|Madero Container - roadside restaurants made from converted|
shipping containers. Surprisingly comfortable inside!
But then I saw it again; just inside the entrance of a shopping centre in Cascavel, Madero and the “Best Burger in the World.” It was 11:30am, but I’d been up since 5am and damn it, I was hungry. So finally, I would satisfy my curiosity, I was ready!
But they weren’t, opening at midday – DAMN! Never mind, kill a bit of time, look in some shops, wait expectantly by the door…
|A typical 'por kilo' restaurant|
The culture of food is a bit different in Brazil to what I’m more used to in Britain (and to some extent America – where food is similar but bigger.) A type of restaurant very popular is the 'por kilo' ( per kilo) restaurant, a hot and cold buffet where you pay for as much or as little as you want, by weight. Unlike in Britain, where buffet restaurants tend to be an underwhelming affair, these restaurants usually have good quality, tasty and fresh food. Don’t get me wrong, you may well find a cheap by-the-kilo restaurant that’s not so great, but you can also find up-market restaurants with high quality food and prices to match, everyone is accommodated for.
Fast food also has its place in Brazilian cuisine, but again the rules seem different. Take McDonalds in Britain or America, the food is cheap making it a quick and easy way to eat, to the point where I’ve seen many homeless people going there as a dollar will go a bit further. In Brazil, I’m told (I haven’t been to McDonalds here and it’s not exactly high on my to-do list,) it’s considered more of an up-market affair. It isn’t the cheap option and going is more of an occasion.
Which takes me back to Madero, billed as a steak house, but obviously very proud of its burgers. The restaurant is nicely decorated and the wide selection of food and drink available in the menu show that this isn’t just a fast food joint. The first pages offered some healthy options, but I skipped that and sought out this “Best Burger in the World” I’d been hearing so much about. I’ll have the bacon cheese burger please, no tomatoes.
|Madero "Bacon Cheese" with no tomatoes (see flag)|
with a bottle of Guarana to wash it down
The burger arrives partially in paper (Brazilians generally don’t like touching their food with their hands) in a crunchy bread roll (works for me!) and not too many chips (or French fries, if you must…) I must say it’s nice to eat out without being faced by an insurmountable mountain of food, I prefer quality over quantity any day.
So was it the “Best Burger in the World”? I don’t know exactly, but it’s definitely up there with the best of them (by which I mean burgers that contain actual meat) with extra points for including thick bacon that tastes like bacon and hasn’t been incinerated. I suppose I’ll have to go again to make my mind up.
Note: This post was NOT sponsored by Madero! But if they want to give me a free burger, I wouldn't say no!