Back to the Burger

Monday, January 30, 2012

Before we can uncover the all important Top 10 for 2011, we needed to get back to our original Top 10 from 2010, and see if the burgers measure up and are still worthy of being labeled “The Best of the Best”. There were a lot of twists and turns throughout the journey, with some burgers stepping up to a whole new plain whilst others slipped into a ridiculous hole that some say is haunted. What does this all mean? Well, rumours have it that the coveted Top 10 2011 is mere days away from being unveiled. So, gents, hide your boners. Ladies, wipe away that wet patch from underneath your chin, because the Top 10 2011 is coming (soon).

10. ANDREWS HAMBURGERS – 144 BRIDPORT ST, ALBERT PARK

“Still juicy, still messy, and still a Melbourne institute. Eating at Andrew’s is like
having your Mum cook your favourite meal; you know exactly what your going to get, you know it’ll be made with love and you know it’s going to be great.”

9. THE MILLSWYN – 131-133 DOMAIN RD, SOUTH YARRA

“The bun and pattie, its two hero items have changed for the worse. Yes the burger still tastes great, but the ratios here are out of whack. Bring back the love.”

8. CAFE VUE – 401 ST KILDA RD, MELBOURNE

“Although the pattie could’ve been a little juicier, it’s still a great lunchtime burger that continues to be just as delicious. Shame on them for changing the chips though.”

7. ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK

“It’s hard to believe but seriously, this burger has gotten even better.
I mean look at that sexy piece of meat!”

6. THE LOCAL TAPHOUSE – 184 CARLISLE STREET, ST KILDA EAST

“Not any drastic changes to this baby; it still has a subtle creaminess to it that really compliments the beer marinated beef pattie. Still good but not as juicy as last time.”

5. BARNEY ALLEN’S – 14 FITZROY ST, ST KILDA

“It really is remarkable at how they can get that super thick pattie cooked to perfection. Together with the surprisingly awesome combo of beetroot and onion jam, this is the best thing to happen to St.Kilda since Tony Lockett.”

4. DANNY’S BURGERS – 360 ST GEORGES RD, FITZROY NORTH

“If its 2am (or any hour of the day for that matter) and you NEED a burger,
this is where you should be going. They haven’t changed in decades,
and that’s just how we like it – awesome.”

3. THE AMBEROOM AT ROYCE HOTEL – 379 ST KILDA RD, MELBOURNE

“These guys have changed their menu for an “in-and-out” sort of lunchtime crowd and the burger has copped the brunt of it all. The bun was over toasted, the pattie was OK at best and the rest of the ingredients have declined in quality: the biggest disappointment of 2011.”

2. COLLINS KITCHEN AT GRAND HYATT – 123 COLLINS ST, MELBOURNE

“A little surprised that they decided to add cheese because it really doesn’t need it. Just like 2010, we’d be happy to eat this burger with just bun and pattie: still great.”

1. BEATBOX KITCHEN – INNER/NORTHERN MELBOURNE

“Hail to King Raph, because this is just as incredible as ever.
We’ll be honest and say we’ve been back here on more than
one occasion over 2011. Its hard not to when you’re in love.”



Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Friday, January 27, 2012
Five Guys Burgers & Fries – 1715 Post Oak Boulevard,
Houston, Texas, USA
Burger:
Cheeseburger with Bacon
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$6.79 USD
Summary

Established by a couple of guys (I can only assume it may have been….five?) in the Washington DC area in the 80s, Five Guys quickly grew in popularity, resulting in their eventual franchising in the early ‘thousands. In a mere 10 years, they’ve managed to franchise more than 900 locations. So you know homeboys have to be doing something right. As if they weren’t already popular enough, President Obama famously stopped in and bought his staff a round of burgers while the TV cameras were rolling, no doubt the presidential seal of approval has helped. Regular burgers at Five Guys are always doubles, so you need to make sure you order the “little” versions if you’re not feeling famished. I had the Bacon Cheeseburger with lettuce, pickles and mustard. Five Guys also don’t charge for additional toppings, so next time I may add the grilled onions

