Burger Showdown Part I.
A beefy battle between two burgers and beer titans: Alfie's and Fireson.
After the Delicious Burger post, I didn't know there was gonna be a real interest in knowing where you can get the B.B.A: Best Burger in Aruba. When it comes to planning, I discovered there are a gazillion places with burgers on the menu, but I am going to narrow it down to the top recommended ones. Some friends chimed in and these two places jumped quickly to the top: Alfie's and Fireson. Let's dive in!
Doing a little bit of reading about Alfie's, they define themselves as a Canadian Pub and are run by Canadians that bought a bar while on vacation in 2016. That's a life-changing vacation right there! Now Alfie's is one of the most popular bars in Aruba.
Of course, I have heard about it many times, the thing is every time I planned on going, something happened that ruined the plan. One of those things was trying to do a walk-in. You have to be so lucky to get a table there if you don't make reservations. A combination of live music playing, a legion of fans, and the popularity of their food get this place up to the brim almost every day.
Located in Playa (Island way of calling Downtown Oranjestad), it is really close to the San Francisco church. A definitely interesting location where the parking situation is not the easiest. Inside, the wooden tables and knick-knacks give you that instant pub feel. Canadian flags everywhere let you know that you have stepped into a piece of it in Aruba.
You have to be patient when coming to Alfie's. There's a high demand for everything all at times. Groups asking for x10 drinks at the time will have the bartender busy for a long time before you can get your beer. Same for your food, people go to Alfie's to eat big time, and with the massive orders, they seem to try to do their best to get the food out as fast as they can. Talking about beers, their selection is impressive! Here is the menu where you can take a look at the variety.
On the menu, they have 17 burgers listed, and possibilities seem endless for custom orders. They have add-ons like mushrooms, onions, and cheese that can upgrade your burger to a monster creature. I ordered, by recommendation The Lionel.
Bacon, pepper Jack, BBQ sauce, pulled pork, and onion ring is the description, and by the looks of it seemed delicious when it hit the table.
The overall taste was great! I do feel though the patty was a little under-seasoned, maybe intentionally, since there's a bunch of stuff stacked inside the bun. The BBQ sauce taste is definitely there, did not feel much the pulled pork. The cheese was melty, the lettuce, crisp. The temperature on point.
I did not come to Alfie's to not try the Poutine, this dish made with french fries, bathed in gravy and cheese curds. I ordered the Vite Vite: Classic poutine enhanced with beef, mushroom, onion, and green pepper.
For a first-timer, I gotta say It did not blow me away. I was expecting way more cheese curds and the gravy felt a little bland. I don't know if I dare to order it next time, not because it was bad, not at all! I just don't know if the dish is something I liked. My friends expressed the poutine should have come in a separate dish from the burger and in a bigger portion.
The burgers I would have again for sure! There are so many to choose from. Vegetarian options are for sure something I'm interested in trying next. Poutine was $13.50 and the Burger $14. That's a $50 ticket if you add two beers.
The rest of the group loved the food. I totally get why Alfie's is so popular!
Now let's talk Fireson.
Fireson Brewing Company was born in 2018 at hands of Tony van Vuurden, a self-taught brewer. The intention is to put Aruba on the map as a craft beer destination in The Caribbean. They are located right on Palm Beach, between the Radisson Blu and The Holiday Inn Resort, in a strip mall right across from the Casino. Here is the google maps location. Great location for those who want to have a craft beer in the area.
I would have loved to tell you more about the craft beers but I am not a connoisseur at all. Maybe I have to go and take a crash course at Fireson. It should be fun!
For some time already, Fireson has been making noise not only for their beers but for the food. With indoor and outdoor tables, looks like the perfect place to be a casual joint. The parking is free and widely available if you're lucky to find a spot around.
After the beach, the hunger hits hard and Fireson seemed like a great idea to go and have a cold drink and a burger, my friends have been raving about them lately.
The menu has all the heavy hitters. Loaded everything: funchi, fries, tortillas. Wings of all kinds, quesadillas, snack platters, and burgers.
To start things off, I ordered the loaded tortillas.
I thought they were ok. I expected the cheese to be more all over to be honest, as the typical loaded nachos con queso sauce... and by the name, I thought the tortillas were pieces of the whole tortilla, crisped up in the oven, not tortilla chips from a bag. The taste was great! If you're not starting the night with a loaded platter of something, why did you even show up? the price tag: $10.
The burger options are 8. Cool names in Papiamento like Halado and Stimabo are among the classic ones. My pick was the Coco-Pine cheeseburger.
She's big and she's a beauty. The description goes like this: Cheddar and Gouda cheese, Grilled Pineapple, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Coconut Mayo. The taste was phenomenal! The bacon strip was thick, the beef tasty, the temperature was ideal. My only thing was that I would've liked the pineapple slice to be fresh and not from a can, that would've made a huge difference. I did not feel a coconutty taste from the mayo either. It's a burger of $14.50.
Everybody loved their food! and the drinks too. There's a 2x1 happy hour from 6 to 8 PM that was definitely well enjoyed. Margaritas were HUGE and made at the moment.
I am not here to tell you who is the best. The very particular experience that both places offer, gives space for deliberation. Alfie's seems more like an occasion. You should definitely make a reservation, the people go there to stay long, watch the band play, so the possibility of waiting for a table is hard to consider. The location is central but the parking situation can be a little tricky. The food is good though and the menu has so much to offer that you really can have a different thing every time you go. Also, Alfie's is a place that has a fandom, a demographic... and I think it is a must to experience it and see if you find yourself joining it. The pricing can be a high ticket if you add drinks.
Fireson has a prime location and a relaxed vibe. You can sit inside or outside with no hassle. It very well can be a pre-night out or after beach plan. Parking is free but you may find yourself doing some loops trying to find a spot, after all, it's a touristy busy area. The kitchen is out there, a la cantina style. The portions are generous and the prices are expected for the area. In dollars (if you're local you know that phrase) but that doesn't mean it's not worth it. The in-house brewery is definitely a hook for the place and I know there are fellas that go there just to sip the latest creation from Tony the brewer. That will definitely be my next journey there.
I have so many more burgers to try for the second showdown! Will you let me know which ones are a MUST? I can't wait also to hear what you think of this review, knowing these places have their die-hards.
Follow Alfie's social channels
Instagram: Alfie's in Aruba
Facebook: Alfie's in Aruba
Follow Fireson's social channels
Instagram: Fireson Brewing Company
Facebook: Fireson Brewing Company
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