Monday, 23 May 2016

A few thoughts about Kalamaja Days 2016


We heard the speaker on the stage thanking the sponsors: a bank, a few real estate companies..
Some would say a development like this is inevitable.
We would say a development like this will lead to the early demise of Kalamaja Days.

What's up with all the burgers? Seriously people, WTF is up with all the burgers? Don't you have any imagination? Pretty please, with brown sugar on top, make something else. Really.

How many people sold 1 EUR waffles? ONE EURO waffles with no filling whatsoever?! Apparently a waffle press is a money press. Absurd.

One sliced potato on a stick? For how much? What is this, a country fair for the mentally retarded?

The falafel of Elujanu was excellent. Fresh and lovely. Always glad to see them.

Wine-bar TIKS had a tap outside.. with Leffe in it. Very nice!

Later we got some more beers from Rimi.

In a courtyard in Kopli street we found some curry. Seemed like a perfect addition to the fumes present in the belly from Saturday night! Alas, it was not to be. SlapSlop (who we have seen before selling home-made kimchi and  gazpacho) seem to have nicked the idea of curries from the established old-timers Karriklubi, only to fail quite miserably. A "curry" like this is OK from a regular working day lunch place for 3 EUR, but not for 6 EUR (or was it even 7?) that we paid for it. No basmati or jasmine rice, just the most regular kind, a few small pieces of chicken, the only noticeable spices being chilly and coriander. Boo.

In the same courtyard we found Hää Kraam ice cream. The caramel and salt flavoured one was absolutely superb, probably one of the very best ice creams we have eaten in the last year or so. The raspberry flavoured one was a lot less interesting. Still decent though.

Õunavabrik had some pretty damn good chokeberry wine.

Köie 1b courtyard had some fabulous coffee that came with a free plastic clip. To close the coffee bag, although we can think of a few more uses.

Two lovely ladies (LADIES!!) had set up their tables in the courtyard of the (now long defunct) Art Depoo. The kilu sandwiches and salmon pastries were all rather good but the unquestionable pièce de résistance was the Muffuletta: a Italian - New Orleanian (is that a word?) sandwich containing loads of olive salad, ham, mozzarella and other goodies. And that all for only 2 Euro, which when compared to the simplistic cr*p we encountered on the previous day was an absolute bargain! Ladies, please return the next year!

TOPS had beer.


Monday, 11 May 2015

Dereku Burger

Derek, the Great Papa of Estonian street food scene and most likely the only one who's fame deservedly has spread to all corners of the country, and (on a regular basis) to the pages of mainstream mass media.
Derek (who's born in Canada, in case you didn't know) started out on the mean streets of Kuressaare, serving burgers all through the night to the drunk and hungry party goers. Local legend tells us about the local alcoholics who were mightily impressed by Derek's burger, since its nutritional value allowed them to skip breakfast altogether and commence with drinking right away in the morning!
Back then there was only one burger on the menu, namely Dereku Originaal, which is still on the menu today, only nowadays the menu has expanded to no less than 10 burgers, including the Trout/Caviar burger, surely the most exclusive burger available anywhere in this country!
Of course these days Dereku Burger joint is no longer a simple table, but a cozy semi-cellar type establishment right in the beating heart of Old Tallinn, complete with an open air terrace on the roof!
Not only are Derek's burgers excellent, his take on burgers is also original and clearly his own distinct recipes, containing such superb ingredients as free range Estonian beef (from farms in Saaremaa and Raplamaa), in-house blended spice mixes, locally bred trout etc. Also worth mentioning are the rather reasonable prices, for example for extra 2 Euros you can have an additional patty, which makes the burger positively humongous, while still being cheaper than comparable burgers at some other burger establishments in Tallinn.
And then there is Pihtla beer. This legendary brew hails from Saaremaa and it predates the current hipster craft beer craze by many years, having its roots firmly in the age old Estonian tradition of brewing beer at home. Try it, its tasty and dangerous.

All in all, Dereku Burger is most certainly one of the very best street food joints in Tallinn, so it goes without saying that we definitely recommend it wholeheartedly!

Dereku Burger on Facebook
Dereku Burger on Instagram 

That's the place!

Nice door!

A terrace on the roof? Cozy!

Check the Menu!

Fleur (Derek's better half) is happy to feed you

There is more than just burgers!

A bum with a plastic bag can't believe his luck!  (Ok, thats actually Derek himself..)

Dereku Originaal burger 

Mmm, tasty. Pihtla beer at the background

 Ooh, massive!

The vegetarians don't have to go hungry either, a veggie burger with lots of beet!

