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


8bit

Thursday, August 14, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-8bit
8bit – 8 Droop St, Footscray, Victoria, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
8bit with Cheese
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$8.50
Summary

Footscray could proudly boast to being the most diverse suburb in the world, with residents from 135 different countries now calling it home. Located only 5kms west of the CBD, this melting pot has had its problems in its past but really appears to have turned a new leaf, with a large assortment of Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese and African restaurants. It’s no surprise then that a computer game inspired diner, that’s open 7 days a week serving burgers, dogs, shakes and sides like Tater Tots has people lining up outside the door. We ordered the 8bit with Cheese, consisting of beef, tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickles, mustard, cheese and 8Bit sauce and then patiently stalked fellow diners finishing for their prized stool at the counter.

Comments
“Initial impression came from how visually appealing it was; sitting high and mighty in its custom made little box with plenty of colour popping out from the cheese, ketchup, mustard and lettuce. Then from first bite to last, it was full of great flavour, with equal amounts of bun, beef, cheese and sauce in each and every bite. The bun was super soft, which combined with the crunch from the lettuce to give some great texture, that served well with the perfectly seasoned and fresh beef patty and contrasting sauces. Would love to come back and try everything else on the menu.”
“The wait: was it worth it? Well, burgers covered in gooey American cheese didn’t help my hunger as I watched diner after diner get their burger before me. When it arrived it looked just as delicious as everybody elses. It reminded me of a mix between Fat Bob’s and Laurie Dees. The highlights were the cheese and pattie ( just the way it should be). The cheese and patty combined to form and unstoppable force making for a soft, salty, juicy and fatty bite. So good! And, such a bargain!”
8bit. on Urbanspoon


Racks Ribs Co

Friday, August 8, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-RacksRibsCo

Racks Ribs Co – 680A Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield South, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Racks Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12
Summary

Located in South Eastern suburbia this little cosy, woodgrain-walled shop greets you with friendly staff and the tantalising smell of BBQ. With mouth-watering menu options of delicious meat cuts cooked BBQ style, you can’t help go home still smelling like a cook-out. Their busy nights are Friday and Saturday so we recommend you get there early and be prepared to come back again to try all the assortments of “fall-off-the-bone” meats they have on offer. We went for their famous “Racks Burger” served on a brioche bun with a basted 180g pattie, mix lettuce, tomato, sliced cheese and Racks sauce.

Comments
“As we were the only one’s in here (and it’s quite a compact little shop), I could see how much care and attention the chef was putting into each burger. Which is why I was amazed when he opened a fresh bag of buns, then burnt one on the grill, turned to the girl working with him and muttered something along the lines of “oh crap, I burnt that one” and then continued to serve it to me. My dining companions seemed to be enjoying theirs, however it was pretty hard to accurately assess its flavour and texture when it felt like biting into a charcoal briquette.”
“I really enjoyed the whole experience; the service was friendly, the shop smelled of BBQ and was warm and cosy for a winters day. The burger itself was OK, but nothing in the burger really popped up for me with the exception of the delicious Racks sauce glaze. What really sets this place apart for me is entertaining the thought of sharing a rack of ribs with a group of friends then moving onto the burger. I did pay an additional $3 for the chips which I think was a no brainer; no meal is complete without chips.”
“As soon as the burgers went on the grill the smell of nice charred meat was in the air. It was a lovely looking burger although before I bit in I was a little worried the patty might be a little too far on the dark side. Yes, it was crunchy on the outer, but ended up being so soft on the inner. It was really well-balanced and had notes of sticky sweetness from the base sauce, sort of reminding me of a Big Mac Sauce. It was an all around solid burger but I wish it had a little more cheese and maybe even a pickle on the side to finish off the meal.”
Racks Ribs Co. on Urbanspoon


Chur Burger

Monday, July 28, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-ChurrBurger

Chur Burger – 48 Albion Street,
Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10
Summary

If you’re unfamiliar with native New-Zealand-ish then “Chur” is just another made up word that you and your friends will argue about, end up on Google, then call your favourite NZ buddy to confirm. You see, Warren Turnbull, former fine dining chef, is a NZer and the only way he wanted to describe the mouth-watering burgers he was creating was “Chur!”. What us Aussie’smight call “Ripper”. After a fire in the original hole in the wall burger joint that was Chur Burger, he set up shop in Surry Hills in a larger space offering a larger selection of burgers, chips and “drank”. He has seen so much success for his burgers that there are now four Sydney locations and another opening up pretty soon in Brisbane. Collaborating with fellow countryman and designer, Scrap Wall, their Surry Hills location seats plenty, has a bit of a found/industrial art vibe to and is the kind of place you can spill a drink and noone will bat an eye. They do milkshakes, fries and a bunch of different burgers that cater for all walks of life. Cooked medium-rare, I went for the classic Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with a beef patty, cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickle – simple.

Comments
“I’ll admit it. I’m one of those contrarians that hates hype. And, from the countless emails we’ve received, there was plenty of hype about Chur. I was in Sydney on a tight schedule and I knew I had to make my way round to see what all the fuss was about. Their brioche bun wasn’t overly sweet (which is a nice change) but I would’ve preferred something a little softer. As I bit in to the patty I noticed it was nice and fatty, but with bits of gristle in it I started to fall less in love with it. Having read that they served medium rare as a standard I was let down by the grey pattie that had been left on the grill a little too long. Halfway down something happened. The burger changed. This was the delicious pink I was looking for. It stepped up so quickly. Why was it so uneven though? If you’re a regular here you’ll know that I’m keen as mustard for mayonnaise in a burger, but this was overkill. I feel like Chur Burger started out as this delicious burger joint where tender love and care were put into making every single burger a work of art. Now with the popularity and expansion I imagine it’s harder to control the quality (as we’ve seen in other Melbourne burger joints). The framework of an stand-out burger is still there. It was just missing the key ingredient: love (single tear).”
Chur Burger on Urbanspoon