Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Lunch at De Vrije Burger, Stellenbosch

We did go and visit one new restaurant before Christmas, Bertus Basson's burger house in Plein Street in central Stellenbosch. Die Vrije Burger - it's a play on words, it’s named after the original Free Burgers in the Cape in the 17th Century and fits nicely into Bertus' concept! (And no, these burgers are not free). It is already popular with the students and locals and tourists, offering just one thing, a very good burger, with accompaniments, chips and a soft serve ice cream cone to finish. We do like his witty logo
The seating is minimal, some outside in good weather, under shelter and some inside. All are on high chairs which were not the most comfortable we have ever sat on, but perhaps that is to encourage you to move along quickly? Trade and service are brisk
The open and on-view kitchen is shiningly clean and well organised by the fully trained staff
The 200g pure beef burgers on the grill with the buns toasting alongside. We saw a delivery of buns while we were there and if the numbers delivered at lunch time are anything to go by, they sell a lot of burgers
A message from the chef
The simple menu is on a board, you choose, place your order and take your seat while they cook them for you. It did not take long to get our order and we got a good seat in the window. Notice that the ice cream comes free with the order of every burger. There is a small but good wine list and two craft beers
Lots of take away orders too
Your order comes packed in one paper bag, so you can pack up the detritus in the bag when you have finished and put it into their recycling bin. Saves on mess. We like this very much
The burgers are huge, very juicy. The meat is of excellent quality and you can order them cooked medium rare, medium or well done according to your taste. We didn't do any extras this time, we just wanted to taste the standard burger. We shared one portion of the Potato Tjips, which had been double fried and were nice and crisp, and one portion (6) of the spiced onion fritters, which are gram flour Indian badjis; light, spicy and delicious. And with this large and very satisfying meal, we both had the Windpomp lager. Our bill came to R310 with service. We were done in less than an hour and the parking - almost outside, but then the students were on vacation - cost us about R6.50 It can be tricky to find but there are public parking garages a short walk away
When you order burgers, you are issued with these tokens
Which you then exchange for your free soft serve ice cream
Which can be topped with crunchy hundreds and thousands. (Bertus, can we possibly suggest some chocolate sprinkles as a less crunchy substitute?) Do go and try it for yourself
Or if you really want to go big, have another of Bertus' famous burgers, his Wagyu Cheese Burger at The Deck on the dam at Hidden Valley Wine farm. No reservations required, but it is weather dependent. You will need reservations at Overture, Bertus Basson's fine dining restaurant at Hidden Valley, see our recent review
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