Widely hailed as America’s favourite food, the juicy, seasoned meat patty between two pieces of soft, toasted bun with succulent tomatoes, lettuce and cheese seemed to have swept the entire world, off its feet. Its humble history of starting as a convenient food for hungry factory workers who ate on the run, has not stopped hamburgers from turning into an American classic and Kolkatans are never the ones to ignore good food. It is perfect to satisfy pangs of hunger and a rumbling stomach, particularly when you have worked up a huge appetite or have cravings for meat. Places like KFC or McDonald’s may have generalised their menus to capture the larger market share, but restaurants around town have come up with their own signature burgers. Read on to know about the 5 must visit burger hot spots in the city
Chili’s is famous worldwide for its Tex-Mex cuisine and since its inception in Kolkata; it has become a favorite among its patrons. Unlike other restaurant chains, Chili’s did not “Indianise” their menus, continuing to serve their authentic recipes, which of course is the USP of the brand. Burgers are one of the major crowd pullers of this restaurant and undoubtedly, they are a thing of beauty. We started off with the giant size Southwestern Smokehouse Burger and the Bacon Burger, oozing with mouthwatering flavours. The Bacon Burger had the classic combination of a well seasoned buffalo patty topped with bacon while the Southwestern Smokehouse Burger upped the ante with the addition of smoky bacon and crispy onion rings on top of a meaty buffalo patty seasoned with Cajun spice. Both were topped with cheddar cheese. Next came the Cajun Chicken Burger and the Old Timer – two of their bestselling burgers. While the Cajun Chicken Burger had a smoky ranch dressing that could be felt with every bite and topped with Swiss cheese, the Old Timer had a dressing of Dijon mustard that went really well with the chicken patty that was seasoned with Cajun spice, salt and pepper and topped with cheddar cheese. Each burger comes with homemade pickles, slices of tomato, onion and a curly leaf lettuce along with fries – heavenly in taste.
Chili’s: South City Mall, 2nd floor, 375 Prince Anwar Shah Road, Kolkata
Time: 12 noon – 11:30 pm
Contact: 033 30990115
Southwester Smokehouse Burger – Rs 425
Classic Bacon Burger – Rs 365
Old Timer – Rs 365
Cajun Chicken Burger – Rs 365
Standing exactly at the same place as Rubi’s Grill once stood, Roast is the brainchild of Jinia Dasgupta and Mekhla Chowdhury who teamed up with chef and partner Rohan Chanda to provide Kolkatans with a proper diner experience. The burgers were amazing to say the very least and accompanied by tomato salsa and French fries. The Tenderloin Burger came with a huge patty of beef tenderloin, sprinkled with Italian herbs and kept overnight. Cooked the next day, it was used as filler in the burger along with tomato, lettuce and onions and topped with slice cheese and bacon (alternatively one can choose chicken sausages). The Italian herbs added to the delightful flavour and the meat itself was quite tender. Another speciality, Pulled Pork Burger packed in enough punch and flavour to make meat eaters go weak on their knees. Slow roasted pork cooked in onion and mushroom sauce, placed onto a burger bun with slice cheese and bacon was a dream. The chicken burger was cooked in the same way as the tenderloin burger; the crispy bacon on top really compliments the chicken while the tomato, onion and lettuce provide the crunch.
Roast: Gariahat, 7/2B, Dover Lane, Kolkata
Time: 12 noon – 10:30 pm
Pulled Pork Burger – Rs 290
Tenderloin Burger – Rs 290
Chicken Burger – Rs 240
Now everyone would agree that there’s a charm about a rooftop diner especially after evening when the light comes on and one can look at the city lights while eating their food – it’s all very romantic really and Wiseowl takes that experience a notch higher. Wooden chairs and tables, small light bulbs across the railing; a bit of a fairy tale sequence and the food really matches up to it. The presentation of the food was exquisite as well with burgers served on wooden boards. The Grilled Chicken Burger came topped with slice cheese and cheddar. Every bite revealed the creamy texture of the meat patty with all the cheese and onions but the real winner here was the mustard sauce which adds a whole lot of flavor to the burger. Next came their signature burger, the giant Jacobean which is a tribute to St. James’s school, the Alma Mater of the owner Souvik Chowdhury. The Jacobean came with a ½ pound patty (1/4 pound patty option also available) with caramelized onions, mustard sauce, tomato, lettuce and topped with slice and cheddar cheese and smoked bacons. Every bite of this burger was a deep dive into a sea of flavours; the bacon was irresistible, its smoky smell, a cure for all your sorrows, and then comes the meat patty seasoned to perfection and topped with cheese and mustard sauce.
Wiseowl Steakhouse: Rooftop, 66/2B, Purna Das Road, Hindustan Park, Kolkata
Time: 1:30 pm – 10:45 pm
Contact: 033 24646422
The Feisty Chicken Burger – Rs 300
The Jacobean Burger – Rs 380
The exterior of Hondo’s might look like any other small eatery on Prince Anwar Shah Road, but once you step in and look at their menu that you realise there is indeed a difference. The dishes are named after comic book characters and they serve until 1am at night – two reasons why they should be your favourite. We tried the humongous Thor, which can give a stiff competition to the character it is named after. Two layers of patty of your choice, cheese, caramelized onions, topped with bacon, onion rings and their homemade secret – the delicious sauce, this burger turned out to be a heavyweight champion. Next was the Wolverine, which can again be customised with a meat patty of your preference and comes with caramelized onions, cheese, homemade sauce and sausages cut like the claws of the character it is named after. They are delicious, super juicy, the meat is exquisite and they come with a side of potato chips.
P.S – Keep a lot of napkins handy. You’ll need them wiping off those burger juices from your hands and face.
Hondo’s: 58/100, Prince Anwar Shah Road, Lake Gardens, Kolkata
Time: 9 am – 1 am
Contact: 033 30991291
Thor: Rs 350
Wolverine: Rs 300
Unlike the other restaurants, Burger You is a takeaway. Located at Kasba and operated by siblings, Mark and Patrick, they are certainly a hidden gem but what truly set them apart are their whopping burgers served with fries and dip that are truly a gift to mankind. Their signature burger, Oozie suzy, is a ½ pound beef patty stuffed with 4 different kinds of cheese – you don’t get that kind of love very often. Their Texan Burger will make even the people of Texas proud – ¼ pound beef patty topped with crispy fried onion rings and barbecue sauce. The Pulled Pork Burger with slow-cooked fall-off-the- bone meat is served with barbecue sauce. And finally the Morning Joe – English breakfast in a burger complete with baked beans, sausages, bacon, fried egg and cheese. Mark (who works as a consultant chef for other restaurants as well) and Patrick have something truly special with Burger You. They get the best cuts from the butchers and their burgers are truly a work of art.
So next time you have a craving for a burger you know where to head for a yummy fill.
Burger You: 26/1F, New Ballygunge Road, Near Jaahaz Bari, Kasba, Kolkata
Time: 2:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Ooie Suzy Burger – Rs 400
The Texan – Rs 200
Pull Pork – Rs 200
Morning Joe – Rs 220