The Experience: I love Greek style burgers, as interpreted by American burger joints. So when I arrived in Athens, Greece to begin a European vacation, it made sense to me to get to an American style hamburger joint and see how the Greeks are doing at interpreting our flavors in their patties. I went in expecting very little, as my last European burger adventure was quite disappointing. But unlike that Ukrainian food stand, Hot Hot Burger Bar was packed with people when I arrived; beautiful, young people all seemingly enjoying their hamburgers and beautiful, young people grilling them. I ordered my blue cheese and bacon burger and was met with wonderful customer service from the boisterous people behind the counter. Everyone was so kind and good-looking that I wondered if I’d shown up on a day when they were shooting a commercial. Nope, this was just my experience of Greece throughout.
Burger Ordered: The Blue Bacon
The Taste: Before taking my first bite, I noticed that others around me who were already half-done with their burgers were sporting some seriously well-done meat. As such, I was pleasantly surprised that my fully-browned patty was still juicy. It was also densely packed, giving it an almost sausage-like quality in texture that I very much enjoyed. The blue cheese was actually blue cheese sauce, the kind typically used for chicken wings. I was happy for this, as I’ve found blue cheese to be overpowering on a hamburger. The sauce was subtle. The bacon was far from crispy, and tasted unlike any I have tried before. I’m still working out whether or not I liked the taste, but the texture was very interesting on the burger.
The Verdict: This wasn’t what you’d imagine a typical Greek version of an American burger would taste like. There was no heavy basil, oregano, or garlic flavor, but it still managed to be different enough that I didn’t feel that I was getting a pure American burger clone. The folks at Hot Hot (which again, is just as much a description of the people eating and working there) are obviously having fun with their burgers, which is the best reason to sling them for the masses.
Hot Hot Burger Bar is located on the corner of Praxitelous and Kolokotroni in Athens, Greece.