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

*Why oh why? These guys have changed their name to The Woods, and with it they’ve changed the menu. NO MORE BURGER!!! The horror!


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


Empress Hotel

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_EmpressHotel

Empress Hotel – 714 Nicholson St, Carlton North, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expext much
Price:
$13.50
Summary

The Empress Hotel first opened its doors in 1873 and thanks to a love and focus on live music, has not changed drastically over the years and, has earned its iconic status with an eclectic mix of regulars. The formal dining room is exactly that: a formal dining room with original wallpaper and light fixtures, Victorian era furniture, a large open fire place and is notably void of any plasma screens. As with all traditional pubs, The Empress Hotel offers a traditional pub menu with steak, fish & chips, chicken parma, shephards pie and a burger on offer. On a cold, wet, winter’s night, we took a step back in time, grabbed a couch near the fireplace and ordered the beef burger with Gourmet Angus beef, caramelised onion, mixed leaves, beetroot, cheese, tomato, cucumber and tomato relish.

Comments
“There was nothing really binding this burger together – even with the skewer in – many of the ingredients fell out before even taking the first bite. The large chunks of cold, crunchy beetroot, cucumber and tomato (although tasty), really overtook and cooled down the beef pattie and ended up tasting like a salad roll bought from a local bakery.”
“The burger really didn’t look like much and it kind of tasted as if it was its first day on the menu. The Angus pattie tasted pretty average but what really let it down was the the slice of beetroot that felt like it came out of a can and the bun that would have been more suitable as a breakfast roll. Adding more complication to the burger was the cucumber: it really didn’t feel like it belonged in there and the crunch and taste made me feel like I was eating a salad. The chips came out smelling of oregano and tasted good. For $13.50 I do think its passable, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”
“If you want be the most comfortable you’ve been in a while then get yourself to the Empress. It won’t solve any of our Burger Adventure problems but you’re in the right environment to ail a cold Melbourne night. Think about this: you go in, sit on a couch with your buds, sit in front of a fire and pay 13 dollars for a pub burger and fries that are there to keep your insides warm. Apart from that the burger just tasted like they went to the supermarket that morning, bought the ingredients and slapped them together. All eatable, but it’s the kind of burger that speaks more to your hunger than your taste buds.”
The Empress Hotel on Urbanspoon


The Bush Inn

Friday, July 26, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Bush-Inn-Toorak

The Bush Inn – 505 Malvern Rd, Toorak, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$25
Summary

Standing tall on the corner of William and Malvern roads since 1849, the Bush Inn was once the place to meet your friends and family as you returned from the city on your horse and cart. With a refurbished dining room and a new menu devoted to the art of steak, this old world, family friendly restaurant is busy looking to reaffirm itself as the place to eat in Toorak. Dark wood, leather and maroon carpet give the place a cosy but sophisticated air. Although steaks are their bread and butter, they do offer a variety of other pub favourites like a parma, a chicken pot pie and fish and chips. Delivered to us by some very friendly staff we ordered the Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with a beef pattie, bacon, egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and a side of chips and onion rings.

Comments
“This burger had everything you would expect from a big gourmet burger with the lot. However, I don’t think much thought and effort went into it. They didn’t even bother listing the ingredients on the menu. The beef was tasty but with everything else so rich, flavoursome and in the wrong proportions, they overpowered the pattie. This accompanied with the sweet brioche bun made it very difficult to even finish. I’m also ashamed to admit that I had to leave some onion rings on the plate.”
“The menu lists the burger as having The Lot included. Sure, its a nice idea but it just didn’t work here. There was so much going on that I really had a tough time enjoying it. It fell apart pretty damn quick, it lacked salt and, any real character for that matter. If you were hooked up with this burger on a blind date you’d be out the bathroom window quicker than you can say “vegetarian option”. It cost a lot of money so you expect quality. It looks like this meal is built to satisfy your hunger more than your taste buds. Sad, but true.”
The Bush Inn Steakhouse on Urbanspoon