Gasometer*

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gasometer – 484 Smith St, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Smoked Cheese & Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$18
Summary

Located at the edge of Hipsterville you’ll find a barn-like eatery that’s become a favourite for a number of Melbourne social clubs including The Beard & Flannel Co., Fixie’s Unlimited and the infamous Super Nintendo Atari Alliance. All that jazz aside, in late 2010 the once Irish themed pub changed hands and became known as Gasometer – an ode to the former gas works operation that once resided across the road. More recently though they’ve started to establish themselves as a popular live music venue; this coupled with affordable brews and American Diner inspired dishes has this Northside pub packed to the brim on most nights. Their menu caters to both the carnivores and Planeteer’s (vegos) with dishes like Smoked Buffalo Tofu Strips to BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos. It was impossible for us not to order the Smoked Cheese & Bacon Burger that came on a traditional sesame seed bun with a 200g wagyu beef pattie, house smoked cheddar accompanied with lettuce, tomato, topped with crispy bacon and 1000 Island sauce. Oh and in true American fashion, served with a pickle spear and a choice of potato salad or crunchy fries on the side.

Comments
“I really like this burger! It had a nice fatty pattie, but I think if it were cooked for a little less time it could’ve been a lot juicier, most probably taking its greatness up a step. The basic burger bun did the trick but could’ve been a little bit smaller to match the pattie. The burger doesn’t come with any tomato sauce or mustard, as I thought it might because of all the classic Americana inspiration, but the 1000 island turned out to be a decent replacement. Be sure to ask for a bottle of their Mexican chilli sauce when your order arrives – wicked with the mayo and chips.”
“This burger from the outside looked like any other regular burger, and when I ate each ingredient individually nothing stood out. The bacon alone was actually quite horrible – very rubbery and over cooked – however once you take a big bite out of this burger it is absolutely amazing! Everything just worked perfectly together and I can’t explain why, it just does. The chefs who obviously know what they are doing have made it look simple and easy. This was definitely unexpected from a venue filled to the brim with people with tattoos, beards, black rimmed glasses and most conversations starting with “what colour is your fixie?”. Saying all that, I would love to visit again the next time I venture to the other side of the river.”
“There’s something about re-inventing a classic that has a certain romance about it for me. Like taking a Victorian pub with its barn/church like interior and making it hospitable and comfortable to the hipsters (general public), of the Northern Suburbs and letting the beer run, run and run. Add on top an adopted American style cuisine with buffalo wings, chilli dogs and most importantly the Smoked Cheese & Bacon Burger and you have a hit. The burger itself was great: the pattie had a certain rustic element to it, the traditional bun was just that, traditional. The bacon was a bit tough to eat, but still good. The 1000 Island sauce was ok, but I still felt it needed that saltiness that a ketchup or mustard could only provide. The burger was hard to manage with all that sauce on it, but enjoyable nevertheless. Chips were a big standout, fluffy on the inside and super crunchy on the outside with great seasoning.”
“When I saw this my taste buds lept. When a burger comes out in basket you know someone that knows a thing or two about diner culture has had some input with this. I went to pick up the burger and it was piping hot. Whether because it had just been steamed or from resting on its hot bed of wicked chips, I dont know. Either way, when I got stuck into it I was instantly greeted by some delicious beefy flavours that left a nice coating of fat dancing around my mouth. The bacon was ok, but a little too tough and at one point even interrupted my meal. The smokey cheese was splendid and together with the 1000 Island sauce excelled at filling me with delight. I finished it all off by sitting back, munched on my pickle and casually punched a hipster in his bearded face.”
Gasometer on Urbanspoon

*Unfortunately Gasometer has changed their menu from American to Eastern European. Forgive them Burger Gods because they do not know what they do.


