Warburger expand to cover more than just burgers…
by Alex WEBBER
I am a sucker for a feel good story, and they don’t get more rags-to-riches than the tale of Warburger. Opened down in Mokotów in 2012, the original took root in one of those cabin-style huts you usually see selling flowers or engine parts. It didn’t matter that it was tiny, it soon became established as Warsaw’s No. 1 source for pedigree burgers. Queues would coil outside, but the wait was always worthwhile. Well, they’ve still got the shack, only now Warburger have graduated to big school by opening a sit-down venture with a downtown postcode.
But this is more than an upgrade on the original concept, it’s a full-on evolution. Burgers are present, and more numerous in number, but come with the added plus of plates and cutlery (and not flimsy tableware either, rather strong pieces of weaponry designed to rip animals into shreds). Yet whilst many customers fail to look beyond the burger page, doing so yourself would be a crime.
Of course, the chili burger remains a mainstay of the Warburger package, but the real attraction of the new joint is an enticing page of more-ish, meaty mains: oxtail, beef cheeks and other snips of bits and offal – the beef tongue sandwich is full of all the big flavors you’d expect, but the surprise hit are the duck hearts. Served in a deep sauce and accompanied with onion bread, I’ve not always been this dish’s biggest fan: eat Daffy Duck’s heart? No way! It was Michał Bryś of L’enfant Terrible that coerced me into my U-turn, and it says a lot for the competence of Warburger’s kitchen that they get this dish every bit as a right as one of the city’s top dining rooms.
Not that any of this should come as a shock. Back when the city was ordering nothing but burgers, the places that stood out were the ones who applied slow food standards to the fast food industry. Warburger paid particular attention to this, and that attitude has stood them in good stead as they branch into the more serious aspects of cooking: these are proper ingredients afforded all the right treatment.
Further to their credit are more prosaic accomplishments: there’s just no way you’d guess you’re sat on the ground floor of some 60s bastard block. On the contrary, the space that’s been created feels perfect for the occasion with a design more in line with a readapted warehouse. It’s casual and relaxed, with the atmosphere embraced by a super-nice staff who look like off-duty models for some indy magazine. The easiest mistake one can make is to think this is a burger joint – in part it is, but the whole truth is that it’s so much more.