Harley Davidson burger

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bueno Gourmet

Päris mehhiko toit! Siin Tallinnas?! Ja veel päris "food truck"? Kuidas see võimalik on, meil on ju siin tobedad seadused, mis toidubussi pidamise peaaegu võimatuks teevad?!
Vot, aga vaatamata sellele üks kangelaslik härra ikkagi eelmine aasta avas toidubussi ja siiani toimetab edukalt.
Jorge (kes on juhuslikult ka üks sõbralikumaid isikuid keda me kunagi kohanud oleme) on tegelikult Tšiilist, aga ta elas umbes 20 aastat San Diegos, USAs. Ja nagu te tõenäoliselt teate, on San Diego otse Mehhiko piiri ääres.
Hetkel on Bueno Gourmet menüül neli asja: Bueno Hamburger (Jorge variant klassikalisest hamburgerist), Churrasco (veiseliha võiku, äärmiselt populaarne Tšiilis), Fajitas de Pollo (klassikalised mehhiko kanafajitad) ja Lomito (põhimõtteliselt sealiha-avokaado-tomati burks). Ja kõik on äärmiselt maitsvad!
Üks suur pluss toidubussi puhul on muidugi see, et neil pole kaelas kallist üüri, mis peegeldub ka hindades: kõige kallim asi Bueno Gourmet menüül on 4.80 maksev Churrasco, kõik ülejäänud toidud on 3.80. Suurepärane!

Äramainismist väärib ka bussi kõrval seisev, toidusaaliks ümberehitatud merekonteiner, nii et ka kehva ilmaga saab seal suhteliselt mugavalt fajitasid nautida.


Real Mexican food alert! Right here in Tallinn! A real food truck as well? How is that possible, with the ridiculous anti-streetfood laws that make operating a food truck in Tallinn nigh-on impossible?
Well, despite of all that, one heroic man opened a food truck last year and is still going strong.
Jorge (who also happens to be one of the friendliest guys we have ever met) is actually from Chile, but he lived in San Diego, USA for 20 years. And as you all probably know, San Diego is right at the Mexican border, so the Mexican connection is real enough!
At the moment the menu of Bueno Gourmet consists of four items: Bueno Hamburger (Jorges take on the classical burger), Churrasco (a beef sandwich popular in Chile), Fajitas de Pollo (pretty much self-explanatory) and Lomito (basically a pork-avocado-tomato burger). All of them are rather good!
One big plus that a food truck has over a regular brick and mortar establishment is that the operator(s) can keep the prices that much lower, since there is no expensive rent that inevitably would be reflected in the prices. Consequently the most expensive item on Bueno Gourmets menu is 4.80 (that being the Churrasco), everything else is 3.80. Excellent!

Another neat thing is that next to his bus is a sea container converted to a small dining area. So even with crappy weather you can still enjoy your fajitas in comfort.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Lehe Brewery beer presentation at Estonian Burger Factory

This time, dear readers, not a review but a short report of a rather nice happening that took place at Estonian Burger Factory yesterday.
Namely, the nice folks of Lehe Brewery came over to present their new beer "32. August".
Now, I am not going to try to describe its taste (after all, this is not a beer blog), suffice to say that it is good and another brew of theirs, namely "Blackmouth Cur", just happens to be one of my favourites from all the offerings currently available from various Estonian breweries.

Being one of the pillars (perhaps even THE pillar) of Estonian burger scene, Estonian Burger Factory needs no introduction. One thing that we absolutely need to report though is that nowadays they also serve steak, and a bloody excellent steak it is too! Not to mention the far lower price than what you would have to pay for a similar piece of meat in a regular steakhouse. 

So the moral of this story is: Keep your eyes open, kids! You too can visit such excellent happenings in Tallinn!

Friday, 19 December 2014


PS! Update 2016:

Hotokas, mida on kirjeldatud allolevas arvustuses, ei eksisteeri enam. Praegusel Hotokal on uued omanikud ja täiesti erinev menüü.

Hotokas, as it is described below, does not exist anymore. Hotokas nowadays has new owners and a completely different menu.

Lõpuks ometi korralikud hot dogid Tallinnas! Mingil kummalisel põhjusel pole see, läänemaailmas nii ülimalt populaarne, snäkk Eesti turul veel esindatud olnud (see õnnetus mis saadaval teatud bensiinijaamades ei vääri märkimist).
See tähendab, kuni praeguseni.
Hotokas (Toompuiestee 16) pakub suhteliselt laia menüüd erinevatest hot dogidest: Chillidog, guacamole dog, klassikaline dog jne. Kõigile peaks seal midagi maitse järgi olema ja (väga sõbralik) neiu leti taga mainis et menüü on laienemas, nii et veelgi rohkem huvitavaid variante on tulekul.
Samas kui iga järgiahvija meie kaunis linnas avab oma burksi kohta (et inkasseerida selliste kohtade nagu Estonian Burger Factory ja Dineri ilmselge edu pealt), on Hotoka inimesed valinud auväärse Koera.
Ja see on väga hea asi!
Koerad on suurepärased. Veise-sea-põdravorst on õige tekstuuri ja krõmpsuga, sai on kvaliteetne ja muud täidised (proovisime chillit ja guacamolet) kvaliteetsed ja maitsekad.
Isegi hinnad on vägagi mõistlikud, eriti kui võrrelda mõne uue burksi kohaga.
Tähelepanu soovitame pöörata ka väga korralikule õllevalikule.
Nii et kokkuvõttes: soovitame soojalt!

