Caboose Canteen

Friday, December 16, 2011

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

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.

“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


That patty looks very dry.

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