Laurie Dee’s

Friday, December 6, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_LaurieDees

Laurie Dee’s – Pacific Epping, Epping, Victoria, Australia, Australia
Burger:
The Double Laurie Dee Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$9.95
Summary

Laurie Dee’s recently reopened within the $30 million ‘Urban Diner’ development at Pacific Epping (previously Epping Plaza) providing a restaurant and entertainment precinct that caters to the demands of all the families moving into the new surrounding estates. As you’d expect, everything is brand spanking new and th evenue resembles a cross between an American diner and a fast food outlet. We ordered at the counter, grabbed a booth and eagerly awaited the Double Laurie Dee Burger with Angus beef that’s minced daily and then smashed, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, special D’Sauce, tomato, lettuce, pickles and tomato relish.

Comments
“Oh God this looked the goods and was exactly what I needed as I was completely starving (having taken the long way to get to Epping). With giant, crusty chunks of beef hanging off and ample amounts of cheese, I could not wait for my first bite. The beef was perfectly salted and crumbly with creamy cheese filling in every crevice. The pickle added a nice sour bite, but possibly the only thing I’d change is the tomato relish to a ketchup – apart from that I couldn’t fault it. The smash method of cooking a patty (starting with a fresh ball of mince and then smashing into smithereens with a spatula on the hot plate) has not caught on in Australia but I’m glad these guys have done it, and done it so well.”
“This was a very cheesy and greasy experience. Packed with meat/juice goodness, relish and melted cheese, each bite is consistently the same in taste and texture. The Special “D” sauce combined well with the relish. There wasn’t a lot of green stuff to make it boring, but enough to add some underlying fresh tones to cut through the sauce. The chips come seasoned with herbs and really tasted great – good enough not to share.”
“What really got me excited was when I saw other diners’ burgers. I was filled with massive food envy as I waited for my meal. As it arrived at our table all the signs of a smashburger were apparent: a smashed pattie. It was terribly soft and greasy, and by “terribly” I mean “awesomely”. I was too busy trying to keep a good grip on it all to try ingredients individually but the main flavours were soft, salty beefiness and then the creamy punch of the melted cheese. The only thing I would change would be their special sauce to something more traditional. Save your airfare money, maybe pack an over night bag (we are talking Epping here) and make your way down to Laurie D’s for a little piece of the USA in and around your mouth.”
Laurie Dees on Urbanspoon


Hello Sam

Thursday, November 28, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_HelloSam

Hello Sam – 760 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Too Cheesy
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12
Summary

Go back some 10 years and unless you were buying a Lamborghini or on your way to buy a couch, you’d probably never really have thought to hang out that far down Chapel St. Nowadays, amid a jungle of high rise apartments, you only have to spit and you’d hit a new place to eat. Hello Sam is making the most of the sprawl and basically has any type of burger for any occasion or any body. Their owner Katherine Sampson (bonus points for why it’s called “Hello SAM”) is better known for her Healthy Habits chain but aims to bring the diner tradition out of the dark dingy corners, polish it off and please a whole bunch of Melbournians with some gourmet burgers. Hello Sam’s menu is pretty extensive, so whether you’re in the mood for a fish, lamb, chicken, or beef burger (or maybe even a hotdog) you’ll be covered. We decided to upgrade their namesake Simply Sam burger to the Too Cheesy version. It came on a brioche bun with an Angus pattie, lettuce, tomato, red onion, tomato relish, 2 mustard mayo and a cheddar ale melt.

Comments
“A slight moment of panic as it looked like they’d forgotten the beef patty. However, after lifting the top bun I saw that hidden underneath a waterfall of cheese was the piece of beef. The pattie had been cooked to within an inch of its life, leaving behind little flavour but, the super creamy cheese somewhat made up for it. The bun was fresh, the salad was fresh, but I would of preferred the chutney to have a little bit more tang and bite to it. I loved the complimentary hand wipes that came with the meal and as tempting as they may smell, don’t eat them.”
“For an additional $1 to upgrade from the Simply Sam to the Too Cheesy I’d really recommend you pay it and get transported to cheese heaven. It was by far one of the cheesiest burgers I’ve had so far this year. The pattie was a bit too small for the bun and was a tad bit over cooked, but was still good. The bun was like a soft kiss from the heavens, promising to take you to a safe place away from all the world’s craziness. If I was working around the corner I’d definitely be there for lunch a couple of days a week; perfect for that quick lunch break.”
“I wasn’t overly impressed to begin with. The pattie was rather charred and looked to be wearing an oversized bun for a hat/helmet. It wasn’t until I bit in that I tasted some of the best cheese I’ve ever encountered in a burger. It had me looking like a crackie: licking the front of my teeth for 15 minutes after I had finished, trying to get at any remanence. The pattie wasn’t bad, but it didn’t get the love and attention it needed on the grill. The bun to pattie ratio was saddest part – being left with an outrageous crescent moon shaped bun after I eaten through the pattie wasn’t ideal. Hello Sam does have a lot of potential, but right now the operation seems rushed, reactive and they’re learning as they go. Saying that, because of that cheddar cheese (and with hopefully this feedback taken on-board), I’ll be poking me head in from time to time as summer rolls in.”
Hello SAM Burger Cafe on Urbanspoon


