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Burger Week: Volta

The Bird is no longer the only word – Exberliner's Burger Week continues! Day two sees whether trendy gastro-pub Volta's eponymous burger lives up to the hype.

Image for Burger Week: Volta
Photo by Christophe Gruny

Clubby Wedding gastro-pub Volta has garnered a decent reputation for its ostentatiously presented burgers, but does the saucy creation really impress?

For more fun in a bun, check out day one of Exberliner’s Burger Week! 

The public housing company Degewo has been trying to primp up that ugly just-north-of-Mitte stretch of Brunnenstraße in Wedding with trendy fashion ateliers for years. And now the area has its first über-trendy restaurant, a bar/diner in a stand-alone glass-fronted pavilion. The owners of Volta followed the Berlin club interior decorator’s handbook to a T when remodelling the place: exposed concrete, ventilation ducts, a horseshoe bar, comfy booths. And beware: it’s the kind of place where male friends of the male staff casually park their vintage racing bikes against the bar. A Jazzanova-esque soundtrack generates a pleasant early evening mood.

We’d heard rumours about Volta’s great burgers, and its credibility was further boosted by the fact that Cookies Cream’s head chef co-owned the place. So we gave it a try.

The Volta Burger (€9.50) is, reassuringly, “100 percent beef”. Like most stuff at Volta, it’s pretentiously served on a rectangular piece of slate, with a large pile of homemade fries, a couple of onion rings and a Spreewald pickle for good measure. It’s topped with bacon, rocket, tomato and cheddar. So far, so good. The problem comes with the sauce, a rather overblown take on BBQ. It’s so packed with sweet, salty and smoky flavours that a Whopper would feel flavourless in comparison. There was much too much of it to really be able to taste the meat – which didn’t look that bad at all. To make things worse, everything was just overwhelmingly salty, including the ultra-thin-cut crunchy fries (also available as a separate snack, €4).

In short, it’s junk food in a stylish gastro-pub environment. Volta did score some plus points: the unfiltered Eschenbräu beer (see page 15) and free tap water at the bar. But its cash-only policy – not surprising for a clubby place like this – was a major minus.

Originally published in Issue #118, July/August 2013.