The Bottom End

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Bottom End – 579 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Shane Warne’s Personal Best
Serviettes:
9
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
45 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much (unless you’re starving)
Price:
$20
Summary

By now you’ve all heard about “this Bottom End joint”. You might’ve heard that this is where the booze and burgers are abundant, or it’s where the kids do the disco dancing on a Saturday night? What are we talking about? You most likely read all about it here when we visited Delaney, Hockers and Chef Ezra last year. Since then the dudes have been busy and are always trying to out do themselves conquering a different burger theme at a time. So popular have some of these temporary burger experiments been, that they’ve become household names and have cemented themselves on the epic Bottom End burger menu. When we caught up with the guys last they drummed into us their unapologetic attitude dedicated to having a bloody great time, all the time. So with that in mind, and with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, their new burger option soaks up all these ideals and, a little bit extra. Arriving at the bar on a Saturday evening, with beer orders placed there was nothing left to do but to order Shane Warne’s Personal Best. Wedged in between a glazed burger bun we received two beef patties (check the menu now and it says you’ll be getting one), bacon, beetroot, egg, onion, Coon cheese and ketchup. Sitting galantly at it’s side are some tantalising house spiced fries and 3 mac’n’cheese balls.

Comments
“I’m usually extremely embarrassed and rarely admit to people that on the rare occasion I can’t finish a burger. However, this one had me completely stumped and I honestly dont know many who could polish off this entire burger. Obviously the double patties were the first obstacle: both were cooked fairly well done and ended up being quite tough and chewy. To then add insult to injury they throw in the creaminess of egg, cheese and sauce that takes up valuable stomach real estate. My latest and greatest obsession has been the humble onion ring and I’ve come to the conclusion that they only belong next to the burger and not inside where it turns to mush. Would love to try a smaller, less intense version.”
“I really wanted to like this burger. I was conflicted by how much I love all the Bottom End burgers and how they usually bang out these awesome thingw day-in-day-out. But the Warnie really didn’t bowl me over at all. To begin with I don’t think they needed two patties; with all the ingredients this burger has already in it I don’t feel the two patties belonged in there. The patties really weren’t that great anyway. On the plus side the egg was cooked to a runny goodness and the cheese was so beautifully melted that together these two combined into a great ooze.”
“Yep, they warned us. I don’t know if it was because I’d been on the chicken wings and drink for most of the day but, this thing defeated me. It was big bad mother-effer and you need to bring an appetite if you plan on leaving with a clean plate. First off, the Mac’n’Cheese balls – amazing as always. The main thing I got out of this burger was the sweetness that came from the beetroot, bacon and bun. But, overall the burger disappointed me a little. I can see why they named it after the legend that is Warne. It was ridiculous. There was just so much going on. The patties weren’t overly impressive and lacked the quality that I’m used to at Bottom End. This meal feels like its a bit more of a “screw it I’m hungry I’ll eat anything” type of thing, that seriously drunk folk would appreciate. Sadly I wasn’t that drunk. I did end up with quite the full stomach and with sauce all over my face like a champ. But next time I’d be sticking to the Classic Cheesy Bacon burger.”
The Bottom End on Urbanspoon


Red Mullet Fishcaf

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Red Mullet Fishcaf – 210 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Lot
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$17.50 inc. chips
Summary

Formerly owned by Essendon FC captain and current coach James Hird, Red Mullet is a great alternative if your wanting to sit down and enjoy your classic fish’n’chip meal with a glass of red. As expected Red Mullet offers a large range of seafood, but they even go as far as tackling the less traditional fish’n’chip shop meals like paella and a variety of curries. You’ll also be able to purchase pre-marinated fish that those wanabe Masterchef’s can take home and cook for themselves. When it comes to hamburgers there are a bunch to choose from, with two fish, a veggie and of course the classic Lot Burger. We went in with an appetite and chose the Lot Burger consisting of a beef pattie, egg, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion.

