Some people say you shouldn’t review a restaurant too soon after opening, and that you should give it three months, or even longer, to let the place ‘get up to speed.’
I don’t agree, actually. As long as the customers are paying full price, it’s fair game.
But no one could say I didn’t give Peter’s Burger Pub enough time to get its act together. I gave it a whole year, to be exact. I finally got round to trying it just before its first birthday. This wasn’t for any real reason, other than that I’ve had a touch of burger fatigue with the huge number of ‘gourmet’ burger joints opening up around the city in the past year.
It didn’t help that the place was getting mixed reviews, and when I saw it ranked 23rd out of 26th on Brewsta’s Burger list last year it fell onto the long list of places I’m just not interested enough to visit.
But then, I stumbled across Peter’s Burger Pub on damejidlo.cz and decided to give it a chance. Their buy-one-burger-get-one-half-price offer (every Saturday, Sunday and Monday) might have slightly influenced my decision to order.
We noticed the English and Czech descriptions of the ‘Tuned Sniper’ burger didn’t match up, so went with the Czech, and it turned out to be the right one. However, in neither language did it mention that we’d get something this massive.
The Tuned Sniper is the “flagship” burger at Peter’s Burger Pub. It’s a combination of double bacon cheeseburger and nacho plate in one, with nachos, chilli mayo, black bean sauce, tomatoes, lettuce and fried onion. Needless to say, it’s best eaten with a knife and fork to avoid dislocating your jaw.
The double patty was grilled nicely, slightly charred on the outside, and slightly pink in the middle. Sadly the meat was a too dense and fatty for the burger to claim ‘gourmet’ status. The bun was big and strangely chewy. The nicely garlicky black bean sauce was very tasty, though, and nachos on a burger… well, I’m not complaining.
I suppose we should have probably guessed it was a double when we ordered, with it being almost twice the price of the Simply Classic beef burger, which was just 106kc, without any sides. I also ordered some of their homemade french fries (39kc) which were crunchy, well seasoned, fresh and homemade.
The classic burger was much more manageable. The meat was fatty again. The bun was quite chewy again. There was tomato, onion, Gouda cheese and pickle. This is the version of the classic burger with chicken breast, which was tender and quite juicy. It came with all the same toppings.
All of these burgers came with dark leaf lettuce, which I find a bit odd on a burger, and Anglicka slanina, or “English bacon”, which I personally really don’t like at all (and not just because the name is frankly an insult – the rubbery texture puts me right off.)
Still, we enjoyed it and thought it was very good value, so ordered delivery again a week or so later.
The turkey and avocado wrap with sour cream, tomato and lettuce was huge and pretty tasty, but there was one problem – they forgot the avocado. That was pretty disappointing.
This was with steak chips instead of french fries. They were more like potato wedges, also homemade and not bad.
Here’s the veggie burger. Less of a burger, more of a large pile of different vegetables – pepper, mushroom, tomato, aubergine and lentils. You definitely can’t pick this up and eat it with your hands, and most of the bun ended up uneaten, although the veggies had plenty of flavour.
There didn’t seem to be an option to order any sauce. We got coleslaw with some things, which was fine but nothing special. However I’ve never had coleslaw that I’ve liked anywhere in this country, so maybe this is just me. As with this one, I always find it too dry, soft and just lacking in flavour.
A few weeks later, I finally went to visit the place. I never have any reason to be in Karlin and it was much more out of my way than usual that day, but still, a friend and I decided we really wanted to go anyway. So we made the long trip to Karlin for a burger.
When we got there my first impression was that it looked quite cosy from the outside, but it didn’t feel cosy when we entered. We got a grunt from the guy behind the counter when we entered – but he didn’t go so far as to look up, or smile, or say anything. It wasn’t the warmest welcome. There was no music and the few customers were talking in hushed voices. It didn’t feel very pub-like. Actually, it was dead.
Then, before we could sit down, a stressed-looking waitress rushed over to inform us that the kitchen was closed. I thought I’d misunderstood, since it was only 9pm. She repeated it, this time in English. I hadn’t misunderstood.
I didn’t check the opening times, but then, I hadn’t even considered there being the possibility that a burger place, especially one with “pub” in the name, would close at 9pm. Perhaps ‘burger bistro’ would be more fitting. A later check online revealed their official closing time to be 10pm, so checking wouldn’t have helped me anyway.
I guess I expected too much from a restaurant in the middle of a capital city. It was a Sunday, but I’ve never known a restaurant to close its kitchen before 10, Sunday or not – well, not counting small-town Chinese takeaways, or places that cater primarily for the over 60’s ‘early bird special’ crowd, anyway. It was very off-putting, and just gave the impression that their only interest is in going home as early as possible. Not in, you know, food, or making money…
Disappointed and hungry, we headed for the nearest place we knew instead: Carllinno pizzeria next to the Krizikova metro station. It’s just a local Italian place, nothing fancy, but being half-starved by then I couldn’t have been happier with the tasty, fresh pizza which arrived in a flash, and even with a smile.
Five minutes after we sat down, the place really started filling up with people. Maybe they’d all been turned away from Peter’s Burger Pub, too. There are definitely plenty of people in the area who want to eat a little later. When we left just after 10 the place was packed, and they were still taking orders.
Sadly, I probably won’t be back to try Peter’s Burger Pub again. We felt pretty let down. I rarely go to Karlin for anything else, the food isn’t impressive enough to warrant another special trip, and the early closing just gave the impression that they don’t care. There are so many better places serving better burgers, which actually seem to want business and try to make their customers feel welcome.
Peter’s Burger Pub
Pernerova 32/10, Karlin