview: Every now and then I’m fortunate enough to be a able to wander beyond the city limits, and most recently I found myself in Hua Hin. While I’m sure that this could have been turned into a weekend of burger eating; I managed to keep my patty+bun intake down to one. It just wouldn’t have been right to go all the way to the sea and not eat some seafood. Plus, to be honest, I think all the burgers and fries are starting to catch up to me. I might have to start jogging to each of the burger place I want to try out.

Grace's American Burgers Hua Hin - exteriorGrace's American Burgers Hua Hin MenuGrace's American Burgers Hua Hin Beer

So let’s get to it … Grace’s American Burger (no relation to the old Grace’s Burger Bar in BKK – that I know of), is centrally located in Hua Hin; it’s a open-air joint close to the sea in a compound with two other dining spots (a cafe and seafood place). It was nighttime and drizzling a bit out when I went, so I didn’t really see much. At the time, we were the only customers eating on site … so we grabbed at table and placed our order.

Beef Burger: THB 320- (US $10.66)

“1/2 pound (apx 227g) beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle on a sesame seed bun.

Grace's American Burgers Hua Hin BurgerI had read some reviews that lauded this as the best burger in Hua Hin (not Bangkok), so I was really looking forwarded to giving it a go. At 1/2 pound, it was a sizable meal – and I went hungry so I was ready. When I placed my burger order, I had expected to be asked how I wanted my burger done … but was not. Nor was it noted on the menu to what doneness burgers were typically cooked. This really wasn’t an issue for me – sometimes I like the surprise, and it kind of gives me a little more insight on what doneness the place (any place that does this) thinks a burger should have. Anyway, my real purpose for mentioning that is for those of you who must have it a certain way. At first glance, all looked well. At first bite, I was happy but not WOWed. Let me just start by saying that I thought it was a good burger, but not great. The consistency of the patty was there… no gristle, not overly greasy. I did however think that it could have used a tad more salt, as it was slightly bland for my liking. I know this is all subjective, each is own … more salt, less salt, etc., but that was my impression. The addition of ketchup did help, but it didn’t make the burger savory! The bun also was a bit problematic … actually, just half of it. The bottom half got a bit soggy, and I’m not huge fan of this. I know that sometimes this is hard to work around … and this is a challenge that many burger places have to face. I suppose I would much rather have a bun get soggy from burger juice than there not being any burger juice in the first place … so this could be interpreted as a good problem. Aside from the burger, I had an order of battered shrimp … for me, these were the biggest disappointment of the meal. On FB and on their menu they show these beautifully breaded shrimp, but what I was served resembled the popcorn chicken from KFC. (menu pic/reality)

Graces American Burgers Hua Hin Shrimp - siteGraces American Burgers Hua Hin Shrimp Reality

In fact, the waitress even called it chicken when she served it to us, and when I told her we ordered shrimp … she said that it was shrimp, she said chicken by accident. Same issue with the fries, on the menu/website they show burgers with steak fries, in reality … crinkle cut. For me this is about managing expectations … and they fell short a bit. Service was so-so. Although we were the only table there, any time I wanted something, I had to walk up to the grill/kitchen to get their attention. That said, the staff was friendly enough, we just didn’t seem to be their priority. Anyway, this is not a shrimp, fry or service blog … it’s a burger blog, and the burger really wasn’t bad. I liked the dill pickles on it. The Verdict: I did think for a basic burger that it was a little pricey, but I guess the cows have to travel further to get to Hua Hin. If you’re in the area, I say give it a go. And since it is the only burger I’ve eaten in Hua Hin, I guess, for now, it’s the best one (that I know of).

Grace's American Burgers Hua Hin Burger OpenGrace's American Burgers Hua Hin Burger CutGrace's American Burgers Hua Hin Sliders

Note: last photo is of the sliders … I did not eat them.

Jim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe

13 Aug

Jim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe Cheeseburger cut Bangkok

aladaeng Cafe Jim Thompson Bangkok120 /1 Saladaeng Soi 1 (map), Tel. 03-266-9167, Website: www.saladaengcafe.com

Update: Closed

Rating: 7.5/10

Overview: For most, the name Jim Thompson is synonymous with Thai Silk … and for others it conjures up images of intrigue, C.I.A. missions and mystery surrounding his untimely and unsolved disappearance. And for a very select few, it brings to mind the term Bangkok’s best hamburger.

