Don't let its sleek-looking dining area confuse you. Street Burger is an out-and-out burger joint, one of the latest to join Islamabad's increasingly crowded burger market.
Where to go
Street Burger is a small shack located in the Beverly Center basement in F-6, Islamabad.
When to go
The burger joint is open from 11am till 11pm.
What to eat
The burger joint's claim to fame is their signature burger called Street Burger. It consists of a juicy beef patty, cheese, lettuce, sliced tomatoes and homemade sauce called XYZ sandwiched in an ebony bun.
The burger patty, which is their secret weapon, weighs 140 grams. “We buy meat from the local shop but we get to pick and choose. Different meat portions are mixed together to come up with the finest quality of patty meat before homemade and imported sauces are infused. The beef is then ready for marination," shared architect Ali Omer, one of two partners at Street Burger.
There was no doubt after the first bite that this burger is indeed made from freshly ground beef cooked to perfection. The medium rare meat patty carried a nice little crispness on the outside, whereas the bun itself was light and fluffy. One could taste more meat than bread, which is always a good thing.
Other burgers include Double Stack, Mushroom Swiss, Egg in a Hole. Mexican and Philly Steak as beef options and Chicken Cheese, Southern Style, Mexican and Jalapeno burgers as chicken options.
“We are serving gourmet buns baked at our own eatery, not ordinary ones supplied by a vendor. We have imported a machine, which makes buns in three colours and the first one to launch is Ebony Burger," explains the other partner Ahsan Bhatti, who also runs Street One café.
Ali’s son, Hassan bin Ali, is a graduate of International Culinary Center New York and currently working at the first Michelin starred vegetarian restaurant in New York. He is the master chef of the salads offered at Street Burger.
The young chef has introduced Halumi Salad, Beets Salad, Potato Salad and his all-time favourite Quinoa Salad. The salad features a mix of roasted bell peppers, mint, lemon, dash of olive oil vinaigrette, slices of grilled chicken and lavishly sprinkled quinoa, a nutritious grain full of protein and a wheat-free alternative.
Halumi salad alone was a full wholesome meal. Four chunks of char-grilled Halumi cheese, cherry tomatoes, crispy lettuce filled with seasonal greens was very appetising. The secret dressing is most likely honey based vinaigrette, drizzled on the lettuce leafs, which made its way to every corner of the salad bowl.
I also sampled the Mushroom Swiss and Philly Steak Sandwich from the burgers menu. The Philly Steak was top-notch with steak lavished with very thinly shaved bell peppers, caramelised onions and provolone cheese in a sandwich roll. One wishes that the spices were more American than Pakistan.
The Mushroom Swiss was also very satisfying. The mushrooms were sautéed to perfection. One could feel the chewiness of the mushroom and yet it was not falling out of the bun. Generally once you close up the bun, you are fighting to keep the burger in tact. Maybe it was the Swiss cheese that managed to arrest the freefall of the mushrooms with its moist melt. The sear on the outside of a burger patty was also just perfect.
There's also plenty to satisfy one's sweet tooth at Street Burger.
Brownie Shots come as a trio of distinct flavours; caramel, crème brûlée and hazelnut chocolate. The brownie rolls are so moist that they stuck slightly to my fingers like a good whoopee pie. The fillings tasted good, except one found that the crème brûlée could have used more vanilla custard.
Other dessert options include Toffee Crisp Cheese Cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Pie, Banoffee Pie and Lemon Meringue.
Damage on the pocket
Burgers at Street Burger range from Rs600 to Rs1000, whereas a combo with fries and soda can easily deprive you of a handsome amount, falling in between Rs900 to Rs1200.
The eatery offers limited number of shakes; Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry priced at Rs525 and Pistachio for Rs725. Easy on the pocket are éclairs in variety of flavors carrying a price tag of Rs135 and Cookie Cups/Shots Brownie for Rs155.