I know good burgers. Nearly two decades state-side will do that to a girl. So trust me when I tell you that Lumberjack has the best burgers in Moscow.
Moscow has no shortage of burger joints and I have tried plenty: from the relatively new-to-Moscow Shake Shack, to BB & Burgers (the first two Bs stand for Beer and Buns) – kind of an upscale fast food where they put cranberry preserves and guacamole on their beef, to the mid-range pub Corner Burger, to Goodman Steakhouse, where they charged nearly $30 (pre-ruble crash) for a beef burger and then EXTRA!!! for toppings like cheese and bacon, and many more. Lumberjack is unequivocally the best of the bunch.
First of all, when they say they ‘cook to order,’ they really mean it. Russians are sketchy about undercooking meat, and until the post-Soviet proliferation of western-style restaurants most beef was served well-well-well-done. At Lumberjack, they don’t blink an eye when you order your mean medium-rare. The patty is perfectly seasoned and so juicy, it’s almost like biting into a ripe fruit – I never needed a touch of either ketchup, mayo or mustard.
Then there’s a question of burger composition. While stacked tall with seemingly outsized buns, a Lumberjack burger in fact compresses into an easy to hold, easy to eat package, with perfectly proportional distribution of toppings (my favorite is the blue cheese and onion rings combo).
And lastly, Lumberjack is just a great bar. Now, Moscow has plenty of bars but few proper barkeeps. You have the low-key guys and gals who will pour you a pint, and you have your “cocktail artists” who would like a medal for knowing how to mix an Old Fashioned (though not a proper dry vodka martini, STILL). Neither kind is likely to talk to you. This is what Lumberjack staff does differently: they really engage with their customers, especially if you sit at the bar. They also have encyclopedic knowledge of different liquors, down to folklore surrounding them. That’s how they tempted me into trying polugar, the “legendary” Russian rye wine that’s as strong as vodka – on the house, at that!
And of course, befitting its name, dark liquors, plaids and beards abound. I might not be a fan of Lumbersexual, but I love me some Lumberjack. Lumberjack Bar: Bol’shoy Spasoglinishchevskiy pereulok 3 STR 5