Food & Drink

Mysterious Charlie Burger is blogging from East Africa

Mysterious Charlie Burger is blogging from East Africa
Nairobi’s Carnivore Restauarnt: abandon hope all vegetarians who enter here (Photo by Paul Brockmeyer)

While the identity of Charlie Burger remains a mystery (most locals speculate that he’s a composite of T.O. restaurant people), the man behind covert “anti-restaurant” Charlie’s Burgers has posted a culinary itinerary of his recent trip to Africa. Burger, identified here as a nonagenarian Dutchman who settled in Toronto in 1999, was accompanied by Madame Burger on a culinary-inspired tour of Kenya, preceded by a stopover in Qatar. The foods sampled were decidedly less risqué than one would expect from the individual responsible for a menu featuring queen ant Thai salad and worm risotto. Sashimi from Jean-Georges’ upscale Spice Market or pastries from Gaston Lenotre’s Doha aren’t wildly audacious choices. Even the infamous Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi, known for its wild game meats, was only able to dish up some crocodile and ostrich—kind of exotic, but would it dazzle one of Charlie’s own carefully screened customers?

More unusual fare was found among the locals, who also dine on antelope, camel, guinea fowl and other game. Perhaps Burger—whoever he/they is/are—will bring some of these recipes back to Toronto for a future anti-restaurant menu. After all, he’s clearly enamoured of Hogtown, revelling in the chance to meet Four Seasons Toronto’s former chef Prakash Seetul (now at Spice Market) and to compare pizza from Yul’s in Mombasa to one available on Adelaide (“almost as good as Terroni").

Charlie (of Charlie’s Burgers infamy) visits East Africa: A Culinary Itinerary [Good Food Revolution]


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