April 29, 2013 Hamra & Verdun Beirut Lebanon Middle East

HD&B's "Beyond" Part Reviewed: A Drastic Change (Restaurant Closed)

3.75 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:75/100

Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 8/10

Menu Choice: 4/5

Food Taste: 26/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 8/10

Value for money: Soon

This is my third visit to HD&B. My first and second burger trials at HD&B were not the best of experiences, but as the saying goes, third time is a charm, and after trying their burger tonight, I was left amazed.
 
This unique brand has been trying to position itself in the tough Lebanese market. After publishing Lebanon's diners-burgers comparison and reading HD&B's comment on the site, I decided to pay them a visit and see if they are up to the challenge.
 
Yes indeed, this Hotdog diner has been working on the "Beyond" part of their name for sometime now, improving every aspect of it. Tonight's dinner was surprisingly positive.
 
HotDog_Beyond_HD&B_Hamra_Lebanon54
 
Located in the heart of Hamra, just a few meters away from it's competitors: Roadster Diner, Classic Burger Joint and Crepaway, HD&B is in a tough position especially when it comes to competing  against their burgers: Roadster's famous 220 burger or the Augus Beef at Crepaway or even the signature burgers at Classic Burger Joint... These are already everyone's favorite.
 
But HD&B has been working on improving itself and it's working...
 
HotDog_Beyond_HD&B_Hamra_Lebanon62
 
The place is just magnificent. An amazing first impression:
  • The American atmosphere transports you straight to the land of the stars and stripes
  • A very high ceiling that is relaxing to the eyes
  • Grey Concrete and polished flooring add a touch of finesse
  • Reddish ambiance of neon lights and printed materials follow you around the restaurant
  • Wood bar built under the stairs, with its individual industrial-style metallic stools is specially designed for the more intimates
  • Bricks cover all the walls. They are glazed in a special way never seen before in Lebanon
  • Pop-art decorates the walls
  • Their signature black chains with the HD&B logo printed in the middle is the first thing you see
  • Neon lights are installed everywhere on the walls, providing a red flashing effect and another in rainbow colors
  • A welcoming bar over viewing the open kitchen let's you see your order's lively preparation
  • Go up on the first floor where the toilets are and enjoy a cozier space of two tables with their leather sofas
  • I’m in love with the wood tables and the relaxing chairs
  • Red leather sofas make time pass quickly
  • Beautiful design and finish
HotDog_Beyond_HD&B_Hamra_Lebanon61 The Burger Selection:
  • HD&B Burger (The signature specialty)
  • Cheese Burger
  • Mozzarella Burger
  • Swiss Mushroom Burger
  • Fish Burger
  • Spicy Burger (The hot version)
  • American Burger
  • BBQ Burger
  • Chicken Burger
  • Mexican Fajita Burger
HotDog_Beyond_HD&B_Hamra_Lebanon66 We Ordered:
  • Cheese Burger: Grilled beef patty, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, tomatoes & sour special sauce. 15,500L.L
  • Swiss Mushroom Burger: Grilled beef patty, mushrooms, lettuce, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions & Swiss sauce, with mayo on top. 16,000L.L
  • BBQ Burger: Grilled beef patty, bacon, grilled onions, cheddar cheese & BBQ sauce. 16,500L.L
  • Chicken Burger: Grilled marinated chicken breast, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes & light garlic sauce. 15,500L.L

HotDog_Beyond_HD&B_Hamra_Lebanon63 Enjoying premium burgers:

  • An adequate proportionality of the ingredients. A thick piece of meat, a thin slice of tomato, one lettuce leaf and a couple of thin sliced pickles
  • I loved the meat's thickness. A 170g burger: Exactly what all the others should have (not the average 130g)
  • The meat is juicy without being too fatty. It is not dried on the inside and doesn't look condensed like a single piece of steak
  • The meat: Doesn't taste synthetic, adequately seasoned, tastes meat not Worcester sauce and most importantly, crumbles gently under your teeth
  • Finally the tomato slice is very thin adding a soft taste without being prominent
  • The pickles are slightly sweetened and enjoyably crunchy
  • The BBQ sauce used is great. I loved it
  • The cocktail sauce is just superb. The perfect consistency and great taste
  • Lollo verde lettuce looks so appetizing. A clear light green color that makes you feel like they have been cultivated that same day
  • Bacon slices are grilled and easily cut with your teeth
  • Grilled onions are so small that you don't feel their presence
  • All of this in their signature brioche bun and its upper design line. The bread is clear, soft and tender, lightly sweetened without any add-ons on top

As soon as you grab the burger with your two hands, every ingredient starts falling into place, mixing the unique tastes together to create "the" perfect bite your palatal buds expect to receive. Non oily, non chewy, non fluffy,  unsweetened, unsynthetic, non fatty... Is exactly what I expect to eat.

Wow! A huge improvement. Or the recipe has been changed, or the ingredients are new or they hired a new chef that changed everything at once

HotDog_Beyond_HD&B_Hamra_Lebanon68 The minuses:

  • French fries need serious improvement
  • The mozzarella sticks contain garlic powder like the ones available Crepaway ones. An appetizer I couldn't taste considering that I don't like the commercial cylindrical shape they have
  • Please do something about the music. It's getting louder and louder every time I visit. It makes me want to eat less and leave quicker
  • The red logo, a red ambiance and a red decoration. Doesn't it remind you of anything? Coca-Cola of course. Pepsi does not fit your brand. Reconsider this important change

Honestly, tonight, I wasn't expecting to be that amazed. I couldn't find one single negative point to talk about. HD&B burgers clearly compete with the best, surpassing almost all. It is called Hotdog & Beyond, a name that unfortunately doesn't inspire you to order burgers, but after today, I invite you all to give it a try. Yummy, I still feel the aromas dancing around my mouth.

Hotdogs Have Landed on Hamra Street: HD&B is Expanding

Hotdog & Beyond: An Upgraded Hotdog Diner




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