Food trucks are slowly but surely penetrating the Dutch street food scene. And it’s about time! A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my obsession over a food truck downstairs that had been haunting me all week (read here and here). I learned that it was the newly opened Thrill Grill food truck, a food truck serving burgers that were, supposedly, the ‘finest burgers on wheels’. But when I finally got to taste the infamous Thriller burger, I wasn’t completely convinced. Was this the burger everybody else was raving about? Did I just not have the burger everybody else had?
A couple of days ago, Thrill Grill invited me to come over and have a second try of the burger. Joeri and his crew welcomed me in the Thrill Grill food truck, which looks bigger on the inside than it does on the outside. Joeri told me about how the passion for the food truck had started and that, after his traveling in Asia, it was a no-brainer that eventually he would make the bold move of starting his own food truck in the Netherlands.
The Thrill Grill food truck is quite spacious inside. The main attraction is definitely the charcoal grill oven. It’s a man’s toy, really. I could picture every man wanting to fire up this grill for all sorts of meats. The heat that comes out of this oven is amazing. According to Joeri, the charcoal grill oven is what gives the burger that ‘grilled’ edge it needs. I ask Joeri what the perfect burger needs to have. For Joeri, a burger could consist of all sorts of ingredients. But at the end of the day, you want your burger to have great meat (preferably grilled to perfection) great buns and fresh ingredients. Joeri spent months searching for the perfect meat, buns and the burger’s toppings for Thrill Grill. He sat down with Dutch top chef Robert Kranenborg to create the ultimate burger. The whole process took months, almost a year even, until they could finally start up the grill and start grilling their Thriller burgers over a month ago. Now, the Thrill Grill food truck has already gained a massive popularity in Amsterdam. People line up at Amsterdam’s Gustav Mahlerplein, Buiksloterweg or Toren Overhoeks (depending on the day of the week) to take a bit out of their Thriller burger.
Joeri proudly shows Thrill Grill’s perfectly seasoned ground meat before pressing it down to its desired form and size.
Stacking the burger with lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions and bacon.
And then the beautiful sauce, the ingredients of which remain top secret. But I can assure you that it does not get better than this!
The burger in all its glory!
So what’s the verdict? I explained to Joeri that I felt I had to write an honest review of the first burger. And that the burger just wasn’t ‘it’ for me due to the dry and chewy buns. But when I took a bite out of this burger, I was surprised by a bun that was crunchy on the outside, but soft (not too soft) on the inside, just as it should be. Now, I had never questioned the other ingredients of the burger. The meat was as good as I had remembered from the last time, delicious and juicy (though could have been a tad more rare for me). And as I said in my last review, the toppings topped it off well and the sauce brought everything together beautifully. The only thing that I couldn’t get over the last time, was the bun. But this more than made up for it.
Maybe I was there at the wrong time the last time, maybe Thrill Grill has perfected their burgers over the weeks. I don’t know. But this was a bun as a bun to a burger should be. And with that, I think this is as good as a burger can get in the Netherlands. When I ask Joeri about his future plans, he reveals his ambition to expand the food truck business in the future. Joeri even revealed that Thrill Grill may have a little surprise in store on the menu soon. All of which will be revealed in due time. So stay tuned!