Comments
“This right here is In-N-Out’s strongest contender for “Multi-location Takeaway Burger Joint” glory. Yes, it’s ‘plasticised’ processed cheese, but it just melts so gloriously over the juicy beef patties. The bacon is always crisped perfectly, and the bun is perfectly sweet and soft, not interrupting the chi of the burger at all. Fries are served in cups – super crispy, but don’t make the mistake of choosing the Cajun seasoning – it’s too intense and it competes with the umami flavours of the burger. I would also like to award bonus points for their mobile app, I fully intend to order and run in to pick up my burger in my pyjamas one of these days…”

For even more awesomeness from BURGERMARY click here



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


Lotus*

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lotus – 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
The Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$16
Summary

Just past all of the aristocratic elegance of Kings Cross, Sydney, you’ll find the Merivale Group owned Lotus. With a Midas-like touch, they’re responsible for some of Sydney’s most renowned nightclubs, restaurants and hotels. So why should Lotus be any different? Like most of their premium venues, there’s the beautiful decor, low lighting and quite the mean cocktail bar. However, there’s one big difference: the exceptional talents of a chef by the name of Dan Hong. After a few years working the scene in Australia he tore away to the USA, only to return to Lotus in 2008 with some “most-triumphant” tricks up his sleeve. Their Cheeeseburger, as Chef Dan Hong describes, is “bun, meat, onions, sauce, cheese, mayo and pickles – it is a proper burger – no fancy shit”. Dinner/Burger Time starts at 6pm at Lotus; so we arrived at 5:45pm, cooled off with some alcoholic beverages and waited for Awesome to happen.

Comments
“This is like Walter White’s Blue Meth in a bun… sent from the gods! This burger prevails where so many others fail. Although we know how much research went into the meat alone (a mix of chuck, brisket and dry-aged beef fat), simplicity was the key ingredient here. There really is not one thing I’d take out, add or change about this burger. One of the many sexual thoughts I had going through my head after devouring this delight was, “Could I? Could I actually move to Sydney to be closer to my new found love?”
“What I’m about to say really won’t do this burger any justice. So for your sake stop reading this and GO NOW! If you have decided to read on I’ll try and make this quick (because some things in life really don’t need too much explanation). The burger was soft and delicate. The bacon was cooked to perfection, not crisp, but tastefully tender. The pattie was juicy and was filled with sumptuous salty flavours that will blow your mind. The steamed bun was by far the one of the softest buns I have ever had on God’s green earth – I loved it! Our side order of chips + mayo were also great. It’s just such an amazing burger, there’s no chance you’ll be able to stop at one.”
I quit.

Lotus on Urbanspoon

*Like a bazooka in the face, it pains us to say this Lotus is closed for good. FML.


Yo Mama’s Bar and Grill

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Yo Mama’s Bar and Grill – 727 St Peter St, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Burger:
Peanut Butter Bacon
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
18 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$10.50 USD
Summary

In a city famous for it’s Cajun and Creole cuisine, it’s kind of a big deal when a burger joint captures people’s attention. Yo Mama’s Bar & Grill is a small and unassuming French Quarter establishment, mere steps from the constant party of Bourbon St. A dark interior invites you to seek refuge from the hectic atmosphere outside, with seating available both in booths or up at the bar. Tattooed punk-rock waitresses, New Orleans Saints fans, weathered locals and fellow tourists alike can be found here. They offer a large selection of burger styles, including some stranger combinations such as “caviar and sour cream”. All burgers feature a half-pound patty and like another famous NOLA burger joint, come with either a salad or a baked potato. Though fries are not an option, you do have the option of order gumbo or crawfish/alligator sausage as a side – it is New Orleans, after all. However, there was only one burger on my mind: the Peanut Butter Bacon Burger. It came with a half-pound seasoned meat pattie, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and last but not least the peanut butter and bacon.

Comments
“The selection of burgers from the dozen or so available was a no brainer. Peanut Butter was an original topping I’d never seen offered on a burger before and I had been curious to try it since I’d heard about it months earlier. Suffice to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Served open face, this is the first burger I’ve actually chosen to leave the top bun off, and eat with a knife and fork. The cascading torrents of warm peanut butter off the sides of the patty suggested cutlery would be a wise choice. The bacon was crispy, salty and perfectly prepared. The intensity and texture of the peanut butter means that although you do get the meaty taste of the patty in every bite, its impossible to tell if the patty is well cooked or seasoned, but it clearly doesn’t matter. I was “supposed” to share this burger with others at the table, and ended up eating the whole thing myself, and wishing I still had more left.”

