Back to the Burger

Monday, January 27, 2014
Back2theBurger4

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
The-Burger-Adventure_Huxtaburger
2013
Huxtaburger2013-2

“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
The-Burger-Adventure_Parlour
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Parlour2013

“This time round the burger was presented a tad taller with a little less greenery.”


8. MR BURGER – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_MrBurger
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-MrBurger2013

“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
TheBurgerAdventure-Belles2013

“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
TheBurgerAdventure-Trunk2013

“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
The-Burger-Adventure_Rockwell&Sons
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Rockwell2013

“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
TheBurgerAdventure-Rockpool2013

“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
TheBurgerAdventure-Beatbox2013

“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
TheBurgerAdventure-Merrywell2013

“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


Little Bacoa

Monday, November 25, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Bacoa-Barcelona

Little Bacoa – C/ Colomines 2, Born, Barcelona, Spain
Burger:
Bacoa Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
€6.50/$9.60 AUD
Summary

When the burger wave hit Barcelona, it hit pretty hard. In a large way, one Australian is at fault. In 2006, Brad Ainsworth, a Brisbane-born, Rockpool-trained chef opened Wushu: Wok restaurant and Noodle Bar. It was so successful that people couldn’t even get a table. This is normally a good thing for a venue, but in order to appease the crowds Ainsworth decided to move his Thai restaurant to a bigger venue. During the move and whilst trying to sell the former Wushu shop, Ainsworth decided that he didn’t want space to go to waste, so he opened up a temporary burger joint with hope to attract new buyers. Sure enough, in no time at all there were queues forming around the block. The bastard love-child, Bacoa, was such a hit that he closed down the new Wushu and opened up Kiosko, sister venue to Bacoa, where burgers reigned supreme. Little Bacoa as it is now called (to differentiate it from their 2nd venue Bacoa Universitat) is located right next to the Santa Caterina Market, so produce is always super fresh. Their menu consists of different hamburger options from a traditional option to a Japanese burger that uses a teriyaki sauce. I went for their signature Bacoa burger that came with two 150g beef patties, bacon, Manchego cheese, caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce and special house sauce.

Comments
“Initially I thought of heading to the sister venue Kiosko. But, my homie in Barca steered me away saying, “That’s where the tourists go. Bocoa is for real locals.” In other words, long live the original king. I sat down at the large communal table elbow to elbow with burger loving Catalans and was presented with quite a monster of a burger. It looked super sexy but probably about 5 bites in it all started to fall apart. The all-ingredient packed bites I did manage to get in were highlighted by the tightly packed, fat-coated beef pattie and the salty Manchego. The bacon, caramelised onions, tomato and lettuce all blended with another, which in this case was quite a good thing – they let the heroes lead the way. I got a nice zing from the pickles every now and then but they weren’t overwhelming in the slightest. If you’re going here for lunch I would be wary of the epic sleepiness this brings on… or should I say “siesta-ness”.”


Pim Pam Burger

Friday, November 15, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_PimPam-Barcelona

Pim Pam Burger – Sabateret 4, Born, Barcelona, Spain
Burger:
Pim Pam Completa
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
€5.40/$7.80 AUD
Summary

When you’ve been out all night and drank one too many Moritzs, the last thing you’re going to want is many tiny Spanish plates. Thanks to the festive Catalan and tourists-alike, a late night burger joint is always going to flourish. Pim Pam (English translation: “Pim Pam”) has been overwhelmed with customers ever since opening their doors in 2006. In fact, their parent restaurant, Pim Pam Plats, who were known for serving deli style eats as well as their trademark hamburger, had to create a dedicated burger restaurant to cope with the demand. Calling themselves the benchmark of Barcelona, the guys pride themselves on their version of slow-cooked fast food, calling it Fast Good, using only the freshest ingredients from local markets. They offer a range of burger options that either come with a beef and pork, veal, chicken or veggie pattie. I decided to try their Pim Pam Completa burger that came on a traditional burger bun with a 150g beef and pork pattie (you can upgrade to 200g if the mood should strike you), lettuce, tomato, onion, gherkin, cheese, egg, bacon and special sauce.

