The day we visited McDonalds

Friday, October 17, 2014
Gourmet-Flyer-Maccas

We’ve always said that McDonald’s isn’t an Adventure. But, when they got in touch with us a couple of weeks ago, they promised a Maccas experience like never before. We receive emails all the time to come in for a burger “on the house”, but always decline in favour of coming unannounced where we’re sure we’ll receive the same burger as the guy walking in behind us. In this instance, we had the chance to be one of the first people to check out a new concept that’s somewhat of a big deal to a company who’s served billions of burgers world wide. So, before we knew it myself (Z) and D were on a plane up to Sydney to build our own custom McDonald’s Gourmet Burger.
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After a few handshakes with the McDonald’s folk we were standing in front of some touch screens punching in a variety of different options we’d like in our burger. You get an interesting amount of choice that we really didn’t expect to find in an Australian McDonald’s. Options like a Brioche bun, Tortilla chips and Applewood Smoked Bacon were all a surprise. We decided that we were going to make two different kinds of burgers: something that the average punter would try and make (basically throw anything and everything in a burger) and then something that would make Ron Swanson proud (meat x meat x meat).
D threw in mushrooms, caramelised onions, fresh onions and jalapenos amongst the traditional McDonald’s burger fair and I went straight into double beef, Jack cheese, 4 x bacon and jalapenos. Once we’d finalised our order a receipt was spat out, we found a table outside and observed. Within about 5 minutes our burgers were brought over by an enthusiastic Maccas team member posing as a waiter (table service is all part of it) and hoed in.
It’s probably the first thing I thought of (and the last): it doesn’t taste like McDonald’s – not the McDonald’s I’m used to anyway. Granted, D’s burger was an utter mess and no doubt there’ll be plenty of people getting a product that they think might taste great when ordering, but really shouldn’t even exist. If I were in charge I’d actually have the people who select certain combinations like no bun ( yes you can do that ) escorted quietly out of the store. There is a reason why Big Macs have stood the test of time. First off, McDonald’s are a squillionaire corporation so everything they do will be thought out and researched. And, secondly, because everyone knows what you’re going to get with a Big Mac; familiarity. So, when people start creating God Knows What, we’d probably advise them to get a side of Cheeseburger to carry them through the rest of their day.
Z-MaccasBurger

The Double Meat Quad Bacon creation on the other hand was seriously a pleasure. You probably wouldn’t want to run a marathon afterward but it’s more in line with the McDonald’s most of us know. The patties tasted like an upgrade from the normal menu and with that amount of bacon plus some Jack cheese you shouldn’t be able to mess it up.The things that let D and I down though were the details. When opting for a more meaty burger other things need to be upped to balance it out. The same amount of sauce and jalapenos were used that a single patty might’ve just covered, so the zing of spice didn’t really come through. I guess thats something that a production line might miss when you compare it to a local burger joint.
So, we had some ups and downs, but generally we had a decent feed. Some chains like Grill’d might feel a pinch in the big cities, but where this is really going to take off is in more rural areas where they don’t have more Gourmet Burger options. It’s hard to predict how Australia will feel about paying over $16 for a meal at Maccas though.
The enormity of the task at hand for McDonalds is rather scary: within the next 6-9 months they plan on rolling this out to every store in the country. So, start thinking about what you might want to cram into a burger now, because you might not have to wait too long (unless there’s a line of course, then you’ll probably wait a while). We have no idea how they’re going to pull it off but if anyone can do it it’s probably these guys.

P.S They flew us to Sydney, paid for our transfers and our meals, then left us to it.



Ripponlea Food and Wine

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Ripponlea

Ripponlea Food and Wine – 5 Glen Eira Road,
Ripponlea, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu beef burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
17 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$24.90
Summary

Located opposite Ripponlea train station this little restaurant will charm the pants off you with its friendly staff, open kitchen and a comforting food menu, making you feel like you’re at your Mama’s house for dinner. There is something quite soothing about the how the heat from the kitchen enters the dining area with its white tiled walls and dark timber seating giving you a warm sense of familiarity. We went for the Wagyu beef burger that came with mustard, crispy bacon, tomato, cornichons, smoked cheddar with a side of fries and habanero mayo.

