Honey Bar

Thursday, December 30, 2010
Honey Bar – 345 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much*
Price:
$16.50
Summary

Honey is a bar that prides itself on letting its guests really enjoy themselves. Open late everyday, Carlton Draught on tap, free Wifi, and an excellent food menu that any decent bar worth it’s salt should have. On top of all this there’s personable service, a relaxed and comfortable environment and decent tunes in the background. When all these things line up, what else would nail the occasion but their Beef burger with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelised onion and chips.

Comments
“This burger didn’t really do anything for me. I found that none of the flavours really had bite and it seemed a little bland. The beef pattie was well-cooked, but reminded me of a rissole. There was also a lot of bitter lettuce involved. I know the other guys will say it, but Turkish bread again? Really? Big props on the amazing chips.”
“I understand what Chris Farley was going through when scoffing down the chips on this SNL skit. I fell in love and would marry these chips if I could. By the way the beef was grey, the lettuce a touch bitter and the bun was Turkish.”
“This burger had some good things going for it. The pattie reminded me of rissole meat, a tad bit bland, but was OK. The bacon, cheese, and onion worked well. The stand out though wasn’t the burger, it was the chips. Not sure if they were beer battered or double cooked, but they were AWESOME. The most disappointing part though was the Turkish bread; it just doesn’t work in burgers guys. I would recommend it as a dinner or a hangover burger (a bit too heavy for lunch).”
“A trend amongst bars/pubs is the Turkish bread thing. . this has got to change. They’re better off spending more money on a simpler bread roll and putting extra cash into a more premium grass-fed beef. Saying that, the rustic homestyle pattie was still soft and pretty juicy, but flavour-wise it was more like a rissole. In terms of ratios, there was too much lettuce going on and not enough cheese for my liking. I’d say this goliath would be best suited as an excellent hangover cure or as something you could wolf down after just finishing a marathon. Massive bonus points for some killer chips.”
Honey Bar on Urbanspoon


Grill’d

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Grill’d – 157 Chapel St, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Full Minty
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$11.90
Summary

Those burger lovin’ guys from Grill’d have done it again. Having just returned from their Burger Love Tour – where the Grill’d Airstream Van popped up across locations around Melbourne and Sydney giving out free burgers – they’ve announced a new burger to their already impressive lineup. With summer upon us, their newest addition to the menu is The Full Minty. We ate it on a traditional bun with a lean lamb pattie, beetroot, rocket, tomato, spanish onion, herbed mayo and Mint Jelly.
Available for a limited time.

Comments
“Considering what they were trying to achieve, I think they didn’t do a bad job. Although it still has the typical Grill’d taste (due to an overload of their signature herb mayo), I found that the mint jelly added a subtle sweetness. Not being too sure of what to expect from a lamb pattie, I found it juicy, brittle and still quite chewy, really reminding me of roast lamb. The bun was a little over toasted and crunchy, and I thought there was a bit too much rocket. Overall I didn’t dislike it, but I just can’t see myself ordering another one.”
“As with everything at Grill’d, the lamb was full of herbs, to accompany that there’s the herbed mayo and then theres the herb covered chips. It seems like they’re trying to make up for the fact that there isn’t much flavour going on. They don’t do any special meal deals so after ordering chips, sauce and a drink it works out very expensive and just not worth it. They also burnt one side of my bun to black charcoal. I’ll give them credit for trying something new but they failed miserably.”
“Not the best burger that I have had at Grill’d, but it did the job. The lamb pattie was cooked to a decent standard and tasted good, the texture however for me felt wrong, it was too chunky. The beetroot worked, but personal choice would have been to remove it. The thinly sliced red onion added a good sharp dimension to the burger accompanied with a great generous serving of mayo – there was no need to add any additional. Would I recommend it? Only if you have an open mind and NEED to try something new, otherwise I’d stick with the Mighty Melbourne thanks.”
“This is probably the first time I’ve ever eaten a burger with beetroot and not thought about removing it. It actually worked brilliantly here. Their “big deal item”– the Mint Jelly – brought on more of an after taste, but it was still a nice touch. Then we have the the lamb: on its own it was quite soft and juicy, but it got lost amidst the rest of the ingredients and didn’t steal the show the way a good pattie should. The worst thing is that the Herbed Mayo really killed any potential this burger had. I hate to say it because I love it so much with chips as well as in more traditional burgers. But its such a defining flavour and it just took over The Full Minty making it taste more or less the same as any other traditional Grill’d burger – but not for the better. Maybe replacing the mayo with a dollop of Natural Yoghurt would allow for the lamb and mint to really sing? Anyhow, for a Summer Special I guess I was just hoping for something a bit more special.”


