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An American Burger in Europe

Published: Wed, July 9, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Four years ago, I had given up on finding an excellent European burger. After several visits over the years, (my wife being German), including a two year stint while in the Army, I've tried burgers from Amsterdam to Zurich. I had found a many bad ones, a few good ones, but none that crossed that savory threshold of greatness. So, this year's trip, I decided not to waste my calorie intake on the hopes of finding a great burger. Instead, I was looking forward to enjoying a lot of sight-seeing and many schnitzels prepared in various, delicious styles, and absolutely anything that my sister-in-law, who prepares dinners worthy of a 5 star restaurant, had on the menu. That was my plan, anyway. Things worked out quite differently.

Near the end of last year, Matthias Auhl, owner of Burger Meister, Dreieichstrasse 20, Frankfurt, Germany, posted a few tantalizing photos and a Facebook invitation to try one of his burgers. I don't know if he had ever believed we would take him up on it, but, since my wife and I already had our trip planned, and were practically in the neighborhood, why not?

On June 1st, our group of 10 made the 80 mile trip to Frankfurt. Matthias invited us on that day to show us the "Strassenfest," a street party with international vendors. Ok, street party is not a good enough word to describe the seemingly endless line of international culinary and clothing vendors. I was to meet him at his Burger Meister kiosk. My first thought, this is going to take forever to find! But then, as we got just a few steps closer, I was surprised to see that the very first vendor was, Burger Meister! We arrived just 10 minutes after the fest opened and there was already a crowd gathering around the hamburger stand. I made my way to the side and recognized Matthias from his Facebook photos, hard at work flipping burgers on a full grill. I introduced myself and he took a few moments to talk about his burgers and the fest. We agreed to come back a little later to try the burgers.

Walking to the end of the vendor lined street, we took in the sights and aromas from the different international cuisines. Everything from chicken, pork, beef and lamb, (and other things) being grilled, to vegetarian dishes, and of course Dunkin' Donuts... DUNKIN' DONUTS?! I thought I was hallucinating, but after closer examination, it was real. For a half dozen donuts - 6 Euros (almost $9) We passed and opted for a beer. One thing that stood out in the hour we

walked; no fewer than 3 times, we overheard someone mentioning Burger Meister.

As our gang of burger tasters returned, Matthias put the burgers on the grill. We all ordered the "Killer Otto" burger with sides of fresh cut potato chips. These festival burgers are 250 g., slightly more than a quarter pound. The burgers offered at the restaurant are 250 g. and 500 g., but they also offer a few "challenge" burgers that will test anyone's appetite! They have over two dozen burger choices including some vegetarian options. I'll have to rate the menu a perfect 5.

Our burgers arrived looking picture perfect! The "Killer Otto" was dressed to kill! A still sizzling, savory beef patty on a bed of lettuce, topped with cheddar cheese, thick-cut, delicious bacon, fresh, ripe tomatoes and onions, on a toasted sesame seed roll. If this burger tastes anywhere close to how tormentingly delicious it looked.. I was drooling for a bite! Another perfect 5 for appearance.

The real test is that first bite. After that first bite, you know if you would return or not, or recommend it to a friend. The first bite means everything and this one did not disappoint! I was in burger bliss! We all agreed that Burger Meister is the real deal - excellently seasoned and cooked, 100% organic, grass fed beef with all of the tasty, crisp toppings. The pub chips, which were served with two kinds of dip, were also excellent. The only thing I didn't like was that it was only a quarter pounder! Matthias remedied that with directions to his restaurant, which my brother-in-law efficiently navigated our way to, through what has to be the most beautiful part of Frankfurt that there is. The restaurant is clean, modern and efficient. And after the brisk 15 minute walk, a 500 g. version of the "Killer Otto" really hit the spot. This was a memorable burger that is on my, "gotta have another" list. If you ever get a chance to try Burger Meister, do it.

And I have to mention, I stopped at a place called Zucchero, in Bad Kreutznach, Germany, and had the most incredible ice cream ever!

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