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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!

Olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil or butter?

Extra virgin olive oils
Extra virgin olive oils in an Andalucian grocery store.

One of our readers send us email asking why sometimes we use regular olive oil and sometimes extra virgin. Well, rather than answering to just her, we decided to make a blog post about the matter, since it might interest other readers, too.

Basically there are two factors you have to keep in mind:

  1. smoke point
  2. taste

Smoke point means that if you heat the oil, its taste changes to worse when you reach the smoke point. Therefore you have to keep in mind what oil to use for what purpose. For example canola oil is often used for frying, because its smoke point is higher than for olive oil. Here is the list of smoke point temperatures for different types of oils and butter.

The other thing to consider is the taste. Butter tastes different than canola oil. Extra virgin olive oil taste different than regular one. Butter mixes nicely when frying fish or steak, canola oil is great for deep frying when you need higher temperatures and olive oil adds taste when frying stuff on low heat. Extra virgin is generally used for marinades and salad dressings, because its smoke point is low and it is very tasty.

To make things easy, here’s our list how to choose the right oil for right purpose:

Butter Canola oil Olive oil Extra virgin olive oil
Frying mushrooms, fish or steak Yes
Deep frying Yes On low, yes
Generic frying Yes Yes Yes
Marinade Yes Yes
Salad dressing Yes

¡Buen provecho!

The Story of Grill Spatulas

Grill spatulas
Regular plastering spatulas work great with grilling – they are robust and cost cents.

We grill a lot on a la plancha, on a cast iron flat top plate. You can use oil or butter on the plate, if needed, and it makes it easier to control the heat. It also distributes the heat more evenly and stays hot when making several steaks on it at the same time. In our grill we have one fixed one and one which can be used on the other side on top of the grill grid when needed. It’s actually pictured above.

Spatula with a short handle is easier to work with when you have a flat top. And actually it’s even better if you have two spatulas. Let us demonstrate what we mean:

The video above was captured a few weeks ago in our favorite wok restaurant Wok Directo Fuengirola. The chef uses two spatulas skillfully to cook vegetables and seafood on the flat top. This inspired us to search for similar spatulas from local stores. We did find them, but they were relatively expensive, like 10 € or $15 for one! This gave us an idea to check out our local hardware store and they had exactly similar spatulas for sale at 0,89 €!