Comments
“I’ve got to say this is a really appealing burger to look at – all stacked neatly with just enough of a view of each ingredient poking out. For me, the standout for this burger though was the bun. It was really dense, tasty and kept everything together. The beef was a good size and had been cooked well. And, with the egg, bacon and cheese on top, it could do no wrong.”
“I’ve got this belief in life that when you go to a specialty seafood restaurant/Fish’ n’ Chippery, and request a burger, your chances of a good burger are automatically reduced to 50/50. So how was this experience (or adventure)? Well, I would say pleasant. The pattie was nothing special, but was cooked well and did taste OK. The bun reminded me of memory foam. I say that because you would find your finger indentation staying there once pressed into the bun, no bounce back at all! I found that the burger did need some sauce, but overall it was a good filling meal and the chips were ok too. Next time I would try the calamari.”
“This burger was neither here nor there. I really didn’t think much of it. The bun was nice and so were most of the condiments. But really it was a forgettable meal. For a burger packed with a whole lot of ingredients it really was “meh”. But at the same time, it didn’t exactly kick me in the nuts. ”
Red Mullet Fishcaf on Urbanspoon


Tramway Hotel

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tramway Hotel – 165 Rae Street, North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tramway Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

The Tramway Hotel has been on our radar for some time now – even before The Age named it as one of their favourite burgers Victoria has to offer for 2012. But as some of you may know, we don’t always see eye to eye on what The Age considers almighty hamburger greatness. So off to a cosy corner of North Fitzroy we went. The Tramway offers pretty much everything you’d want from your local pub: friendly staff, comfy interior, good choice of beers and an eclectic (but not over the top) dining menu. Perusing the menu you’ll notice a decent portion is taken up by their “Fresh Burger Bar” consisting of 6 different “burger” options catering to both vegetarians and humans. We decided upon their signature Tramway Burger that sits on a Le Madre Bakery Ciabatta burger bun with a Char-grilled ground beef pattie topped with bacon, Swiss cheese, BBQ sauce, tomato relish, aioli, Spanish onion, tomato, and cos lettuce. Our burger also came with chunky hand cut chips with rosemary and bay salt, cooked in cholesterol free cottonseed oil.

Comments
“I’m not really sure how to describe the difference between a juicy burger and a wet burger. But, all I know is this burger was wet. The beef pattie confused the hell out of me – it was seasoned well with herbs, was well cooked through but had no char on it at all and for some reason the cheese didn’t stick to the pattie, instead latching on to the piece of bacon. The bun was great and did its job of containing all the moisture of the burger right through to the end. The home style chips were really good and the venue has a pretty chilled atmosphere.”
“This has been a long time coming for me. There has been a lot of buzz about this burger amongst friends, family and of course, our audience. Now it was my turn to finally decide. It had a generous, thick, great single herb tasting beef pattie, and the Swiss cheese melted nicely combining well with the aioli. Even though I’m not an avid fan of aioli in burgers, I do have to say this aioli was light, non-greasy and had a delicateness about it. Although the bun was tasty, I didn’t think it suited a burger… more of a breakfast roll. The chips were beautifully fluffy on the inside and had a rustic crunch on the out.”
“At first I thought, “Oh here we go, its the fancy bun hour”. Usually when I get into that frame of mind it’s when people try a little too hard with their hamburger and stray from the fact that the meat should be the hero. Saying that though, even with so many ingredients in there, this burger still remained ridiculously balanced. With every mouthful it was hard to determine where the bun started and pattie ended. But maybe a little too balanced – like I said, the meat should still be the standout hero. For 16 bucks with gourmet chips, it wasn’t bad. I think this rather herbie burger is way over hyped though, but I can see how it floats some people’s boats. What I mean is, imagine if Grill’d opened a pub: this would be their signature burger.”
Tramway Hotel on Urbanspoon


Wayside Inn

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wayside Inn – 446 City Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$18
Summary

