I know Munich gets a bad rap from time to time, but it’s a beautiful place to live. The proximity to the Alps, the beautiful clear lakes that make wild swimming a dream, the city’s cleanliness, its architecture, its parks. And the summers are glorious – picnics and ice creams by the Isar, shady beer gardens and excellent cycle paths.
But I get why people dislike Munich. There are plenty of things that irk me about the Bavarian capital. The lack of colour and creativity in peoples’ clothing, a general snobbery and arrogance that comes from living in a wealthy, predominately white/not particularly multicultural Western city, Münchners’ fondness for complaining, and flashing wealth in a wholly uncreative way (nice cars, fake breasts and Michael Kors handbags).
Burger & Lobster Bank was everything I hate about Munich.
I met up with Sasha and Annka a couple of weeks ago having vaguely heard good things about BLB. I’ve never been to Burger & Lobster in London, but I was expecting something similar (they do a whole grilled lobster for 20 pounds). And, well, as a burger joint, I was expecting to be able to show up in jeans and a t-shirt and for that to be completely acceptable.
Thankfully for me, Sasha and Annka were just as unprepared for our evening as I was – we were all dressed casually. Too casually for a Munich burger restaurant. We were made to wait half an hour for our reserved table, and were offered no apology when we were finally seated (others without reservations had been seated before us). Annka kicked up a bit of a fuss and we were offered a glass of bubbly each, but only after she’d said something.
The cheapest burger is a simple cheeseburger for 12.50 €. As a rare night out away from the baby, I splashed out 21.50 € for the BLB – a burger with lobster cocktail. That’s without fries (3.90 € for a portion of regular fries). A small beer cost 4 €, cocktails were all over 10 €.
And the burgers were good. Really good, in fact. Not worth the price tag, but pretty tasty.
We looked around to see women in short skirts eating burgers with knives and forks. Businessmen with their Porsche car keys resting on the table. One girl had been given a massive canvas photograph of her and her friends at Oktoberfest and was trying to look thrilled. It was awful.
And so we came to pay. The waiter thrust the bill at us, and when he showed up twenty minutes later and we asked to pay separately, he asked if we’d already calculated what we owe. I wish I’d told him that was his job, but I was pretty gobsmacked that he was quite that cheeky.
The only upside to the evening was that I got to spend a few hours with two wonderful friends, and listen to their tales of travel and the world of academia. Oh, and Sasha brought me the world’s best beer back from Belgium, so in a way, it was all worth it.