The Bird Hamburg, Germany

Somewhere awhile back I read online about a American style burger place in Hamburg called The Bird. Their facebook page proclaims they have, "the best damn burgers in Europe" and their website touts, "beers from California, Mexico, Germany and Belgium, or nice Irish cider". This was enough to make me want to check it out. I had mentioned it to my friends in the past, but it took us awhile to get around to going. My friend called one Saturday night to ask how busy it was, and they told him if he didn't have a reservation the earliest we could get a table was after 9pm. We decided to make a reservation for the next Saturday.

When we arrived at 7 our table was ready, and the place was absolutely packed. I'm not sure what this place looks like during the week, but if you were going on a weekend I would definitely suggest a reservation. Also considering how slow if at all German restaurants flip tables I was surprised that there was another reservation for our table at 9:30. I was excited to get down to business and check out their beer menu (which is not available online).

Although this is one of the best beer menus I've seen in Hamburg I was a touch disappointed. Schneider Weisse is one of my favorite German breweries, but beyond that the only interesting beer on the menu is La Chouffe which comes in a .75L. The two beers from California are decent, but with the wide distribution of Sierra Nevada I don't need to drink their pale ale in Hamburg for almost five euros. I went with the Schneider Aventinus figuring the bold flavors and high alcohol would mix well with the full flavors of the Cheddar Burger I ordered. 

We ordered our food and then we waited. From what I could see food came out of the kitchen quite slowly for a burger place. The different servers did check without prompting if anyone needed more drinks which is unusual in Germany. Eventually about an hour later our food finally arrived. I was relieved, because I was starting to hit the waiting time where I start getting pretty annoyed. 

I placed the tomato on my burger and squirted some ketchup, mustard, and mayo on my bun and dove in. I was definitely pretty impressed and the beef was excellent. It was also cooked to medium like I asked. I was and still am fairly skeptical of the English Muffin (Toasties) as the bread. The buttery and grainy flavor worked, but it definitely lacks structural integrity. I kind of think with all of the home made ingredients, home made bread would have sent this place over the top. I really enjoyed the fries, and they tasted very fresh. My Dutch friend was horrified at my mixing of Valentina hot sauce and mayo for dipping (mayo is sacred in The Netherlands). My Aventinus paired pretty well with the peppery savory flavor of the beef as well as the cheddar cheese. Overall the food was really good and worth the wait, but unfortunately it wasn't the best burger I've had in Europe.

Everyone in my party liked their food, except for my lady who thought her portobello burger was just alright and the other vegetarian in our party had similar thoughts about her black bean burger. Despite everyone else liking their meal it didn't seem anyone was really impressed. Paying the bill was a super slow process as is often the case here in Germany. While paying I asked if we could split paying for a bottle of La Chouffe that was shared by two people paying separately and it seemed to rip the fabric of space and time apart for the server. After her insisting it wasn't possible she was able to figure it out though. Overall this place is decent but not somewhere anyone from outside of Hamburg needs to visit. The beer list is good for the area, but pretty poor by my standards. I could see coming here and sitting at the bar during happy hour though. The burgers were some of the better in Europe and would be above average in the U.S. but definitely not anything special. I'm not sure if I'll make it back.

Overall: 7/10   

Sorry about the low quality picture but with the previous one it is possible to decipher this mess.

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About averageguysguidetobeer

Hi, I'm Colin, I love a good hoppy IPA, but I can find immense enjoyment in a solid session beer, imperial stout, quadrupel or a nostalgic beer from my past.


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