If you ever find yourself meandering around the industrial back streets of Port/South Melbourne thinking to yourself “I would love a casual, yet refined dining experience with the option of a bar menu, restaurant and sunny courtyard”… then the Wayside Inn is for you. From the creators of The Station Hotel in Footscray, owner Sean Donovan and Head Chef Matt Merrick offer a new pub dining experience based on the simple concept of well-prepared food using quality ingredients, one of the highlights being the different daily offering of rotisserie available like Venison with figs, Boer Goat and Duck. To wash down your meal there are over 20 beers to choose from and a carefully selected wine list to best match your chosen dish. However, we decided to go for the Cheese burger (available on the all day bar menu). It comes with a thick beef pattie, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, beetroot relish, all on a brioche bun. On the side you get big hand cut chips that are triple cooked: first boiled, slowly fried and then finally deep fried.

Comments
“I have to say I was really left in two minds about this burger! With the old saying in mind that you “eat with your eyes”, this burger would be at the top of that list. An amazingly thick and juice pattie that was cooked to perfection. Some really great smokey bacon added to this meaty affair. I have to say I do enjoy a good beetroot relish, especially on such a meaty burger – it added the perfect amount of sweetness. Now the few things that kind of let me down! The great bun was definitely cut unevenly; with the base being too thin and I found the cheese a bit too sharp and overpowering. Now for the chips. THEY ARE NOT CHIPS!! It was seriously like eating half a potato with every bite!”
“A very visablly appealing burger; stacked high with a big chunk of beef in full view with cheese running down the sides. The large piece of beef had been minced perfectly leaving plenty of fat and juice in the pattie. The cheese was very strong on its own however, with so much beef it added just the right amount of kick – any other cheese would have been lost. Although not usually a fan of beetroot, the relish under the beef added just enough sweetness necessary. The bacon was cut very thick and tasted great. All-in-all a really good and well thought out burger. In terms of thick cut chips, they’re probably the best I’ve had, but they still don’t compare to a good French Fry.”
“A great juicy, thick (and I mean thick) pattie. The bun was good, but if cut a little bit more evenly in the middle it would have had a better bread distribution and wouldn’t leave the bottom bun a thin, soggy mess. The bacon was nicely smoked and full of that sweet hickory taste, combined with a really sharp cheese to round out each bite full of goodness. I thought I could taste mustard so that warmed my heart and then the relish added another sweet angle to the burger. Chips were a bit too thick for my liking, but cooked well none the less. This burger will definitely be seeing me again.”
“The waterfall of cheese gushing down the side of my pattie struck my taste buds like cupids arrow – it was instant love. The sharp aged cheddar did however, turn out to be a team player. Alone it was strong and let you know who’s boss, but when mixed together with the awesome beef pattie and delicious smokey bacon, it was supportive and nurturing like a MILF. Next time, honestly this is the way I would tackle it though: just beef, bacon and cheese. For such an enjoyable burger its a shame the chips weren’t the moreish salty side snack that I’d hoped for. But thats not enough to stop me from heading back for a lunchtime burger and brew. Big up Sean D and the team for polishing the hell out of this hidden gem.”
Wayside Inn on Urbanspoon


Igloo Road House (Buxton Burger)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Igloo Road House – 2220 Maroondah Hwy, Buxton, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Buxton Burger
Serviettes:
6
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
33 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13.80
Summary

