If I had to guess, I’d say there are probably fewer than three restaurants in the world that allow you to watch wild penguins while eating. I literally have no basis for this statement besides the knowledge that the majority of penguins are in places no one wishes to eat. The penguins at Boulders Beach, however, are of the African variety and enjoy the beautiful sunshine just outside of Cape Town in Simon’s Town. Some genius built a creatively named restaurant called Boulders Beach Restaurant nearby with an awesome ocean view and occasional penguin sighting.
There were no penguins on the menu, which was fine by me because I have to imagine they would have had a fishy taste. In any case, I wasn’t expecting the food to be very good. After all, with a location like this there was no need to serve good food. With that in mind, I kept things simple and ordered the Big Boulder Burger.
The burger came with tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, gherkins (a fancy British word for pickles that I didn’t know at the time), grain mustard mayo and a fried egg. Clearly, there was no shortage of toppings and although at home I would have ordered without vegetables, I was way outside of my territory and ordered straight up. Fortunately, all the bad stuff came nicely wrapped in big leaves of lettuce that were easily removed. Even that pickle masquerading as a gherkin couldn’t ruin things.
Interestingly, the cheese has been melted to the top of the bun instead of the burger, which had kept it neatly organized instead of dripping down the burger. Strange South African cheese melting customs aside, this was one great burger. Seriously, even with the great view and proximity to penguins. The egg was runny, the beef thick and flavorful and the bacon thick and crispy.
It even came with fries, which were the perfect things to snack on as we realized two adorable penguins had sauntered up onto a rock nearby to distract us. Yet, they could not distract me from the fact that I had eaten quite a good burger. It wasn’t some gourmet topped with a bunch of fanciness, but did just about as good of a job as it could have with bacon, cheddar, egg and beef.