202 HAMBURGER & DELICIOUS
I work in one of the "food" street of Milan. The street is full of specialized restaurants: the one proposing tapas, the one selling French fries, the one making only toasts.
Each time I've been passing in front of 202, I've been intrigued by the agitation around the place and the presence of those bikers with colorful clothes, I have assumed they were doing lunch delivery. From the outside it's not so easy to understand the name of the place : light font logo on a glass window. I finally figured out it was a burger place.
One day I was in rush for lunch, I decided to go.
When I entered, the place was so small that I could not miss in front of me the counter and a wall with all the explanations about the process. I saw later they were some menu flyers, but I could read easily on the wall the burger selection. I ordered a cheese burger. I got asked if I would like to eat at Carolina’s and just said no. They asked me for my name (starbucks style) and got charged around 9 euros. I always told myself, when eating streetfood, god this is expensive for a sandwich, but I guess time have changed, this is the price to order a sandwich in a big city.
When the waiter asked to the person right after me if he wanted to eat at carolina’s he replied yes. She gave him a kind of trophy with a number, the guy paid and went out with his trophy...
I went to Carolina’s afterwards. People order their burger and then, as the sitting area is limited @202, they go to Carolina’s (same landlord). The kitchen of 202 is connected to the other restaurant by a small window. When the burgers are ready, 202 opens the window, rings a bell. The waiter from Carolina’s take the burger and look for the table with the trophy with the corresponding number. It’s kind of funny. We’re in a process oriented restaurant.
I finally got my burger. I was surprised to see that it was coming with fries (that you can replace with salad).
I liked the look of the burger when removing it from the paper ( I asked it to go). The bread had a yellowish color, I bite it and was surprised again, the bread had a wonderful consistence, it reminded me the French “brioche” or white bread, a bit sweet, moisture, but light. The meat of the burger was medium cooked and the salad fresh. The size of the bread was quite big, the meat a bit less thick than a gourmet burger. But I must say, I really enjoyed it.
The fries could be better, I don’t like when they have this flour consistence, industrial like.
Last time I went to McDonalds, I was shocked by the price of a menu. If you consider 202, for almost the same price, you get a tasty burger and fries, you’re just missing the watery coca cola !
The waiter was nice and I did not wait that much, they’re pretty well organized.
It’s a place I recommend for a lunch break when you're in the area.
And if you go eating at Carolina’s, the experience then becomes really pleasureful thanks to the interior design mood : high ceiling, bricks wall Brooklyn loft style, neon signs, banquettes, big air pipe. You enter the place and feel transported in the US.
To conclude, if one day you’re in the zone for lunch, go to 202, order a burger with this amazing bread, and have sit at Carolina’s, this is a nice experience for 9€ (the least expensive burger is at 7.90€ and the most expensive at 12.50€).
Note : I saw a foodie complaining on the quality of the burger on one specialty site. He was saying no one asked the cooking of the meat and preferred Holy Ham for example. Well I only have been once to both places, so I can’t draw with certainty conclusion on the regularity of the quality or even declare where you can find the best burger in town. For this, I would need to go to Trita, Macinata, Al Mercato, Burber Bee, Polpa, Fatto Bene, Lambic Zoon and this several times. I have other priorities in my "to do" restaurants list :-) But what I know, is that both the bread were home made and the one from 202 was much better.
Of course, the meat of holy ham is “fassona” (premium meat from Piemonte), seasoned with herbs and the steak weights more, but it was dry and missing so much salt I did not enjoy it. Plus if I remember well, Holy Ham is a bit more expensive.
So I prefer to compare with a 9€ menu in Mc Donalds : do we complain to Mc Donalds when they don't ask us how we would like it cooked ?... I guess 202 is more fastfood than restaurant on this aspect and that's all, I go there not to wait too long.
address: Corso di Porta Ticinese 6, Milano
tel: +39 02 8366 0635
website : www.202hamburger.com