Carls Jr

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Carl’s Jr – Valle Alianza #100, Col Del Valle, San Pedro Garza Garcia,
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
Burger:
The Original Six Dollar Burger
Serviettes:
A Zillion
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
22 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$67 MXP
Summary

The original brand dates back to 1940′s Anaheim, California, where a lone ranger by the name of Carl Karcher ran Carl’s Drive-In Barbeque. It wasn’t until the mid 50s that he opened smaller, speedier versions of his beloved restaurant, naming them Carls Jr. Today they’re the 4th largest fast-food burger chain in the USA and have expanded into Mexico, Canada, Russia, Singapore, Vietnam and China. As I sat down in my “just a little bit fancier than McDonalds” booth, I pulled out my burger and was instantly reminded of the ad campaign Carls Jr used to run in the mid 90′s: “If it doesn’t get all over the place, it doesn’t belong in your face.” The Original Six Dollar Burger came with a charbroiled 100% Black Angus beef pattie, tomato, Spanish onion, lettuce, 2 slices of American cheese, pickles, mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise.

Comments
“Holy shit! Disgustingly awesome, I know. The photo really does it justice. There’s so much slide on this thing its ridiculous. Even when trying to take the shot I kept trying to prop the top of the bun back in place, but eventually realised this had to be seen for what it was, in all its monstrous glory. As for taste; it slams you in the face. This is mainly due to the inclusion (and abundance) of all 3 classic burger sauces, which I’m sure you’ll eventually notice running down your arm. This much sauce really feels like they’re trying to hide something. So, I tried the pattie on its own and there isn’t much to say; you’d pick it as being beef, but unsurprisingly it was dry and pretty average. It goes down hill from there. The burger turns even uglier when you start eating it, sliding around awkwardly like your first sexual experience. Afterwards you look down at the mess you’ve made, ashamed and not sure whether or not to tell your friends about it. As far as fast-food burger chains go, it does a great job at filling you up and tastes a little better/different than some of its competitors, but I think it’ll be a while before you have another one. Well, at least not until the next drunken outing or the eventual hangover that ensues.”


Beatbox Kitchen

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Beatbox Kitchen – Level 7, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Raph Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
4 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$11
Summary

If you’re familiar with Melbourne’s Inner Northern suburbs you know that if you want a decent burger, you better go visit Beatbox Kitchen. You’ll also know that its not unusual to find yourself hungry, a bit tipsy and at the back of a a long, nightclub-style queue. However, when you reach the front there are no bouncers or guestlists, just Raph and his Ghetto Blaster shaped Burger Van.
We finally managed to catch up with this nomad at his all new “for a limited time only” fixed location, The Rooftop Bar in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. Owner, creator and chef, Raph calls his burger an “East Coast meets West Coast” experience. His research has taken him to the burger mecca that is the USA, and he’s brought back the best of New York and Los Angeles and then topped it all off with 100% Aussie beef.
All of his beef is ground on-site and is sourced from “strictly grass-fed” Tasmanian cattle. He explains, “grass-fed beef has a higher nutritional value and is higher in Omega 3 and Vitamin E, plus it delivers a more natural and intense beef flavour.” So, with a killer view and beer in hand, we eagerly awaited Raph’s creation. His burger came out on a soft bun (baked fresh everyday in nearby Brunswick), with a 170gm grass-fed beef pattie, cos lettuce, tomato, gouda cheese, onion and Stereo Sauce.

