Friends had warned us that Brooklyn Burger Bar was painfully hip. So I should have been ready for the clipboard menus, industrial-chic walls, neon sign behind the bar AND 1950s schoolroom chairs. (And having lived in New York City for ten years, including a year-and-a-half in Park Slope, Brooklyn, I know a thing or two about “Brooklyn hipster”.) Oh lordy.
THE SCENE: To my immense delight, the Hamburg cool kids were there when we arrived. I sometimes question whether they actually exist in this city, as I find them to be elusive. Let me explain this, too. We live in a very beautiful, very old and very traditional neighborhood full of German senior citizens (plus us), so I love feeling young, vibrant energy.
THE DRINKS. The service was very good – attentive, timely and English-speaking. Brooklyn Burger Bar specializes in serving local ‘kraft’ beer and American-style cocktails. They also have a decent selection of wines (to the satisfaction of our two friends visiting from Paris). I had a non-alcoholic strawberry-basil lemonade, served in a mason jar (hipsterville!) and it was wonderful. Although at 5.50€/US$7.50, I found it a bit pricey. My husband, a beer aficionado, thoroughly enjoyed his kraft beer.
THE FOOD. My veggie burger was AWESOME. One of our French friends also had the veggie burger, her first ever, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. (That means a lot coming from a Parisian!) I had the ‘Brooklyn Burger’, which comes with cheddar cheese (yay!!), lettuce, tomato, pickles and ketchup (I had them hold the raw onion – can’t stand raw onions). Brooklyn Burger Bar has a variety of cheese that diners can choose from – cheddar, buffalo mozzarella, Fourme d’Albert (blue cheese), Manchego, Gruyere or Parmesan. This is truly refreshing as many restaurants in Germany offer only a standard German Emmental, which I personally can’t stand.
The way the menu works, you can order any burger on the menu as a veggie burger – remarkable in Hamburg, and much appreciated! (For the record, I’m not a vegetarian, but didn’t feel like beef that night.) My grill-master husband (yes, he’s a cook and total foodie) found his burger to be good. Nothing exceptional, but not bad.
Unusually, fries here do not come with the burgers, but must be ordered separately. Brooklyn Burger Bar is the only restaurant in Hamburg that I know of that serves sweet potato fries (yep, hipsterville, but we LOVE sweet potato fries!). So between the four of us, we split one order of sweet potato fries and one order of french fries. Both were good – not as good as in the U.S., but at this point, I kind of expect that.
THE BILL. We passed on dessert, and got the bill. 25€ per person! Yikes! That’s $35 at current exchange! But as is typical in Germany, it comes down to the drinks. I alone spent 12.50€ on drinks – the lemonade and 2 small (tiny, really) bottles of Coke Zero at 3.50€ each. Insane. (No free refills or free water at German restaurants.)
OVERALL. We were very happy with our meal and will definitely go back. If the bill had been 30% or so less, we would go back a lot.
RECOMMENDATION(S). As the restaurant has been open less than a year and is extremely hip, reservations are a MUST, especially on Thursday, Friday or Saturday evenings.
Note: Apologies for not having photos of the food. Next time!
All photos from Brooklyn Burger Bar.