Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen

Monday, December 9, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_GloriaSwanstons

Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen – 243 Swanston St, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Kick Ass Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$16
Summary

Up until a few years ago the Lounge was synonymous as one of Melbourne’s main university hangouts. With a 10min walk from RMIT University, pool table, pub grub and a balcony right over Swanston Street it’s easy to understand how the conditions were right for students to graze. Earlier this year Lounge received a much needed refurbishment and established Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen with a menu possessing some of the most mouth watering American style comfort food going around in Melbourne. As part of the relaunch of Gloria Swanston’s kitchen and as an aid to bring in new clientele they now offer one of it’s marquee meals, the Kick Ass burger, every Tuesday for $8 (normally $16). After hiking up the stairs, picking one of the few well lit corners to sit in, we ordered the Kick Ass beef burger that came with 200grams of ground beef, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, bacon, double cheese served and with crinkle cut fries.

Comments
“One of my favourite parts of travelling is treating myself to a Bacon Deluxe from Hungry Jacks at the airport – regardless of the time. So, when I bit into this burger it brought up wonderful connotations from many previous holidays. Unlike the Bacon Deluxe they use a single, large, course and beefy patty that has a nice layer of char on the outside and a fairly pink and crumbly in the centre. Then there’s plenty of creaminess from the double cheese, saltiness of the bacon, tang from the sauce between the sweet bun, resulting in every bite being packed full of flavour.”
“Thinking back from my days of university when I saw we were going up to the Lounge, I was expecting a hipster hell – instead I found a very casual, relaxed environment with minimal hipsters in sight. The beef pattie had some smoky flavoured undertones that combined well with the creaminess of the the double cheese and mayo. With the great addition of some of the saltiest bacon I have had in a while the burger went up a level in my book. The brioche bun was of decent quality and didn’t disappoint, neither did the crinkle cut fries. I’ll definitely be back.”
“To say I was mildly excited to see all that cheese melting was an understatement. I bit in and immediately had a Samuel L Jackson moment: this was a tasty burger. It was charred on the outside and soft on the in. There was plenty of salt on the pattie but it was balanced out brilliantly by the cheese and creamy sweetness of the ketchup mayo mix. My favourite thing with this burger was that it embraced tradition and didn’t fall into a gourmet trap. This is fast-food done slow, done awesome.”
Gloria Swanston's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


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


Tuck Shop Take Away

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Tuckshop

Tuck Shop Take Away – 273 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield North,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Minor
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$9.50
Summary

Occupying a small corner shop in a sleepy pocket of Caulfield, Tuck Shop Take Away blends in seamlessly with it’s surroundings and could very easily go unnoticed. However, the line of people out the door is hard to miss. The husband and wife duo, with a resumé between them that includes Fat Duck, Attica and Vue Du Monde, may explain the queues and hype as they offer their version of the local shop of yesteryear. Once inside, everything should look familiar as they’ve decked it out full of retro and nostalgic items and, the familiarity continues on the menu full of burgers, jaffles, shakes and sweets. We waited patiently and ordered a Minor burger that comes with a 100% beef pattie, served pink on the inside, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, onion, pickles and Tuck Shop sauce.

Comments
“All the signs of a good burger were there before even seeing one; a big line of people who aren’t grumpy is always a good indication. The anticipation escalated quickly when I saw the guy moulding the beef patties fresh right before our eyes and the confirmation came the moment I unwrapped my burger and took my first bite. Everything was in perfect proportion, resulting in a delicious bite each and every time. The beef had a great amount of flavour and juice trapped inside, with the saltiness combining well with the cheese and salad. The bun wasn’t as sweet as your typical brioche bun, which I prefer, however still soft but dense enough to remain intact until the end. We ordered way too many chips and ashamed that I hadn’t done any exercise that day, unfortunately left some behind.”
“When I think Tuck Shop I’m always taken back to the days of school where Four’n Twenty pies, chico rolls and sausage rolls dominated kids greasy hands on the playground. The concept of a burger in the school tuckshop was just big filling buns with a flat, under seasoned, over cooked square pattie topped off with Rosella sauce and Kraft cheese squares. This burger is still very humble in its presentation and ingredients with nothing lavish, but made with so much care and precision that every element in there serves a great purpose. I loved pausing between bites, grabbing a hand full of the most saltiest fries and throwing them down my gob. That balance of tang and salt in my mouth was take-away heaven indeed.”
“Over the years I have eaten my fair share of burgers and this first bite has been one of the best. A cheersquad full of softness, juiciness and tangy mustard cartwheeled up to my tastebuds and introduced themselves. As much as I enjoyed those first couple of chews I was hoping that there’d be more boldness to the experience; more lingering flavours rather than fleeting. Being so light and so tasty this makes this a great choice for a lunchtime burger.”
Tuck Shop Take Away on Urbanspoon


The Woods Bar & Kitchen*

Friday, November 8, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheWoods_Windsor

The Woods – 108 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gippsland Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$19
Summary

Since 2011 this place has been known as The Woods of Windsor and has had a reputation on Chapel St for its whisky menu and knowledgeable bartending staff. In recent months they’ve tweaked their agenda slightly, untucked their shirts and gone a little more casual. They’re still producing great food to compliment the smoky/woody characteristics of whisky (you can’t argue that meatballs and burgers don’t go with whisky), but they now call themselves The Woods Bar & Kitchen. Co-owned by the same people that brought you Yellowbird just down the road, these whisky and music connoisseurs know when a good thing is working. As if we needed an excuse to go to a bar we sat down and ordered some drinks and the Gippsland Beef Burger that came with a BLT garnish, tomato relish, tasty cheese and hand cut fries.

