It is 30 years old, the family grill where the hamburger that triumphed in the world was born: “Many still call us with the line number”

A few months ago a story came out that filled us with patriotic pride: a hamburger restaurant born in Argentina had hit the jackpot in the Burger Bush, one of the most recognized hamburger competitions in the United States. So is. Our country triumphs in his cradle fast food World Cup, wetting the ear of the Yankees.

The place that achieved this milestone is La Birra Bar, a famous hamburger chain with 13 locations between CABA and GBA. The same one that in 2021 opened a branch in Miami and that soon, they promise, will add five stores in Madrid and one more in Portugal. But La Birra Bar It was not born from a cabbage, but from a more intimate, family and culinary history. It was born as an appendage of a very small one delicatessen neighborhood, of those that offer home cooking in extinction. A grill that just turned 30 years old and this keeps its recipes and mystery intact.

Rotisería Dany, a local neighborhood that today boasts the best hamburger in the world
Rotisería Dany, a local neighborhood that today boasts the best hamburger in the world

“The place was started by my wife, Violetta. It all started as a bread office, three blocks over here, around 1988. In front of that place was a brush factory. he sold bills and bread for those who worked there. One day it occurred to him to add something for lunch. He started offering charcuterie and around 10 in the morning he would go home and cook some dishes that he would bring later, fritters, tortillas, milanese,” says Jorge Daniel Coccia.

At the time Violeta was leaving, her son Daniel, an 11-year-old boy, replaced her. after going to school in the afternoon, he spent the morning there, tending the counter, arranging the croissants. “The place was too small, it needed to grow. We found the current site – which was then a dilapidated butcher shop -, in 1992 we rented it and turned it into what it is today, a house dedicated to home-cooked meals,” continues Jorge. As a name, they gave it the first one passed down to them, that of the son who helped and who learned the basics of gastronomy: Rotisería Dany.

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On San Juan Avenue, in the Boedo neighborhoodthe stained glass window shows how the hypnotic and fragrant chickens squirm in the eternal loop of spiedo Plates of cod fillets are piled on the counter, as well as eggplant milanese, baked potatoes, stewed lentils, Spanish tripe, chicken mushrooms, veal with demi-glace sauce, green meatloaf, a very Argentinian cake. with potatoes, various tortillas, rice with chicken, crepes and lasagna with white sauce and tuco, Arabic empanadas, risotto, among other dishes that are part of the beloved national cookbook.

On one side there are sweets: flan, chocolate cake, bread pudding, tiramisu, Balcarce cake. Dishes prepared daily, starting from scratch, strictly following the same recipes thirty years ago. “This has always been a family business,” explains Daniel, the Danny himself who appears on the marquee. “With mom at the forefront of this battle. She was passionate about work, until 2020 when Covid took her away. We have employees who are also part of our family. Not only our uncle worked here, not only my brother-in-law, but also Carlos who has been with us for 15 years. Paula which started 29 years ago. Carmen who’s been on the grill for 16. And Dad, of course. Since he retired, he got into this tough, helping mom.”

Employees who are family
Employees who are family

Never Dany opened its doors three decades ago Delicatessens were a regular part of a Buenos Aires culinary scene, the place where they bought food so they didn’t have to cook at home. Then the various attacks began: the barbecues, the pastas, finally the restaurant deliveries. Few delicatessens have managed to withstand the test of time.

“We survive all fads, because We were never fashionable. Violetta didn’t know about marketing, about trends, about anything. He just wanted to offer the same food we eat. And today we continue to do this, even retaining suppliers. Only twice did we make changes to the kitchen and areas, to update it, to improve the fryers, the ovens. We are also part of one of the few neighborhoods that retains a family footprint. Boedo and Parque Chacabuco have this. Young people come here who 25 years ago came in arms with their grandparents. There are people who have already left the neighborhood but come back to buy from us on key dates at the end of the year when we do more than 30 piglets. There is a bond with them,” says Jorge.

Lenz stew
Lenz stew

Rotisería Dany is one of those places that sets its own pace: He is not in delivery requests, but he has his own motorcycle. He also keeps the same phone from thirty years ago, when there were only seven numbers and not eight. It’s not unusual to see a neighbor walking around the neighborhood carrying one of the old bags they gave out here, made of thick, quality plastic. “A lot of people still call us on a landline, although we’re adding a cell phone.”

La Birra Bar was born in 2001 as a place to offer grill dishes. A place for mothers who took their children to nearby schools, for boulevard merchants. One day Daniel became obsessed with hamburgers and La Birra began to write his own story. But the grill stood firm.

Son and father in a business that stays true to its original recipes.
Son and father in a business that stays true to its original recipes.

“In 2010 the owner told us that she wanted to sell the premises, that we had to leave. It was the most tense moment of my life,” says Daniel. The delicatessen was the main income of the family and they could not let it go: they sold their only apartment, moved to a rented one and used this money to buy the premises. Today the story is very different. La Birra Bar multiplied franchises and openings, taking pressure off the deli.

“At one point I suggested to my parents to close it, to devote all efforts to La Birra. Luckily mom didn’t leave me,” says Daniel. “The deli is what Violetta wanted. She defended the premises with all her might“, adds George. “I promised him we would never close it.” And he fulfilled: Rotisería Dany is still there, with its milaneses, its empanadas, its stews in winter, its salads in summer. Thirty years of homemade recipes, like the ones we eat at home.

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