I think I’m getting more famous since this is the second spot in Sofia, Bulgaria that requested a review for their burger joint. Carnivale is a fun, quirky place close to the centre and one of the prettier parks in Sofia – South Park. By coincidence, I live close by so it was very convenient for me to drop by for lunch. It does a lot of things including shisha’s and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food.
How tasty is the Motherf*#$&r? – 6.5/10
This is one of the times where I see a burger and I instantly know where my critique is going to be. The burger was with a very impressive size. So impressive that even I, as a large lad had an issue taking a bite. This is a no go for me since if you can’t have a full bite from a burger then you might as well have a salad with a patty. But this wasn’t such a “big” issue, the problem was the onion. That thick slice of a fresh large onion that was in the middle of the burger.
The burger had:
- Beef patty
- Double Cheddar
- Caramelized Onions
- Brioche Bun
The burger patty was very tasty. On the outside, it had the perfect level of tasty char that you want in a good burger, that is where a lot of the flavour is. I would have prefered if it wasn’t well done but medium so it can be juicier but I think it fits better the Bulgarian way of eating burgers. The patty wasn’t betting only on the quality of the beef. There were plenty of spices to push that beef flavour. The goal of having the patty as the centrepiece of the burger was achieved!
The cheddar melted around the edges and it was missing in the middle of the patty but when it was in the bites it was amazing. It balanced perfectly with the meat. Combined with the relishes you were getting this classic burger flavour among the bites. The cheddar was strong and tasty and is a good example of how cheese should be on a burger.
As expected the tomato was great. We are in Bulgaria and the quality of the veggies is way up there. Full of flavour and meaty and with good enough ingredients around it to balance the bites.
And this is where things go wrong. That onion slice absolutely ruined the burger for me. As a rule, if I order a burger I don’t remove anything from it. I want to experience the recipe as prepared by the chef. Even though I know that the onion is going to ruin it for me I took the bite. A centimetre thick of a slice is too much for a burger. If the onion was less maybe diced, lightly pickled and incorporated into a salad it was going to be much better. Raw onion isn’t bad in a burger if it is put well together and balanced but this wasn’t the case. Every bite was full of onion and the burger started to shine after I removed it halfway through. This is the main reason the burger has a lower grade. If the onion wasn’t there this could have easily been 8.5/10. And let’s not talk about the leaf of lettuce. It takes the sauce (in this case chunks of mayo) and takes them away. Please dice your lettuce.
The reason I’m ranting so much is that the rest of the ingredients were pretty good. The caramelized onions were obviously homemade. They were tasty, added that sweetness and classic cooked onion flavour that suits a burger very well. Combine it with relish and the cheddar and you have a perfect burger.
The mayo was used as a saucy base to make the bites moister but could be better, garlic aioli maybe? The brioche was fresh and tasty and even though it wasn’t toasted it managed to hold the burger very well and soak the juices from the caramelized onion.
Burger joint venue and overall experience? – 9/10
The place has burgers, shisha and great deserts I am absolutely sold. It is a bit tacky but that is also its charm. The complimentary dessert I got was really tasty and unique. The sides looked good but didn’t try. It is for sure a place you can go and have a good time.
Quirkiness level of the experience? – 5/10
Excluding the size I don’t think there was something too weird about the burger except its size/