For even more awesomeness from BURGERMARY click here

Yo Mama's Bar & Grill‎ on Urbanspoon


The Bottom End

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Bottom End – 579 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Bottom End Cheesey Bacon Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
33 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

The Bottom End is a new kind of hybrid venue: a pub-disco-diner. The love-child of a fair-dinkum pub and a hedonistic party palace with an all-night pseudo-US diner thrown in for good measure. All this over indulgent extrava-Dance is brought to you by none other than Mr.Michael Delany-Korabelnikova; the man behind iconic Melbourne nightclubs Honkytonks, Third Class and Sorry Grandma! Food is the key ingredient in the success of any traditional pub and The Bottom End is no different. The food menu takes cues from all night US diners and the recent “dude food” phenomenon where Philly Cheese Steak, Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls, NYC Buffalo Wings, Prawn and Chorizo Po Boys sit on a menu few could call healthy, but just as few could resist. After recovering from the launch party we went back to try the Cheesey Bacon Burger. Inside was the beef pattie, bacon, gruyere cheese, smoked dutch, lettuce, onion, tomato, onion, pickle, their special sauce between a brioche bun and a side of crinkle cut chips.

Comments
“If you didn’t know the history you never would’ve guessed that this unique and quirky hybrid venue used to be the old crazy rave destination known as Bubble. Created by one of Australia’s most iconic bar consultant/owners they serve up a heluva good old American diner-style burger that cuts no corners. It doesn’t even pretend to be anything healthy and this is the way it should be!! The creamy gruyere made for a great addition to the thick juicy pattie and other fresh ingredients. With their special sauce also between the brioche bun I have to say this is one I’d definitely make a trip back for, whether it was late afternoon or the early hours of the morning.”
“This was a seriously creamy and filling burger. So much so that I have to admit I left a few chips on the plate; a rare occurrence. The creaminess came down to the amazing melted gruyere and the secret sauce that closely resembled a 1,000 Island dressing. It worked well with the crispy, thick cut bacon and the tightly packed beef pattie. If this venue was in a different location I would frequent it more often. However, I consider this part of the city the arsehole of Melbourne and I’m embarassed that it even exists. I hope that along with the new Vue De Monde it can start the much needed rejuvenation.”
“Imagine Buckingham Palace, then fill it with pictures and statues that you would find in some eccentric dandy’s art collection. But they’re all stored in his basement because even he said, “No, even these are too tacky for me”. Then throw in a bar and a kitchen. That is The Bottom End and I LOVED IT. It just takes the piss out of everything and it’s the kind of place you would never expect to find any conservative accountant/lawyer/dental hygienist on a Friday night drinking beer and smashing a burger. So it already qualifies as my favourite place on earth at this point. The burger: the pattie was of average thickness but was juicy. The pickle did taste a bit old and smelt weird. The brioche bun was huge – lots and lots of brioche to fill up on. Greens were nicely prepared and the chips were good. But what really stole the show was the complimentary Mac n’ Cheese balls that came with the burger. That alone is worth a revisit.”
“We rocked up on a Sunday to find out that Mac n’ Cheese balls came complimentary with your meal. Bit of a bonus? No burger-fans, its a frkn HUGE Bonus! Cheese, Bacon and Macaroni have never reminded me more of crack cocaine. Soon after snorting the entrée our burgers were set before us. They were stacked high and were dripping wet with sauce and juices. At my first bite my brain and tastebuds were quick to acknowledge the bacon; there was lots of it and it was outstanding. The beef was pink, soft and held together well. It didn’t need to have too much seasoning on it as all of the other party guests between the buns had enough presence to make up for it. I hardly noticed the cheese, tomato or lettuce. But I couldn’t help but notice the pickles that once tasted on their own, tasted as if they’d been pickled inside a sardine can. There was something fishy going on there (drum roll + cymbal). Crazy food coma after this one so prepare yourselves. Overall, this place is mental and serves awesomeness on “blue or white plates with napkins”.”
The Bottom End on Urbanspoon


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