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Corner Burger
October 20th, 2012 by Joemoney

2 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 102 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10
(2 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10)
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Corner Burger
www.cornerburger.ru
76 Bolshaya Gruzinskaya
Moscow, Russia 125047 (map)

From Russia, With Love –

“How’s your Russian?”… That was the message greeting me when I opened my work email recently. We had a project that needed a few people to make the long journey to this capital city. Most people I talked to were surprised that I was excited for the chance. I grew up in a post cold war America so my perception of Russia was sadly based on video games and Mission Impossible movies. Given that this was a rare opportunity, my wife was going to come along on the trip and joined me in the complicated and expensive process of obtaining a Russian visa. The time arrived and we took the long flight to Moscow. When we arrived, my initial impression was that Moscow was exactly as portrayed in movies. Cold, overcast, row after row of apartment blocks, scowling men, and women smoking long skinny cigarettes. The fact that Russian signs are not easily readable by a westerner further added to the excitement.  Every evening when I returned from work, as we would venture out into the city the beauty of the place quickly became apparent starting with the impressive Metro System (photos), going to a ballet at the Bolshoi, and St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square. The combination of classical architecture, remnants of Soviet history, and Russian Orthodox cathedrals that peppered the city made for an experience unlike anything we’ve had before.

While preparing for the trip, I began looking for good burger places to check out. This is a city that got its first McDonald’s in 1990 after the fall of the Soviet Union. Quite famously, thousands of people waited in line for hours to just to try it (video). The burger culture is relatively new but has been whole heartedly embraced. There were several places to choose from, none of which were particularly cheap. Did I mention that Moscow is one of the most expensive cities in the world? Once I adjusted for sticker shock, one place that stood out was Corner Burger. True to its name, it was just around the corner for our hotel. One late evening we headed over to have our first ever Moscow Burger Tyme!

Moscow is for Lovers –

Corner Burger was a surprisingly upscale and modern burger restaurant. We arrived at around 11pm and this place was still busy. Perusing the menu revealed several burger options, all which sounded good and were the ruble equivalent of $20+. We were brought a bottle of water and stumbled through the language barrier to place our order. I selected the Corner Burger de Lux, which comes with two 100gr beef patties, cheddar cheese, CB barbeque sauce, bibb lettuce, red onions, pickles and tomatoes. It also came with fries and cole slaw. For the heck of it, I also ordered a chocolate shake. It was late, there were still plenty of people and roughly two servers. By this point I’ve come to learn that customer service is not a focus in Moscow. This could explain the 20 plus minute wait for our order. The milkshake came first. It was much closer to chocolate milk than what I was expecting and a little chalky, like the used Nesquik to add the chocolate. I guess milkshakes haven’t translated yet.

Our burgers came shortly after and were quite good looking. There was a lot of great looking veggies and the meat patties were thick covered in melted cheddar. The amount of CB bbq sauce on the burger was a little off putting. After biting in I confirmed that I could have used less bbq sauce as it made the burger a bit too sweet. Overall the flavor was great and only improved as I worked my way to the center where the sweet to salty ratio became more balanced. The bun was soft and toasted, the veggies were very fresh and crisp, the patties were nicely cooked and juicy. For $25 this wasn’t the most hefty burger. I could easily manage it with one hand. The cole slaw, while a nice extra, was loaded with dill ( apparently a popular flavor in Russia) and didn’t really go well at all with the burger. The fries were of the frozen variety and were OK but nothing special.

The Wrap It Up –

I loved Moscow! It was both what I imagined and nothing close to what I expected. The complex history of communism, combined with thriving capitalism, along with the centuries of Russian culture is ingrained in every thing, including the burgers. It was nice looking, it was expensive, it wasn’t exactly suited to western tastes, it wasn’t served with a smile, but it was good and I was happy to try it! I know that the international politics and relations between the US and Russia are complex to say the least, but I think there is some serious potential for common ground here.

Would I recommend this burger for those visiting Moscow? Not really. If you absolutely have to have a burger, sure, go here, spend $50 or more for two burgers OR go into a restaurant with no english anywhere, order some borscht or a blini or some stroganof, and soak in the Moscow experience! By the time it was time to leave I was trying to figure out a way to visit again but I was also happy to have my simple, cheap, and delicious burgers at home. So until next time, Das Vedania.


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