Mr Scruff’s

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-MrScruff

Mr Scruff’s – 60 Smith St, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Double Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
19 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$11
Summary

Imagine it’s past your bed time, it’s any day but Monday and you need good food and liquor. Smith Street Collingwood has an offering for you that is surprisingly unpretentious and non-conceptual. That is, unless their concept is to cater for locals with a whopping beer garden and nothing on the food menu over $11. There’s a few different rooms to park your bum but what’s common to them all is the street art all over the walls, which goes hand in hand with the street food inspired menu. If you’re not into burgers: A)why are you reading this?, and B) there’s souvlaki and tacos that can accompany your drink of choice. Whoever Mr Scruff it’s clear he wants visitors to have a boogie, burger and a beer all for a seriously good price; just check out some of their cocktail and jug specials! We went for their burger, normally $9 and added an extra beef patty – it came with Cheese, lettuce, Mr Scruff’s Special Sauce, pickles and onion on a seeded brioche-style bun.

Comments
“Seeing a burger in Melbourne under $10 is becoming a rare occurrence nowadays so we figured it must be pretty small; how wrong we were. Not that I’m complaining, but a single patty would more than suffice. The beef was super juicy with a nice crumble to it, which the creamy cheese managed to intertwine with perfectly. A really great crunch and sharp flavour was provided by the pickle and onion with the ‘Scruffs Special Sauce’ complimenting everything really well and, the Brioche bun did its best to hold on until the end. For the price, this has to be one of the best value burgers in Melbourne at the moment.”
“Walking into the place I really didn’t know what to expect. What looked like a trendy/hipster bar with no kitchen in site and food aroma in the air I thought maybe we were going for some pre-burger drinks. That was not the case. What I was greeted with was a great tasting, juicy patty with heaps of melted cheese, mayo and a lovely addition of pickles. The lettuce and all that green stuff was kept at a minimum. I felt compelled to add another pattie for an extra $2. Overall it was a great value burger, even if you wanted to go for a single pattie. Chips were more’ish.”
“We opted for the double. Why not right? For 11$ we figured it would’ve been on the smaller side. Wrong. It was so soft when I bit in. The cheese was ridiculous and the patty was pink and juicy. Damnit, every bite was really was good. There was a Big Macness that I liked but the pickles I think, didn’t need to be so fancy. Straight up Maccas pickles would’ve been just fine. The bun fell apart a bit but I could live with it on this occasion. Bonus points on the chips because they were dynamite.”
Mr Scruff's on Urbanspoon


Umami Burger

Friday, November 14, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-UmamiBurger

Umami Burger – 2184 Union Street, San Francisco, California, USA
Burger:
The Original
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12 USD
Summary

The idea behind Umami Burger was conceived in another, be it, the most sought out burger on the West Coast: In-n-out. It was 2005 and Adam Fleischman was digging into one of his favourite indulgences – a double cheeseburger – and he started to wonder why America was so fascinated with burger and pizza culture. He then thought back to his favourite cooking shows and remembered the word Umami. The gourmet burger scene was about to be born. Fleischman started experimenting with all sorts of ingredients to obtain the “5th taste”, throwing everything from seaweed, miso soup and fish sauce in between some buns. In 2009 he was ready, opening the first Umami Burger in Los Angeles in a failed Korean Taco shop. From then on it boomed with many more locations opening up and was even named 2010’s Burger of the Year by GQ. Each location usually has a signature burger on their menu, something that Fleischman hopes to move Umami Burger away from the chain burger store stereotype and towards more of a classier restaurant group. For example, the San Francisco location uses its surrounding for inspiration and offers a Bacon Wrapped Scallop Burger (which we here hold in contempt). I was there for the original though and proceeded to order, wait for it, The Original. It came with a Wagyu Beef blend patty seasoned in Umami sauce (soy) and dust (porcini mushrooms and dried fish heads), a parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, Umami house ketchup all on a Portuguese-style bun, made exclusively for Umami Burger.