Comments
“This thing came out all piping hot, fat and juicy and I may have forgotten to breath while inhaling it in record time. The beef was cooked right; enabling just enough time to form a nice char on each side while remaining a perfect colour of pink on the inside and whilst trapping in all the great juice. Atop the crumbly beef was a nicely contrasting salty rasher of bacon hidden under a pile of tasty cheese. The lettuce and tomato gave it a great crunch and the big fluffy bun did its best to keep everything under control. Lovely venue, great atmosphere, ideal for first/tinder dates as there is plenty of drinks to choose from and it’s very dark and everyone looks good under candlelight.”
“With no trace of superficialness that I’m normally accustomed to seeing in most Chapel Street bars/restaurants, I instantly fell in love with this place. It possessed a real sense of casualness with great table service and friendly staff. The burger had one of the most beautifully cooked, smokey patties I’ve had this year, combined with great melted cheese coverage and some tasty creamy mayo. What brought the whole burger together for me though was how simple it tasted, with no particular dominant flavours and how easy it was to bite into. The hand cut fries were good too. Would I go back? Been there twice already.”
“Boy did this have a decent kick of pepper to it. A burger this smokey and peppery would be a beautiful accompaniment to almost any alcoholic drink I could think off. It was a well crafted, beautifully balanced burger. The ingredients all complemented one another perfectly – so I thought I’d dissect them to see if there were any leaks on what appeared to be a pretty tight ship. After biting into a little bit of cheese here, a little bit beef there and picking at some pickle I realised they were all just as great individually as they were when working together. If I had to pick a favourite child here it’d be the cheese, with a beef a close second. The cheddar was salty, full bodied and tasted like gold for some apparent reason – all around awesome.”
The Woods Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

*Why oh why? These guys have changed their name to The Woods, and with it they’ve changed the menu. NO MORE BURGER!!! The horror!


The Wilde

Thursday, July 18, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TheWilde

The Wilde – 153 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Wilde Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$15
Summary

The Wilde is the perfect habitat for both the native hipster and your everyday punter that enjoys Traditional Golden Ale, some good Rock n’ Roll and British gastro pub food. This cosy eatery is brought to you by the former owners of Rue de Fleurus, that decided over a year ago to shut shop and reposition this little Fitzroy nook to a British gastro pub/bar. After experiencing some decent buzz since the re-launch, we thought we’d join the party to see what the chatter was all about. We ordered The Wilde Burger that came with a beef pattie, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, cornichons, burger sauce and chips.

Comments
“It was a nice, small and compact burger that was more filling than it looked. The beef pattie was cooked through with a nice crust of char – working really well with the thin and salty piece of bacon. The bun was really crunchy and robust, ideally matched with the spicy mayo and the tang from the pickle. I just wish I could of enjoyed this burger in a place that wasn’t so dark and loud and, full of such cool people. However I am aware that this has more to do with me getting old.”
“The dense pattie was cooked well, had a good punch of flavour and had cheese seductively melted all over it. The little slices of pickles together with the crispy, salty bacon had me constantly going to my pint of Golden Ale to wash down the saltiness – great! There wasn’t much green stuff in it besides a piece of lettuce that you can choose to put into your burger if you are that way inclined. I thought overall it was an enjoyable salty experience, but don’t go there hungry – the burger was a tad small. The thick chips were really good and only got better with the thick pasty burger sauce to dip in.”
“Although a little on the small side (give me less chips and more burger next time), it was really enjoyable. I am told there was bacon in the burger, but boy did that go way over my head. I honestly didn’t taste it. The whole thing screamed of salt, a pinch more and it would’ve been overkill. Their choice of bun made it taste like it was a DIY-home-burger that one of your mates is trying to impress you with. I’m thinking that a larger version of this burger would’ve taken it up a notch for me. I was just left a little unsatisfied after the whole meal. It’s a ballsy move putting a burger on the menu, especially with Belle’s Diner over the road… And it’s hard to compete with that.”
The Wilde on Urbanspoon


The Duke

Friday, July 5, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Duke_Melbourne

The Duke – 146 Flinders St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Duke Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$19.50
Summary

You wouldn’t pick it by looking at the modern interior however, The Duke is Melbourne’s oldest licensed pub, having first opened its doors in 1853. Having recently re-opened for its latest reincarnation we are guessing it’s seen some big changes occur over the years, especially since its neighbours are The Forum Theatre and Federation Square (well, almost neighbour). The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner offering contemporary Australian and International dishes, and with the bar boasting 20 beers on tap, The Duke really caters to everyone. We sat down late one evening for the Duke Burger made with a house ground beef pattie, cheddar cheese, lettuce, bacon, tomato, mayo, dill pickles and a side of house cut chips.

