Burgerista delight in Salzburg

I remember when still travelling with my parents to Italy, we would never make a overnight stop. Would drive in 1day from Belgium to our destination or at least in the beginning, when my parents got older this changed. When my wife and I travel (and we’ve been together for 17years already) by car we always do it in 2 times. Especially now with our little girl it still like the best option, as otherwise you’ll arrive or come back home with more stress than before. The first day I do drive the biggest part, have a good dinner and night of sleep and continue the next day to drive a few more hours to arrive at our destination. This time we made a stop in the beautiful Salzburg (Austria) aka the town where Wolfgang-Amadeus Mozart was born :-). It wasn’t our first time to stop here on our way to Italy, so we did already know our way around the picturesque town. The only point of discussion last time we were here was where to have dinner 🙂 . I normally do my homework, but when we were here a few years ago I just didn’t do it. This time I did write down a few places to make sure I had a “plan B”. Another extra point of attention this time is that we were not just us 2 anymore and let’s just say that a 1 yr old isn’t made for having long meals in a posh restaurant 😉 🙂

In the end I didn’t need my “plan B” as while walking around in the old part of Salzburg city we saw a very nice looking hamburger restaurant called Burgerista. I know it isn’t very Austria-like, the place just looked good and let’s be honest who doesn’t like a fresh “home-made” hamburger??  As it was still a bit too early to eat and our sweet little monkey had fallen asleep (moments to cherish 🙂  ) we thought a nice glass of wine or bubbles seemed like a great way to start our holiday… especially after such a long drive we deserved it. This brought us to Wein & Co that remembered from last time we were here.  Wein & Co is a wine bar/wine shop with a very nice wine selection for everybody’s taste and wallet 🙂 (from Austria and abroad). Definitely a place to recommend!

Wein and co2

Wein and co

When our little angel woke up, it was time to finish our drink and set sail to Burgerista. A place that somehow reminded me of “Lunchbox” a burger restaurant we go to from time to time in Antwerp. Burgerista was everything we hoped for!!! Juicy burgers, child friendly and nice place to sit…

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They had a very nice selection of both classic burgers as a few “special” burgers and even a custom build burger where you can choose yourself what you want between those buns 🙂 🙂

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A juicy burger obviously needs a good sauce or better a home-made sauce. I now they had lots of nice homemade lemonades, but for me a burger needs a coke… for me this is like a horse and carriage 🙂

homemade sauces

There was 1 thing that every hamburger restaurant should have, a sink in the restaurant itself to wash your hands with good smelling soap to get rid of the fatty smell of your fingers 🙂  I know I could easily go to the toilet to wash them, but sometimes laziness wins…

Sink

VERY satisfied we had a nice walk to our hotel to have a good night sleep to continue our road towards Friuli Venezia Guilia.  Can’t wait for my next Burgerista

Spanish summer in a glass

Who knew Halle (near Brussels) could feel like Spain or even feel like summer in middle of winter?! Andy De Brouwer did as he was the one to create this oasis in his restaurant Les Eleveurs (aka a Walhalla for food and wine 🙂 ) together with the Rueda wine region.  Rueda might not seem too familiar, but Verdejo might ring a bell for more people as it is without any doubt the Spain’s most famous white wine… or one of as technically speaking Sherry (Jerez) is also a white wine 🙂

Rueda location

Rueda location (2)

The Rueda region is located in the North of Spain between Portugal and that other very famous Spanish wine region Rioja. You can see it as the Spanish part of the Portuguese Douro valley as the Duera (Douro) river continues its path in this region. The vineyards/vines in the Rueda region are planted 700 to 800 meters above sea- level on dark grey – brown soils… mostly  stony (but easy to farm), with good ventilation and draining. Important to know is that the soil is very rich of calcium and magnesium essential for a good development of the vines.

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I must rephrase what I said before as I said this region mostly know for it white wine, but it does also have some world renowned red’s of Toro, Ribera del Duero and Leon. The wine grape of Toro, called Tinta de Toro, has long been considered a mutant of Tempranillo (one of the main grapes in the Rioja region).  Today we’ll be focusing on the white wines.

