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Mama’s in Grafenwoehr puts emphasis on best part of burger: the beef

An Italian cheeseburger and sweet potato fries from Mama's Fresh Streetfood Company in Weiden, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019.

MARTIN EGNASH/STARS AND STRIPES

By MARTIN EGNASH | Stars and Stripes | Published: October 24, 2019

Europe has some great food, but there are some things America does much better. Hamburgers is one of them.

I find it hard to get a really good burger on this side of the pond. I’ve tried burgers from the U.K. to Ukraine and found most of them to be mediocre.

Most European burgers have too-big buns, which is not something I usually complain about. But I find having too much bun often takes away from the flavor of the meat. And meat, not buns, is what burgers are about, right?

For a long time, I considered the best burger joint in Europe to be a tiny, greasy hole in the wall in the Czech Republic called “New York Burger.” The patties are delicious, the buns don’t take away from the meat, and they have a secret sauce that’s pretty great. And I love that they named themselves after New York, which is not famous for its hamburgers.

But if you’re in the Grafenwoehr area, you don’t have to drive across the Czech border to taste great burgers.

One of the best burgers I’ve had in Europe was from a small red shack on the side of the road by a home improvement store in Grafenwoehr. The place is called Mama’s Fresh Streetfood, and their beef is the best.

Mama’s doesn’t look like much on the outside, but there’s more to this roadside shack than meets the eye.

All of their meat is regionally sourced, high-quality beef. They get a daily supply of fresh beef, and when it runs out they stop serving burgers. In fact, their closing hours are almost meaningless, as most days they just close whenever they run out of fresh meat.

In fact, their hours are extremely exclusive. It’s like they don’t even want your business. They’re only open three days a week, and sometimes Saturday.

I get the impression that this is more like the owner’s hobby than a regular business. But the passion really shows.

The thick patties have just the right amount of fat and are jam-packed with flavor.

There are only a few types of burgers, but that’s enough.

I tried the Italian burger, a thick beef patty seasoned with some mild dressing and lots of vegetables. It was fantastic.

I also sampled the Bud Spencer, a barbecue, bacon double cheeseburger, which is absolutely too much meat, but it’s so good you can’t stop eating.

The regular cheeseburgers look great, as do the jalapeno cheddar burgers, but there’s only so much I can eat before I burst.

A good burger place wouldn’t be worth its salt if it didn’t have good fries, and Mama’s doesn’t disappoint on that front, either.

The fries aren’t good; they’re amazing. They’re crispy, fatty and flavorful. But even more impressive are their sweet potato fries. Not a lot of people do sweet potato fries well. The ones at Mama’s are great.

I highly advise you to give this little place a shot before they sell out of meat for the day. It’s totally worth it.

egnash.martin@stripes.com
Twitter: @Marty_Stripes

 

Address: Regensburger Str. 59, 92637 Weiden in der Oberpfalz
Directions: A 15-minute drive from the Grafenwoehr Training Area, off the B249.
Hours: Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. And every first Saturday of the month, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. But closing times mean nothing — they close for the day when they run out of meat.
Website: mamas-weiden.de
Prices: Burgers are around $7 each.
Dress code: It’s a shack. Wear whatever.

Mama's Fresh Streetfood Company in Weiden, Germany on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. It looks unassuming but serves a great hamburger, just minutes from Grafenwoehr.
MARTIN EGNASH/STARS AND STRIPES

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