The Dorp Street Deli (DSD) experience was not entirely new to me as I’ve had a burger there a couple of years back, and really enjoyed it then. Considering the amount of restaurants I want to visit in the next 2-3 months (Check out my list!) you may well wonder why I then decided to go back to one I’ve been to before?! Well, that would be because 1 – DSD always looks enticing when we drive by, 2 – it is fairly close to where we live and therefore an easy option for lunch and 3 – the food should be good if past experience is anything to go by. I’m afraid my pictures donsn’t do the Deli justice, but trust me – it is a lovely spot to sit outside and enjoy a glass of something cold.
We arrived just after noon in order to avoid the potential lunchtime rush (Brian though I was insane as there was only one other table outside the front occupied by the time we got there!). We elected to sit outside on Dorp Street rather than in the courtyard at the back of the building, which did have quite a few tables occupied to be fair.
We seated ourselves at a table and it’s just as well we’re good at taking a seat as we would have waited quite a long time for someone to seat us! Service on the whole was very, very relaxed (if you’re from the Cape) and very, very slow if you’re anyone else or looking for lunch in a hurry. Fortunately we have no reason these days to be in a hurry and we enjoy leisurely lunches, but even so it would have been nice if our plates were taken away once we were (very clearly) done by one of the waiters who kept wandering by. I eventually had to ask for our plates to be taken away (attracting flies by this point), as well as ask for a menu when we sat down.
That said though, service is about the only negative point I have to raise about DSD. They have a wide selection of drinks, with beers on tap to choose from for Brian, and enough of a selection of wines by the glass for me to be very happy. Once our drinks order was placed our drinks arrived quickly and we watched the usual stream of tourists pass by in Dorp Street. We both ordered burgers, though there is a very extensive menu with options ranging from breakfast, to sandwiches (toasted or not), salads, bigger mains, deserts etc. I’d be fairly sure it is a place where most people would find something to eat so probably a good option for groups as well as families. Options for vegetarians are fairly limited with more or less nothing for vegans, unless you remove the cheese from the vegetarian options!
The burger options contain a few really interesting choices and I chose the Gorgonzola, with green figs and bacon, while Brian had the Cheddar Cheese, with cheddar and red onion marmalade. Though he asked for his burger without the red onion marmalade, it showed up with copious amounts all over the burger, though fortunately it was better tasting than he expected so it wasn’t a ‘send-it-back’ situation. The menu states that the burgers are made from mature rump steak and they certainly taste like it! The burger patties have a deep, meaty flavour and were very nice and juicy. I had mine medium and Brian had his medium-well but there wasn’t a distinct difference – to me they were cooked just right and not practically raw like some other ‘famous’ burger bar in Stellenbosch that I won’t name here!
I really enjoyed the burger and for me this is certainly the best burger I’ve had so far in South Africa – it wasn’t basted in any silly sauce but just pure meat, cooked properly to retain flavour and served attractively. Chips were fairly good as well, though the side salads didn’t get any attention from either of us! Food isn’t particularly expensive at DSD and I can see why this seems to be a firm favourite with locals. It is great having a dependable place for a good burger, though I can’t comment yet on the rest of the menu. There’s not really much more to say, other than the fact that we both left very full and satisfied, despite having to get up and eventually paying inside as waiting for someone to come and take our money would have just taken too long!
Ambience – 4/5
Service – 2/5
Food – 5/5
Value – 4/5