About an hour and half north east of Melbourne sits a humble little petrol station where you might pop in for a cheeky snack, a magazine and some Fan Tails for the road. That is, if you’ve never heard of the legend that is the Buxton Burger. The interesting thing is, its home, the Igloo Road House, isn’t really on the way to anything; unless your a sucker for a trout farm. Sure, during the winter there is a tiny bit of skiing that goes on down the road at Lake Mountain, but for a burger to get such critical acclaim from both the general public and Masterchef’s very own big man, Matt Preston, they’ve got to be doing something right. First established in 1946, the Igloo Roadhouse has become a bit of a hang out for car/bike enthusiasts who tackle the infamous stretch of road known as the Black Spur. The speed demons have it all worked out: wind your way to Buxton, smash one of their enormous burgers, then wind your way all the way home letting g-forces aid the digestion. “Tell us more about these goliath burgers”, you say? Well, Igloo Road House does a variety; starting with your typical Burger with The Lot (lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cheese, bacon, onion, egg, ketchup) then, the all famous 13cm tall Buxton Burger (Double The Lot + Pineapple) and then, the 20cm tall Cathedral Burger (Triple The Lot + Pineapple). The crazy part about these burgers is the records that come with them. Last year there were 39,321 people who ate a “normal” burger there. Then there were 4,672 machines who consumed the Buxton Burger, and to finish it off, 527 imbeciles/legends who smashed the Cathedral. The best part is there’s a guy out there who’s demolished a Buxton Burger in about 1 minute 30 seconds – definitely a plaque thats hanging in his den. With an enthralling afternoon of trout fishing ahead of us, we knew we needed to be somewhat limber and not too sleepy. So, we played it safe, ordered 4 of their signature Buxton Burgers and sat in the sun waiting for our demise.

Comments
“I think you first have to ask yourself is it worth the drive! The answer is hell YES. Is it because the burger is that great? I would have to say no. Not that the burger is bad, I just think for me the whole experience of it was enjoying a great drive and amazing scenery, finished up by an iconic burger. Big in size and taste, this doesn’t disappoint if your after a classic takeaway shop burger. A well cooked pattie that was juicy and seasoned just enough. I personally would have liked the egg yolk to be a little runnier for a bit more creaminess. When it first came out I thought the bun was grossly over sized for the burger, but once I dove in I saw the reason behind it. It all really came together well for such a massive burger, which is a good achievement where many fail.”
“So it wasn’t the biggest burger we have eaten, but it was clearly the largest bun we have ever witnessed. I ripped off half the bun before starting, as I didn’t want my first 12 bites to be stomach-filling bread getting in the way of the beef. The beef was ground up and packed tight. It didn’t have much flavour and was of a grey colour, but being completely covered in cheese, egg and bacon, it made up for the lack of flavour. If this was a smaller standard size it would still be a pretty good fish’n’chip style burger. It also presents great value for money considering a number of burgers in the city cost more and, are half the size and of similar flavour.”
“Retrospect is a beautiful thing. It generally gives us a chance to analyse something that occurred in the day, whether we were the cause of it or not and form an opinion on it. When the chance came along to drive 1.5 hours and try the infamous Buxton Burger we pounced. When we finally arrived at the Igloo Roadhouse in Buxton (famous for the Buxton and Cathedral Burger) it felt like a big tick would finally go on my list of burger joints, and this had been haunting me for over 2 years. It almost felt like a right of burger passage to me. Waiting 30 minutes for the Buxton Burger really didn’t bother me as I was fancying the chances of my appetite increasing while we wait. And then, finally the great towering burger arrived. If you don’t know what to expect when you order the Buxton, it’s basically the Lot, just doubled for our greedy pleasure. This Burger was hard to handle, but this beast can be tamed. The pattie was tasty and juicy, the sliced beetroot had it’s place and was ok, the cheese was good, eggs were perfectly cooked with a little bit of run and the Pineapple lasted 3 bites and then had to be taken out. So going back to what I was saying about retrospect. Was it worth the 1.5hr drive, 1 toilet pit stop, 1 petrol refuelling, 1 nature viewing stop and $13.80? Well, it was a burger I really wanted to conquer, and I did. Would I recommend it? Probably not – only unless your a burger fanatic in love with the utterly ridiculous. This burger, sorry to say, felt like any other burger I would get from a burger shop. Chips were good, standard chips, but when combined with chicken salt they become a must.”
“Seriously folks, this is big! That is a full-size dinner plate in the picture and its sitting on it like Hulk Hogan on a tricycle. My first bite was nothing but bread; I ate it, but knew that some different tactics were going to have to be employed in order to smash the whole thing. I wrapped my hands underneath the behemoth – as if I were holding a rocket launcher – and went to town. I left the pineapple in for probably 2 or 3 bites but then realised, why punish myself with such an abominable ingredient, so I tossed it. There was plenty of bacon in this thing, but it was fatty as hell and made for some picking and prodding. The beef patties were sausage-like, fatty and were packed tight. They weren’t bad but nothing great. This is most definitely a once in a life time kind of burger; meaning you probably only ever need to eat one in your life. But saying that, the drive up itself is an incredible experience, so why not pop in for a snack.”