Paris-New York

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ParisNewYorkBurger

Paris-NewYork – 50 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10e, Paris, France
Burger:
Vintage Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
21 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
€11.40/$16.15 AUD
Summary

Ever since December 2012, the rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis has seemed a little bit brighter. Next door to a fishmonger with a cluster of Broadway bulbs shines Paris-New York, a.k.a, PNY. In what may seem like an obviously awesome mix of cultures, PNY have embraced the best of both Paris and NYC, and turned it into their own swanky, hell-bent on quality hamburger joint. With the help of CUT Architects, this two story venue’s monochrome design takes cues from both iconic cities, even managing to subtly reference icons like Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower into their interior steel structure. Where it gets exciting is at the menu: they work closely with artisinal producers and get their hands on nothing but top-notch produce. This was made no more apparent than when I ordered the Vintage Cheeseburger. Its beef pattie is aged, chopped in house and comes from French Piebald cattle and the cheese is Somerset Cheddar, aged 18 months. These were served on a toasted brioche bun with pickles, Classic America sauce and a generous serving of fries.

Comments
“At first I sort of grumbled to myself about le service being slow. But when le burger came out I had forgotten all about it because this thing was swimming in glorious cheese. My first bite was incredible. Le cheese was quite bold and tended to linger with every mouthful. Le beef was just as tasty: it was fatty, salty and chopped nice and coarse. I’m normally am not a fan of mustard my burgers (must be part of what they call Classic America sauce) but this was really great – it didn’t over power anything. It was predictably French, cooly whispering that it was there and didn’t yell at me like most obnoxious American mustards do. I also couldn’t find a bad fry among the lot of them: so crispy on the outside and soft on the in that I wanted to eat them by the fistful. This was truly an outstanding Burger Adventure that I hope le other dudes get to tick off their list one day. Merci Paris-New York.”


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


Gramercy Bistro

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gramercy Bistro – 162 Commercial Rd, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gramercy Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$20.50
Summary

It’s fair to say that when a place takes on a name like “Gramercy Bistro” you’re more than likely to think of all that is cool about Manhattan. Go on and add one of Melbourne’s trendiest hotels in the Cullen (a part of the Art Series Hotels) and big expectations loom. Paying homage to some of NYC’s greatest hotels, owner Adam Faigan and Head Chef Rodd Blutman and his team have put together a menu that injects a little bit of Melbourne into many go-to New York dishes like Reuben sandwiches, Steak frites, Buttermilk Pancakes of course, the humble hamburger. Catering for every kind of diner also extends to the layout: a casual deli/cafe approach towards the front, cocktails and cigars in the inside-outside area, or the relaxed, but a touch more formal, dining space near the back of the restaurant. On a sun filled Sunday we sat smack-bang in the middle and ordered their signature Gramercy Burger that comes with a Brioche bun, Wagyu beef pattie, bacon, onions, pickles, melted cheddar, tomato, relish, mustard and a side of shoestring fries.

Comments
“Some really nice presentation here with crispy salty fries served in an unpretentious cardboard box and the burger topped with a pickle. The highlight for me was the perfectly melted, super smooth, creamy and gooey cheddar cheese that ultimately enveloped the beef and married the bacon. The bun was super soft and sweet, which worked really well with the creaminess of the cheese and the contrasting tang of the mustard. The beef pattie was the right size and cooked just right, however it lacked a whole lot of flavour. I would of loved the bacon to be a bit crispier to add a bit of crunch to a burger that overall lacked a variety of texture.”
“We’re not off to a good start when I say the standouts in this burger were the bun, bacon and cheese. The pattie was a bit bland but, supported by all these awesome tasting side ingredients, as well as the tangyness of the mustard, really made up for it. Due to the pattie tasting a bit processed and run of the mill, more sauce had to be added. The fries weren’t great and to add insult to injury my Coke was a bit flat. However bonus points for the lime wedge.”
“Mouth agape I thought, “Wow, what a work of art – a sexy, classy work of art.” But then I caught eye of the weird multicoloured beef. I thought the worst, expecting a multitude of unnecessary herbs and spices to choke the beef’s potential. To my surprise, when I bit in a wave of enjoyment ran up and down my tastebud valleys. The highlight ingredients for me were the cheese, the bacon and maybe even the pattie. The not too overpowering mustard was masterfully added but the relish was a smidge too jammy and sugary. It was actually good! But then like most relationships, it kind of got boring. Not to say that this is a bad burger at all. But it didnt leave me wanting more, not out of hunger, but pure allure.”
Gramercy Bistro on Urbanspoon


Burger Fuel

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Burger Fuel – 101 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand
Burger:
Third Pounder with Cheese
Serviettes:
0 (thanks to the Doofer)
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$9.60 NZD / $7.55 AUD
Summary

Burger Fuel first opened on Ponsonby Rd in Auckland in 1995. After initially expanding nation-wide they were eventually floated on the NZ stock exchange in 2007 and partnered with a Dubai based investment group. Since opening their first Middle-Eastern store with a 200 seat restaurant in Saudi Arabia, they now boast 37 stores across New Zealand, Australia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt and Libya. The store is decked out with plenty of stainless steel, fluro lights and an obvious love of hot rods with a really tried and tested kitchen finely tuned to produce a consistent burger using the finest of local ingredients. After much deliberation we opted for the Third Pounder with Cheese that comprises of 1/3 pound of 100% pure NZ grass fed beef, melted cheddar, bread and butter pickles, dijon mustard, relish and the famous fresh natural Burger Fuel aoli.

