Whoops, sorry folks! Where have I been during the past week? I have been very busy with errands but don’t you worry, I do not forget about The Pink Tarha blog. Sometimes I just need a break so I can come up with more words to use in my entries. I can’t help but feel repetitive. Speaking of repetition, here’s another proof that the burger trend in Riyadh is on a repeat button and is not slowing down… the Big Smoke Burger.
|Welcome to your burger dreamland.|
Big Smoke Burger is a Toronto-based gourmet burger chain. I have no idea why I initially thought it originated from Jeddah. The branches here in Saudi Arabia are franchised from Canada. Finally, the poutine in their menu makes total sense. What’s a poutine you ask? Well, it’s this:
|One of Canada’s most common food|
Hand-cut fries with cheese curds and gravy. I’m a bit ignorant of poutine but in Jollibee, I usually dip my fries on their gravy (or the ice cream, depends on my mood) so I’m not so sure what’s special with this. Poutine originated in Quebec, Canada. Someone thought of putting cheese curds on their fries and the sauce was later added to keep the fries warm longer.
Big Smoke Burger’s poutine is a bit lackluster. I mean, for a Canadian brand, they should do well on this side dish because it’s so common in their country. But the poutine we tried here is bland and didn’t create a good impression on me and my brother (who you all know by now is very picky with his food; he’s a harsh critic I tell you, haha!). I’d rather eat the fries on its own, thank you.
|On our table|
I was really excited to try the burger because one of our readers emailed us to tell us that we gotta try Big Smoke Burger because it was newly-opened (maybe 3 months ago) and the line is long. It must be THAT GOOD right?! Big Smoke Burger is known for its handcrafted burger that has a unique smoky, homemade flavor.
When we went, there was no line but there were a good number of customers taking bites of their orders already. I excitedly chose the Blue Burger; ordering at the counter and eagerly waiting for it in one of their tables. Apart from the ‘always fresh, never frozen’ burger patty made of Ontario AAA beef, my chosen burger has gorgonzola (what is known as the blue cheese ergo “blue burger”, not because it’s colored blue haha), avocado, rosemary garlic mayo, tomato, and lettuce.
|This burger ain’t blue|
|The burger section (I had the tomato removed on my burger).|
My heart stopped a bit when I bit into the burger because I was expecting a lot. I am no burger connoisseur but I can say that this burger packs a lot of goodness. The patty is juicy and lean. It’s thick and perfectly-cooked. However, the salty cheese was masking the flavor of the beef and all I was getting is this salty bite from the buttery blue-veined cheese. I was scraping the cheese of my burger much to the chagrin of my brother who ordered the Big Smoke Burger (because according to him, you have to zone on the item in the menu named after the restaurant because it means it’s the best right?).
The Big Smoke Burger has caramelized onions, smoked cheddar, tomato, lettuce and horseradish mayo. With his choice, the smokiness of the beef is more pronounced. If it were me, I would have enjoyed it but for him, the burger was overpriced with nothing spectacular or unique that would set it apart from others. Believe me, he tried a lot of burgers in Riyadh already and I am not about to challenge him with his comments.
|The Big Smoke Burger|
I agree to his comments to an extent. With the burgeoning burger field in Riyadh, it’s difficult to stand out. Without the WOW factor, patrons would have a hard time to return to a burger shop especially if there are a lot of burger shops to try out there. However, I enjoyed Big Smoke’s burger patty. They can really take pride in high quality ingredients they use in creating theirs. And I heard the onion rings are good too and that you’d be crazy if you don’t try the Crazy Burger and Lamb Burger.
|Order from the counter and wait.|
The Big Smoke Burger spot in Tahlia Street is a bit hidden in the construction that is going on in Riyadh’s busiest street. Good thing, its sign and colors of yellow and black are so vivid you’ll easily see it. If not, it’s just across the Al Hilal boutique and beside Criollo. The staff are friendly and the ambiance is quite open and airy with high ceilings. It can get packed at times.
Big Smoke BurgerTahlia Street,Riyadh, Saudi ArabiaW: www.bigsmokeburger.comFB: https://www.facebook.com/BSB.KSATwitter: @BigSmokeBurger