Comments
“I knew straight away I was going to turn this into a massive mess so to try and minimise the impact I decided to cut it in half. First thing that really stood out was the height and size of the patty, it had a really crumbly texture and plenty of herbs mixed through for flavour. Due to the size, it was cooked fairly well which left it fairly dry. Then, combined with the dry and flakey bun you really began to notice the lack of juice. The melted cheese and crispy bacon obviously helped the burger, however the thick chunks of tomato and pickle didn’t compliment at all.”
“From a place that had some great simple comforting food I had an expectation the burger would be OK and to a degree I think it was. The pattie was rustic and rissole-like with some great tasting characteristics and cooked to perfection. The bun though, didn’t keep its integrity throughout the meal. The mayo was really good with the chips. The one thing I didn’t like was the amount of greens – too much!”
Ripponlea Food & Wine on Urbanspoon


St Edmonds

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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St Edmonds – Rear 154 Greville Street, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

For decades Chapel St has been the place to see and be seen. These days its little brother, Greville St, seems to be the go-to place for all things boutique and chic; same goes for eateries like St Edmonds. Like a lot of great Melbourne venues, St Edmonds feels like a place made for Locals Only, even though it’s popularity has far surpassed the Pug walking Prahran natives. You’ll find that the venue has the soul of a garage, but they’ve got good food and coffee at the heart. We know they’ve been going strong since 2011, but we finally made our way down to try their Wagyu burger that came with a brioche bun, a Wagyu pattie, pickle, bacon, tomato relish, tasty cheese and lettuce.

Comments
“Not one to encourage overly processed patties with anything more than salt and pepper for seasoning, but the thick layer of crust on this patty had same seriously delicious flavour to it from what appeared to be garlic, oregano and speckles of chilli that gave it a bit of a kick. Add to this, a super crispy and salty piece of bacon, creamy melted cheese and a sweet chutney had all the contrasting flavours marrying together really well. All this sandwiched between a glistening brioche bun while throwing a few chips underneath to absorb any of the dripping juices meant I was left very content.”
“I’ve eaten breakfast here before and was turned on by their bacon. This was why I was excited to come back for a burger. It was pretty solid. The pattie had a nice charr and the bacon tasted like it’d been cooked over a camp fire. What let the burger down for me was the chutney: there was way too much chutney. I’d rather have not enough sauce and add my own then to have a burger have a lot of its meaty flavours drowned in sweet preserved vegetables. It had so much going for it but there was no need to go so fancy.”
St Edmonds on Urbanspoon


Le Bon Ton

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-LeBonTon

Le Bon Ton – 51 Gipps St, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Grilled Wagyu Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

‘Le Bon Ton’ derives its name from a common toast heard in the local roadside bars, oyster houses, crab shacks and BBQ joints of the Louisiana countryside. Inside the former Glasshouse Hotel you’ll find plenty of exposed brick, ornate ceilings adorned with chandeliers and some very heavy timber tables. As you’d expect from a Southern cocktail menu it features traditional ingredients like sweat tea, peaches, fresh mint and a range of Absinthe. The kitchen, headed up by two American brothers gets serious with dishes and cooking techniques drawn from multiple regions of the American South like oysters, pit smoked meats, crab cakes, fried chicken, burgers and pies for dessert. We ordered the Grilled Wagyu Cheeseburger that came with a 150g Wagyu patty, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup and mayo.