Comments
“It’s been many years since I first heard about this famous burger joint, but when I arrived at their San Fran store, it wasn’t what I expected. I thought it’d be all open kitchens and burgers flying around the place, but it was more like a Yankee Japanese restaurant. I get that’s where the flavour inspiration comes from but it was trying to be a little too cool. When the the burger came out it looked delicious – noticeably smaller than the Umami burgers I’ve eaten in Melbourne. The first bite was soft, salty and the patty was cooked nice and pink. The salty and sweet from roast tomatoes and shiitake did their part in upholding the Umami buzz, but I wanted more from the parmesan. At the end of the day, I’d say to Melbournians go visit Nshry because they’ve nailed the whole notion of Umami. If you’re by a Umami Burger in the States, I’d say try one of their other burgers that adds bacon or an extra patty. They might be the Original, but the Original has been trumped by Melbourne’s very own Nshry.


Three Crowns

Thursday, November 6, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-3Crowns

Three Crowns – 365 Victoria St, West Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Three Crowns American Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in area
Price:
$18
Summary

Some will argue that it’s North Melbourne, others West, but whichever way you look at it it’s still a great old pub for locals and tourists alike. Renovations have come and gone, but with it Three Crowns has taken on a new chef with an American inspired menu. Head Chef Chris Smith has given North Melbournians a selection of mouthwatering options like fried chicken, chilli cheese fries, tater tots and ribs from a smoker. Three Crowns know how to look after their locals, even giving them a 10% discount on a Sunday night. We had heard good things about their burger so we ordered a round of beers and a round of American Cheeseburgers that came with a 100% ground beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, bacon, tomato, “fancy sauce” and pickles on a brioche bun. For some extra coin you can double, or even triple your fun.

Comments
“You can see the care and attention that went into creating this burger, as it’s a far cry from your traditional pub burger. The American influence on the new menu is clearly obvious. Texture-wise, it did alright by me, with a super soft brioche bun, juicy patty and creamy cheese with the only crunch coming from the bacon and the barely noticeable lettuce and tomato. The fancy sauce added a nice little kick, which cut through all the subtle flavours that combined so well together.”
“A Pub-Burger is something that’s very close to this writers heart. Yeah, sometimes you have a burger you hope to forget due to its rissole-like patty and its slice of canned beetroot, however this was not the case. Even though this was one damn greasy experience, the meal itself was still reasonably good. The patty was cooked nicely and covered with melted cheese and delicious bacon. The bun really couldn’t hold it’s integrity even from when I received it, it even looked a bit soggy.The meal was uber filling so I advise on skipping a meal before you go. I did like the chips and the tip jar! My money went to the Stones (you’ll know what I mean when you go).”
“It looked impressive. Espescially with the site of the American cheese oozing out the sides. The spines of lettuce poking out of my burger worried me in the beginning but I came to find they didn’t impact my meal at all. There was an awesome sticky fattiness to each note. It coupled with the sweetness of the melted cheese oh so gloriously. For me this sets a standard of how a burger should be cooked. The bun was on the heavy side and after falling apart I actually left a quarter of it on the plate – it was too much. A surprisingly non-pub style burger that I reckon I’d go back for. Un-Australian in a good way.”
Three Crowns Hotel on Urbanspoon


Tuolumne Meadows Grill, Yosemite National Park

Sunday, November 2, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Yosemite

Tuolumne Meadows Grill – Tioga Rd. (Rte. 120),
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Burger:
Cheeseburger + Bacon
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$8 USD
Summary

If you drive 5 hours east of San Francisco you’ll encounter some of the most breathtaking views on the planet. Yosemite National Park’s incredible vistas attract everyone from lollygagging tourists, avid hikers, animal lovers and artists. There are plenty of things to do and see in the park but chances are you’ll be driving through Tuoumne Meadows; a popular spot to set out for a range of hikes and trail-rides. Not far away from the visitors centre you’ll find a shack with a flyscreen door where hungry campers and hikers can get their fix for classic Americana. They do mostly sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs but you can always get a nice plate of bacon and eggs if you’re there before 11:30am. I ordered a Cheeseburger with extra bacon that came with an oat/flour topped bun with a beef pattie, lettuce, American cheese, onion, tomato and pickles.

