A Burger Stand on the Corner of Bunina Street and Oleksandrivs’kyi Avenue in Odessa, Ukraine

Odessa Burger

The Experience: A few weeks ago, I traveled to Odessa, Ukraine to see the work that the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a century-old humanitarian organization that I work for, does for at-risk Ukrainian communities. I experienced things in the few days I spent in Odessa that I never could have imagined. The excursion wrapped up with a night out with a few colleagues, eating some of the best borscht and chicken Kiev a person could as for. As we stumbled back to the hotel so that I could catch my midnight cab to the airport, it was suggested by my colleagues that I could not leave the country without getting my hands on a burger. It was late, and I was skeptical that I would be able to find anything. But then, shining on a corner near the Aleksandrovsky Hotel, a food stand had an unmistakable sign boasting a “hamburger with beef.” A charming gentleman who told us that, when not pressing hamburgers on panini grills, he was studying to be a teacher, provided me with my midnight meal.

Burger Ordered: Hamburger with Beef

The Taste: As I alluded to above, the method of burger production in this food stand is to press it like a panini. This made the bun dry, but aside from that there was nothing I could complain about too much. The patty tasted surprisingly fresh, and the cheese, though grated, was melted in a way that I found enjoyable. I was very full from all the other delicious, and more geographically suitable food and drink I’d already consumed, but I did what I consider to be a decent job at putting this burger with beef away.

The Verdict: I can’t specifically say that I recommend the burger with beef at this roadside stand, but I can say that I recommend a visit to Odessa. It’s a charming city that I feel I did not get enough time to explore.

And on an extremely personal note, I’d like to make everyone aware that today is #GivingTuesday, the non-profit world’s post-Thanksgiving answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If I could, I’d like to encourage you to visit my fundraising page over at Project One Hundred. All donations will support the JDC’s life-saving work around the world. My non-Burger Weekly life is spent almost entirely working for the JDC, and I truly believe that the organization makes a real difference in the world. You can read more about JDC’s work here.  Thank you in advance for your support!

Article by Brad Garoon

I run this burger joint.