Comments
“I was gladly led here by my brother from another mother because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have found it on my own. After a bit of a walk through the narrow Barcelona streets and stepping into the cramped little shop I was ready to engulf a big, bad hamburger. Every bite reminded me of Mother Z’s hamburger patties: rather course, rissoley mince and with chopped onion and parsley throughout. The pork and beef combo didn’t really do it for me, but I knew it’d be fattier and more flavoursome than the veal patties that these guys offer (supposedly this is very common in Spain.) It was a bit of an ordeal to get the whole thing down as it had plenty of slide; I’m pretty sure the litre of sauce I saw the guy behind the counter applying was the culprit. I did enjoy it but it wasn’t amazing. If I’m ever back I think I’d like to try the other burgers here. There’s one with three cheeses on it that sounds like a perfect way to kick-start a siesta.”


The Woods Bar & Kitchen

Friday, November 8, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheWoods_Windsor

The Woods – 108 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gippsland Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19
Summary

Since 2011 this place has been known as The Woods of Windsor and has had a reputation on Chapel St for its whisky menu and knowledgeable bartending staff. In recent months they’ve tweaked their agenda slightly, untucked their shirts and gone a little more casual. They’re still producing great food to compliment the smoky/woody characteristics of whisky (you can’t argue that meatballs and burgers don’t go with whisky), but they now call themselves The Woods Bar & Kitchen. Co-owned by the same people that brought you Yellowbird just down the road, these whisky and music connoisseurs know when a good thing is working. As if we needed an excuse to go to a bar we sat down and ordered some drinks and the Gippsland Beef Burger that came with a BLT garnish, tomato relish, tasty cheese and hand cut fries.

Comments
“This thing came out all piping hot, fat and juicy and I may have forgotten to breath while inhaling it in record time. The beef was cooked right; enabling just enough time to form a nice char on each side while remaining a perfect colour of pink on the inside and whilst trapping in all the great juice. Atop the crumbly beef was a nicely contrasting salty rasher of bacon hidden under a pile of tasty cheese. The lettuce and tomato gave it a great crunch and the big fluffy bun did its best to keep everything under control. Lovely venue, great atmosphere, ideal for first/tinder dates as there is plenty of drinks to choose from and it’s very dark and everyone looks good under candlelight.”
“With no trace of superficialness that I’m normally accustomed to seeing in most Chapel Street bars/restaurants, I instantly fell in love with this place. It possessed a real sense of casualness with great table service and friendly staff. The burger had one of the most beautifully cooked, smokey patties I’ve had this year, combined with great melted cheese coverage and some tasty creamy mayo. What brought the whole burger together for me though was how simple it tasted, with no particular dominant flavours and how easy it was to bite into. The hand cut fries were good too. Would I go back? Been there twice already.”
“Boy did this have a decent kick of pepper to it. A burger this smokey and peppery would be a beautiful accompaniment to almost any alcoholic drink I could think off. It was a well crafted, beautifully balanced burger. The ingredients all complemented one another perfectly – so I thought I’d dissect them to see if there were any leaks on what appeared to be a pretty tight ship. After biting into a little bit of cheese here, a little bit beef there and picking at some pickle I realised they were all just as great individually as they were when working together. If I had to pick a favourite child here it’d be the cheese, with a beef a close second. The cheddar was salty, full bodied and tasted like gold for some apparent reason – all around awesome.”
The Woods Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon


Brooklyn Burgers & Wings

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_BrooklynBurger_Warsaw

Brooklyn Burgers & Wings – ul. Nowy Świat 36, Warsaw, Poland
Burger:
Brooklyn BBQ
Serviettes:
8
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
17 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
26PLN/$9 AUD
Summary