Speakeasy

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Speakeasy – 359 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Speakeasy Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

With a narrow entrance on Chapel St, it is easy to miss the Speakeasy, but if you know where to look, the white welcoming décor and the front wooden communal table make it easy to pin point. With more room in the back, there is good potential to cater for larger crowds and the outside terrace also makes it easier to enjoy the upcoming summer rays and down a few bevvies with mates. The menu is quite simple, catering to all tastes and cravings, from pork to duck, to vege and fish – they’ve got breakfast, lunch and dinner covered. Having been open for a few months, and creating a bit of buzz around Melbourne, Speakeasy is on its way to contradicting its namesake. We sat down for lunch one lazy Sunday afternoon and ordered the Speakeasy Beef Burger which came on a glazed brioche bun with a beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise and fat cut chips.

Comments
“It all started with a great brioche bun, a delicious classic ketchup and mayo combo, and then a well cooked pattie that tasted a little bit like a rissole, even sausage mince at times. The cheese was tasty, but why wasn’t ours melted? As far as Chapel St burgers go, this place has the potential to own them all.”
“First off, they unfortunately broke one of the cardinal sins in making a burger, not melting the cheese on the pattie. Then to rub salt into the wounds, I saw another patrons burger come out 15 minutes later with the cheese perfectly melted and oozing onto the plate. That aside the beef was cooked really well, with the right amount of juice that (combined with the mayo) created a delicious compliment. It was a shame about the cheese as this burger has the potential to be the best on or around Chapel St. I never have been nor will I ever be, a fan of fancy big cuts of chips, they’re just not fluffy on the inside when they are that big!”
“This burger had no real standouts, however still delivered a good feed. The bun was fluffy, sweet and soft, but did brake one of the most epic burger rules – “thou shall not use bun with larger radius than pattie”. That aside the pattie was seasoned well and cooked to a good standard. The mayo and cheese worked well, with the cheese adding a nice saltiness helping it to stand out. For once there wasn’t a whole lot of greenery, which is good. The fat chips were cooked alright, but I’m still not convinced I like them. Helpful tip I picked up from D – cut fat chips longways, that way it cools quicker and are easier to eat.”
“Such a real shame that this thing came out with un-melted cheese. Not only would’ve that help melt my heart, but there would have been some “tight pants” in the house. My bun was spot on; it was glazed well and even though there was a little too much of it, I wasn’t left with a whole lot of it on my plate once I’d gotten through the pattie. Speaking of which, was nicely pink in the centre, quite tasty and had a significant amount of “rissole-ness” to it. The cheese tasted a lot like an aged cheddar and really was excellent. It had a sharp, distinct flavour that isn’t the norm for a burger in these parts of Chapel St. I did enjoy this but screw you guys for giving us some serious food envy with everyone else’s burger looking a billion times more awesome.”
Speakeasy Kitchen Bar on Urbanspoon


Caboose Canteen

Friday, December 16, 2011

Caboose Canteen – 4 City Square, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Caboose Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$26
Summary

Smack bang in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD with the erratic foot traffic of Swanston St at its door, you’ll find Caboose Canteen. Living next door (for added protection one thinks) to its sister eateries Three Below and La Vita Buono, it differentiates and prides itself on being a place for local CBD workers to enjoy a hearty meal during/after their daily grind. After a few tweets and photos sent our way we thought we ought to get the inside scoop on the Caboose Burger before their no.1 fans, the Occupy Melbourne protesters, took it mainstream. Before us sat a familiar looking Caboose Burger that came on a toasted sesame brioche bun with chopped wagyu steak, tomato relish, barbecue sauce, lettuce and a side of fries.