The Counter

Thursday, December 16, 2010
The Counter – 7919 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Burger:
Counter Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
27 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10.15 USD
Summary

1) Grab a clipboard. 2) Pick up a pencil. 3) Try and keep from drooling. This is the process you go through when you first sit down at The Counter. This “build your own burger” franchise prides itself on providing its guests with over 312, 120 possible burger combinations, using only the freshest and finest quality ingredients for you to personalise your own gourmet burger. With this kind of formula, friendly staff and ice cold beers, they’ll have you coming back week after week day after day.
If the idea of creating you’re own burger just seems like too much pressure and avoids you asking, “I wonder what pineapple, hardboiled egg and mustard taste like..?” then look a little further down the menu and grab yourself one of their tried and tested Signature Burgers. I decided to go for the Counter Burger that included a Hamburger bun, 1/3 pound beef pattie, Provolone cheese, crispy onion rings, lettuce blend, sautéed mushrooms and tomato, all finished with a side of sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. These guys also have a wicked fries menu including a “Fifty-Fifty” where you can get a mix of both regular fries and sweet potato fries! (Breaking News: Aussie Burger Fans! Don’t have time to get to the States? Check out their closer to home, Sydney location).

Comments
“In true LA style, I parked my electric scooter on the curb, removed my helmet and gave my hair an awesome Fabio flick. After almost knocking into an interracial gay couple walking a lactose intolerant Labradoodle, I made my way inside, then immediately asked to sit outside – God bless LA weather. There wasn’t much point building and reviewing my own burger (although I would’ve made a cracker) as everyone has their own taste and style. So I tackled their Signature Counter Burger; excited at the thought of my first experience of Porvolone and Vinaigrette together. After ordering from my cute, waitress/actress/dancer I only had to wait for about 3 minutes before my order of “Fifty-Fifty” fries came out. Just when I began to think “Wow that was quick!”, my burger was being presented before me. When things seem to be too good to be true, they usually are. You want to feel like they’re taking some time in the kitchen, singing as they cook and talking about how much they love their job. In contrast, it was a bit like, “Hey you wana burger? Here’s one. Let us know when you want to pay.” But maybe I’m just old fashioned? Even though it came our super-quick, it also came out looking super-awesome. I couldn’t wait to get the photoshoot over and done with and sink my teeth into those crunchy looking onion rings. I took a few bites and nothing really jumped out at me. The Italian cheese had a bit of a bite to it, but you only really tasted it if you ate it without any meat. The beef was ok: lightly seasoned, a little bit pink, but too perfectly shaped and not juicy enough for my liking. It wasn’t until after I poured on the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette that the burger took a turn for the positive. The mix of heavy flavours from the Provolone, mushrooms and beef were now getting a contrasting and delicious tang that you rarely taste in a burger. For some reason I ate rather quickly, but still managed to feel pretty good afterwards. Then the sleepiness from the Provolone crept up on me forcing me to stay put, and to order another beer. A fun place to take your friends and try all of your different creations, but as for the Signature Counter Burger, its only real highlight was the sweet sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.”


The Millswyn

Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Millswyn – 131-133 Domain Rd, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Millswyn Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19.50
Summary

Just opposite Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens along Domain Rd, you can’t miss a refined and sexy looking locale by the name of The Millswyn. You’re welcome to grab a spot at the bar or in the dining room, but with warm nights fast approaching, the terrace is the perfect spot for a bite and a beer. With a menu that ranges from a selection of Charcuterie, seafood and “Midnight Sweets”, you might find yourself tempted by the Millswyn Burger (available on the bar menu all week), which comes with a thick beef pattie, a toasted sesame seed bun, BLT garnish, avocado, relish and fries. Now all that’s left to do is decide on a drink.