New York has Times Square, Gold Coast has Cavill Avenue and Warsaw has Nowy Swiat. It’s the place you’ll most likely end up as a tourist roaming the streets of Poland’s capital. No one would dare call it trashy because of it’s rich history that dates back to the late 1600′s, but it is the place to find tourists ready to spend. This means you’re rather spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to grab a bite, a beer or a babe. Lucky for the burger inclined folk Brooklyn Burgers and Wings provides them all (except babes, you’ll have to try and sweet talk the waitresses for that). Run by ex-pat American Alan Bohinski, BB&W serves up their signature recipes until the wee hours on a weekend and proudly notes that their patties are all minced on site and that their sauces are all Alan’s secret concoctions. After ordering at the bar I took a seat out front, watched the tourists and Polaks walk by and waited for my Brooklyn BBQ burger to arrive. It was served on a sesame seed bun with a 200g beef pattie, BBQ sauce, sweet-n-spicy grilled onions, crispy bacon, Mimolette cheese, lettuce, mayo and a side of coleslaw.

Comments
“First off, I didn’t really pay attention to the burger arriving because I was too busy thinking about proposing to my Polish waitress. After that foolishness left me I was again taken aback when I saw these two hand-shaped plastic bags sitting on my wooden plate. I figured this was one saucy experience, but what was wrong with a good old fashioned hose down afterwards? My first bite left me looking like Heath Ledger from Batman: I had Brooklyn/Texas BBQ sauce everywhere. Most of the time places flood a burger with condiments like they’re trying to hide something. But after a few bites and wiping my chin I realize realised these guys weren’t. The pattie was chunky, chopped coarse and cooked with a little bit of pink in the middle for that extra bit of softness. The bacon, onions and sauce were all a real pleasure too, giving me sweet, salty and spicy flavours with every bite. Even though I was covered head to toe in sauce and I didn’t really understand how this had anything to do with Brooklyn, this whole experience was brilliant.”


Exchange Hotel

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ExchangeHotel

Exchange Hotel – 39 Bay St, Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Exchange Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$22.90
Summary

With lots of room for activities and beautiful taps pouring lushes golden ale, the locals of Port Melbourne have been visiting The Exchange Hotel since 1916. With a classic formal dining area and a barn-like wooden ceiling that contains that sweet roast smell from the kitchen, this place will surely entice you for a Sunday sesh. As we always do, we went for the burger: the Exchange Beef Burger came with bacon, cheddar, caramelised onions, tomato, iceberg lettuce, pickled beetroot, garlic mayo and triple cooked house cut wedges.

Comments
“When paying more than $20 for a burger, one would expect the little things to be done right. Which is why I was a little shocked when after waiting over 40 minutes (in a half empty dining room) to find that the bacon had barely been cooked, and the cheese was cold, therefore unmelted. This ultimately resulted in the burger tasting more like a parma, minus the chicken of course. It was presented all pretend-fancy with the chopping board, the useless knife in the burger, and 6 measly, cold wedges… even after apparently being ‘triple cooked’.”
“Looking at the calibre of the food that our neighbouring tables were receiving and, smelling the great aroma of a Sunday roast filling the dining room, I was left surprisingly disappointed with the end product. I felt the presentation and texture of the burger let it down. Things like: the meat pattie being really compressed and feeling like I was eating a sausage, the cheese looking a bit stale or the cloud of doubt surrounding what was meant to be triple cooked wedges. The bacon and mayo were OK, but not great. All these negatives really tampered with what could have been a great burger to match the great service.”
“It’s freezing cold on a Sunday night and all you’re hoping for is a warm hearty meal (OK, maybe more). Whilst taking a seat in the church/barn-like dining room, I really believed I’d be getting one. It took a while to come out but I don’t know why because they weren’t busy. The pattie did very little for me and tasted a lot like supermarket sausage. The onions were my highlight; popping up with some sweetness every now and then. The burger was very balanced but it feels like it’s not the pride and joy of their menu.”
Exchange Hotel on Urbanspoon