Comments
“I’ll get it out of the way, but damn it was cold inside this place. It wasn’t even that cold an evening. Anyhow, the meat pattie seemed to be cooked really well and tended to remind me more of a classic meatball than anything else. There was a nice bit of spice throughout the meat that I’d have to put down to paprika or diced chilli. Seeing more and more of this style of brioche bun popping up in restaurants lately means that it must be a hit. For me it worked a treat – it was tasty and most important of all held everything together for some nice consistent bites. ”
“An immediate but really nice kick of spice to this burger, with a chilli paste on the top bun and then with some mixed through the beef. But to me this is where the creativity and uniqueness ends: it had the same brioche bun that many kitchens are using at the moment, it had good size beef pattie but it was cooked a little too long and the lettuce and tomato eventually turned to mush resulting in a loss of flavour drowning out the spiciness. Being served in a saucepan (not a warm one or anything) instead of a plate is a bit of a wank to me, and I dont think it justifies the price tag as it doest compete with similar priced burgers in the immediate vicinity.”
“A simple burger that in my opinion works well as an inner-city lunch time burger. It had a well flavoured wagyu pattie made up of a good blend of high-quality meat and spices. The brioche bun delivered that beloved sweetness that I love. The relish was well balanced with sweet and spice combined with the barbeque sauce to add some smokiness to each bite. Not too much green worked for me; just a simple leaf and a thin slice of tomato that didn’t effect my meal at all. Chips were good, but did need some salt.”
“At first I thought it was a crazy case of deja vu. “Didn’t we already eat this at Newmarket Hotel?”, I kept thinking as I was shooting the familiar looking burger. Putting that aside I delved in and discovered that this leans to the class of a “Burger Remix” – a modern take on a classic burger. And it wasn’t an abrupt remix that created substantial waves in its burger soul. The chopped wagyu pattie was peppery, hinted at chorizo and was pretty darn good. My bun did a “C+” job of keeping things together though, because by the end of the meal I was left with a bunch of it sitting on my plate. Overall it was good, but I’ve got this incredible gripe with the guys for not going out on a limb and creating a burger thats more unique to Caboose Canteen. Newmarket virtually already do the same burger and honestly, on the occasions we’ve visited, its been a juicier, more tender and more fitting burger. They are, for one, a So-Cal Mexican restaurant, so it makes perfect sense for them to serve such a burger. Don’t get me wrong, the burger was good, but for Caboose to use it perplexed me a bit. I’d say go back to the drawing board, look at what your brand represents and create something for yourselves. Chances are it could be awesome.”
Caboose on Urbanspoon


Glass Brasserie

Monday, December 12, 2011

Glass Brasserie – 488 George St, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20 @ Lunch with a drink
Summary

Whether you’re a tourist, a hungry CBD 9-5er or a champion burger aficionado, one of your top-of-mind lunch time destinations in Sydney is going to be the renowned Glass Brasserie. We’re familiar with Chef Luke Mangan’s work at South Melbourne’s Palace and when planning a visit to Glass Brasserie, Z was expecting nothing but greatness. Before we go on, we must mention that the burger is available only at the Glass Wine Bar menu, which is still just as fancy and will have you looking around in awe. The team have spared no expense, inviting New York designer Tony Chi to work his magic; using ultra high ceilings, earthy tones and with glass and mirrors all around you, you’ll feel like you’re dining in some sort of Swiss aristocrat’s holiday house in the Alps (true story). Luke Mangan’s right hand man, Executive Chef and burger lover is Joe Pavlovich: in a recent interview he commented, “When you eat a good burger, news travels fast. We’ve never really had a good burger culture in Australia and now we’re starting to.” With that said we had to send Z up there to see whether Glass Brasserie and Joe Pavlovich could truly walk the walk. Z sat down at the Glass Wine Bar and ordered the Wagyu Beef Burger Lunch Special that included a 50/50 brioche and burger bun filled with ox-heart tomatoes, house-made barbecue sauce and mayo, Raclette cheese, onions cooked in beer and Rangers Valley beef mixed with dry-aged beef fat, a pickle and fries on the side, plus a cool beer to wash it all down.