Huxtaburger

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Huxtaburger – 106 Smith St, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Huxtaburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$8
Summary

Buzz word of the month, hipster hangout, bloggers delight… whatever you want to make of it, Huxtaburger is Melbourne’s newest burger joint. The guys behind this welcome addition to the Melbourne Burger Family are responsible for another well-known, and Smith St fav, Huxtable. Where the latter mainly serves a variety of shared dishes, Huxtaburger is all about you. Well, you and and your burger. Chef and owner Daniel Wilson has based the most-part of the menu on the classic TV series “The Cosby Show”, where the different burgers represent the different characters i.e “The Bill” gets a little kooky and adventurous by adding pineapple and beetroot, whereas “The Rudy” is smaller and aimed at kids. If you were born in the 90’s, chances are these names will mean nothing to you so just smile politely and start Google-ing. The setup also has quite the classic inspiration behind it; with black, white and stainless steel as the primary colours, Huxtaburger tries to create a classic USA diner experience right in the heart of Collingwood. Wading through a sea of people, we were lucky enough to score some seats by the counter, and so we each ordered their signature Huxtaburger that comes on a glazed brioche bun with a Moondarra Wagyu beef pattie, mustard, mayo, ketchup, tomato, cheese, lettuce and pickles. Oh, and we couldn’t go past a serve of crinkle cut chips for an extra $2.50.

Comments
“Huxtaburger puts together a simple yet flavourful burger that seems to be attracting quite the crowd. Their signature Huxtaburger has one of the best buns going around, with some of the fluffiest and sweetest textures I’ve tasted. The beef pattie was perfectly cooked, but lacked a bit of seasoning and the good amount of fat that you hope will ooze out. I always love a burger that has pickles and mustard, but sometimes when their both in a burger together, there can be a thing as too much tangy sweetness. All-in-all though, it’s a pretty decent, well-balanced burger.”
“Luckily just after ordering we managed to get a seat at the bench which made the wait a little more bearable. Love the setup and the size of the menu; a very limited selection that means they have all of their time and energy to focus on just burgers. The actual Huxtaburger is one of the most visibly appealing burgers out there at the moment and that bun must the be lightest, fluffiest and sweetest bun I’ve ever had. I was even surprised as to how well it held all the ingredients together and didn’t dissolve. The beef was cooked well but there didn’t seem to be much fat and wasnt juicy at all. The cheese was melted perfectly over the top of the pattie, and parts of the slice oozed down and touched the hot plate which, is one of the best tastes on earth. The mustard was a little too strong for me – I think I’d rather have had more of the flavour of the pickle come through instead. Next time I’d love to try the double burger with the bacon to experience a bolder, beefier flavour to balance out the strength of the mustard and pickle.”
“We’re always getting recommendations for burger joints people would like us to visit. Most of them have eaten the burger and can give us the intricate details. But when you have a long-time vegetarian recommending a place that only makes beef burgers (not having tried the burger, but nevertheless tempted), you know this place is doing something right. Readers be warned this place is busy and you might have to wait a while, but credit to the staff for working their butts off. When it comes out the burger looks delicious. The croissant-like bun is by far the star of the show, slightly greasy on the outside and soft to hold, this bun is sweet as hell and could just be served on it’s own for breakfast. The pattie is ok; not a lot of seasoning and thin in size, but it does the job. The tang from the mustard and pickles can take over the burger, but I really don’t mind it – any burger with mustard earns my respect. Overall it’s not a fatty burger and is definitely a burger I can eat twice a week for lunch. One burger is sufficient, but I would recommend going for a double pattie. Chips were ok.”
“I could go on about the amazing bun, the delicious cheese, the not so juicy beef pattie or even the hipsteriffic clientelle. But I won’t. All I’ll say is, eating this burger is a bit like finally going out with the hottest girl in school, only to find out she’s a devout Christian and all you’ll get at the end of the date is a handshake and God’s blessing. When I go back, I’ll be sealing the deal by ordering an extra pattie, some bacon and extra cheese. Nice burger: if you’re into that sort of thing.”
Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon


