Sunday, 9 September 2012

I've been waiting a very long time for this: probably the best burgers on the island

Artisan's Burger Bar. It's not a bar but its burgers are certainly skillfully made, exactly like the trade of a specialised artisan. Truth is, I was a bit suspicious at the beginning. I was still in the UK when it opened, so I was only listening to my sister and mum raving about the place. Alas, they haven't tried burgers in places like GBK, I naively thought. Nevertheless, I decided to give it try, how bad could it be, I naively thought once again.

I was impressed. No. I was IMPRESSED. Very very impressed. They have three things I love about a restaurant's food: the portions were generous, the food delicious and the chef adventurous. However, let me take you through the menu just to give you an idea.

You choose a starter: chicken wings (from local farms) with your choice of their homemade dips, fried halloumi with a pomegranate sauce (I've been seeing this sauce everywhere in Cyprus in the last year!),  fried zucchini sticks with dill and a homemade tzatziki dip, or if you can't wait to start on the burgers, you can get two mini ones just to start with (which does bring to mind another well-known burger place in the UK...)

Blue cheese and figs burger

You choose your bread: classic brioche, rustic ciabatta or multigrain wholewheat. I got brioche.

You choose your burger and your side: beef burgers are 100% black angus and include a burger with blue cheese, figs and gherkins, another one with tzatziki and feta (personal favourite), and if you're one for the classic cheese-and-bacon combo, get the crispy pancetta and gruyere cheese one with the roasted tomato, their very own BBQ sauce , spicy mayo and gherkins. Even if you're sad you didn't go for souvlakia instead, get the 'sheftalia burger', served with a tomato and tahini dressing.There's even an (almost) vegetarian option, with a grilled portobello mushroom, grilled marrow (this made smile!) and eggplant, with a pumpkin and goat cheese puree.

Regarding the sides, the french fries (or mash or jacket) are from local potatoes and always freshly cooked. If you want to be on a diet (I don't when I'm there), there are grilled seasonal vegetables or just the good-ol' mixed green salad. But if you're really into it, get the sweet potato, carrot, beetroot and parsnip chips.

Tzatziki and feta cheese burger
I'm not going to go on and on about their burgers. You're spoiled for choice and there's noway you won't find a burger to love and cherish. Just go. And wash it down with a cold beer. And their sinfully good ice cream burger (vanilla ice cream between layers of brownies, drizzled with caramel sauce). Guilty grin optional.

They are open for lunch and dinner, and you'll find them at 20, Stasandrou St, Nicosia. Also, if you don't want to take your chances, pick up the phone and make a reservation at 22759300.

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