Comments
“The crispy piece of bacon popping out the glistening bun like a turtles head was the first thing that caught my eye. Then and there I could already tell it was going to be great. The beef patty, although nicely charred, was super soft and crumbly and paired really well with the creamy cheese. The bun had been lightly toasted on one side, giving it enough of a barrier to not be completely dissolved by the juices. The only crunchy texture came from the bacon and lettuce, and to top it all off my favourite sauce combo of ketchup and mayo made for a memorable burger.”
“It’s one of those burgers that keeps you coming back for more. Simple in flavour and presentation this burger ticked all my boxes. The beautifully delicate patty was sweet and smokey that was perfectly balanced by condiments. The sweet bun held the right amount of moisture from the patty and sauce and was easy to handle. To top things off the fries were awesome! On a side note the menu was full of some southern gems like brisket and American style pies. Definitely going back!”
“What a burger! Just like all the exceptional burgers I’ve had before this, the patty was the highlight. It was fatty, soft and salty. Their smokey (a touch spicy) sauce was divine. A delightful brioche bun topped off one of my new favourites in town.”
Le Bon Ton on Urbanspoon


Brunswick Burger Buzz

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BrunswickBurgerBuzz

Brunswick Burger Buzz – 333 Sydney Rd, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Big Buzz
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13.50
Summary

BBB is a rough and rustic burger joint, done in typical eclectic Brunswick style. It has a chilled out vibe with an anything goes fit out; all sorts of doors hanging on the walls and you’ll be hard pressed to find a matching table and chair set. Claiming to do things a little differently and positioning themselves as a bit of an anti-establishment take-away joint, they place a huge importance on sourcing local ingredients and believe in big servings that don’t break the bank. This of course, is all served in a casual and friendly way that aims to puts a smile on your face. On a cool Sunday evening we decided to order The Big Buzz burger that came on a home made sourdough bun with a 150gram beef patty (menu says it’s a double but ours came out with a single patty for some reason), tasty cheese, bacon, eggs, beetroot, lettuce and tomato.

Comments
“If you’re after your typical Fish’n’Chip shop style burger with a bigger and better patty, this burger is for you. Instead of being wrapped inside a brown paper bag, it was presented tall with a skewer through the middle. However aside from that, everything else was fairly stock-standard. The thick beef patty was cooked well and as with most things, if it’s covered in egg and bacon, it’s going to taste pretty good. Nothing unexpected and will definitely leave you full but with a slightly heftier price tag than similar options in the area.”
“This is Brunswick’s way of doing Grill’d; well, that’s the way I see it. The difference being, Burger Buzz does it in a way Sydney Road locals could be proud to eat in and feel they’re supporting a local hero. The burger itself was basic and ticked all the boxes in my book. This burger felt like a fish & chip burger that was done right with delicious bacon, a thick patty and a well made sourdough bun. Overall I thought the burger was tasty and juicy, but it wouldn’t be a burger I’d travel more than a suburb for. Chips were good and with a free Mountain Goat beer on offer for every burger bought its a damn good deal.”
“There was such a mash of flavours it was hard to know where the bacon started and beetroot ended. It was big and juicy, a touch salty but there was no real character. It’d be hard to pick out of a blind taste test, not that it was awful, but even McDonald’s has a signature flavour or two. The best thing this place has going for it is its meal deals. A free beer with your burger is always going to keep the place full of fashionable flannel.”
Brunswick Burger Buzz on Urbanspoon


Back to the Burger

Monday, January 27, 2014
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For us here at The Burger Adventure, the year 2013 was filled to the brim with a tonne of tantalising new burger joints. So before we could dive into sorting out our top 10 for the year, we needed to revisit the 2012’s most awesome burgers for a little quality control. While there were some surprises, both good and bad, for the greater good and for the burger loving public, it had to be done.

10. HUXTABURGER – 106 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
2012
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2013
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“It felt like we copped a burger from the end of the production line as it was more like ‘sauce with a side of burger': absolutely drowning in sauce and soggy.”


9. PARLOUR DINER – 64 CHAPEL STREET, WINDSOR
2012
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2013
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“This time round the burger was presented a tad taller with a little less greenery.”


