The Best Burger In Helsinki: Naughty BRGR

Naughty Brgr Restaurant
Just seconds before the grand opening…

Finnish foodies know who Akseli Herlevi is. He is a chef that amazed the judges in Top Chef (of Finland) TV show with his hamburger. Later he actually won the whole contest. Shortly after that Aleksi complained that there’s not a good hamburger available in Helsinki (Read Akseli’s interview in Finnish). He also said that he’s looking for premises for his own hamburger restaurant.

Well, he found the premises. The grand opening was today 20th of November, 2015! Fortunately I had a work related trip to Helsinki and we had a bit of a party time last night. The new restaurant opened just in time at 11 o’clock to cure the hangover and the place was just around the corner of my hotel. What a coincidence…

When I arrived 15 minutes early, there was already a queue of about 20 people in front of the restaurant. Everyone was waiting anxiously to get in. When the doors opened, the waitresses came to hand us menus and explained about the ingredients in the burgers. They even have beer as beverage and not just one beer. A huge load of different special beers! I salute you, sir, because I like to enjoy my brgr with a beer!

Because there was an endless queue of customers getting in all the time, the delivery time from order was about 15 minutes which in my opinion in the situation is all right. The burgers are picked up from the kitchen desk and there’s a guy yelling ticket numbers. I had the original Naughty BRGR. And oh boy, it was a delicious burger! The patty was medium rare and there were no other vegies except rocket salad. The patty was loaded with two cheeses: cheddar and blue cheese. In addition it was equipped with special bacon-onion salsa and aioli. The combination of flavours is just SO GOOD. I don’t know if my upcoming hangover had something to do with it, but  this burger was the best burger I’ve ever had! Even our own homemade burgers included. Damn.

Where is Naughty BRGR?

It’s in the middle of Helsinki city center, only 5 minutes walk from central railway station. The address is Lönnrotinkatu 13. They also have a Facebook page. If you’re in Helsinki, go eat there. It’s the best goddamn burger you’ve ever had!

Cauliflower Pizza Dough (and Pizza Casa Linga)

Cauliflower pizza
Cauliflower pizza is paleo friendly, low carb and gluten free.

Would you imagine that a low carb and calorie, paleo friendly and gluten free pizza would exist? Ok, you would, but it would taste exactly like regular home-made pizza?

This recipe was originally published in a Finnish blog called Soppa365. We have tried several cauliflower dough recipes, but this is by far the best we’ve come up to. The best part is that it is fairly easy and quick to make. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients for Cauliflower Pizza Dough

  • 1 medium size cauliflower – coliflor
  • 2 eggs – huevos
  • 2 dl (1 cup) of grated parmesan cheese – queso parmesano

Preheat the oven to 200 ºC (400 ºF).

Process the cauliflower in a food processor until finely chopped. It should looks like small rice. Mix well with two whole eggs and 2 dl (1 cup) of grated parmesan cheese. Form a thin and even crust on a baking tray covered. Pre-bake the crust for 25 minutes.

After that, top the crust with your favorite ingredients and cook for another 10 minutes in 200 ºC (400 ºF) oven.

Pizza Suggestion: Pizza Casa Linga

There a local pizzeria in Fuengirola called Pizza de la Casa. One of our favorite pizza there is Pizza Casa Linga. It contains a very odd combination of ingredients: boiled eggs, jalopeños, blue cheese and spinach. We had ordered this pizza several times before we paid attention to the fact that this is actually a vegetarian pizza (if you consider eggs to be part of vegetarian diet). And it tastes incredible!

This time we had some leftover rucola in the fridge so we replaced the spinach with that. Also, we were out of jalopeños, but since we grow our own chilies, we had plenty of those. Give it a try sometimes. The taste of the blue cheese is crucial. If it’s too mild, it doesn’t work, but it doesn’t work either, if it’s overwhelming.

Pizza Casa Linga
Combination of blue cheese, eggs, chili and rucola works very well!

Chili con Carne

Chili con carne with garnish
This dish combines coffee flavor and hot chili nicely!

In order to celebrate Cinco de Mayo properly you would need a good portion of chili con carne, of course! This recipe combines Mexican flavors with a Spanish twist. One of the weird ingredients is coffee! But trust us, it works!

Ingredients for Chili con Carne for 8-10 Servings

  •  A splash of olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • 1 kg (2 lbs.) of ground beef – carne de vacuno, picado
  • 3 raw chorizo sausages – chorizos
  • 2 onions – cebollas
  • 5 cloves of garlic- dientes de ajo
  • 2 cinnamon stick – camitas de canela
  • 1/2 l (2 1/2 cups) of freshly brewed coffee – café
  • 400 g (1 lbs) of tomato paste – tomate doble concentrado
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds – semillas de cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano – orégano
  • 3 table spoons of brown sugar – azúcar moreno
  • sea salt – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • 10 fresh green chillies – pimientos picante verde
  • 400 g (1 lbs.) of chickpeas or kidney beans – garbanzos

Preheat the oven to 150 ºC.

Finely chop the onion and garlic and soften in olive oil. Fry the ground beef and chorizo in batches. When all is browned, onions and ground beef into Dutch oven. Add coffee, tomato paste and cinnamon sticks and put into oven for 2 hours. If you have some leftover tomatoes you can throw them in as well. We did.

While the stew is cooking in the oven, make to chili paste by combining toasted coriander seeds, 1 or 2 chilies (depending how spicy you want the chili stew to be), oregano and brown sugar in a mortar. When the structure seems paste-like, set it aside to wait for the stew.

After 2 hours of cooking add the chili paste, chickpeas, a pinch of salt and black pepper and stir carefully. Check the taste and season with brown sugar, chili, salt and pepper, if needed. When the taste is right, garnish the dish with rest of the chilies (see the picture below) and put the pot back into oven for 20 minutes without lid.

Serve with nacho chips, salsa and grated mozzarella.

¡Buen provecho!