The Hamburg Hamburger Files Part 4: The Bird

Da-birdhouse-hamburg-the-bird-burgerThe Bird, like Brooklyn Burger Bar, is another Hamburg burger joint with a New York flair.  Located in the heart of Hamburg’s vibrant St. Pauli neighborhood, The Bird focuses intensely on their beef –  they don’t mess around.

The Bird’s steaks are dry-aged for a minimum of 30 days after arriving from the US, courtesy of corn-fed cattle from Iowa Beef Packers.  Their burgers are made from beef that’s freshly ground in-house each and every day; 250g per patty of Germany’s finest ground beef from steak cuts.

Sitting in the heart of the kiez in St.Pauli, The Bird is just a stone’s throw away from both the Reeperbahn (Hamburg’s night-life high street) and the Elbe river.  The Reeperbahn ‘entertainment area’ houses Hamburg’s red light district along with some of its most colorful bars, clubs, and restaurants. The neon lights and signs of the Reeperbahn evoke a feeling of 1980s Las Vegas – and perhaps because of that, Reeperbahn has been given the German nickname: die sündigste Meile – ‘the most sinful mile.’ Fuel up with a burger at The Bird before you head out into the night! 

the-bird-hamburg-interior-shot

The Bird is a bit of a conundrum from a look & feel perspective. The restaurant tries to aim for a dirty-burger-pub style, but it is one that has been built into a retail space that’s too new, too well-lit, and too handily-constructed for that grimy feel. The shabby-chic bar and rustic tables with mixed chairs don’t mesh too well with the art gallery windows, bright lighting and high ceilings.  But, at the end of the day, when your burger arrives, all of that won’t be your center of attention.

the-bird-in-hamburgThe Bird proudly proclaims that nothing is frozen in their restaurant.  Their french fries are hand-cut from fresh potatoes daily and all sauces, salads, and cheesecakes are hausgemacht (home made).  Just, don’t order your steak/burger well-done or you’ll feel the wrath of an angry staff… As well you should; I’m pro-shaming when it comes to over-cooked beef!

The 250g burger patties come in two classifications: from the grill or from the griddle. They all start from €10 for which you’ll get the Ghetto Burger – a plain burger with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a homemade pickle.

All burgers come served with hand-cut fries on the side.  The priciest burger on the menu is Da Woiks, a double burger with choice of cheeses, bacon, onion, mushrooms.

The one odd thing that you may have already noticed, is that all the burgers are served on either toast or english-style muffins.  For me, this is the weakest part of the experience at The Bird.

The-bird-patty-melt-hamburgMy friend got the patty melt – served on grilled rye with onions, American and Swiss Cheeses and pickles – a sandwich that is meant to be on toast.  However, the rest of us ordered burgers which just seemed to be let down by the sad, English muffin bun.

For €12, Da Birdhouse has two beef patties, American cheese, bacon, fried onion, ketchup, mustard & pickles and is described as, “It’s a greasy bird, but tastes like heaven.”  I agree with all of that statement… but why, oh why, did you not just put a proper bun on it?!

The beef is amazing; juicy and flavorful, packed to the perfect consistency, oozing with beefy goodness.  The toppings are lovely; crispy bacon and gooey cheese with fresh-cut veggies to offset the textures.  And then an underpowered, overwhelmed English muffin?!

The-bird-hamburg-da-birdhouseThe muffin was not engineered for this kind of abuse.  The burgers at the Bird, which are truly phenomenal, completely destroy the poor muffin as you carry on eating.  The cheeses and juices simply soak through and disintegrate the muffin within minutes. This could have been my favorite burger in Hamburg if I didn’t have to deconstruct the burger and eat it open-faced style.

The Bird is worth a visit – especially if you’re up for a big night out in St. Pauli.  I just hope that one day they take the final step toward burger mastery by getting on the brioche bun bandwagon. It’s simply too good in all other aspects to let this quirky attempt at uniqueness let The Bird experience down.

You can visit The Bird on Trommelstr 4, Hamburg, near Hein Köllisch Platz or check out their website here.

the-bird-hamburg-burgers-exterior

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