Followers of this blog should have seen this post coming a mile away. Holidays = sampling local burgers. Here are some of the more memorable ones.
We had some amazing ones in 2 restaurants in Cape Town and Knysna and we had a couple of burgers “en route” that qualified as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Cape Town – Gibson’s
After having tried out Hudson’s last time around, we now settled for Gibson’s at their new harbor facing location at V&A Waterfront (Shop 157 Lower Level).
Chantal sampled their Beirut Vegetarian Burger (“Prepared with lentils and a variety of fresh vegetables and blended with eastern aromatic spices and a touch of falafel, homemade hummus and tahini sauce”) which also I thought was really good and properly spiced. A great combination to wash down with a pint of CBC Amber Weiss from the tap!
Koen went for The President and he liked the rather unusual combination of chutney with guacamole very much. The downside was that there no way to tackle it without cutlery and/or plenty of napkins.
I settled last-minute on the Onion Blossom, totally unprepared for what I was getting into. This was one of the rare moments that the burger you actually get on your plate is a lot bigger than in the flashy photos in the menu or in the ads: a whole hedgehogged crispy fried onion was placed on top of the burger. It was quite an intimidating sight, but very delicious indeed.
Knysna – East Head Café
Besides the good reviews on the Internet, we chose East Head Café for its spectacular views on both the inland lagoon as well as the narrow strait between the Knysna Heads.
We were quite lucky as it was actually the last day before closing for about a month. The locals knew that: the place was packed. Luckily, we only had to wait 20 minutes or so, but that was well spent by the kids looking for tiny starfishes and seals and by us taking pictures.
The Road side burgers – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Let’s start with the Ugly one first. On our way from Stellenbosch to Knysna, we stopped at the Mountain Ridge Spur Restaurant (De Jager St, Riversdale). We had some quite bad experiences with food “on the road” last time, but this one was definitely not as bad as the somewhat outdated Native Indian-themed family diner seemed to us at first. Salad dressing and French fries sauce is actually the same sauce, what the…?!?
On to the Bad: On our way from Knysna to Addo Elephant Park Nature Reserve there were unfortunately very limited options for lunch. We decided to have a quick stop at a Maxi’s at the Caltex Gas Station at the N2 Turn Off @ Jeffery’s Bay. In retrospect, not the wisest choice, but the Kenny’s Fried Chicken seemed even worse (as well as totally devoid of customers…)
Finally, we had encountered the Good; the third time was indeed a charm! On our way from Oudtshoorn to Franschhoek, following the scenic Route 62, the lunch stop was already decided before we went on holidays: “Diesel & Crème” just of the main road in Barrydale.
This roadside diner opened only 3 years ago and is quite popular. Scattered with vintage memorabilia, it unsurprisingly served as a stop on rapper Jack Parow’s “Dis Hoe Ons Rol” TV show about his motorcycle trip through the breathtaking South African landscapes. Great food and milkshakes too, so a definite must-stop when traveling down the R62.