party grillin’ real burgers.


You don’t think it’d be hard to find a solid burger in Germany. Some ingredients for classic American dishes are not available in Germany, but all the burger fixings are, which makes me just astounded that no restaurant can rightly cook up the classic.

Editor’s Note: I know some of the more touristy/Americanized cities like Frankfurt and Munich have some great burgers, but I live in a more average German town, so I am speaking from the KAPOV (Karlsruhe Point of View).

With the passing of the heatwave and some superb weather finally hanging around, grilling in the garden seemed like the perfect way to celebrate my best friend Lauren’s 25th birthday. We spent the day prepping the patties, burger toppings, sides and desserts. For the burger patties, we kept it simple, seasoning them with Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and letting the grill take care of the rest. We were curious to see if all the Germans would notice a difference in the burgers, but they definitely did – so much that my roommate is making more tonight!

burgers, chips & salsa, potato salad, caprese salad, salad, cookies, booze – what more do you need? 

I created this birthday banner just printing the letters as 4×6 photos and taping them on our garden swing.

After dinner, it was time for the piñata. These are pretty unheard of around here, so Lauren did what any Pinterest-aficionado would do: made one herself. She put those elementary school art skills to work with a balloon and paper mâché, and I think it turned out pretty professional. The piñata then became a spectator sport. We threw out the idea of a bat, replacing it with a small stick, and implemented a no hitting from above rule, to make the festivities last a little longer. One side of the piñata was an angry bird and the other a smiley face, which of course we made into a drinking game.

I think the best part of piñatas is being the string puller, super entertaining. Also super entertaining: if you upload photos to Google+ where someone has taken several consecutively, it will automatically make GIFs out of them (as seen above).

The piñata even got some post-destruction use.

Next on the agenda was serving the homemade funfetti cake with fresh buttercream frosting. I was so excited to try this cake, despite it turning out a little more dense than I had planned. The frosting though – oh man, it’s REALLY hard to beat a homemade buttercream. Germans usually find American desserts like this too sweet, but no one could resist this buttercream magic: 8 egg yolks, a block of butter, and a box of powdered sugar – what’s not to like?

By this point in the evening, we were pretty sure several surrounding houses wanted us to put a sock in it, so we headed upstairs for some Looping Louie, cake eating, and more drinking until the cops deciding that we needed to go to bed around 3:30. The next day was not pretty, physically for anyone or cleanliness-wise for my poor flat. Worth it though – definitely.


It was a very happy birthday. So happy, in fact, it almost felt like my own.

  • Helene

    KAPOV? that’s a thing. that’s awesome. and i imagine germany does not have the real american burger feel. all this food looks delicious!! and i love the gifs. birthdays are the best!!

  • Katrin

    So cool that you made your own pinata. I have never seen one in a store in Germany. And I agree, I think American frosting is too sweet. :)

  • Anja

    Ha, Looping Louie really is a staple at any party, right? Those burgers look delish!

  • Stephanie @ meet.make.laugh.

    This looks like it was such a blast!!! I want a piece of that cake right now….. and that pinata is awesome!

  • Rosie

    Oh…I could just go for one of those burgers right now…I have never (to my knowledge) had Worcester Sauce before in a burger, but yum. You’ll have to make them again when I am over in the summer :p (less than two weeks away now!)

    Rosie xx

    • ifs ands & butts

      Ah exciting!! Would love to actually be able to meet up this time, esp for burgers :) – will be gone from July 10-17, but that’s it!

  • Kaley [Y Mucho Más]

    Oh my gosh, this party looks epic! A bit jealous.

    • ifs ands & butts

      You should host one in Spain – our German friends love our ridiculously American parties every now and then :)

  • Melanie Fontaine

    You guys really have the best get-togethers in your flat! Kind of makes me wish that I had room-mates! :) And true ‘American’ burgers are always the best!

    • ifs ands & butts

      The only downside is how our flat looks for at least a week following the festivities… but definitely worth it :)

  • Corin

    Yes! I remember when I lived in Germany how wonderful it was to find a hamburger that, well, tasted like a hamburger (usually, it was at a barbecue at another American’s house). Your party looks like it was fantastic!

  • bevchen

    You have such amazing parties!!

    I hear Flynn’s do good burgers now… well, so my neighbour says. The last time I was at Flynn’s the only food they did was baguettes!

    • ifs ands & butts

      I never go to Flynn’s despite it being so close to me – it almost feels like I’m cheating now or something when people suggest Flynn’s or Scruffy’s 😉

  • Sara Louise

    That does look like a fun birthday… 3:30… you cheeky little monkeys!
    And yeah, why is it so hard to get a decent burger out of the US?! It drives me batty.

  • TinainGermany

    that pinata is awesome!

  • mandy

    We have been BLESSED with two great burger places here in Bamberg in the last few months. In case anyone reading this is in the area- Mike´s Diner on Luitpoldstrasse does a KILLER burger. However, they did not have tomato sauce for their mozzarella sticks. Fail there, but burgers? Outstanding. Crazy Diner on Siechenstrasse does FRESH CUT FRIES with their rather decent burgers (Mike´s wins on that point) hands down. However, Crazy Diner also has some of the best cole slaw I have ever had. Like, top two in my life.
    Looks like an AMAZING party BTW.

    • ifs ands & butts

      Sounds like you should just do a whole blog post about these burgers – I am jealous and may have to make a trip to Bamberg just for these burgers!