Comments
“This is a true testament to one man’s passion for burgers. What I would call a near faultless creation, this burger offers only the freshest ingredients. A perfect bun that soaks up just the right amount of juice and still gives you the taste that its just been buttered. Absolutely loved the subtle saltyness to the amazingly perfect pattie. All thats left to say is… GOD DAAAMN!”
“The first time in a very long time I have not added or subtracted any ingredients; everything was spot on. Wrapping the burger in foil meant a very neat and clean meal. The time, research, energy and enthusiasm in all aspects of the burger have definitely paid off. My favourite summer drinking spot just got a whole lot better.”
“This burger was made with love. The burger had a clear and concise objective – keep it simple and use great ingredients. The beef was great – juicy, tasty and cooked to perfection. The thinly diced raw red onion meant the onion flavour didn’t overpower each bite. The cheese was great, butter on the bun (always a plus) and the bun was…. perfection. Chips were great. I loved dipping them in the spicy sauce provided. Ohh, I forgot to mention I loved the burger so much I ate two.”
“So its been a week since I ate at Beatbox Kitchen. I think I’ve called the other guys almost everyday telling them that I can’t stop thinking about this burger. The beef pattie was succulent and full of flavour. It wasn’t over seasoned, which allowed the flavour of the pure Tasmanian beef to shine through. The gouda and Stereo Sauce worked great together, adding a wicked creaminess followed by a touch of zest. To put it simply, for me this burger is World Class.”
Beatbox Kitchen


Capital Kitchen

Thursday, November 18, 2010
Capital Kitchen – 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone
(Chadstone Shopping Centre), Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheesburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20
Summary

Known for stealing a suburb away from Melbourne and turning it into the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere, they prefer to call themselves the Fashion Capital. On your way to Tiffany & Co, Ralph Lauren and other luxury brands you’ll see Capital Kitchen. With a variety of sandwiches, salads, pasta and pastries to choose from, you better choose quick; this place is busy. Not that it takes too long to get your food. Its more the rivalry for a place to sit on a weekend that might leave you eating on-the-go, or sharing a table with other tired and hungry shoppers. We decided to see if the Fashion Capital could also provide Melbourne with a Burger Capital, and so we delved into the grilled Cheeseburger. It came on a seeded brioche bun with a beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, fresh tomato, herb mayonnaise, smoky tomato relish and with a side of french fries.

Comments
“To the team at Capital Kitchen I say, ‘A job well-done.’ I really enjoyed the slightly sweet bun, which paired well with all of the fresh ingredients. The perfectly cooked, subtly seasoned pattie was juicy, and tender and the finely sliced tomato and smoky relish were great little additions. A really tasty and well-balanced burger.”
“The ratio between the beef, cheese, salad and sauce was near perfect. However, the sweet brioche bun was too dry and too big for me. This affected the overall texture of the burger. The fries had no salt on them and we had to ask a waiter for it (it should already be on the table along with the pepper). When it did come out it was fancy rock salt, which doesnt stick to the fries and just falls to the bottom of the bowl. Seriosuly, just put normal salt on it.”
“At first I wasn’t sure what this burger would be like. Shopping centre cafes and restaurants don’t exactly have kitchens that possess Michelin stars for their excellence in culinary quality and service –well, not any that I know of. But saying that, when I go, I don’t expect to find any burger mecca, I just look for something that any of us can enjoy, thats affordable and most importantly one can share with friends. I would share this burger with all of my friends! The pattie was damn good; moist and delicious. There wasn’t too much green stuff and the thinly sliced tomato was nice. The cheese, mayo and relish were the icing on the cake. Chips were good. When you do decide to go, please invite me too.”
“As I clicked away with my camera looking for the perfect angle, I started to feel like I was shooting a Penthouse spread (again). This is by far one of the sexiest burgers I’ve had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into. And imagine, all of this at a family-friendly shopping centre. Every bite was amazing. To single-out any individual ingredient would be unjust. A happy marriage of ingredients that tasted more like a honeymoon.”
Capital Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Portland Hotel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Portland Hotel – Cr Russel and Little Collins Streets, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Portland Emu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
3 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$24
Summary

Chances are that when you’re tossing up between eating at the Portland Hotel or it’s neighbour James Squire Brewhouse you’ll see a similarity in menus. In fact they’re the same venue. The Portland is where you might see a family sitting down for dinner, whereas the James Squire Brewhouse might be more suited for those caring more about a scoreboard rather than how anyone’s day has been. They are serviced by the same kitchen, dishing out your traditional Pub meals thrown in with some Modern-Australian twists like Char Grilled Kangaroo Fillet or as we decided, the Emu Burger. It came upon a Turkish style bun with lettuce, roasted tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, roasted capsicum relish, mayonnaise and a side of chips. Being Melbourne CBD’s only working micro brewery, you’d best grab yourselves a beer to wash it all down.

