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Maadi, Cairo, Egypt.
Burger Joint: Standard Burgers with a Twist
Burgers are often an easy, quick meal but more often than not, they are lacking in quality. Let’s face it; whether it’s McDonalds or another fast-food chain, the burgers are usually so slathered in mayonnaise and ketchup that the taste of the supposedly ‘pure‘ beef patty is nowhere to be found.
Burger Joint may not be the most fantastic burger in town, but it definitely gets the job done if you’re craving a big, juicy hamburger. With branches in Heliopolis, Maadi, and Mohandiseen, it’s a grab-and-go kind of joint. Their little burger stands and picnic tables provide a happy-go-lucky dining area for chowing down; that is, if the sun’s not too scorching. Burger Joint delivers to nearly every neighbourhood in Cairo; so delivery is always an option too.
While Burger Joint sells sandwiches ranging from hot dogs to chicken wraps, the burgers are obviously their thing. Sold in 200gram and 300gram portions, various toppings and flavours provide unique choices to top off your standard burger.
The regular 200gm cheeseburger (17.50LE) comes with your traditional lettuce, onions, pickles, mayonnaise and ketchup; but all toppings come on the side for you to assemble yourself. If something a little heartier is your thing for the same price, the mushroom joints burger comes piled high with grilled mushrooms, cheese and onions. The patties are juicy and substantial; just as a burger should be. If the bun is almost as important as the burger itself, it may be slightly disappointing; it’s your typical pre packaged burger bun.
If you’re not too hungry, Burger Joint offers a unique option for a teeny baby burger weighing in at 75grams... cute for 8LE. While Burger Joint’s French fries are nothing out of the ordinary, you get a hefty amount for only 6.50LE; a traditional side to accompany your not-so-traditional burger.
Burger Joint’s Maadi location is perfect for a spontaneous, no-frills meal with friends. Near Maadi Grand Mall, its stand is situated on a side street with a few little picnic tables outside. The stand is open 24/7 and a perfect spot for a late-night burger. Stroll up to the window, order your burger, and the freshness might surprise you.
The last three or four years have phased a lot people. They’ve also phased a lot of businesses and even drove some of them to bankruptcy. With that said, many restaurants have managed to survive, others even flourished, and with that we became interested in how that impacted the quality of food.
Already established and well known to the residents of Maadi, Burger Joint has been a long standing hotspot for many of the younger crowd with no clear nightlife options in Maadi.
What has made Burger Joint survive up until this point seems to be a mixture of its location and the simplicity of their food. The venue itself hasn’t changed much – if at all. It still has a small open side area with wooden benches that’s quite intolerable in the summer and not so bad in the winter.
So we opted for a Warman Burger (42.95LE) with an extra patty (11LE). We also got Wedges (10.50LE) and Onion Rings (13LE).
The Wedges were warm, thick cut, salty and as many of their customers already know, can replace the regular fries in your combo for no additional fee. The Onion Rings, thickly covered in batter, were tasty but, sadly, missing a crunchy factor.
The Warman Burger, topped with tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise, in addition to beef bacon, mushrooms, caramelized onions and sweet relish, was an interesting and particularly juicy experience.
While the bread and ingredients tasted fresh, unfortunately most of that juice was from the toppings and not the patty itself which was overcooked and almost slightly charred. We couldn’t help but notice that the patties weren’t the same as before, while burger joint was never the expert at perfect medium-well burgers, the overcooked and less tasty patties were a real let down from a Maadi classic.
We’re glad that Burger Joint is still around to fill the burger cravings we all have, but it’s sad to see the quality of the most important ingredient, the patty, fall back especially when strong competition is popping up around every corner. Could the location and connection to the Maadi community keep Burger Joint afloat?