Hamburger in Spain
When I googled the national dish of the United States the results were to be expected. On most searches the number one dish was the Hamburger. So, having been born and raised in the States I guess I do have some experience on the subject. We also lived in Portland, Oregon with perhaps the largest number of breweries per capita in any city in the world which almost always includes an attached pub and you guessed it, Pub burgers.
Pub burgers tend to be over the top gigantic messy calorie bombs, sometimes easily over 2,000 calories per burger, don’t forget the fries and of course a few pints of high alcohol (usually around 10-12%) craft beers. So, basically well over the reccomended daily calorie in take all in one meal. And then of course there is McDonalds. At the completely opposite end of the spectrum these typically super simple fast food burgers have certainly found themselves into the lives of most Americans while growing up. So, I know my burgers.
So is it possible to find a ‘good burger’ outside of the United States? It can be challenging but I am very happy to write that we finally found a very legit burger right here in Torrevieja at ‘Mat’s Burger’.
First off it is worth mentioning that beef in general is not the same here as it is in the states. I jokingly say the cows in Spain are too healthy, too lean and lack any sort of proper marbeling. I guess American cows are fat, but they taste so good. Therefore it can be very difficult to find a proper steak. I have written about this before and you can read about our favorite steak here in Torrevieja. Also, it is imperative that when prurchasing ground beef from the store you must choose your meat and have the butcher (carneceria) grind (moler) it for you. The packaged beef in the larger markets is not all beef. One lable said 82% carne, another store read 91% carne. I will not mention the stores but they are the two national chains so if you know you know. This really confuses me, but OK. I could write an entire blog about my confusion about this and analyze the data of price with processed materials and so on, but I will spare you this for now. I am always very leery of a restaurant that sells hamburgers as I question where they get their meat from. Once I bought a premade patty, which I never do, placed it in the refrigerator and the next morning it was like a plastic disc. It naturally found it’s way into the trash.
So upon researching Mat’s Burger the first thing that attracted me was it cleary states on their menu and web site that they ‘cut’ their own meat daily. This would be a number one requirement and we showed up with very high expectations, or hopes. We were not disappointed.
The menu at Mat’s burger runs from basic to some very creative sounding burgers. We both wanted to try something special so we immediately went staright to the gourmet burger section.
Burgers here come in two sizes, large and extra large. The large is 140 grams of meat and the XL is 250 grams. I made the mistake of ordering the XL, I did not need dinner that night. Terri-Lynn ordered the Crangreburger and no I do not have a clue what the name means. It’s a basic burger really with bacon, cheddar and crispy onions. It was really good, I mean really good.
I tried a new offering on the menu, the Spanish Burger. It was great and I was very satisfied. Would I order it again? Maybe not but that is just because I like trying different things and honestly these days I have found I am enjoying a simple normal burger, I liked Terri-Lynn’s more, but this was still really good. Also, look at that patty. The XL here refers to the meat, not the burger. I appreciate this because I like my burgers medium rare and so yes, they need to be thick. This was a rediculous big ball of meat, but it was good meat. But, I felt sick the rest of the day, as anticipated. BTW, I am not sure Spain understands rare, this was not pink in the middle at all, in fact cooked all the way through so that would be a fail, but still very good and I was happy. I have become accustomed to just ordering things here bloody rare and they usually come out around medium.
The Burgers here all come with fries. I am not a fry person and I will usually just leave them. These however were quite amazing, almost double crisped or fried. I ate almost the entire basket.
For the wine, we had a bottle of the house wine at 9 euros and it was just fine, I would order it again. What I really liked was the service. Our server was excellent. When we started talking about wine he took the effort to organize a tray of all the reds they have available and bring out the bottles to our table to inspect. I REALLY like that! They did have a very nice red that I wanted at 22 euros, it looked delicious.
So there it is! We finally found a good burger in Torrevieja. If you have any other suggestions please leave a comment below and we will certainly do the research!