Goiko Grill: finally, a real hamburger in Valencia
The hamburger craze in Valencia started long before I arrived several years ago, and it's still going strong. I'm pretty sure I eat more burgers with my friends every year in Valencia than I used to in the US in fact.
The burgers here range from okay to pretty good, with the main complaints being:
- beef that doesn't really taste like beef, because of lots of added Worcestershire sauce or other flavorings
- beef that didn't have the texture of beef: with additives like vegetable fibers, burgers here often have the bouncy texture of sausages, and maintain an industrial cylindrical shape before and after cooking
- bread that is too firm.
With the arrival of Goiko Grill, of all things a Madrid-based chain opened by Venezuelans, we finally have a real, honest-to-goodness burger in the city.
The burger tastes like grilled beef. It has the texture of beef. And it comes on toasted bread that is forgiving when you bite down but is resilient enough to hold its shape until the end.
My first taste of Goiko was their Kevin Bacon burger, an awesome concoction where they mix bacon bits, crunchy onions, and cheese with the ground meat and grill the whole patty. It's a smoky, cheesy, savory charred mass that comes together beautifully in taste, in not in looks.
Every day they feature one of their burgers on their menú del día, which is a good value at 11.50€ with a drink and dessert included, given that their burgers already cost around 11.59€ with just the fries (choice of home style or seasoned thin cut fries, both excellent) .
My second time at Goiko, the burger of the day was the Pigma, with bacon, American cheese, and a fried egg. I liked how they cut out a circle in the bun to accentuate the yolk! This was also excellent, but maybe didn't have the wow of the Kevin Bacon.
With the menú del día, the only two choices for dessert are the Frozen Choiko, and a yogurt mousse on top of a berry coulis. This is a much lighter option, and unlike the Frozen Choiko, it's made to order.
You can also order food to go. I was really impressed by the to-go packaging, even if it's a bit un-environmentally friendly! They actually packed the cold drink separately from the rest of the food to keep it cold (although they could have also put my Frozen Choiko in the drinks bag).
This time I ordered the Chipotle burger - with housemade guacamole and a chipotle sauce, and switched the burger for a chicken breast. The guacamole was nice and chunky, none of the industrial stuff that you can buy in the supermarket, although I would have liked more of a smoky, spicy chipotle flavor. This time I also went for the seasoned fries. I love seasoned fries, and these were no exception!
Most impressive of all was the actual chicken breast. It was a bit yellow, as free-range chicken here tend to be, large, and extremely moist. It was a far cry from the usual fast food chicken which is either moist, but too salty and with a spongy texture due to over-brining, or dry, or is a formed patty of chicken parts and filler.
Finally, I've tried the César con Pollo Crispy, or Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad (I like how Spanish word order is always reverse!). This is under their "Ligeritos" section, which is supposed to be "Light," along with another salad with goat cheese, and a "Thai chicken" with mashed potatoes. If you order the menú del día, instead of the burger of the day, you can order one of the "Ligeritos." But rather than being a "lighter" option, you can see here that it's a hefty portion loaded with high quality lettuces, freshly made crispy chicken patty, a Caesar dressing that tastes the way it's meant to taste, croutons, and shredded cheese. It's even a bit too much portion-wise, but I've got to say that finally we have a real entree-size salad in Valencia. I would definitely get this again for lunch or dinner.
Goiko Grill is the first burger place that I can wholeheartedly recommend as a great burger. Not just "good, for Valencia," but a place that delivers a super high standard for burgers, chicken, fries, and salads.
Goiko Grill (www.goikogrill.com)
Reservations highly recommended (I know, it's a burger place, but it is often fully booked ahead of time!)
Calle Martínez Cubells, 4
La Paz, 9