Back to the Burger

Monday, January 30, 2012

Before we can uncover the all important Top 10 for 2011, we needed to get back to our original Top 10 from 2010, and see if the burgers measure up and are still worthy of being labeled “The Best of the Best”. There were a lot of twists and turns throughout the journey, with some burgers stepping up to a whole new plain whilst others slipped into a ridiculous hole that some say is haunted. What does this all mean? Well, rumours have it that the coveted Top 10 2011 is mere days away from being unveiled. So, gents, hide your boners. Ladies, wipe away that wet patch from underneath your chin, because the Top 10 2011 is coming (soon).

10. ANDREWS HAMBURGERS – 144 BRIDPORT ST, ALBERT PARK

“Still juicy, still messy, and still a Melbourne institute. Eating at Andrew’s is like
having your Mum cook your favourite meal; you know exactly what your going to get, you know it’ll be made with love and you know it’s going to be great.”

9. THE MILLSWYN – 131-133 DOMAIN RD, SOUTH YARRA

“The bun and pattie, its two hero items have changed for the worse. Yes the burger still tastes great, but the ratios here are out of whack. Bring back the love.”

8. CAFE VUE – 401 ST KILDA RD, MELBOURNE

“Although the pattie could’ve been a little juicier, it’s still a great lunchtime burger that continues to be just as delicious. Shame on them for changing the chips though.”

7. ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK

“It’s hard to believe but seriously, this burger has gotten even better.
I mean look at that sexy piece of meat!”

6. THE LOCAL TAPHOUSE – 184 CARLISLE STREET, ST KILDA EAST

“Not any drastic changes to this baby; it still has a subtle creaminess to it that really compliments the beer marinated beef pattie. Still good but not as juicy as last time.”

5. BARNEY ALLEN’S – 14 FITZROY ST, ST KILDA

“It really is remarkable at how they can get that super thick pattie cooked to perfection. Together with the surprisingly awesome combo of beetroot and onion jam, this is the best thing to happen to St.Kilda since Tony Lockett.”

4. DANNY’S BURGERS – 360 ST GEORGES RD, FITZROY NORTH

“If its 2am (or any hour of the day for that matter) and you NEED a burger,
this is where you should be going. They haven’t changed in decades,
and that’s just how we like it – awesome.”

3. THE AMBEROOM AT ROYCE HOTEL – 379 ST KILDA RD, MELBOURNE

“These guys have changed their menu for an “in-and-out” sort of lunchtime crowd and the burger has copped the brunt of it all. The bun was over toasted, the pattie was OK at best and the rest of the ingredients have declined in quality: the biggest disappointment of 2011.”

2. COLLINS KITCHEN AT GRAND HYATT – 123 COLLINS ST, MELBOURNE

“A little surprised that they decided to add cheese because it really doesn’t need it. Just like 2010, we’d be happy to eat this burger with just bun and pattie: still great.”

1. BEATBOX KITCHEN – INNER/NORTHERN MELBOURNE

“Hail to King Raph, because this is just as incredible as ever.
We’ll be honest and say we’ve been back here on more than
one occasion over 2011. Its hard not to when you’re in love.”



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