Review: BURGERMINE – People’s Favorite Burgers

17 Nov

So, this last week, I was craving a burger for my cheat day ‘treat’, and of course I didn’t want to waste my cheat day on a tasteless meat patty and anemic toppings from one of the local fast food joints.  Who would?

Instead, I did some Googling and decided to head to Haebangchon (or HBC, as the locals tend to call it).  Just west of Itaewon, HBC has a high foreign population, but not quite as inflated prices as the main Itaewon street by the station.  To get there, you’ve got to come to Noksapyeong Station on Line 6 and walk out exit 2.  After a few hundred meters up the sidewalk, you’ll see a fork in the road, with the left-hand side street heading up a hill, and a shop with a lot of giant kimchi pots outside on the corner.  Walk up the hill until you’ve passed a couple of side streets on your right, and another tasty pub called Phillies on a corner on your left.  BURGERMINE is nearly across from Phillies. You’ll see some painted renditions of spraycans with Campbell’s labels and various popular characters on the concrete strip beneath the patio.

What makes BURGERMINE special is the concept–it’s a DIY burger bar.  You walk in, and for 18,000 KRW you have 90 minutes, during which you can order as many beef, chicken, or veggie patties as you want, cooked at your request and retrieved via a buzzer system, along with apparently endless plates of fresh-cooked french fries and free soda refills at the fountain.  The beef patties are quite thick and tasty, grilled well without being overcooked.  I liked the chicken breast as well–it came to me bearing noticeable, delicious grill-marks without being leathery or tough.  As for the veggie burgers… I don’t know how they rate, I was too full after a burger, a chicken breast, and picking off three plates of (chili) fries to be tempted into trying one for myself.

reviewburgermine001

Not only is the patty your choice–you can also select plain, garlic, or wholegrain buns (and toast them yourself) just to start.  Condiments include chili, bacon jam, bulgogi jam, strawberry jam, and of course the standards of ketchup, mustard, mayo… and many more.  (A1 all over my french fries? Yes please!) There are bacon strips, fried eggs, and even fried pineapple rings available, not to mention good tomatoes, several varieties of lettuce and baby greens, fresh onions, pickled jalapenos, sweet pickles, dill pickles, and an entire platter just for varieties of cheese–Muenster, Gouda, cheddar, pepper-jack, and several other types.

Now, the burger I constructed absolutely hit the spot.  If you give me free reign of a cheese platter, pickled jalapenos, and a beef patty that isn’t made out of sawdust, gristle, and broken dreams, I’m pretty easy to please.  Still, are there things I might wish for in a perfect world?  Yeah, of course.  Guacamole?  Sriracha? Blue cheese dressing and Frank’s Red Hot, buffalo style? A better grade of chili available? Fried onion rings?  Hell, even better, slider-sized patty and bun options?? But hey, for what I paid and how much I ate/drank, it was definitely worth the price.

If you know you can’t eat enough to make a 18,000 KRW burger worth your while, or you don’t actually want to be groaning in pain on your way back down the hill, there are also various pre-constructed burgers on the menu you can order, all of which look delicious and a number of which have been suggested by BURGERMINE guests.  However, everyone at your table must order off the menu, in that case–you can’t have one person raiding the bar while the others order from the menu.  Sodas still come with free refills, though, and a plate of fries is cheap at 3,000 KRW, or 5,000 KRW for chili cheese fries.

Check out the BURGERMINE website or Facebook for menu information, location, hours of operation, and pictures of all the ‘burger fixins’ you can shake a stick at.  Give it a shot.  Go hungry or don’t go.

My rating: ✧✧✧✧✦

(4 out of 5 – Great service, friendly and helpful staff, and overall excellent food.  A few items I wish I could have laid hands on for a perfect burger just weren’t there, and some of the toppings were a little slow to be refilled, but in no way a disappointing trip.)

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4 Responses to “Review: BURGERMINE – People’s Favorite Burgers”

  1. audioboon November 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Having just finished my cheat day, I think I like yours better.

  2. derekversuslonelyplanet November 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    The only one of the three I haven’t visited in HBC. Great review! Looking forward to eating my weight in meat.

    • oddvocado November 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

      The three being Burgermine, Jacoby’s, and…? I managed to go 5 years here before setting foot in HBC so I’m a little hazy on what all’s available! On that note, if you’re looking to eat your weight in meat, I have another recommendation/review I’ll probably post one of these weeks.

      • derekversuslonelyplanet November 18, 2013 at 2:09 am #

        The third one is Hans Burger, which is now called “Bomb Burger”. It is located right beside Burgermine. They apparently have a burger that has a donut for a bun.

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