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About Anthony | Burgers Blog

Krakatoa erupts with flavorful Burger

Published: Wed, November 18, 2015 @ 12:00 a.m.

If You Go...

Where: Krakatoa Tropical Food & Spirits

Address: 7323 South Ave., Boardman

Phone: 330-953-3833

Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday; and noon to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

Menu: three burgers on the regular menu and one weekly special ($5.95 to $10.95)

Website: krakatoabar.com

Rating: 4.5

By Anthony M. Fuda


Less is More...

You hear that a lot when someone only has a little bit to offer, but it’s just the opposite at Krakatoa. They do not have a huge menu, but what they do have explodes with flavor.

What is Krakatoa (krak-uh-toh-uh) you ask? Well, the short version is Krakatoa was an Indonesian volcano that blew itself up in 1883. Its eruption is still the loudest recorded sound in modern history. (Look up Krakatoa and read about it’s full history.)

GM Lynn Smerechansky, said they were looking for a tropical theme with a name people wouldn’t forget. “We decided that we wanted to be explosive in our energy and powerful in our brand.” And thus, Krakatoa was reborn.

Executive Chef Eric Lewis says, “The thought process behind the somewhat limited menu selection was to not have a million items on the menu that are average, and instead have a smaller menu, but have everything be stellar. I think personally, we've accomplished that goal.”

And after hearing about how great these burgers are, we had to find out for ourselves.

The regular menu offers three burgers, but they also offer a weekly special Burger.

To commemorate our review, November is Burger Bonanza Month, where they not only have the three menu burgers, but there are also five additional burgers. (These burgers will be featured sporadically on their weekly specials). We sure like Burger Bonanza months.

The three regular menu burgers, which are made well done, are: The Krakatoan Burger (bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, 2 onion rings, and a fried egg, drizzled with in house made Krakatoa BBQ); The Tiger-Pittsburgher (loaded Kraken fries - fries, pepper jack, bacon, and Krakatoa BBQ), with house made pineapple coleslaw); and The Hell Mouth comes in two option, volcanic, or reaper volcanic.(lettuce, tomato, red onion, bacon, ghost pepper jack cheese, and either volcanic sauce (spicy, but not insanely spicy), or reaper volcanic (volcanic sauce made with Carolina reapers).

The five Burger Bonanza Burgers are: The Classic(lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, bacon, American cheese, house made classic sauce); The All American (The Classic Burger with double bacon, double cheese, and a second burger patty); Thai-Snap (jalapeño, ghost pepper jack cheese, spicy Thai sauce); Sweet Thai (pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, sweet Thai peanut slaw): and The Carnivore (pulled pork, bacon, cheddar cheese, Krakatoa BBQ sauce).

These burgers definitely had flavor all through the beef, not just sprinkled on top.

Chef Eric says, “What gives the burgers all their delicious flavor is that they are hand-rolled in house, so there's no frozen patties! We also make black bean patties in house. We mix our burgers with a blend of spices prior to them being rolled, so spice doesn't feel like an afterthought.”

I went with the Krakatoan Burger and knew there was more to this burger than a bun, beef and toppings. The burger was seasoned perfect and nestled between a nicely toasted Brioche bun. The fresh lettuce and tomato started off each delectable bite while the thick bacon combined flavors with the cheddar cheese and onion rings to pile on even more flavor, and slathered between each topping was the Krakatoan BBQ sauce, which had everything you want in a BBQ sauce - sweet and thick, with just enough kick to let you know it’s there and it tasted so good I was cleaning the plate with my bun so I didn’t leave any BBQ sauce behind.

I looked over at Spatman just in time to see him take a bite and have his juicy burger squirt all over his mouth and plate. He chose the double decker All American and said, “This burger was piled high with great tasting toppings, perfectly seasoned and served on a toasted bun. It is a taste sensation for those with a hearty appetite. Sided by a generous amount of fries it is a meal to enjoy. Come hungry for a great burger that truly lives up to its name. "The All American" rates 4 and a half out of 5 on my wet nap scale.”

