From Iceland — American Style

American Style

Published October 2, 2005

American Style

The world’s richest country is imitated and emulated a lot. At American Style, it’s burgers that face the test. With diner-style seating and huge black and white prints of rock stars new and old, the place feels like it could be in Wichita or Wyoming. But are American Style’s burgers bigger and better than their counterparts in the US of A?
My companion on this visit hailed from the nation in question, so I was in good company to assess the authenticity of this establishment. When we showed up, American Style was packed with diners devouring their hamburgers in traditional Icelandic style – with a knife and fork. You place your order at a till, and the food is brought to your table a few minutes later. Not quite full-service, but at ISK 895 for a cheeseburger combo, I’m not complaining. The menu has an assortment of burgers (beef and chicken), a children’s menu, and a couple of salad options. Why someone would go to a hamburger restaurant and order the latter is, however, beyond me. Icelandic frankness is also apparent on the menu: the larger hamburger combo is billed as the “heavy special,” something that would have been euphemistically re-phrased in the States.
The hamburger itself was pretty good, although it was a small patty and the bun wasn’t very toasted. My chicken burger was also satisfying, but suffered from the same under-toasted ailment as the burger. The French fries, clearly an integral component of the experience, were good grubbin’ fries, with lots of crispy bits.
American style with an Icelandic accent is probably a more appropriate way of describing the food overall. Hveragerði’s famous greenhouse produce– cucumbers and red peppers – were much more prominent here than they would be inside a sesame seed bun in a California diner. My American companion insisted that burgers in the US are never served with spiced mayonnaise and shredded lettuce either. Still, we were both satisfied with our meals and were very impressed by the fact that, five minutes after finishing, neither of us was afflicted with that dreaded heavy-lump-in-the-stomach result of eating at a greasy food joint – the “hamburger hangover”. This is truly an achievement of which American Style should be proud.
American Style,
several locations, including Skipholt 70, Tel. 568 6838
Open Daily.

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