March 11, 2012
Hamburgão is a quirky chain serving over-the-top sandwiches probably unlike anything you’ve ever eaten, unless you’ve been to Brazil or live near one of the two New Jersey locations. (The other is in Newark’s Ironbound at 288 Lafayette Street.)
The Brazilian sanduíches at Kearny’s Hamburgão come pretty close to sandwich perfection in my book: multi-layered, but not overstuffed; contrasting textures and flavors that come together in a surprising way; and served on bread that doesn’t overwhelm the fillings. The signature Hamburgão Beef, served on a soft Brazilian bun, is a masterpiece, layered with grilled steak, a slice of presunto (Brazilian ham), melted mozzarella, a fried egg, bacon, corn kernels (surprisingly sweet), potato sticks (surprisingly crunchy), lettuce, tomato and mayo. Add a shot of hot sauce, squeeze it all together for a big bite, and enjoy one of the most powerfully flavorful sandwiches in all of Jersey (or anywhere else). In the words of food blogger Jason Perlow (Off the Broiler), the sandwich is “a veritable giant in the annals of sandwichdom.” The variety in this one sandwich is like eating breakfast, lunch and dinner all at once, and the calorie count probably comes pretty close. Fast for a while if you must, this sandwich is worth it.
This half lunch counter, half burger joint with a bright orange color scheme serves multiple hot sandwich variations with chicken, sirloin and cheese. No typical American burgers here, the Hamburgão Beef and its brethren broaden the burger category entirely. Not to be outdone, Hamburgão’s Brazilian hot dog (cachorrão) comes with corn, green peas, grated cheese, those potato sticks again, mayo and “red sauce.” For something only slightly lighter, try Hamburgão’s large and chewy version of Pão de Quiejio, the popular Brazilian cheese bread balls. Other savory pastries include meat-filled croquets and empanadas. Coffee, breakfasts, salads, fruit smoothies and desserts (flan, fruit mousses, rice pudding) round out the menu.
Hamburgão’s logo is an angry dog dressed as a chef holding a sandwich on a tray. Look for it if you want to try some heavy duty Brazilian comfort food in Jersey.