A funny thing happens with burgers: you either love them or you hate them, but never quite. It depends on the time and place. The queen of fast food and Yankee culture has garnered almost as many critics as supporters as she has settled into kitchens accustomed to the Mediterranean diet. In the 1960s and especially in the 1970s, they began to open places that focused their offer on them, mainly in the big cities.
Burger of the house or Belén
Made with the customer’s choice of meat, goat cheese, caramelized onion and pepper, natural mango and homemade balsamic cream.
They dug deep and took root quickly. In July 1979, a critic from “Abc” referred to “American-culinary colonialism” in an article titled “The Hamburger: A Colonization That Never Stops.” He assured that its consumption was limited “to students, ‘Rodriguez’ with his wife in the mountains or American tourists who feel at home”.
It has 180 grams of 100% beef, cheddar cheese, caramelized onion, smoked bacon, straw fries and Berty’s special sauce.
Fast food or “fast food” reached its peak in the ungodly 80’s and was later discredited with the excuse of quality and calories. What is certain is that hamburgers have become part of our diet, as has the message to make them without neglecting quality. All this translates, in the 21st century, into proposals that combine taste and innovation in terms of ingredients and preparations without losing their health.
This burger has mayo on the base. Later mixed lettuces, beef, cheese, bacon and on top, to top it all off, ketchup.
Another peculiarity today is that the taste for North American cuisine is no longer exclusive to big chains and more and more Asturian restaurants are betting on hamburgers on their menu. And critics support them.
Berty’s Burger was no pioneer, but it managed to ensure that the second best hamburger in Spain – its Dry Aged Burger – was eaten in Asturias. What has been local to Gijón since 2019 started in 2016 as a “foodtruck” while its directors, Alberto García and Lucía Álvarez, were completing Mining Engineering and Masters in Communication, Advertising and Digital Marketing Management, respectively. “Bertie had the idea of working in the summer and being able to get some money. We had seen them on trips to Europe and it seemed like a good idea,” recalls Álvarez. That summer ended well and the next they expanded the fleet. “So we thought of opening a restaurant where we could use the knowledge we had acquired in our respective careers,” he explains. And so it happened: they left their jobs in Madrid and in December 2019 they rented a place in Gijon, which they could not open until August 2020 due to the pandemic. “This year, we’ve opened another in Vigo, we have another opening for the end of the year in another place in the north that we still can’t reveal, and we’re closing more stores to open in new cities,” says the co-owner.
Burger Champion 2.0 (version of the winner of Asturias 19-20)
Semi-sweet brioche bread, 200 g. Asturian beef, double bbq pork, creamy goat cheese, caramelized onion and a hint of jalapeños
The specificity of their proposals? Which are the result of trips they have made all over the world (New York, Chicago, Toronto, Miami, London, Brussels, Paris…), adapted to their style with their own recipes. Their owners take care of this place.
The offer that Asturias businesses allow is great. As is the demand. In Arde Lucus (Gijón), its owner, Pablo Breixo, points out that his kitchen offers vegan and vegetarian options. And that the key to success is “using good ingredients.” Here he suggests an upgrade to a prize burger.
Shredded beef with pitu caleya stew, pickled onion and apple base, accompanied by a soft cream of Vidiago cheese and sprouts and seed bread.
There are also suggestions for all palates at La Pepita, in Oviedo, where they are made with, for example, legumes, certified Galician beef and El Capricho beef. The Asturian menu is not lacking in nods to the ‘tierrina’, such as the one presented here by Saúl Vital.
Special BBQ Burger
Brioche bread, beef, slow-cooked prime rib, melted cheddar cheese, smoked bacon and crispy onions and topped with BBQ sauce.
More is not better. Hamburgers that have such an amount of content make it difficult to taste are not going to be liked more than those that have just enough, but well compensated. Bread and meat are the protagonists and cannot be left out. Side dishes only tip the balance in favor. La Palmera (Avilés), Caprichos (Oviedo) and California Street (Luanco) prove it.