Knuckles also had the All American and commented, “When I first heard of Krakatoa Tropical Food & Spirits, the name intrigued me so I did some web searching to find out about the term and after having one of the many burgers here, we have found the name perfectly fitting!

I ordered the All American Burger which is "The Classic" burger (Lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, American Cheese & Homemade Classic Sauce) but adds Double the Burger, Bacon and Cheese! I tweaked the burger a bit by changing to Pepper jack cheese and added a side of Krakatoan BBQ sauce and ordered it Medium-Rare.

When they brought out this mountainous burger, the size of the beast was impressive. Cutting into this monster-sized double burger and seeing the perfectly cooked burger and the juices from the beef, I was impressed!

The moment I bit into this burger, I found the connection to the name of this place and the island in Indonesia! The flavors of this perfectly cooked burger, toppings and perfectly grilled brioche bun, the tastes exploded like a volcano and the positive comments from the other Burgerguyz flowed like lava. Although the bottom of the brioche bun didn’t fare well against the juiciest burger I've had this year, Krakatoa gets the full Five Knuckles!!”

Johnny “Gotham” went with the Carnivore, and said, “This Burger was all around a fantastic experience. It had pulled pork, a huge beef patty and their signature Krakatoa BBQ Sauce. With every bite the juices from the meat seemed to seep out. The Fresh bun Stayed in tact throughout the whole meal. I managed to finish this burger and the side of fries and I was generally full, but not the uncomfortable full you feel when you over eat. This was a satisfying full. I will definitely return to the Krakatoa for another Carnivore!”

Eric T, always looking to out-heat his previous burger, said, “My pick of the evening was a little treat known simply as the Hell Mouth. The name alone let me know that this burger was made especially for me, with its ghost pepper cheese, signature Volcanic sauce, and of course the burger staples of bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. To amp it, I added a little extra fire with some of the signature Reaper sauce. This bad boy would give Dante a run for his money. Flavor wise my taste buds were overly satisfied. The beef was cooked to a great medium well, but still with some juiciness. The bun held up great and definitely had a fresh taste. As for the heat, it was at the level that I like. It really made me want to reach for something to cool off my mouth without killing the overall flavor. Another bonus is that the Reaper sauce makes a great dip for French fries. For those of you who enjoy a great burger amped up to 11, you will not be disappointed in this little demon.”

Chiz had the Tiger-Pittsburger, and said, “It should have been called a mountain of deliciousness. My burger was cooked a perfect medium and seasoned just right! The tiger-slaw burger features their tasty fresh and perfectly seasoned beef burger, lettuce, tomato, their unique pineapple-slaw, and topped with Kracken fries! The bold and robust flavors of the slaw and Kracken fries were oh-so evenly balanced out with the rest of the sandwich. This top-tier burger even had, in my opinion, a perfect bun... Crispy(not burnt), and buttery! My entire meal put me in heaven. The overall experience at Krakatoa was above expectations. They were friendly and attentive... Despite being more of a bar than a restaurant. I also got there early to try the wings... RBG sauce was great and even the wings were cooked perfectly!!! I am still in awe at the burger perfection that was provided to us.

Our review was on Veteran’s Day, and my father-in-law Tom, a Vietnam war vet, who joined us for a burger, was blown away as well with the food!!! Truly one if the best burger experiences I've ever been apart of! In my opinion... 5 stars”

Our visit to Krakatoa proved that less IS definitely more. Combine the small menu featuring three spectacular burgers, and November being Burger Bonanza Month (adding five more burgers), we were more than pleased with the quality and the selections. And we encourage you to make a trip to Krakatoa during the month of November so you can try all their great Burger Bonanza options.

Keep reading the Valley food section each Wednesday for the best food the Valley has to offer.

If you know of a burger that should be on our hit list, send the info to mvbrb@hotmail.com, or on our Facebook page BurgerGuyz.

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