Like most of us, Timothy Vandeputte’s passion (perhaps obsession) for burgers stems from childhood. On drives with his family in Antwerp, Belgium, he and his brother would convince their parents to stop for “just one more burger!” Now 29 and living in Sydney, Timothy still loves burgers – so much so that he eats one a week on average. “If I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be a burger,” Vandeputte laughs. Meet the man behind the best burger recommendations on Boutiq...
So What makes the perfect Burger?
Executing on all “key components” of what Timothy calls the perfect burger is no easy feat. His framework for the ideal flavor combination includes: all fresh ingredients, a toasted bun, cheese, crispy bacon, good quality vegetables, the right amount of sauce, and most importantly, the meat. Sticking to beef burgers for consistency, Timothy has his eyes on three meat factors: the quality, the cut used, and of course- how it’s cooked (preferably smash grilled). According to Vandeputte, a smash grilled burger is flavor-packed, bringing the meat’s juices to the surface of its exterior crispy crust. Price is also a factor, pointing out that it’s not a challenge to make an expensive burger. “Everybody can make a good burger for 30 bucks,” he says. “But you shouldn’t need to pay more than $12 to $13 for a burger that hits the mark”.
Ok, What keeps a burger connoisseur from exploding?
Referring to burgers as a greasy treat, Timothy says his sister Amy, a personal coach, helped him create a fitness and diet regimen to balance out his burger “research” mission. The burger hunter takes 17, 000 steps a day, often swapping driving and public transport for walking. “Most of my transport is burger fuelled,” Vandeputte jokes, who also attests that the burgers provide an energy reserve for dancing the European summer away at music festivals. “Visiting the burger joints on my wishlist this year was spaced between burning calories dancing to house, disco, funk and soul music.”
Perpetually chasing the perfect flippin’ burger in any city he finds himself in, we think it’s safe to say this connoisseur has a few memorable standouts. These are the burger joints around the world to make Timothy’s list of favorites on Boutiq:
5. Best Experience: Heart Attack Grill
Las Vegas, U.S.
Heart Attack Grill is Timothy's #1 in terms of the all-out hilarious burger experience it offers (in the bizarre way only Vegas could). No need to worry about any burger mess here- you’ll eat in a mock hospital gown. Servers dressed in nurse uniforms and armed with syringe shots are just a few of the qualities to make this diner unique. Not exactly for the faint-hearted, the beef burgers here weigh between 1/2 a pound to four pounds, and Guinness World Records even awarded the Quadruple Bypass Burger with the title of World's Most Calorific Burger: 9,983 calories! Other dishes to send you straight into a food-coma include Flatliner Fries (cooked in pure lard, because why not) and Butterfat Milkshakes. Timothy recommends the Single Bypass Burger: meat, cheese, tomato, onion and chili, plus (naturally) bacon for an extra ¢92.
4. Burger Bear
Literally positioned in the middle of Old Street Roundabout in London, you’ll find a secret staircase in the tube that leads you up to an event space called The Magic Roundabout. Amongst the delightful mix of artisan coffee, craft beers, cocktails, street food and DJs, you’ll find Burger Bear HQ. Other locations include Stokey Bears in Stoke Newington and the Old Nuns Heed in Peckham. Vandeputte’s pick? The Burger Bear, their classic cheeseburger, which, like all their burger patties, uses 100% grass-fed beef from pastures in Sussex.
3. Ter Marsch & Co
Amsterdam & Rotterdam, the Netherlands
The history of this charming bar-restaurant begun 125 years ago. You can continue to watch history being made from Ter Marsch & Co’s current open kitchen, where you can observe award-winning burgers sizzle to perfection. Vandeputte recommends the Royal Dutch Burger: dry aged rib eye, Japanese wagyu beef, Remeker crunch cheese, Pancetta, tomato fermented mini pickles, lettuce, Old Amsterdam custard, and ponzu Sambia gravy. In 2015, the burger won 12th place at the World Food Championships.
2. Chef's Kitchen
After a 40 minute train ride, one hour wait in line, 20 minute wait for his burger, and return trip home, Vandeputte says, “I wasn’t even mad. It was so good.” He says you can't go past their signature, the Meaty Menage burger: Japanese wagyu beef, 14 hour brisket, a rasher of bacon, American cheddar, and house-made special sauce. Drool.
UPDATE: Chef Kitchen has now moved from its original cult drawing location in St Leonards to The Foxtrot Inn and now has its own food truck popping up around Sydney.
Tucked away inside an old restroom underneath the S-Bahn tracks of Schlesisches Tor Station in Kreuzberg, it's this Berlin hidden gem that gets the crown from the Burger 'King' himself. Timothy praises the burgers here as the best he has ever had, and his friends, who at first didn’t want to give in to the hype, likely agree. After they taste tested one bite of Vandeputte’s burger, they all ordered one of their own. “It surpasses that level of expectation,” Vandeputte says. He recommends the Meister Alle Klasse burger: double meat (smash grilled), double cheese, bacon, barbeque sauce, and jalapeños. View Vandeputte’s visit on YouTube and decide for yourself if you too would give in.
Along with capturing his favorites on the Boutiq App, Timothy’s burger adventures now even have their own YouTube channel, Instagram account, and blog to document this global quest. When he isn’t eating burgers he works on an E-Learning platform for food safety, though perhaps a professional burger venture of his own could be on the horizon for Vandeputte. In the future, he is considering opening a restaurant with his brother Lawrence, also a burger aficionado. “I gave my brother a burger restaurant ‘starter kit’ from my favorite chain for burgers, Shake Shack" (at which he recommends the SmokeShack cheeseburger at the original location, NYC’s Madison Square Garden). Along with the gift, Timothy attached a note that read, “For when we open our restaurant!”
Like Timothy, you can remember your best food and travel places on Boutiq, the app turning unforgettable discoveries into everlasting recommendations between you and your friends. Use it as your memory bank, and the best way to find hidden gems.