In my last trip to Bulgaria, a place that was highlighted by a friend of mine was BDS ( It actually means Balkan Delicatesse Grill). It is a place that claims to do what I was looking for Bulgaria… a Bulgarian burger. I was really interested in the execution so it is safe to say I was excited. On top of that, the venue has a very classic look that romanticizes the communist era in a good way.
How tasty is the Motherf*#$&r? – 8.5/10
In traditional Bulgarian streetfood we have what you would call a burger but frequently it is made of pork or pork/beef mix. It tends to be much plainer than the typical burger and doesn’t use cheese. So I was pleasently surprised when there was a Bulgarian recipe to a burger. In my opinion with very few fixes this burger can go for a 10/10
The burger had:
- Beef Patty
- Smoked Cheese
- Soft Cheese Sauce
- White Bun
The beef was high quality and the flavour was accentuated with the classical Kofte spices that are used in Bulgaria. The typical flavour of cumin was present and even though the burger was cooked and looked like a classic burger it had the distinct nature of Bulgarian grill. This is exactly what I have been looking for in my exploration of burgers in my home country and I’m really happy someone is doing it.
The smoked cheese was there more for the melt than for tha flavour. I can see how thee somky accents could have worked if the quantity was more. Sadly the faste was lost in between the bites. The rest of the flavours were much more potent.
The soft cheese sauce is a variation of a typical Balkan/Middle eastern dip called Shmerkeze. It was using cream cheese and mayo with the typical paprika and I really liked it. This is something I have never thought of to put in a burger and I was very pelasently surprised. The use of soft cheese softened the flavour while making the sauce heavy. It is one of those things that goes great with everyting, but in the same time it didn’t standout on its own and didn’t highlight any of the other ingredients. A use of regular Bulgarian cheese, possibly from sheep or goat, with more spices and addition of the classic onions can make this a killer burger sauce IMO.
The lettuce leaf was very thin and small and in the mids of all the great flavours it was absolutely useless in the burger. Either put a bit more (please dice it) or simply remove it. As usual it is always a great pelasure to have a tomato from the Balkans in your burger. The difference in taste is huge compared to the western tomatoes that for some reason try to find a place in a burger. I also think the burger and the sauce combined very well with the meaty tomato.
The gherkins was one of the places where the recipe could have been executed better. Both more and with stronger pickle flavour would have trully pushed the acidity and the balance of the burger. In few of the bites where gherkins were present the hint of greatness was there.
Let’s talk about the bloody amazing bread. Holly FUCK! This is possibly the best bun I have had for a burger. On top of that, it also ties perfectly with the Balkan experience. Let me give it do you step by step experiece:
1. Fresh and hot out of the oven
2. From the sight of the crust you know how it is going to sound.
3. Smell of charred bread puts a smile.
4. You take a bite
5. Crunch is intense both on sound and feel… full of flavour.
6. Then clouds come to take the rest of your pallet
7. Then toasted flavour of white bread soaked with tasty juices finishes it off
I’m going to call this the 7 commandments of a good bun…
Burger joint venue and overall experience? – 4/10
The venue is small and you don’t have many places to sit. You have interesting choices of drinks and decent grill. I was expecting more from the fries they for sure aren’t on par with the burger.
The lemonade is pretty good though!
Quirkiness level of the experience? – 8/10
The Bulgarian style of the whole burger and THAT bun were trully unique.