Why I referred to summer is because the Rueda wines or Verdejo is the perfect wine for on a warm summer’s day in the garden under a pergola with some olives or some thinly sliced Parma ham or Pata Negra. Basically an everyman’s friend…  young, playful, refreshing, smooth and floral. Typically Verdejo wines are aromatic (very fruity), often soft, and full-bodied. That full-bodyness it has to thank to the altitude on which the grapes  are grown (+600m)

Rueda wines

If Andy wouldn’t have told me it would have taking me much longer to find out what the smell and taste of the Verdejo reminded me of, as it did remind me of something I had tasted before… Apparently the Verdejo grape is a sister grape of Sauvignon Blanc and therefore has more or less the same notions as a Sauvignon Blanc and the confuse the enemy even more they sometimes also blend the 2 grape kinds together 🙂 . Sooo being a Sauvignon Blanc lover it won’t come as a surprise I like Verdejo wines as well??!! Also this was the reason it seemed so familiar.  But do keep in mind that it are young wines that should be drunk young as they are not really aging material… also most Verdejo or Rueda wines in general (white ones) haven’t seen too much wooden barrels, which also isn’t necessary as it would make this already  lovely wine more complex without too much reason if it would stay a long time in wooden barrels:-).If they blend the Verdejo with the Sauvignon Blanc it will make a richer and more aromatic wine.

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We can do is a make a little distinction between the wines that are really ‘apero’ material as other do require a little snack or dish with it… From the 9 wines we tasted, the first 3 were the perfect example of non expensive (around 7 EUR)  ‘apero’ or ‘summery’ wines (don’t get me wrong all 9 go well without food, but the 3 first best). The wines I’m talking about were a 2013 Rueda Verdejo by  Marqués de Riscal (100% Verdejo), a 2013 Verdejo by  Emina (100% Verdejo)  and last but not least the 2013 Badajo Rueda Verdejo by Gotica. I loved the label from the Badajo as it reminded me a of the wallpaper I used on one of the walls from my still to be born daughter 🙂 🙂  (JUST FYI). Although all 3 wines are 100% of Verdejo grapes you could taste a small difference, the Marques de Riscal fruitier, whereas the Emina was more silt/salty like. FYI all the wines I’m mentioning are available in Belgium.

Apero Ruedas

What I did enjoy was that for the remaining wines Andy and Nico (chef from Les Eleveurs) created and found some great matching dishes tapa style to go with the wines :-). The first matching dish they had to find was to fit with the 2013 Analivia Verdejo by Pagos del Rey. Although it won’t come as a surprise that most dishes included fish as although with can also match some meats the best pairing is still with fish… So for the first dish they went for a puffed  codfish skin with hand peeled grey shrimps and avocado. The freshness of the dish went perfectly with the fruitiness and freshness of the wine. I do love my grey shrimps from the North-sea!!

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Followed by crayfish with a risotto ‘croquette’ to match the Verdejo de Alberto still in the wine types of before nothing extravagant yet, just lovely and easy to drink.

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The wines that were about to follow were slightly more ‘complex’ wines in comparison with the previous ones as some of them did get a little wooden barrel time (not too much though). The Verdejo from Traslagares  is a good example.Well balanced acidity with a touch of bitterness and the taste for 2nd glass and one the favorites of the evening 🙂 Perfect for the hand-caught bass with eggplant caviar and a black olive crumble.

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As first non fish dish we received a on low heat roasted chicken leg Moroccan style paired for the Rueda Verdejo wine by Reina de Castilla probably the most complex wine together with the last wine of the night.

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The frosting on the cake is always the dessert, isn’t it? Normally they had forseen cheeses, but as I’m not really a cheesy guy (in every sense of the word) they gave me a caramel/pear/ice/chocolat dessert which also match perfect with I think favorite wine of the evening the PR3 Barricas Verdejo by Prado Rey that has been on wood for 9 months… which is a long time for this type of wine and results in a stronger wine, but still not too complex, I’d rather call it tropical with a light wood sense in between .

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I can’t wait for it to be summer, but I’m sure glass of Rueda wine will help me to keep patient as it truly is summer in a glass!

Hope to visit this region some day!

Thanks to Rueda Wines and Andy De Brouwer for learning me more about wines…