The Burgers at El Banco Rojo
San Telmo . Buenos Aires
- Meat 80%
- Bread 70%
- Condiments 80%
- French Fries 70%
- Ambience 70%
- Service 60%
- Value 80%
The Burgers at El Banco Rojo
Address: Bolivar 914
Telephone: +54 11 4362-3177
Restaurant Type: Fast Casual, Hamburger Restaurant
Hours: Tue-Sun 12 pm to 12:30 am[/types] [/types] [/types]
Summary of Review
Restaurant Review for The Burgers at El Banco Rojo
Rating: 3.8 stars
Having recently found a restaurant serving up what I consider to be a really good cheeseburger and more importantly, having dismissed another dozen or more as not being up to snuff, I could have taken a break from the burger pilgrimage. But a devotee to the humble burger, I found myself heading in the direction of El Banco Rojo on Bolivar (near United States) in San Telmo. The burgers at El Banco Rojo had received acclaim from consumers and local authorities like Allie Lazar at PickUpTheFork.com. But I constantly take issue with the consumer reviews on popular consumer review sites. I’ve had some of my worst meals ever at restaurants earning 4.5 stars by consumers on Yelp and Tripadvisor.com. So I walked into El Banco Rojo skeptical (as that’s my nature). The place looked eerily similar to The Burger Joint in Palermo which only increased my skepticism since that place had the honor of being listed as one of the Top 5 Overrated Restaurants in Buenos Aires. Would El Banco Rojo join that list?
Short answer. No. If fact, after sampling the Bryan Burger at El Banco Rojo I’m thinking this burger joint has a shot at winning top honors for the Best Burger Joint in Buenos Aires.
Let’s get the formalities out of the way. This place has no waiters or waitresses. In fact. It doesn’t really even have any tables. Just counters you can sit at to eat the stuff they’re dishing out and, of course, the red bench outside, which is the extent of their terraza seating. This could reek havoc on their Service and Ambiance rating. But remember … our Burger Joint face-off gives minimal weight to both ambiance and service making the taste of the burger king in this face-off. So even with the lack of tables this place has a fighting chance with their delicious burgers.
Let’s talk about that burger now. The special of the day was the Bryan Burger. A meat patty (of course) placed on a fairly typical hamburger bun that is toasted on the griddle and then topped with pancetta, a big glob of cheese, a sweet onion chutney, mild pickled jalapeño peppers, some shredded lettuce and the EBR special sauce. Those toppings were the tastiest I’ve had on any burger in BA, including that fancy one at Pony Line in the Four Seasons Hotel. This even beat the burger at Trixie with the chili drizzled on top (typically my personal favorite for a burger topper) . Like many places in the city serving up burgers, they don’t dish out traditional french fries. Instead they serve up “fritas” that are thin fried slices of unpeeled potatoes (similar to potato chips, but thicker and not as crisp). They were good but nothing that would win a blue ribbon at the fair.
The burger patty, which represents 40% of our overall score in the Burger Joint Face-off, was served up juicy, well seasoned, and cooked just as I asked for it (“jugoso”). I asked the guy flipping the burgers at the griddle whether the meat was ground in-house and was some type of special blend. He said, “No. It’s just ground meat.” Frankly I don’t care how they do it. All I know is that it was one of the best patties I’d tasted in my Buenos Aires quest.
And despite the small, funky, table-less surrounding I was somehow slightly enamored by this place. I can’t really put a finger on why this place makes me feel good when compared to a similarly trashy atmosphere at The Burger Joint. Maybe it’s the attitude of the folks behind the counter. They were ultra-friendly and full of personality at El Banco Rojo. Not so much over at The Burger Joint. Whatever the reason. I just found the chaos a little more tolerable at EBR. In fact … I sort of enjoyed it.
So the verdict’s in. Now, of course, if you’re staying or living out in Palermo Hollywood or Belgrano you’ll not likely be wanting to spend 110 pesos in each direction (about US$17 round trip) for a trip to San Telmo to eat a burger (unless of course, you’re a burger fanatic like me). But if your in the neighborhood the choice is pretty simple. Head over to EBR and order up the Bryan Burger!
El Banco Rojo
The Burgers at El Banco Rojo… …