Apparently, Meat is one of the first burger joints in Sofia but I had never been there until this Christmas break. Plenty of friends recommended the venue. The burger game in Bulgaria had improved a lot since a few years ago and it tends to be the new places that push it in the right direction. So I was a bit sceptical of the OG of the Sofia burger scene but hey, I was proved wrong!
How tasty is the Motherf*#$&r? – 10/10
What I have found out is that the classic British burger recipe is easy to get to taste good but difficult to get perfect. It is one of those strong flavours and balance problems that is difficult to do right. And compared to all the classic British burger recipes this one is the best one I have tried!
The burger had:
- Beef Patty
- Melted Cheddar
- Crispy Bacon
- Caramelized Onions
- MEAT Sauce
- Brioche Bun
The beef patty was great. A great fatty cut, a lot of spices including a traditional for bulgaria addition of cumin. The meat was juciy and I could feel the classic burger flavour in every single bite. The bacon worked with it instead of dominating. Although it was cripsy it was easy to bite through and the classic flavour was integrated into every bite as well. Frequntly I find the combination of beef patty and bacon to be executed poorly but this was one of the best I have had.
A lot of places would put a single piece of cheddar and then the presence of the cheese would be lost and completely irrelevant. In this case, the classic cheddar was well melted, added that fatty presence and the taste you expect. Even though all the flavours were strong the cheese managed to pop out in every bite which is exactly what you want.
The lettuce was diced… hurray! There was no leaking sauce yet there was enough lettuce (because it was diced) to be felt and to add crunchyness and freshness in every bite. The pickles were great on the side. They popped that bright acidity in the bites yet weren’t overpowering anything ( cause you could bite as much as you want ). It was a great balance that was even more accentuated by the caramelized onions. Everyone knows that the onion is a great addition to your beef burger but when done with good level of sweetness it also helps smooth out the rest of the flavours so they can balance out.
The MEAT sauce was very simple but I absolutely loved it. It was one of those things that rounded up the entire experience and just pushed it to perfect. I felt smoked mayo with Dijon mustard and it provided that layer around which all the other ingredients balanced out and tasted great.
Aparently it is difficult to get proper buns for burgers in Sofia and it is absolutely great to see that burger joints that make their own brioche bread. This gives chefs the ability to tailour everything for the burger and make sure they are fresh. This was exactly the case at MEAT. The Brioche was well toasted had that light sweetness and was fluffy on the inside.
Burger joint venue and overall experience? – 7/10
This is a great burger joint, especially in Bulgaria. Good, simple and classic burger recipes. Great fries and a very good selection of beers and other drinks.
Quirkiness level of the experience? – 3/10
Nothing quirky about the place. Just classic recipes done very well.