Comments
“I think this burger was trying a little too hard. Although I kind of enjoyed it, I was left a little unsatisfied. The emu pattie was nothing great, just something different. Being such a lean meat it wasn’t that juicy or tender. I quite enjoyed the capsicum relish and the sharp bite of the gorgonzola cheese. Once again the dreaded Turkish bread was used, but I will say it was one of the better ones… a crime all the same.”
“This burger made me all confused and dizzy; I didn’t know what to do. First off the flavours of the gorgonzola and tomatoes were too overpowering, so I removed most of it, then the emu pattie itself tasted a bit like a scourer so I just gave up. This was way too much effort for a hangover. Very well presented though.”
“I really wanted to like this burger. I really tried, but no dice. The emu pattie was a little bland and dry, and my bun was a little over toasted. The roasted capsicum took-over and if that wasn’t enough the gorgonzola added a sharpness that really did not suit the burger. This burger was trying to do too much. My message this week is ‘keep it simple’. Chips weren’t that good.”
“Totally not what I was expecting. I really thought it would taste a lot more like koala, or even maybe chicken. What we found here was pure, super lean emu mince. But as we all know a lean burger isn’t really a good one. Still, I rate it because it was bold and unlike anything I’d ever had before. The closest description I can offer is if you can imagine eating a really lean bit of beef that was mixed with kangaroo or rabbit mince (gamey). With some carefully selected ingredients added its obvious some thought has gone into creating this burger. The gorgonzola was like a flavoursome lovebite, contrasting the emu pattie’s laid back (stereotypically Australian) flavours. It may be a bit gimmicky, and is possibly aimed at tourists or those who’ve eaten just about every meat under the sun, but going by the research they’ve put into this one, I’d go back to try their beef burger for sure.”


Hunky Dory

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Hunky Dory – 181 Bay St, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Lot
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$8.20
Summary

A very modern and sleek looking Fish and Burger Bar with both take-away and dine-in options. This place is ideal for summer with plenty of people watching when you sit outside and then in the cooler months, jump back in and grab yourself a spot inside under a heater. The Lot burger consisted of a beef pattie with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, egg and cooked onion all on a sesame seed bun. Those readers from Melbourne, keep an eye out for new locations opening up on Chapel st and Clarendon St.

Comments
“I think its a bit cheeky to call themselves a Burger Bar considering there are only 2 beef burgers to choose from: Plain and The Lot. For the price its good value for money. The mince was loosely packed and crumbly, nice, but I had to add ketchup. We checked them out on a Sunday night and it was really busy. Chances are it’ll only get busier in the warmer months to come.”
“There’s nothing better in Melbourne than a balmy Sunday evening and having enough daylight at 7pm to still go outside and enjoy a good Fish’ n’ Chip Burger in Port Melbourne. I can’t say this burger blew me away, but I don’t think it had to. It just had to fill me up and be simple. It did what it was suppose to do and that was enough for me. The pattie, bun, egg, lettuce and bacon were good. The only thing that I wasn’t impressed with was the chips.”
“There’s not too much to say about this one. It was very “meh” and really, nothing special. So, like the guys have said, it didn’t commit any crimes, but it won’t be winning any awards either. Very safely played by the chefs. What astounds me still is how busy they were. I’ll only assume this is a mix of a good location, decent fish and some seriously big breasts behind the counter.”