Comments
“First off, the “Doofer” is the smartest invention ever. As someone with OCD who hates shit on his hands, this is heaven sent. And, this burger definitely needed it because it was extremely saucy. Almost too saucy as the strong flavour of the dijon mustard and sharp pickles pretty much completely overpowered the cheese and only left a little bit of beef flavour. The beef was really evenly cooked; the reason I know this is because I really like checking out kitchens (even though I’ve never actually used mine at home) and found the patties being char grilled on a conveyor belt. On a side note. I’m very impressed, and at the same time perplexed, as to them having a store in Iraq.”
“A couple of days into our camper van trip of NZ and on a route mission to consume as many burger options as possible meant we sometimes would eat burgers a bit earlier than normal. In this case eating a burger at 11am was an eventuality that we often faced. For a morning burger the Third Pounder and Cheese was a winner, but not a filler. I loved the Dijon mayo and the pickles were awesome. The pattie was on the greasy side and did taste OK for franchise beef, but if it was a lunch/dinner meal I could have used some more meat in the mix.”
“One of them “Jermaine from Flight of the Conchords” look-a-likes regularly told me that Burger Fuel is the best burger in NZ and I had to give it a go. Truth be told I didn’t care for these comments. Could a chain hold such an honour? Of course my immediate feelings towards Burger Fuel were tarnished, imagining a Grill’d-like establishment that’d rather ask me about my feelings than how I’d like my burger cooked. Sadly, neither of these things happened. Chowing down into my burger with its soft NZ-style bun gave me an automatic kick of dijon – exactly what I needed at 11am. The bread and butter cucumber were also a treat but where I felt it lacked was in the meat department. Whether it needed to maybe be a 1/2 pounder, or just use fattier beef I’m not sure, but it didn’t really stand out for me. I don’t know if I’d need another one on my next trip to NZ, next time I’m in Iraq though, that I’d give a crack.”


Hoboken*

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hoboken – 3 Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Hoboken Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$13.50
Summary

Tucked away in arguably Melbourne’s most famous lane way, Hoboken keeps some good company. Not only with all the tourists, artists and vagrants that frequent Hosier Lane, it gets to rub shoulders with (“Oh My GoD! Lets Blog about”) MoVida. Owner Hugh Thorn, of Von Haus fame, has now teamed up with baker Dan Younger, relentlessly working together to create a burger that is produced with products sourced as locally and organically as possible. Grinding the locally sourced meat in house, the team dishes out a limited amount of burgers each day – so be sure to get in and get your share. We managed to slip in one Sunday arvo and order the last burgers of the day. Before us arrived a glazed brioche bun with a thick freshly ground organic Cherry Tree Farm beef pattie, organic cheddar, Momo Fuku pickles, organic condiments, finely diced red onion and lettuce.

Comments
“This was an extremely fresh and flavourful burger. The first thing I noticed was the shiny gloss of the bun and the really chunky piece of beef. Although the beef was quite grey in colour with barely any char on the outside, it was still really tasty and had plenty of juice. Underneath the beef it initially looked like coleslaw however it turned out to be shredded lettuce covered in mayo which, ultimately contributed to the bottom bun almost completely dissolving. The venue is quintessential Melbourne: down a laneway, dudes with beards, water served in jars, eclectic music and to my surprise, really friendly service.”
“These guys – quite unapologetically – have produced a really simple burger. Perfect for a daytime meal with no huge sleepy side effects. For me the whole story is in the beef. Sure there might be other ingredients in it, but every bite into this juicy, delicious beef makes you forget about everything else in your world, like those University loans that never seem to be paid off and for some reason just grow. The bun was as delicate as you would imagine Charlize Theron’s skin would be if she was smothered in butter in the warm Mediterranean Sun. I just wish I had had some fries to boot.”
“The first thing I remember about Hoboken was the glorious smell. Man did the room reek of grilled awesomeness! After my super sexy photo shoot I bit in – the pattie dripped with excellence and the organic cheddar added a lovely creaminess. The bun was cute and sweet like my high school prom date, and did a good job of holding the meat. My only qualm would be the pickles that interrupted the meal every now and then with their acidity. As good as the burger was, it was a shame that the Hoboken cats ran out of fries by the time we got there (2pmish); they would’ve been the perfect sidekick to this smallish dish. But, if you do miss out on fries, don’t stress. A full stomach is only another burger away.”
Hoboken Cafe on Urbanspoon

*Unfortunately all reports are true and Hoboken has closed down. Shame to see a decent burger go to the grave.