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


La Luna Bistro

Friday, March 8, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_LaLuna-Bistro

La Luna Bistro – 320 Rathdowne St, Carlton North, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
La Luna Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$23.50
Summary

Located in a sleepy pocket of North Carlton, La Luna is a cosy, rustic restaurant that serves up what they call, “Contemporary Australian with a Mediterranean twist”. Chef and owner Adrian Richardson has one philosophy when it comes to all his ingredients: “got to be FRESH, and if it ain’t fresh it’s aged” (like his aged Beef On The Bone). And, you can’t really fault that philosophy. Their menu offers diners everything from house-made pasta to soufflé to crisp duck legs; all brought to you by friendly staff in a relaxing atmosphere. Amidst a sea of dates, we went for the La Luna prime beef burger that came with bacon, pickles, cheese and a side of fries.

Comments
“The presentation here is fantastic. Clearly a lot of thought and time has gone into this burger. However, I feel it’s almost trying too hard with too many clashes. The beef was mixed in-house and tasted great on its own. It had just the right amount of char and added texture whilst still remaining juicy. The pattie was meaty enough that it probably didnt even need the bacon, but these great flavours ended up lost amongst the sweetness coming from the onion jam and the density of the bun. I’d love to try a more simple version of this that has a few less ingredients, potentially making it more of a balanced burger.”
“I wasn’t really a massive fan of the bun – the texture reminded me of focaccia bread. The tasty pattie was dripped its juicy essence down my wrist and onto the pile of shoe string fries – lovely! There was a sweet onion jam that when combined with the mayo made for one unique and tasty condiment. The lettuce and tomato were well-prepped and added a layer of crispness to it all too. The chips were good and were well-presented in a box made out of the menu.”
“This burger arrived in impressive fashion. There were so many colors beaming from the plate. As soon as I bit in a waterfall of juice poured out. The flavours that really stood out to me were the sweetness from the onion jam and the saltiness from the cheese. At time it almost tasted like a Parmesan crisp – the sort of thing you usually find in an Umami style burger. When it came to the beef pattie, you could tell it was quality. It had herbs splashed throughout but it wasn’t over the top, leaving quite a tasty pattie. I would’ve loved to have seen this burger done in a more classic fashion. But I understand that this is place is meant to have a Mediterranean twist so it might be out of place like that. A nice and tasty meal that’s more of a first date burger rather than a hangover cure.”
La Luna Bistro on Urbanspoon


The Beaufort

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Beaufort – 421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Out-N-Out Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10.50
Summary

The brainchild of one of Melbourne’s bartending veterans, Dave Kerr opened the doors of the now much loved Beaufort with a handfull of other Melbourne misfits almost 6 months ago. Turning a bit of an obsession into reality, Kerr’s nautical themed dive bar come American diner delivers well-mixed classic drinks as well as a few quirky house specials. Their menu is blatant Americana, providing Carlton locals with mouthwatering treats like buffalo wings, deep fried pickles and pulled pork sandwiches. Amid a sea of cool cats (and one dude that looks like he’d been drinking there since the 70′s) we ordered their Out-N-Out Burger that came with a beef pattie, cheese, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard all on a soft sesame seed bun.

Comments
“From the moment this burger arrives on your table in a classic American diner style basket with a pickle served on the side, you know these guys have put some thought into it. Although, once we ordered and received our burger we were informed that the bun they had used wasn’t the usual due to a sellout night the day before. Not that this proved any problem for me, as I loved that they lightly toasted the bottom sections to help hold the juices in and what seemed liked the top was steamed keeping it piping hot and soft. A nice thick and juicy pattie stood out as the star with little else to fight with in this burger. I have to say I really liked this burger, but still feel it needed something else to make it amazing.”
“I’m not exactly sure how they achieved it, but this burger remained piping hot from first to last bite. The classic sesame seed bun was ideal, with just enough burnt toast marks to add some texture and structure while the rest was soft and fluffy. The thick juicy pattie was perfectly matched with the sharp tang of the ketchup and mustard sitting underneath it, creating a classic, no thrills and good value burger. I was really pleased to see that the old drunk guy talking to himself at the end of the bar was still made to feel welcome and didn’t mind that an American dive bar had been built around him.”
“A great tasting pattie that was generously on the thick side, so it didn’t leave me hungry. Having diced onions in the burger was a welcome change and really worked to dull down the acidic onion flavour that can sometimes dominate the palette. The bun was soft and I loved the toasty flavour it got off the grill. But what really impressed me was that it was served with both tomato sauce and mustard in it – winning!”
“I wasn’t completely sold on this burger. And this wasn’t for a lack of trying on my behalf. I really did want to like it because upon first inspection it looked the goods. The hero pattie was great. It was nice and coarse and really let you know you were getting a decent amount of beef. I actually hardly noticed the other ingredients because of it. But, the burger lacked something. I was enjoying the onion rings. So, I even tried putting put them in my burger to give it a hand. But the burger felt dry and without any stickiness of oil or fat it made me reach over to the complimentary spicy sauces and add a bunch in. After some contemplation I figured a whole egg mayo would’ve added a nice fatty creaminess and taken it up a notch. Then maybe if the pickles were inside the burger instead of on the side we’d have a real contender.”
The Beaufort on Urbanspoon