Comments
“As soon as I saw this thing waltzing it’s way over to my table I thought, “touché Mr Pavlovich, touché.” Wow did this burger look impressive. A waterfall of cheese like this arouses me in so many ways its almost unfathomable. After my Penthouse shoot was over I sunk my teeth in and was greeted with warm, soft and delicious beef. The Raclette cheese took me back to my time in France where the locals practically brush their teeth with the stuff – devine. Displaying poise and grace, the bun never took over and let the beef and cheese do all the talking. Every now and then however, the BBQ sauce would stand up and interrupt this tasty dance with obnoxious line dancing that didn’t belong in such a burger. Whether I was delirious from all the cheese I don’t know, but I could swear there were hints of apple coming from the bacon, which wasn’t bad, but did enough to distract me. Now, because every Sydney burger for me has become a “Could this be better than Lotus” burger (one can only dream), I couldn’t help but pick at the back chat that I was being given by the good but not great bbq sauce and bacon. All together this burger was still pretty damn wicked and deserves a whole lot of respect and admiration. To serve this kind of calibre burger + chips + beer, for $20, is incredible! Every pub/restaurant/bar should definitely take note. As of this moment, if you’re hunting down burgers in Sydney check out Glass Brasserie for lunch and then hit up Dan Hong at Lotus for dinner. You won’t be disappointed.”
Glass Brasserie on Urbanspoon


Ol’ School Fish ‘N’ Chips

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ol’ School Fish ‘N’ Chips – 566 Brunswick St,
Fitzroy North, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Hamburger plus cheese, egg, bacon
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10.50
Summary

When you arrive, what greets you is an imposing black exterior that leads inside to a large feature wall covered in graffiti, and judging by the chill dudes behind the counter, it was probably graffed by them. Its the kind of place where you’ll find most locals ordering by just walking in, nodding and saying “The usual thanks”. They may be “New School” by appearence but its in their methods of cooking that the “Ol’ School” part of their name really becomes apparent. Of highest praise amidst the neighbourhood are their chips, which are hand-cut and deep fried for just the right amount of time, making them nice and crunchy. Chips aside they offer a pretty familiar Fish’n’Chip shop menu, ranging from battered fish to Chiko rolls. We, of course, went for the Hamburger of 100% Angus Beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, a sesame-seed bun, and then added cheese, egg and bacon for good measure.

Comments
“This is one of the biggest and thickest beef patties I’ve had on a Fish ‘n’ Chip style burger. The beef was ground really tight which made for a dense and rough texture. Nothing really stood out about this burger either good or bad. It was exactly what you would expect from a Fish ‘n’ Chip Shop and served its purpose well: you’re hungry and it fills you up. With Danny’s around the corner I’m guessing most people come here for the fish and not the burger, however, the chips were great.”
“Just a straight-up, uncomplicated, unpretentious, basic Fish’ N’ Chip Shop burger. The pattie was simple and well-seasoned, and the cheese was nicely melted and creamy. The bun was just a traditional burger bun that was slightly burnt, but still didn’t take away from the burger. All and all a good Fish ‘n’ Chip experience by a crew that were hospitable and a killer dress sense that you would find in a Beastie Boys video clip circa 1992 – keep it up lads! Chips were good; nice, crispy and well seasoned.”
“In a world full of goody two-shoes 99% fat-free wanabe gourmet burgers, these guys are like Lex Luthor. From the get-go you know what you’re about to consume will be a classic burger that most of us would’ve grown up ordering with a dimmy and potato cake. The only difference with these guys is that they’ve gone for a higher quality Angus beef pattie – which would probably explain the New School Fish ‘N’ Chip price. But it is what it is. The beef was simple and flavoursome but could’ve been cooked a little rarer. It had a sweetish note to it too, like it had been cooked with soy sauce or ketchup. Although my cheese wasn’t melted, which is usually a turn off for me, the flavour that it produced when mixed with the egg was so superbly creamy. I would’ve loved to have seen the egg a little runnier, but on the plus side it resulted in a pretty “mess free, no sliding bun” kind of meal. Overall quite enjoyable, especially coupled with their killer chips.”
Ol' School Fish 'N' Chips on Urbanspoon