Comments
“I really believe that when a meal comes out with great presentation, it will nearly always taste a little bit better. They have gone to a great effort to create a visually pleasing burger. Luckily it didn’t end there! A tender and juicy pattie sits on a slightly sweet bun with all your extras accompanied on the side. It was a nice change to go without cheese – it would’ve actually taken away from the burgers true flavours. I loved the side of relish, but I’m not sure how much the avocado really added.”
“You know a burger is good when it doesn’t need cheese. The beef was simply perfect and cooked with the right shade of pink. There was also the just right amount of fat to hold it all together and keep it juicy. The intertwined BLT combo with avacodo was very fresh and it didnt take away from the flavour of the beef, also giving it a really nice texture. Great atmostphere, decor, music and good-looking people everywhere.”
“A really enjoyable burger. The preparation that went into it was obvious, and the quality of the produce was of the highest standard. The beef was thick, juicy and fantastic. The blanched tomato slice was tasty and the avocado with bacon always mix well. There was no cheese, but it didn’t need it. What I really enjoyed was the relish (please try it when you go) that was a perfect dipping sauce for their very well-executed fries. And incase you have a spare $25 in your pocket, try washing it down with the Estrella Damm Inedit Beer – damn good.”
“As soon as it came out I was reminded of the USA, where building your own burger is a regular occurrence and makes the pickiest of eaters happy campers. I threw the lot in between the soft sesame seed bun and went to town. Definitely some of the nicest beef I’ve had; simple, soft, tender and tasty as hell. It was hard to tell if the avocado was needed; whatever it added it was subtle. The bacon was awesome, lean and a bit crunchy, with a hints of Kielbasa that you might pick up from an Eastern European deli. Salutations to the chef and the team for creating such a unique and luxurious dining experience.”


The Burger Shop*

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The Burger Shop – 195 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Lot
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$9.90
Summary

A welcoming and basic burger bar. Nothing flashy, no gimmicks – just burgers. How can you go wrong with that? On a summer’s night, the seat of the house is definitely a barstool by the window. This makes for some excellent people watching as well as hopefully catching some of that light summer breeze that floats in and out the door. We managed to grab a couple of small tables and watched as the cook made us “Lot” burgers with lettuce, tomato, caramelised onion, egg (free range), bacon, home-made beef pattie and tomato sauce.

Comments
“This place feels like it started off as a Fish n Chip shop and after a while they couldn’t be bothered with the fish, so they stuck with doing burgers… very good burgers that is. There was nothing fancy or out of the ordinary, just a solid burger done well.”
“No big surprises here. This place made a tasty and moist burger; and there was nothing pretentious about it. I thought the pattie was appetising, and the bacon and cheese were good. If I had to change anything I would recommend better quality lettuce, without using the vain of the leaf. But again, I’m just being picky. It was all still pretty good. After I grabbed a Coke from the fridge, I did notice one thing that I wish I had seen earlier on the menu: “Milkshake and Thickshakes made with real ice-cream and milk”. Amen to that. Chips weren’t memorable.”
“I don’t know if this was a complete fluke (because I really wasn’t expecting it), but this happened to be one of the most balanced, and well proportioned hamburgers I’ve had in Melbourne. Individual flavours were almost seamless, like someone had baked some sort of awesome salty hamburger cake. Deconstructed, the pattie remained humble and wasn’t over seasoned – allowing beef and salt to be its main flavours. The egg, bacon and cheese were creamy and really enjoyable. My only qualm would be the garlic aioli I had as a dipping sauce. I love garlic, but I hate having my taste-buds beaten by it. Overall, I walked away just a little bit impressed.”

*Unfortunately The Burger Shop has closed down. Shame to see a decent burger go to the grave.