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Stockholm Burger Quest

Yemi Afolabi is a standup comic, a writer, a Hyper Island student, a gamer, but most importantly, he is a man who loves burgers. His talents for spotting a good burger were forged in the crucible of the New York burger scene when he was growing up, meaning when it comes to finding the perfect patty, he’s a tough man to please. Since moving to Stockholm 5 years ago, Yemi has noticed a steady increase in the number of burger establishments in the city. In late 2016, he started a website to aggregate the ratings of Stockholm’s various burger restaurants.“

The website was a school project for Hyper Island,” explained Yemi. “We had to design a page that used data from the web. I love burgers and gaming so I decided to combine those two to make a burger rating site in the style of an 8-bit video game. The response has been great; people either come up to me with new recommendations or ask for suggestions”.

With this high level of interest from the public, Yemi decided to take the website beyond the aggregate statistics and began visiting different burger joints to make video blog posts in an effort to describe what makes the perfect burger. His videos’ focus is on the first bite impression, as the burger “has to be the star”. So, according to the Burger King, what makes a good burger?

It’s the quite simple, but often overlooked burger-to-bun ratio. You should have a good bite of soft, but lightly toasted bun with every bite of burger. No burger hanging over the side, and especially no miniburger on a giant bun. The acid test is when you’re finishing up: does the last piece in your hand have two chunks of soft, toasted bread and a nice chunk of meat? If yes, then you have eaten a good burger. Congratulations!

Now, a good burger and a great burger are different things. We are talking about taking the elements of good burger, and making them exceptional. Let’s start with the bread. Soft and lightly toasted are a must, as is the size, and don’t forget the burger-to-bun ratio. However, to make it great, the bread should be fresh and, if possible, homemade. It should be soft and fluffy with a thin, crispy layer all around the outside from a light toasting on the grill. “When you have bread like this, you can’t get it wet”, says Yemi.

One of the big sins he sees in burger restaurants is soggy bread. The first cause is an oily burger. “A great burger cannot be oily,” explains Yemi. “A great burger usually has a combination of meat, either lamb, beef or pork, and it just melts in the mouth without having excess grease. You should eat a burger with your hands and you don’t want to be wiping them every time you touch it.” The second cause of soggy bread is all the “wet stuff ” that we see adorning our burgers. “Put tomato, lettuce and anything wet on the side, give the customer the option to include it but don’t force them,” explains Yemi.

While the burger has to be the star, it not just about the meat, the restaurant itself has a part to play. The decor, the beer selection, the fries, and the music all have an impact on how much you’ll enjoy your burger eating experience. Yemi has put together a top 3 of the best burger places in Stockholm.

  1. Barrels Burgers and Beer High quality burgers in a great environment.
  2. Phil’s Burgers Always a solid choice, Phil’s will never let you down.
  3. Bun Meat Bun For high quality, fast-food burgers on the run.

What’s that, no Flippin’ Burgers? “Flippin’ is the best,” says Yemi referring to statistics for Flippin’ Burgers on his website. “But I haven’t been yet, so I can’t confirm it. I will get there, but next on the list is Vigårda in Vasastan”.

If you have any suggestions for Yemi or you want to ask him for recommen-dations, he’s not a hard man to find. He performs regular stand-up comedy gigs around the city. For more info, check out Yemicomedy.com.

For the most up-to-date burger stats, check out codercomic.github.io. •

Written by: Ben Libberton
This article was previously published in: Medicor 2017 #1

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