Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Have Some Drama With That Burger

You don't have to go all the way to Vilnius, Lithuania for a drama burger. Save yourself some time and money and boogie on over to the Drama Burger of Tampa at 2420 West Kennedy Boulevard. This is the first U.S. appearance of the Lithuania-based boutique burger chain.

Drama Burger has re-purposed a boxy building that once housed a Chinese take-out restaurant. The interior probably won't win any restaurant decor awards, but it is pleasantly quirky with original art work on the walls. Take-out is available, but our party of four chose table seating with excellent service provided by the very charming Marissa.

Menus were presented and Marissa asked if we cared for water. After that hour long drive from the Gulf beaches, our table unanimously cared little for water but clamored for adult beverages. Wine and craft beers are served. There is one Lithuanian beer mentioned on the menu, but unfortunately it was not available the day of our visit. Marissa suggested a German beer that had a hint of bacon ... and everyone knows that everything is better with bacon.

This is the Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer (in German language it's called "Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier"). There is a hint of bacon in this dark, aromatic brew with a 5.2% alcohol kick that can make you schlenker a bit after a couple pint plus bottles of this rauchbier. (In German: "rauch" is smoke and "schlenker" is swerve.) Other more familiar brews are served at Drama.

One of the most popular burgers at Drama is the Pastrami Burger, which one in our party had enjoyed on a previous visit. This time around he chose the Pastrami Sandwich. The difference between the two is the burger has a beef patty while the sandwich stands solely on the merit of its beef brisket that enjoys a nine day process to create this masterful pastrami. The thin-sliced pastrami is presented on a brioche bun with red onion, pickles, and home-made mustard mayo.

Photo courtesy of Sweet Polly

Other burger treats for the buds of taste included the Salmon Burger with chopped salmon, spinach, pickled kohlrabi, pickled onion, and roasted leek mayo.

The Lamb Burger was another palate-pleaser with a medium rare lamb patty adorned with Emmental cheese, pickled eggplant, pickled onions, Greek yogurt with cumin, and harissa mayo. Harissa is a classic Moroccan seasoning, a spicy red blend of chilies, cumin and garlic.

Even the ubiquitous cheeseburger was elevated to new heights in the form of the Drama's Angus beef patty presented with cheddar cheese (or blue-veined, if you prefer) topped with salad, tomatoes, pickles, white onion, and chipotle mayo.

Several side dishes were ordered by the table; one of the best being the deep fried avocado, but the onion rings ran a close second. Both were served with a side ramekin of savory chipotle mayo.

There are several desserts offered and our party chose two to share: Red Velvet with berries and ice cream, and the very unique Chocolate Rocky that was a spitting image of a sausage bound with chef's twine. The coating was actually confectioner's sugar around cookies and dark chocolate. Both desserts were memorable.

Our party split the bill and for two people the tab was a pleasing $54.21. Of course, we tacked on an additional 20% for the lovely Marissa.

I wasn't prepared to be dazzled by a burger joint, but dazzled I was.

Drama Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 
Lithuanian-based boutique burger
Lithuanian-based boutique burger

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