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FLAVORS TASTE TEST

Where’s the Beef? Celebrate American Independence Day (Jul 4) with our guide to finding the best burgers and buns. By Stephanie Roy, photography by Badre Mammar and Valaree Bunnag THE PLACE

THE BURGER

Outback Steakhouse An Australian-themed American eatery laced with every cliché imaginable. Crocodile Dundee hats, kangaroo crossing signs and boomerangs all make an appearance at this family restaurant. 2/F, Siam Discovery Center, Rama 1 Rd., 02-658-0202. BTS Siam. Open daily 11:30am-10pm.

Great American Rib YUCK

Wooden picnic tables and benches in the outside dining area, flannel printed table clothes, families with young children and a playground all work towards the idea that you are actually at a barbeque.

The No Rules Burger (B339). What’s not on it? From the bacon, grilled onions, large slices of tomato and pickle to the barbeque sauce, mayonnaise and blue cheese dressing, the ingredients combine forces and form their own super sauce. It’s a showcase of condiments rather than beef.

The plate to meat ratio is impressive so check your calorie budget at the door. We recommend: slapping on a bib as you could make another meal just from the drippings.

Cheese Burger (B235). The beef patty is large, lightly seasoned and has amazing texture. It’s just unfortunate you’ll have to go to war with the thick, dry and under toasted bun to get to it.

Although the seasoned curly fries that come with the burger are extremely crisp and tasty, savor them, as you’ll get about five. In the end, the excessive bread proves to be a good thing. We recommend: order a side of barbeque sauce and start dipping.

100% Australian Beef Burger (B350). Two hundred twenty five grams of perfectly seasoned, juicy goodness in between a buttery toasted bun. Always a good sign when there’s more meat and cheese than bread. The onion rings and fries compliment the meal with just the right amount of crispiness and grease.

While it stands alone on the menu, it gets the job done just fine. This one is tap-your-foot-and-slap-your-knee tasty. We recommend: Go easy on the ketchup and mustard as it’s already falling apart from the delicious meat juice.

Chili Cheese Burger (B360). Incredibly massive yet tasty with extra yellow cheddar cheese and real pinto beans in the chili. If you can manage to open your mouth wide enough to bite into it, it’s well worth it.

While the point of many American restaurants is to offer large portions and high caloric entrees, the size of this burger is just monstrous. We recommend: asking for a doggy bag, no way you’ll finish it.

Eddie’s Original Cheeseburger (B450). The beef is tender and tastes as if it were still marinating immediately before serving. The impressive baguette-like bun can easily be eaten sans meat with the pickle and tomato relish served on the side.

While this is a gourmet spin on the meat patty and bun combination, be warned that you may look a little strange eating hamburgers in a room full of diners choking down oysters. We recommend: Dining outside on the second level balcony.

Gourmet Jalapeno Burger (B310). An oldschool delicacy with a fat to meat ratio that creates just the right combination of flavor and moisture. The bun tastes like Wonderbread and the potatoes are fresh cut with the skin on the edges.

A no-fuss establishment with an objective to serve tasty home cooked food that will have you coming back for more. We recommend: ordering another.

California Burger (B195). The creamy guacamole and crisp bacon add a pleasant tang to the thick charcoal grilled beef patty. The bun is soft with a nicely toasted underbelly.

A solid burger and a solid pub with plenty of distractions to dive into post meal. We recommend: ordering from the impressive beer list to complement the experience.

32 Sukhumvit Soi 36, 02-661-3801. Open daily 11:30am11:30pm.

Huntsman Pub A polished spin on the typical English pub as the shiny dark wood ceiling compliments the tartan carpet. Live sports on screens at each end of the bar with today’s top 40 in the background. The Landmark Bangkok, 138 Sukhumvit Rd., 02-2540404. BTS Nana. Open daily 11:30am-1:30am.

Henry J. Bean’s This American-themed bar on the lower level of the Amari Watergate pays homage to sports from around the world as American football, soccer and baseball league paraphernalia run from floor to ceiling. Amari Watergate Hotel, 847 Petchaburi Rd., 02-653-9000. Open Sun-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am.

Witch’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant Maybe the black walls, dim lighting, brooms and jars of fruit marinating in gin and vodka are meant to add to the black magic theme. Instead it really just creates a romantic and warm atmosphere. 20/20 Ruamrudee Village, Soi Ruamrudee, 02-2555354/5. Open Sun-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 5pm-2am.

Larry’s Dive Bar & Grill This converted restaurant still has the remnants of surfboards, colorful walls and beach decor, as it was once a dive shop. You could almost forget you were in the busy city. 8/3 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 02-6634-563. BTS Phrom Phong. Open daily 8am-1am.

Bully’s Pub A paradoxically elegant pub where manly men go to dine, watch sports, play pool and drink fine selections of beer. 8 Sukhumvit Rd., between Soi 2 and Soi 4, 02-656-4609. BTS Nana. Open daily 11am-1am.

BK PICK

THE VERDICT

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2008

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BK Magazine (Food)