Monday, June 01, 2015

Hard Rock Cafe Showcases World Burger Tour

The Hard Rock Cafe in the Inner Harbor has been offering comfort food, libations, rock videos, and a gallery of rare rock memorabilia for years. Now they are presenting a selection of burgers created by Hard Rock chefs from their restaurants around the world. Until June 30th, diners can experience a world tour of burgers. The Minx and I were recently invited to sample these sandwiches designed to put one in the mood of lands far away. 

Hard Rock has given chefs at their cafes the freedom to create a unique Legendary Burger that captures the local flavors of their city and is only available at that cafe location. More than 150 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team, with fan favorites selected to star on a limited-time World Burger Tour menu.  These four burgers will be featured at Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore in addition to its unique Local Original Legendary Burger topped with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, golden fried onion rings, crisp lettuce and vine ripened tomato.

Before we tucked into the burgers, we were offered a selection of specialty cocktails to choose from. I went with their most popular: the Mai Tai One On. Light and sweet with strong citrus flavors, one might forget that there is Mount Gay Eclipse rum in it, so drink responsibly. The Minx tried the Mezcarita, which while full of the flavors of coconut , strawberry, and orange, the smoky Del Maquat mezcal is ever present. We also tasted the Pomegranate Mule and the Pineapple Ginger Caipirinha, so we were eager to try out some food to soak up the booze.

Specialty drinks: Pomogranite Mule, Mai Tai One On, Maple Old Fashioned, Pineapple Ginger Caipirinha, and Mezcarita.
The Sweet and Sour Burger is a "certified Angus Beef patty topped with a fried onion ring, bell peppers and grilled pineapple drizzled with house-made sweet and sour sauce." The sweet and sour sauce will remind you of a dish from your favorite neighborhood Chinese restaurant and the onion ring provides a deep fried crunch that simulates a happy nugget like you would find in General Tso's chicken. The pineapple is a nice touch as well.

Hong Kong - Sweet and Sour Burger
For me, the Tandoori Burger was the real surprise of the bunch. This moist, juicy chicken patty is topped with mint mayonnaise and cucumber which does a nice job of tempering the spicy seasonings. The flavors are spot on for its Indian inspiration.

India - Tandoori Burger
The Bosphorus Burger combines elements that bring to mind all the delights of Turkish cuisine (except Turkish Delight, of course, which would be weird). This angus beef patty is topped with homemade eggplant salad, haydari sauce (which is yogurt-based), and cucumber slices. I'm not a fan of eggplant, but it works well in this preparation.

Turkey - Bosphorus Burger
We also tried the Banh Mi Burger. Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich with a strong French influence, using a baguette to hold pork pâté and pickled vegetables. A hamburger bun replaces the baguette and there's no pâté, but the fresh flavors of cilantro, cucumber, and carrot are present.

Vietnam - Banh Mi Burger
The Hard Rock Cafe World Burger Tour goes on until the end of June, so if you are interested in trying out some burgers with an international flair, head on down to the Inner Harbor. As a bonus, you can gaze at Madonna's underpants while you dine.

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