8. MR BURGER – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
2012
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2013
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“From food truck to multiple locations around Melbourne, we knew these guys would go a long way. Very similar burger as before with the exception of a whole lot more mayo being added to the mix. ”


7. BELLE’S DINER – 150 GERTRUDE STREET, FITZROY
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_BellesDiner
2013
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“A new bun, a pickled onion on top and fries come separately now. Plus, they spell their ‘Diner Burger’ with only one R now.”


6. TRUNK DINER – 275 EXHIBITION STREET, MELBOURNE
2012
Trunk Diner
2013
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“Stacked a little higher these days with a sweeter brioche bun (that completely dissolved by the end). Still real good value though.”


5. ROCKWELL & SONS – 288 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
2012
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2013
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“This burger hasn’t changed one bit, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”


4. ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Rockpool-2011
2013
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“It’s got the exact same ingredients and flavours, however the burger has increased in size and is actually a challenge to finish.”


3. NSHRY – 129A BEACONSFIELD PDE, ALBERT PARK
2012
NSHRY
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-NSHRY2013

“This would have to be one of the most difficult burgers to get right every time, yet they always manage to. There’s also now chips instead of onion rings as the side.”


2. BEATBOX KITCHEN – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_BeatboxKitchen-2011
2013
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“Even as the years roll by the Raph Burger is still consistently awesome. It’s got that signature creamy flavour that keeps Melbourne coming back for more.”


1. THE MERRYWELL – CR CLARENDON STREET & CROWN RIVERSIDE, SOUTHBANK
2012
Merrywell
2013
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“As big, as ugly, as messy and as delicious as we remember: exactly as it should be.”



Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen

Monday, December 9, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_GloriaSwanstons

Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen – 243 Swanston St, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Kick Ass Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

Up until a few years ago the Lounge was synonymous as one of Melbourne’s main university hangouts. With a 10min walk from RMIT University, pool table, pub grub and a balcony right over Swanston Street it’s easy to understand how the conditions were right for students to graze. Earlier this year Lounge received a much needed refurbishment and established Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen with a menu possessing some of the most mouth watering American style comfort food going around in Melbourne. As part of the relaunch of Gloria Swanston’s kitchen and as an aid to bring in new clientele they now offer one of it’s marquee meals, the Kick Ass burger, every Tuesday for $8 (normally $16). After hiking up the stairs, picking one of the few well lit corners to sit in, we ordered the Kick Ass beef burger that came with 200grams of ground beef, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, bacon, double cheese served and with crinkle cut fries.

Comments
“One of my favourite parts of travelling is treating myself to a Bacon Deluxe from Hungry Jacks at the airport – regardless of the time. So, when I bit into this burger it brought up wonderful connotations from many previous holidays. Unlike the Bacon Deluxe they use a single, large, course and beefy patty that has a nice layer of char on the outside and a fairly pink and crumbly in the centre. Then there’s plenty of creaminess from the double cheese, saltiness of the bacon, tang from the sauce between the sweet bun, resulting in every bite being packed full of flavour.”
“Thinking back from my days of university when I saw we were going up to the Lounge, I was expecting a hipster hell – instead I found a very casual, relaxed environment with minimal hipsters in sight. The beef pattie had some smoky flavoured undertones that combined well with the creaminess of the the double cheese and mayo. With the great addition of some of the saltiest bacon I have had in a while the burger went up a level in my book. The brioche bun was of decent quality and didn’t disappoint, neither did the crinkle cut fries. I’ll definitely be back.”
“To say I was mildly excited to see all that cheese melting was an understatement. I bit in and immediately had a Samuel L Jackson moment: this was a tasty burger. It was charred on the outside and soft on the in. There was plenty of salt on the pattie but it was balanced out brilliantly by the cheese and creamy sweetness of the ketchup mayo mix. My favourite thing with this burger was that it embraced tradition and didn’t fall into a gourmet trap. This is fast-food done slow, done awesome.”
Gloria Swanston's Kitchen on Urbanspoon