As a strong advocate for getting down and dirty when having a burger, I have never eaten one with a knife and fork. But, as Brygghus 9 taught me, there is a first time for everything.
Brygghus 9 is a restaurant and brewery in Trondheim, Norway. We couldn’t get seated for dinner in the restaurant on the first floor (reservations are necessary), but the beer cellar in the basement serves food from the same small menu. There’s a fun atmosphere in the cave-like cellar, you can accidentally yell weird things and no one bats an eye.
I do need to admit that my senses were impaired during this meal. I had the brilliant idea to try the Brygghus 9 beer flight. We’re no beer connoisseurs, but each of the 6 beer samples went down tremendously well as we were figuring out what to order. Choosing a plate should have been an easy task since there are only 11 dishes (including appetizers and desserts) on the menu, but I have always been embarrassingly indecisive and insecure when it comes to ordering food.
In the end, Jack and I both went with the burger. To be more specific, we went with: a burger of dry-cured beef brisket from Trondheim Slakthus. Sour cream with horseradish, pear chutney with ginger, rock queen cheese, almond potatoes roasted in duck fat. You would have gotten it too, AM I RIGHT?
Watching the plate being placed in front of me was an out of body experience. I could see the heat rising, I could actually smell the intricate seasoning of the beef, but the most overpowering thought at the time was “how the hell am I going to eat this?”.
I tried squishing the burger down to a manageable size multiple times but when that failed I didn’t know what to do. I felt lost and confused. It was like that helpless feeling of train doors closing in front of your face and then realizing another one isn’t coming for, like, an hour. Do you wait or do you find another route to your destination? Did you even bring reading material? What time is it?
When our waiter came over to check up on us, I confidently asked what the best strategy for eating the burger with your hands is. He laughed and in a Norwegian accent replied, “I think it’s actually impossible.” He giggled some more and added, “We use a knife and fork”. I laughed WITH him like, duhhh!, I totally knew I was meant to do that. Joke’s on you, guy!
Relieved and nervous, I picked up my cutlery and started.
It’s hard to know when you’re eating “the best [insert dish] you’ve ever had” during the actual moment of consumption. I always put it to a combination of the feeling you get during and after the meal. I assure you though, in this instance, it was love at first bite.
I can now announce that I, Bianca Cuffia, 120% recommend the burger from Brygghus 9 even though you have to eat it with cutlery. Good luck!