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Rod's Gemmayze: The Burger Place (Restaurant Closed)
I'm going to start this review by welcoming the first entry to my TOP10 burgers list of 2014... Yes, already... Rod's Burgers are to die for... Imagine a simple yet innovative burger prepared with love, passion and dedication; a burger that's tasty, fresh, generous and filled with premium ingredients; and a burger that has it all yet keeps you feeling light, even after devouring three of them - yes, I did... I had to...
In the heart of Gemmayze, Rodolphe Hobeika has been producing these tasty burgers for more than a year now. He welcomes his guests on the sidewalk of the famous Gemayze street. Find a place to park and the rest is pure enjoyment. Helped by his fiancee, Rodolphe, with a smile and passion for what he does stands behind the yellow bar waiting for any request from his customers. It was 9pm when I landed in front of their shop and asked to be served with something that will amaze me... and he surely did. The place is small and fits just two persons. Behind the yellow bar is a grill and a bun oven to your right, while to the left is the working station filled with freshly cut vegetables. A mirror makes the place look twice the size. I sat on one of the four yellow stools and just waited to be served.
Burgers around here are 100% homemade and prepared fresh in front of the customer. A local organic patty mixed between lamb and cow meat only: No bread crumbs and no eggs. Yes, just pure meat from the local market. The menu:
- Soft sandwiches
- Special burgers
- Big burgers
- Light burgers
My journey started with Rod's recommendation; The Backboard Burger: 100% organic beef, jalapeños, coleslaw, melted cheese and ham, tomato, caramelized onions, mushrooms and green pepper with special steak sauce. A burger I really enjoyed on all fronts. I loved its soft tender bun provided by Prunelle, the rich juicy yet non fatty meat, the crunchy fresh vegetables and the rich taste of their homemade sauces.
Eating half of it, I decided to stop and try something else. Rodolphe proposed to create something special for me. He names it the "3a Zaw2ak" burger; a tradition, he says, he is known for, giving clients the green card to create their own burgers depending on their tastes. Let's call mine the NGNO burger: Bacon, mushrooms, caramelized onions, steak sauce, mozzarella fumes and coleslaw. This burger is interesting. Rich flavors, sweet taste and a slightly crunchy feel from the coleslaw only adds style to the mix. Inside is a homemade steak sauce like no other, especially created by Rodolphe himself. The best part is the fried aged mozzarella square and the finesse the fresh mushrooms provides. This burger made me smile.
More was yet to come... I was enjoying every bite the max. The well-prepared burgers are so enjoyable, I asked for a third one. Rod went for the big thing: The Brie Burger: 100% organic beef with Brie cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, relish, lettuce, apple with honey mustard, BBQ sauce and strawberry jam. Oh my gosh, what a burger! Superb! It starts with a crunch followed by a strong equilibration of sweetness between the honey mustard and jam. The crunchiness of the iceberg adds a hint of love while the Brie adds a touch of gourmet to this simple street food sandwich. With all of the above, add two slices of crispy bacon -Perfection. Simply breathtaking! I wouldn't start with it though if I were you, since its sweetness might trick your mind. Keep it for last.
I was eating my third burger while waiting for the first one to cool down. Remember the cold meat test? This is a crucial test step for me. Rod's patty eaten cold simply tastes real meat. No salt, no fat, no oil, no preservatives and most importantly it doesn't feel like I'm eating 'kebbeb' (kafta); just clean and tasty meat. Bravo Rodolphe, you made my day. The things I loved:
- Hygiene is at the top of Rod's list. He doesn't touch anything with his bare hands; blue gloves are used to prepare and wrap everything
- Buns are provided by Prunelle
- The meat is fresh, not salty, not fatty and not synthetic
- The sauces are made to perfection
- They serve Coca-Cola
- Rod's generosity is breathtaking
I enjoyed a tasty dinner and went back home fulfilled yet not feeling bloated.
Rod's burgers are a must try: This guy deserves a boost.