Bamba Marha Burger Budapest Experience: A Though Review

First, know that after living in Nebraska for a dozen years, I am extremely tough in this category. In fact, up to a few years ago I explicitly told everyone that all burgers in the country are uneatable. Friends always point me to new burger places, but I always come to the conclusion that unless you lived in Nebraska for a decade, you don’t know beef. No matter how good a burger seems to a fellow Hungarian, they don’t know shit. (Sorry.)

But since, few steak places ($$$$) and later Zing and We Love Burger convinced me that if one wants a decent burger, it is not anymore unobtainium in Budapest.

Then I saw an article on Index which I cannot find anymore. It must have been a blog. It was 5 new must try burger places. Bamba Marha was one of them. So when my wife asked me to bring a burger today, I went there instead of Zing, where I usually go.

Service: I asked them what I should eat. They looked at me like I was from Mars and pointed me to the menu. When I explained I was asking for a recommendation, it was still a struggle. First they recommended the Sloppy Joe Burger to which I told them I came for a burger and Sloppy Joes don’t fit that category. Then they explained they have this hybrid where sloppy joe is smothered on the burger patty. WTF. OK. Whatever. I got one of those (mistake – it was as weird as it sounded). They also told me to get some Hawaiian sounding something. Suspiciously I said yes. (I asked for recommendation.) I asked for the “menu”. Also a big mistakes. I got two sauces. After being informed that all but two sauces are mayo based I went with those two. (How do you say blasphemy in French?)

Order to go. They came and asked me how to pack stuff (like I work there). They aluminum foil wrapped two burgers with a stick a wood stuck in the middle to keep it together. I guess that looks good if you eat in, but… Then they handed me the two drinks with a coffee cup top. I asked if they have some ideas how I should transport. OK they tried. Put aluminum foil over the top so the one I dared to put in the >>paper<< (could have been cool) bag did not spill immediately, it was OK until I got to the bottom of the subway.

I can’t say much more about the sloppy joe burger than pepper bits should not be in sloppy joes. And sloppy joe should not be over a burger.

(Side note: most recent sloppy joe I had was at a Michelin star restaurant, Longman and Eagle in Chicago. Highly recommended. Best bar food ever in the best whiskey bar ever at a reasonable price with a Michelin star.)

The Hawaiian thing tasted like someone in Hawaii got creative (and should not have). Smothered in teriyaki sauce with a pineapple on top. Not cool.

Fries had this cheap flavoring spice all over that is a flavor I only ever tasted in this region (and one that should never have been created). My mother sometimes uses it on meat. We had fights about it. The coffee BBQ sauce had the same thing in it. (It may just be Vegeta or MSG.)

I can imagine that the basic burger is eatable if you yell at them to not overcook it. Given that both burgers were soaked in something awful, I don’t know if they are smothered in something when they are ordered clean. (Most common mistake with burgers. Meat is not clean.) If you still dare to try, just make sure you don’t want to take it to go or as a value meal.

As I said, I am a tough critic so ymmv. If you want to try, they are HERE. Next, I will return to Zing which makes an acceptable burger, even by Nebraska standards. And if I need a burger in this neighborhood, McDonald’s next door is just fine.