PS: Neil on KÕIGE paremad friikad Tallinnas!


At last a decent hot dog in Tallinn! For some strange reason this particular snack, while so popular and ubiquitous in the West, has so far failed to appear in Estonia (we are not going to mention that sorry excuse available at certain gas stations).
That is, until now.
Hotokas (Toompuiestee 16) has a rather extensive menu of hot dogs: Chillidog, guacamole dog, classic dog etc. There should be something for everyone and apparently the menu is expanding, so more interesting variations to come.
While every copycat in town is busy opening their own burger joint (to cash in on the obvious success of Estonian Burger Factory and Diner), the people behind Hotokas have chosen the venerable Dog.
And that is a very good thing indeed!
The dogs are excellent. The beef-pork-elk sausage has the right texture and crunchiness, the bun is of high quality and the toppings (we tried chilly and guacamole) are top notch.
Even the prices are very reasonable, especially when compared to some of the burger joints around.
A special mention has to go to the rather excellent choice of beers.
So all in all: highly recommended!

PS: They have the BEST french fries in Tallinn!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Chi Asian Food – Takeaway

Solarise keskuses.

Mina: "Paluks kaasa ühed nuudlid veiselihaga"
Tülpinud näoga neiu: "Vjeiseljiha jej jole"
Mina: "Aga ülejäänud asjad menüü peal on olemas?"
Tülpinud näoga neiu: "(Sügav ohe) Vjaata"

Kas ma tellisin midagi muud?
Tellisin ma jee..


In Solaris Shopping Center

Me: "Noodles with beef to go, please"
Peevish looking young lady: "Wje hjave njo bjeef"
Me: "And all the other stuff on the menu you do have?"
Peevish looking young lady: "(Deep sigh) Ljook"

Did I order anything else?
Nope, I ordered f*ck all..

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Estonian Burger Factory


Viimase aasta jooksul on elu Tallinnas tunduvalt keerulisemaks läinud.. heas mõttes. Rohkem valikut!
Kui suhteliselt hiljuti oli Tallinnas põhimõtteliselt kõigest üks korralik burgerikoht, siis nüüd on meil kolm: Diner, Dereku Burger ja Estonian Burger Factory. Ja jutt ümber lõkke räägib, et õige pea avatakse veel üks.

Estonian Burger Factory's (Pärnu mnt 41a) tegutseb Martin, ehk siis väidetavasti SEE isik, kes kvaliteetburgeri meie kauni linna näljaste massideni üldse tõi.
Kas see tähendab et tema burksid on parimad?

Tänase seisuga ongi nii, et parim medium-miinus burger, mida ma eales maitsunud olen, ongi Estonian Burger Factory's. Siin ei ole odavama liha varianti, kasutusel on ainult parim Liivimaa lihaveis ja ka kõik teised komponendid on topp kvaliteet kraam. Kotlet ei ole liiga lahja (ma pole dieedil!), vaid täpselt õieti mahlane ning perfektse struktuuri ja maitsega. Isegi suurus on õige keskmisele meesterahvale kellel üle-keskmise isu.

Koht ise näeb ka väga hubane välja ning funktsioneerib suurepäraselt ka mõnusa baarina, kus sõpradega õlle libistades nii mõnegi tunnikese toredalt veeta saab.

Nii et, ilma pikema jututa: mine!


Within this year life in Tallinn became a little bit harder.. in a good way! More choice!
Whereas not that long ago there was only one decent burger place in Tallinn, now we have three:
Diner, Dereku Burger and Estonian Burger Factory. And apparently another one will join their ranks soon.

Estonian Burger Factory (Pärnu mnt 41a) is operated by Martin, arguably THE guy who introduced a quality burger to hungry masses of our lovable town.
Does that mean that his burgers are the best?

To this day this is the place where I have tasted the best made medium-rare burger of.. umm.. anywhere basically. There is no cheap meat option here, every burger is crafted from the best Liivimaa beef and other ingredients are all top shelf stuff as well. The patty is not overly lean (I'm not on a diet!) but just exactly perfectly juicy with spot-on texture and taste. Even the size is right for a average sized male with over-sized appetite.

The place itself looks great as well, in fact it can easily double as a great bar where you stay with your friends for hours, have a few beers and even more burgers.

So without further ado: Go there!