Jim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe Interior BangkokJim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe Interior 2 BangkokJim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe Interior 3 Bangkok

Now, I personally don’t fall into this last category, but having heard/read some hype about it, I had to check it out. This cozy café is centrally located in Bangkok and pretty easy to get to assuming there isn’t much traffic. There is both inside and outside seating. They menu on offer highlights a selection of both Thai and western options … and as always, I went for the burger.

Cheeseburger: THB 320- (US $10.66)

“250g beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon and cheese on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Jim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe Cheeseburger BangkokFor the most part this burger lived up to the hype around it. It was big. It was tasty. It was happily eaten. At 250g, it’s a pretty big burger, and I’d recommend going with an appetite. I wasn’t asked how I wanted it cooked, but it came medium and I was happy with that. The patty had a nice meaty taste to it … I was half hoping it’d have the charred taste I so enjoyed on the last burger I had at Garage  – it didn’t. Oh well. Quality and consistency were there – so thumbs up for that. They didn’t skimp on the cheese either; they used a small pile of Swiss, I think. The bacon on the other hand went more or less unnoticed – this could have been my fault for eating too fast. I’d say the biggest issue I had with this burger was the bottom half of the bun … it was like a sponge. To be honest, it almost seemed that it was soaked in butter before being served to me. I literally took a piece of it and squeezed it and juice/grease came dripping out. I still ate the thing, but in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have. Finally, the fries were good, nothing to write home about, but this is usually the case. The Verdict: Decent burger and nice atmosphere … not sure it’s the best in Bangkok, but its pretty good and worth checking out if you’re in the area.

Jim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe Cheeseburger  Open BangkokJim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe Cheeseburger cut BangkokJim Thompson Saladaeng Cafe Fries Bangkok

Other:

MRT: Lumpini

The Garage Burger & Grill

1 Aug

The Garage Burger Cut Bangkok

The Garage Bangkok LogoWireless Road (All Seasons Place, 2nd floor), Tel. 02-685-3626, Website: www.thegaragebkk.com

Rating: 8/10

Overview: Garage was probably the first place I had burger in Bangkok, 7+ years ago … and I sort of feel bad for waiting so long to go back and review it. The truth is that I was expecting a not-so-good experience. I had visited the branch they had at CentralWorld awhile back and was less than impressed … and with that last impression, I avoided returning. Anyway, I found myself in the area running some errands, and I figured that now was a good time as any to revisit.

The Garage Bangkok ExteriorThe Garage Bangkok Interior SignThe Garage Bangkok Interior

I went around 12:45 on a weekday, and there were only 2 other lone diners. I grabbed a seat against the back wall and browsed the menu. They have a quite a few burgers on offer, and they even provide you with a nice photo menu to help with your selection. As I was there during weekday lunch, I had the option of ordering a set meal (burger/salad/drink) … so that’s what I did. Total: THB 240 … however, the price I list below is the standard price for the burger I had.

Garage Burger: THB 195- (US $6.50)

“200g Thai beef patty, lettuce, tomato and onion and semi-toasted sesame seed bun.

The Garage Burger BangkokWas this love at first sight? No. But, it was pretty close as soon I cut through it to see the doneness. It was prefect. And from the outside of the 200g patty (its nice char) … I wasn’t sure what to expect. As I cut through it, I could see some burger juices running out … and it made me wish that I didn’t have to cut through it; I just wanted to eat it! Well, after the cutting came the true test, the eating. Honestly, the first bite was extremely salty, but this soon faded as my brain reclassified it as ‘savory’. I’m a big fan of the charred taste this burger … I could close my eyes and picture myself halfway around the world eating it (fresh off the grill) in the back yard with some friends and bottle of some crappy light American beer (which I also like). At the end of the day, I can find no real fault with this burger worth mentioning. I can only perhaps offer a word of caution if you choose to check this place out. While my burger’s doneness was to my liking (medium), the edges were beginning to dry out. I imagine (like any burger cooked med/well or well) that a burger cooked over medium may be a bit dry – especially this one, so keep that in mind. The sides I had were fine, although I thought the salad was a bit heavy on the dressing … quite oily. The thick-cut, skin-on fries were ok as well … but since I’m trying to cut back on fry intake, I just ate the skins. The Verdict: Not sure if it is the best burger in Bangkok, but it is up there as one of the better ones I’ve had in a while. Nice, simple, beefy burger!

The Garage Burger Cut BangkokThe Garage Bangkok Salad

Other:

Hours: Sun-Fri: 11 am – 10 pm; Sat: Noon – 10 pm

Serving Time: apx 15 min

BTS: Ploenchit