Mocha Jo’s

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Mocha Jo’s – 87 Kingsway Road, Glen Waverley, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Triple B – MJ’s Big Beef Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Located about 30 minutes away from Melbourne’s CBD in the suburb of Glen Waverley, this Cafe | Bar | Restaurant is the place for most locals to get a decent coffee, some good breakfast and vast options for lunch and dinner. What will greet you upon entry are the friendly staff, a comfortable environment and desserts on display. The burger we had was the Triple B – MJ’s Big Beef Burger with a 100g Prime beef pattie, Turkish bun, fresh tomato, tasty cheese, lettuce leaves, onion jam, chunky chips and house mayo.

Comments
“We all know our thoughts on Turkish buns! It just shouldn’t be done. A larger bun than needed holds a pattie that tastes a lot like Chevap Chi Chi (Serbian sausage) with sweet onion jam. The cheese was melted to the top bun, which is a plus, and I also enjoyed the house mayo. To me this was almost a Mediterranean take on a burger.”
“Initially I thought the bun was too big for the burger. However, half way through it had pretty much dissolved. The odd shaped beef tasted sausage-like and there was too much lettuce and no sauce. Don’t jump to conclusions about the staff all being Canadian… the wicked denim aprons are just a part of the uniform.”
“Turkish bread in burgers does not work. But moving on from that, I think it was an OK burger with a few faults. I was not happy with the lettuce spine I found; its just too crunchy for a burger. The pattie was not covering a lot of surface area in relation to the bun. The mayo was really good, considering I’m not a big fan of mayo in my burger, and the onion was cooked to perfection. The staff were really friendly, accommodating and quite approachable. Chips were great.”
“This is another case of a cafe/restaurant trying to dress-up their burger with exotic words like, “Turkish”, and “jam”. “Hey, there’s Onion Jam in my burger. WTF! And the bread is Turkish! No wonder it costs $19.50! It must be freakin’ gourmet!” I don’t know who they’re trying to kid.. That said, the onion jam (and the onion jam alone) was in fact, terrific. The rest was just an average mess.”


Burger Culture

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Burger Culture – 3 Cole St, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The New Yorker
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

Located just moments from Williamtowns’s picturesque strand with views of the bay and Melbourne skyline, Burger culture offers a large variety of beef, chicken and veggie burgers that you can either eat in or take-away. Our burger came between a sour dough blend bun and featured 95% fat free lean beef, tomato, lettuce, tomato relish, “Culture Mayo”, caramelised onion and Swiss cheese.

Comments
“To me this burger was very “safe”. It wasn’t anything special, nor was it bad. However, I found the bun too large for all the ingredients (you end up with a whole lot of bun left over). Everything was quite fresh though and I really enjoyed their tomato relish. I’m a big fan of people making their own mayo but in this case the spices they used were a little overpowering.”
“The bun was large but I thought it helped trap all of the ingredients in and stopped them from falling out. The mayo was too herby and overpowered the flavour of the swiss cheese and onion, which individually tasted great. I would order this next time without the mayo so the beef becomes the primary flavour.”
“I found all the ingredients well placed. For me, none of the flavours were overpowering and it was a good fulfilling experience. It was hard for us to decide on what burger to have; we had 8 beef burgers to choose from, not counting the chicken and vegie burgers offered. I really liked the beef and the relish. I think if I had to pick something that let it down I would choose the bun.. I found it a little stale actually. I would go back again to try the other burgers on offer. Chips were ok.”
“I understand people are health concious these days, but as one of our readers pointed out and reinforced recently, a good burger is choc-full of fat. Why kid yourself and pretend you’re having a light meal (I’m referring to their 95% fat free beef patties ofcourse). Anyhow, the New Yorker was nothing like New York. So fail right there. But they added Swiss cheese, which is always a bonus in my book, and make their own blend of mayonnaise, which I swear is Mayo + Moroccon Mix spices.”
Burger Culture on Urbanspoon