Comments
“This burger had all the right ingredients and characteristics of a great burger however, several aspects really let it down. For starters the piece of lettuce had a giant, cold, spine in it. The slice of tomato was too thick and it really took away the attention from the thick, juicy beef pattie covered in large amount of melted cheddar cheese. Unfortunately the bacon was cooked a little too long and turned rubbery and chewy.To top it off the very sweet and flaky brioche bun was quite dry and left a strange texture once chewed through.”
“There were some really good takeaways from this burger. The pattie for instance was average, but when topped off with a bit of melted cheese, it told me someone in the kitchen cares. The dill pickle had some good crunch to it and really gave the burger some attitude. I did find that the brioche bun let it down; it was sweet as you would expect however, very crumbly and by the end of the meal my plate and lap were full of crumbs. The chips were very good and evenly cooked – especially being thick cut where I find a lot of people get it wrong. For the price I think it could of been better.”
“Plenty of ups an downs with this one. But nothing that would make you slap the chef. Maybe a quiet
word would suffice. The pattie was plenty meaty, soft and salty. The strips of bacon that fell out from my meal also salty and made no enemies (how could you hate bacon right?). Where the burger fell apart for me, both literally and metaphorically, was at the bun. For the last two years the use of brioche has been epic. Every corner of the city boasts a burger with brioche. Now we all know brioche is sweet, but this was more like a croissant. Have it with some jam and coffee in the morning and you’ve got a delightful breakfast. A half-decent burger but I wouldn’t run into the city for it.”
The Duke of Wellington on Urbanspoon


The Railway Club Hotel

Thursday, June 20, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_RailwayClubHotel

The Railway Club Hotel – 107 Raglan Street,
Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Railway Club Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$22
Summary

Tucked away in Port Melbourne, away from any sort of hustle and bustle, you’ll find The Railway Club Hotel. You’d be forgiven for not ever visiting because quite frankly, this place isn’t built on hype. Premium meats, quality produce and a relaxed atmosphere are what they’re all about. With big archways, a fireplace, exposed brick and sports memorabilia floor to ceiling, the décor might remind you of you’re uncles pool room circa 1991. What you probably wouldn’t have seen at your uncle’s though is the large glass case where you can pick out your perfect steak and see it cooked in their open kitchen. Obviously Beef is their pride and joy, with most of it coming from Cape Grim, Tasmania. But if you’re feeling a little beefed out then best try their famous Flounder or dive straight into a Sticky Date Pudding. We ordered the Railway Club Beef Burger that came on a seeded brioche bun with a grilled 200grm Angus ground beef pattie, Swiss cheese, beetroot, pickles, tomato, mustard and mayo with sumac fat chips and aioli.

Comments
“It was like taking a step back in time into a good old traditional Aussie pub. With a mouthwatering display of beautifully cut meats it something a little hard to overlook. The pattie was one of the best I’ve had; perfectly cooked with a nice char on the outside and juicy and pink on the inside. It was a great brioche bun that held everything together. I really enjoyed the melted Swiss cheese, fresh tomato, beetroot and lettuce. In fact, everything just worked. Lastly I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of fat chips, but these were pretty amazing.”
“The burger was presented all high and mighty with plenty of colour bursting out however, it all took a back step to the incredible beef. It must of only hit the hot plate for a moment to leave a perfect crisp char on the outside while sealing in the juice, flavour and remaining pink on the inside. I’m slowly starting to appreciate beetroot in a burger, as the thin layer added just the right amount of sweetness. It also added a crunch to balance out the rich, creamy cheese and mayo. With all these ingredients combined though, it meant the bun had completely dissolved by the end. The venue feels like visiting a distant relative in a country town and being treated to a home cooked meal. Pretty much an ideal setting for a winter meal.”
“This was a classic, timeless burger with some of the best quality meat I’ve had in a while. The beetroot and the mayo blended in exceptionally well and really gave the burger some sweet and creamy characteristics contrasting where the pattie added those salty and char grill tones. Even though it was served in a pub, it really didn’t feel like a pub burger, it was special. The big thick chips were OK.”
“Walking into a venue and seeing a window of raw cuts of meat is a sight for sore eyes. You know they’ve got some serious pride in their product with stuff like that. My burger arrived and was stacked high. It actually looked nothing like I expected. The second thing I noticed was the large bit lettuce that made my burger a foot taller than anyone elses. I squashed the lot down, bit in and floated into beef heaven. With one of the tastiest beef patties I’ve had in a while it was ground coarse and packed with bold, unashamed beefiness. As tasty as the pattie was I felt like there was too much going on here. This could’ve been because the burger fell apart on me and made me do more work than anyone should on a Sunday. But beetroot did feel at home in this burger. As did the pickles with their sweet crunch. There’s a lot to love about the Railway Club Hotel. The only thing I’m annoyed about is how lucky the locals are for having it.”
The Railway Club Hotel Port Melbourne on Urbanspoon


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