Comments
“Regardless of all the veggies involved, the burger was actually so simple. For some odd reason it was a smidge cold and wet, but like most things in life, I’d blame the lettuce. I liked that they don’t add any sauce. It means you can make your burger how you want it. I felt like it didn’t really need it because you got a lot of sweetness from the fresh onion and pickle. It also helped to make the simple beef pattie the hero of burger. For once I’d probably say you don’t need the bacon. It didn’t really do much for the burger. If you were looking for something with more grunt, I’d double my pattie next time. Overall, it wasn’t anything amazing, but I really expected a lot less quality and for a higher price (without bacon it was $6). These guys could charge what they want but they know that a hungry hiker is probably going to order a few of these after a long trek.


The day we visited McDonalds

Friday, October 17, 2014
Gourmet-Flyer-Maccas

We’ve always said that McDonald’s isn’t an Adventure. But, when they got in touch with us a couple of weeks ago, they promised a Maccas experience like never before. We receive emails all the time to come in for a burger “on the house”, but always decline in favour of coming unannounced where we’re sure we’ll receive the same burger as the guy walking in behind us. In this instance, we had the chance to be one of the first people to check out a new concept that’s somewhat of a big deal to a company who’s served billions of burgers world wide. So, before we knew it myself (Z) and D were on a plane up to Sydney to build our own custom McDonald’s Gourmet Burger.
NewMaccasKioskBurger

After a few handshakes with the McDonald’s folk we were standing in front of some touch screens punching in a variety of different options we’d like in our burger. You get an interesting amount of choice that we really didn’t expect to find in an Australian McDonald’s. Options like a Brioche bun, Tortilla chips and Applewood Smoked Bacon were all a surprise. We decided that we were going to make two different kinds of burgers: something that the average punter would try and make (basically throw anything and everything in a burger) and then something that would make Ron Swanson proud (meat x meat x meat).
D threw in mushrooms, caramelised onions, fresh onions and jalapenos amongst the traditional McDonald’s burger fair and I went straight into double beef, Jack cheese, 4 x bacon and jalapenos. Once we’d finalised our order a receipt was spat out, we found a table outside and observed. Within about 5 minutes our burgers were brought over by an enthusiastic Maccas team member posing as a waiter (table service is all part of it) and hoed in.
It’s probably the first thing I thought of (and the last): it doesn’t taste like McDonald’s – not the McDonald’s I’m used to anyway. Granted, D’s burger was an utter mess and no doubt there’ll be plenty of people getting a product that they think might taste great when ordering, but really shouldn’t even exist. If I were in charge I’d actually have the people who select certain combinations like no bun ( yes you can do that ) escorted quietly out of the store. There is a reason why Big Macs have stood the test of time. First off, McDonald’s are a squillionaire corporation so everything they do will be thought out and researched. And, secondly, because everyone knows what you’re going to get with a Big Mac; familiarity. So, when people start creating God Knows What, we’d probably advise them to get a side of Cheeseburger to carry them through the rest of their day.
Z-MaccasBurger

The Double Meat Quad Bacon creation on the other hand was seriously a pleasure. You probably wouldn’t want to run a marathon afterward but it’s more in line with the McDonald’s most of us know. The patties tasted like an upgrade from the normal menu and with that amount of bacon plus some Jack cheese you shouldn’t be able to mess it up.The things that let D and I down though were the details. When opting for a more meaty burger other things need to be upped to balance it out. The same amount of sauce and jalapenos were used that a single patty might’ve just covered, so the zing of spice didn’t really come through. I guess thats something that a production line might miss when you compare it to a local burger joint.
So, we had some ups and downs, but generally we had a decent feed. Some chains like Grill’d might feel a pinch in the big cities, but where this is really going to take off is in more rural areas where they don’t have more Gourmet Burger options. It’s hard to predict how Australia will feel about paying over $16 for a meal at Maccas though.
The enormity of the task at hand for McDonalds is rather scary: within the next 6-9 months they plan on rolling this out to every store in the country. So, start thinking about what you might want to cram into a burger now, because you might not have to wait too long (unless there’s a line of course, then you’ll probably wait a while). We have no idea how they’re going to pull it off but if anyone can do it it’s probably these guys.

P.S They flew us to Sydney, paid for our transfers and our meals, then left us to it.



