There is something intrinsically wrong about eating a burger with a knife and fork. However, now I am Coeliac it is either bun-less burger or no burger at all. And I’m not the kind of girl who can go through life without a big beef patty by my side.
And so it was that we found ourselves walking a very chilly 300m from our hotel to Illegal Burger. Word on the street was that the made the best burgers in Norway. As we walked through the very unassuming entrance, we could barely squeeze through the hordes of über cool hipsters. The crowd was so eclectic, it was almost staged. There were two guys who’d come straight from ice hockey, sticks and all, trendy couples with gravity defying hair and two girls smooching in the corner. Oslo is definitely a city where anything goes. Amen to that!
The urban interior was sparse and functional. Open shelving surrounded the equally open kitchen, where ingredients and condiments doubled as decoration. Think rows and rows of mustard bottles lined up next to boxes and boxes of Maldon sea salt. Seating was simple and not overly comfortable but who cares when you’re in the coolest place on the planet.
I am a big fan of doing one thing and doing it well and that ethos is ‘Illegal burger’ all over. The key is the simplicity of the operation. they offer 8 or so burgers and one side dish which is roast potatoes with aioli. For me, I stuck with my favourite and ordered a blue cheese and bacon burger with some potatoes to share. Mr T opted for a classic cheeseburger. There was one chef in the small kitchen who was manning a very fancy wood burning burger oven.
My burger was delicious, it is a strange thing to see a burger laid out all naked on a plate with the salad scattered around it. However, this did not take away from the sweet smoky bacon, the unctuously soft blue cheese or the perfectly medium rare patty. As much as it was very satisfying and definitely what I felt like, it was not the best burger I have ever had.
At about $13 dollars for a burger, by Norwegian standards it was very good value. But by the time you multiply that by two, add some potatoes and a drink each, you’re still coming away having spent $50. I like Norway and I like the food, the price hurts a little bit but it’s worth it.