Following in the footsteps of other capitals around the world (and not only …) the burger-mania hit Brussels as well. There are gourmet burgers, fast-food burgers, high dining burgers everywhere. We tried our fair share so a recap on all things burger is overdue but for now let’s focus on our latest burger food-ganza at Ellis Gourmet Burger.
The story so far : Ellis Gourmet Burger opened in food trendy St. Catherine neighbourhood in 2011. Focusing entirely on burgers was somewhat of a novelty for Brussels so Ellis Gourmet Burger quickly made the press and (food) blogging round. On their website the restaurant claims to close the circle and bring burgers back to where they started from, Europe.
First impressions: If I tell you long wooden tables, menu written on a huge black board, open stainless steel kitchen – what comes to mind? Exactly! The trendy ‘new look’ of many bistro-gastro-cool places. Ellis Gourmet Burger sports a similar look although in all fairness, this is quite new for St. Catherine so a refreshing change from the more traditional restaurants around the corner. Also at 7:00pm the down stairs was already full which usually is a good sign to go by.
We are seen upstairs and seated at a comfortable table for 4. I notice several long tables reserved for groups of 8+. A waiter gives us the menus and hearing us speak English promptly switches to English. Nice.
The food: We first ordered our drinks – a pitcher of home made ice tea and some beers. Then it was time to peruse the extensive burger menu. Being 4 of us we decide to go each for a different burger (something that always seems to be happening). We ordered the trio, the classic, the Portobello and I ordered the Guaco-Waco (?) lamb. So far so good. Then the inevitable question comes – would we like sides with this? Right. Sides not included, we ordered the French fries, the jacket potato and a coleslaw.
Then our burgers arrive.
Well … from picture perfect to reality there is quite a big step. My vision of a Guaco-Waco Lamb? A perfect top and bottom crispy bun. An inviting layering of mixed salad leaves, plump slices of tomatoes, crunchy onions, oozing guacamole sauce, oh some avocado slices if you insist, meaty lamb burger and please anything else that can take me to burger heaven. The reality? My guaco(amole) is limited to 3 teaspoons, two sorry iceberg leaves are lost between meat and burger, and the 1 slice of tomato and 1 slice of onion are wondering what happened. So am I. The meat however is delicious!
My foodie companions enjoy their burgers but are not blown over either which makes my little blogger heart wince. But that’s what I get if I listen on hype over substance.
Service with a smile: A bit overly friendly – sort of USA meets Europe – but very pleasant and accommodating. And busy so respect for getting our orders right and on time.
The verdict: It is what it says on the label. A burger (chain) restaurant. The gourmet might be a bit misleading – bar the Rossini which promises a slice of foie gras topping. Higher end than fast food. Lower end than high gourmet. Including the drinks and sides this burger experience took us to 20euro per head, which is reasonable for the area but pricey for the burgers had.
Have you been to Ellis Gourmet Burger? What are your impressions – would love to read them in the comments. Don’t be shy 🙂
Ellis Gourmet Burger (several locations in Belgium): website, 4 Place St. Catherine, 1000 Brussels
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