Hooters

Friday, October 3, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Hooters
Hooters – 6922 Hollywood Blvd, Suite 109, Hollywood, California, USA
Burger:
Hooters Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12.08 USD
Summary

On April Fools Day 1983, six men sat in Clearwater, Florida, talking about a business prospect. They chose this day as a joke because they figured their idea was destined for failure. Decades on and many tight shorts later, Hooters is a booming enterprise. Half sports bar, half breastaurant, Hooters is still an all-American family friendly venue that has “good times on tap”. Making a name for themselves for their super smiley Hooters girls and spicy chicken wings has lead Hooters to open 430 locations all over the world all the way from Tokyo to Prague. At 11.30am along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I looked forward to escaping the California sun and diving into a cold beer and juicy hamburger. Just like their waitresses, the burgers come in different shapes and sizes, but I opted for the classic Hooters Cheeseburger. In between a soft traditional burger bun was a medium cooked beef pattie, American cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato and ketchup and mustard left on the side to add as I pleased. I couldn’t decide between the Curly Fries or Tater Tots, so I just got both.

Comments
“Forget about the plunging neck lines and ass-cheek-revealing shorts. The experience at Hooters is delightful. If you’re in a terrible mood their staff will be sure to cheer you up in a jiffy. The Hooters girls’ positivity and bubbliness rubs off, and surprisingly not in a sleazy way. Floor staff aside, the food is the real reason for my visit. The Cheeseburger was pure Americana with its dripping cheese and super soft bite, but it wasn’t anything amazing. The patty was OK on its own, but when combined with the raw onions it made for a meaty, salty treat. I like that the burger didn’t come with sauce because these guys appreciate everyone likes something different squirted on their buns. They know that they’re not gourmet so they don’t try to be. I was recommended to try my burger cooked medium but should’ve gone medium-rare to get a bit more juice. Overall, a really lovely experience. Beers as big as your head, burgers and super friendly staff. What more could you want?”


Big Mouth

Sunday, August 24, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BigMouth

Big Mouth – 168 Acland St, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Big Mouth Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in area
Price:
$21
Summary

They probably read about it in Lonely Planet, but there’s good reason tourists flock to St Kilda all year round. They might deter some of the more “refined” Melbournians, but chances are most of us, at one point or another have taken a stroll down Acland St for a drink or bite to eat. Sitting at the top of the busy street is an Big Mouth. The Art Deco building has played very different roles since its opening in 1938: a second hand furniture store, a cabaret, a band room, reception centre, Russian ball room and a wax museum. But now, as it stands the bar/restaurant/nightclub caters for all kinds of folk, whether its for a big night or a big steak. We sat in one of their dining rooms and ordered the Big Mouth Burger that came with an Angus pattie, Monterey Jack, sweet pickles, pickled onion, chipotle aioli & fries.

Comments
“I really didn’t enjoy this burger experience, it was hard work with some overbearing flavours and texture. First of all it’s an extremely dark restaurant, which isn’t helped when the burger is served on a long skinny plank of wood added to the challenge. The bun was a very crusty, dry kaiser roll, with very little give in it, creating a giant crumbly mess, which didn’t pair very well with the domineering sweet pickles and pickled onions. The beef patty, when eaten on its own was delicious and juicy, however with nothing to absorb and trap the flavour in, just ended up adding to the mess.”
“The patty was cooked OK however it did taste a bit garlicky for my liking, but with the ever so creamy combination of Jack cheese and mayo it quickly regained points in my book. Looking at all the other burgers my burger comrades ordered it seemed that the kitchen was having an inconsistent night. As much as I liked the bun I really could have done with less bread in my diet that day. Rather than including the greens in my burger and just saved them later for a fresher-upped for the palette.”
“On paper this was right up my alley. It came out deconstructed and I wasn’t sure what for: pure laziness or they wanted to add as much greenery as you like. I went for none of that. There were great hints of creaminess and plenty of crunch from the crusty kaiser. It was hard to tell where it was actually coming from but garlic was apparent all around this burger. It was great. Not over powering or anything, it just lingered around. The patty was soft and salty and the chipotle aoili rounded out each bite with some spice. The pickled onions also provided a nice tang and I’m glad weren’t of the Zuni variety for a change. I think I really liked this burger. I reckon 21 bucks was a smidge steep though (mainly because of lack of chips).”
Big Mouth on Urbanspoon