Binge on!

Debarati Palit Singh
Friday, 26 April 2019

The Burger Barn Cafe has opened their latest outlet in Baner. The food, ambiance and feel are both vibrant and pleasant

Pune is called the Oxford of the East because of the huge student community residing here. To cater to them, many eating and hangout joints have mushroomed in the city. One of them is The Burger Barn Cafe. This popular eating joint has now opened its newest outlet in Baner. Staying true to its essence, this one too is vibrant and happening. 

The ambience
When we dropped in at the Baner outlet on a Thursday evening, we found young people cracking jokes, chuckling over fresh fries, burgers and beers. As we walked through the long passage to enter the restaurant, our attention was drawn to the colourful posters on the wall. What really caught our fancy was the huge wall painting of the WTF Burger, their most popular offering. The painting had listed the names of all the ingredients used to make the 12 inch burger! 

The restaurant area looked funfilled with black and white checkered floors and bright walls. The owners — Pawan Nandwani and Jeevnit Chawla, welcomed us with a warm smile. Settling at a table in the centre, we couldn’t help but admire the youthful interiors. The bar was at one corner, while the game area at the other. 

The highlight of the seating area was definitely the entrance to the washroom. An old telephone booth was placed at the entrance of the washroom; one has to walk through the booth to enter it. When we complimented Nandwani, he said, “We did not hire any interior designer but designed the place ourselves. You will see a lot of recycled stuff here. Like the tin barrels which we have used as planters. One of them will be repurposed as a grill; we plan to introduce it in our menu in the future.” 

Outside, the IPL match was being screened on a big screen and music was playing in the background. 

For party people
Nandwani also talked about Barn Lounge which is more conducive to private parties. The interiors of the Lounge have a more sophisticated look and a party theme running in the decor with sofas and tables on wheels. 

Their patrons
Nandwani said that the 150 seater restaurant caters to everybody — students, working professionals and families too. “We primarily cater to 18-30-year-olds. But because we have been around for 10 years, there is that nostalgia factor. People who used to visit us during their college days, now come with their families. So youngsters and middle aged people also drop in,” said Nandwani, adding, “Our prices  are pocket-friendly keeping in mind the young  crowd. Our USP is good quality food at an affordable price.” 

The menu
For those who are unaware of The Burger Barn Cafe, they opened their first outlet in 2009 at Koregaon Park followed by one at Ghole Road. Their focus is on fast food items. Apart from Burgers, they also serve nuggets, fries, wedges, salads, pasta, sandwiches, ice cream, milk shakes, rolls, hot dogs and alcohol. 

“The food matches the Indian palate, it’s not overtly Western or Indian,” Nandwani said, adding, “We have a centralised kitchen, so the taste of the all dishes is the same at all our outlets.” 

The menu itself resembles a Berliner newspaper and is called ‘The Burger Barn Times’. They serve burger in Fiery, Desi, Mexican, Italian, Japanese Teriyaki and Satay style. Nandwani said that The Burger Barn Cafe is famous for their WTF burgers and their WTF challenge. “We tell patrons that if they finish eating the burger with ultimate fries under 30 minutes, we will put their picture on the wall of frame. And if they finish it under 15 minutes, we will give their money back because they deserve it. So far, the wall of fame at this outlet is empty,” he added. 

He guided us with the order too. For starters, we ordered Vanilla Thick Shake, Barn Ultimate Fries and Barn Buffalo Chicken Bites. The Vanilla Thick Shake was sweet and refreshing. Barn Ultimate Fries were topped with spicy seasoning, cheese, grilled onion and their special home-made sauce. The cheese quickly melted in mouth. It was slightly on the spicy side, but we didn’t mind it. 

The Barn Buffalo Chicken Bite, as the name suggests, is inspired by the famous American diner, Buffalo Wild Wings. The tender deep fried chicken was coated with Buffalo style sauce and served with garlic mayo sauce. We loved every bite of it as the spicy Buffalo sauce and the subtle garlic mayo sauce perfectly balanced the dish.

On Nandwani’s recommendation, we ordered the Mega Barn Burger. The Chicken patty was topped with an egg, salami, cheese and lettuce. The burger was non spicy but tasty and filling. We were trying egg poach with burger for the first time, and loved it. 

By the time we finished dinner and started retiring for home, it was 10.30 pm. The young patrons were still enjoying their games and conversations though.
Next time, when we plan to have a casual night out, we know where to head. 

ST Reader Service
The Burger Barn Cafe, opposite Green Park Hotel, Laxman Park, Baner Road; Time: 11.30 am to 11.30 pm.
They offer valet parking

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