Billy Goat Tavern

Monday, December 15, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BillyGoatTavern

Billy Goat Tavern – 2700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Burger:
Double Cheezborger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$4.55 USD
Summary

This Chicago institution dates back to 1934 when a young Greek immigrant named William “Billy Goat” Sianis bought the Lincoln Tavern for $205. Yes, there was a goat, and it (and its descendants) became the mascots. If you’re a classic SNL fan then you’re probably familiar with the Olympia Restaurant skit. If you don’t know it then check it out later because it’s features half the Ghostbusters and Cheezborgers! You see, Bill Murray and John Belushi (also in the skit) used to spend a whole lot of time in Chicago, so it was only right for them to eat at the most famous burger joint in town; Billy Goat Tavern. They loved the place so much they wrote a skit with Don Novello about the very-particular order method and the new to USA wait staff. Don’t try and order fries, only “cheeps”. There’s no coke, only pepsi. You can see these signs still around today the place. If you’re a burger geek then your choices are simple: Single Cheezborger, Double Cheezborger, Triple Cheezborger and then the Homerun (x4 patties). They do other kinds of sandwiches and dogs but you’re really not there for them. These world-famous burgers have allowed them to open over 9 locations in the city and led me to their Navy Pier location where basically, a boardwalk meets Luna Park style attractions. My Double Cheezborger came on a freshly baked Kaiser bun with two “designed to be stacked” patties and double cheez. No fries, only cheeps.

Comments
“I first saw the skit when we first started the blog. Little did I know it was based on real life. Went down the pier expecting to see tourists all over this place, but as it turned out, they were everywhere but the Tavern. The burger, made right in front of you as you line up at the counter, was really just a fancy cheese burger. Super simplified but fancier. I didn’t believe that’s the same bun they were using back in the old days. But I do buy that those fatty patties and cheese are the same recipe. I was only passing through but I can see the appeal of this kind of burger when watching “da Bulls” and downing a whole lot of beer. It’s not the kind of meal you walk a million blocks to try and find (like I did) but it isn’t bad. It was a quick, really soft and cheesy experience. But I think the hype sort of ruined it for me. Next time I’d clear my schedule, order a jug and a Triple, and settle in.


The Grosvenor Hotel

Thursday, December 4, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Grosvenor

The Grosvenor Hotel – 10 Brighton Rd, St Kilda East, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Grosvenor
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$22
Summary

The Grosvenor is an establishment that runs all the way back to the late 1800s. It’s seen it’s fair share of locals, but it’s probably getting some attention from near and far these days ever since they remodelled in 2011, and since former owner of the famous Albert Park “The Point” took over. As much as owner Rabih Yanni may claim he wants a good simple pub, he’s doing things that go beyond the norm of a local watering hole. When you walk in you’re greeted with something that you’d be more used to seeing in a ritzy steakhouse like Rockpool – a display case of dry aged meats of different cuts. But then they go and offer a Parma night and Trivia night, which seem totally at home at a pub that’s connected to a Bottle Shop. It may be a little inconsistent but it’s a classy looking place that offers almost something for everyone. From their Steak nights to Trivia or a selection of burgers each going for $22. I strolled in one particular Sunday and ordered their namesake, The Grosvenor burger that came with a Dry Aged Angus beef patty, cheese, smokey bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles all on a soft and sweet seeded bun.

Comments
“It was as if they said to themselves, “We have to put something expensive on the menu”, and went for this. It was OK at best. I don’t like a burger that’s fancy for the sake of it. It really doesn’t need to be that way. I walked in and there was meat hanging up like in a butcher, that made me think this place must be proud of their beef. So it led me to try the patty on its own and that was actually good! It was fatty, had a nice thick texture and had a touch of saltiness. I could tell there was some quality there, but they drowned it in plenty of unnecessary sauce. It’s a shame because this could be a decent burger if it were simplified.”
Grosvenor Hotel on Urbanspoon


Big Huey’s Diner

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-HueysDiner

Big Huey’s Diner – 315 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Big Huey
Serviettes:
6
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$14
Summary

Located right next to the iconic South Melbourne Market, Big Huey’s Diner has been pumping out burgers since opening in January 2014. The diner is the name sake of celebrity chef and fellow burger lover Iain Hewitson. Here at Burger Adventure we have been big advocates of Huey’s burgers dating back to his days at Barney Allen’s. The venue has a proper diner feel with booths, record duke box and Americana memorabilia. There’s a clear view of the magic occurring in the kitchen so you’ll be salivating in no time as the smells of beef and caramelised onion waft over to your table. We ordered The Big Huey: it came with two beef patties, Dijon mustard, housemade beetroot relish, crisp lettuce, sautéed red onion, grilled cheese, bacon and Judith’s tomato chutney all on Turkish bread roll.

Comments
“I had been eagerly awaiting visiting here for a couple of reasons, firstly, I’ve always been a big fan of Huey’s burger at Barney Allens and secondly I was expecting his take on the classic American diner. What was ultimately presented to us was about the exact opposite of what I was expecting. After initial disbelief I got around to cutting it in half in order to make it manageable. The Turkish bun was of the softer greasier variety and surprisingly held up fairly well, overall it was a very sweet burger coming from the beetroot, caramelised onions and tomato chutney that ended up superseding any of the traditional burger ingredients. Respect must be given to Huey for working the kitchen the busy Sunday afternoon we attended, and not simply putting his name on the door and resting on his laurels.”
“I believe Huey is out to challenge today’s double pattie burger with his modern day take. Having tried his burger in the Barney Allen days this burger is a departure from traditional. Maybe I’m just not ready to try new interpretations of what I consider as a real burger? I found the Turkish bread spongy and sloppy, the pattie wasn’t as tasty as I hoped it to be and what bunched my shorts the most was stacking the two patties side-by-side like a 6ft sub sandwich and not as God intended. Sorry guys, but it should be called a sandwich.”
“The burger was odd. I cant even be sure that I can call this a burger. More of a sub. I guess thats why this is an Adventure. I cut it in half, as did the others, to get two small sandwiches. Rather than an American diner inspired burger, it was like you were running late for a bbq and the host asked you to do one thing: bring some hamburger buns. Pity the bakeries are all closed and the supermarket has run out. Then the guy stacking the shelf suggests these turkish bread things. You panic because you’re late and just go with them. The desserts all looks pretty good, but because the burger was so sweet, I felt like I’d already had it. However memorable, it was just an OK burger/sub experience for me.”
Big Huey's Diner on Urbanspoon


The Palace Hotel

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
TheBurgerAdventure-PalaceHotel

The Palace Hotel – 505 City Rd, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$20
Summary

The Palace Hotel has done what most places don’t: down-scaled the fancy. What was once a rather slow paced gastropub that catered to empty nesters with a a disposable income has now become a chilled out, pet friendly local. Proprietors Jess, Pratty and Dan welcome everyone down for a low-key night whenever you’re in the mood for a Draught and can’t be bothered cooking. There mascot and pet, Billy the Staffy can be seen running around getting up to mischief, but he’s only looking for a pat and isn’t one to say no to a dropped chip. Although less fancy than before, their menu still offers some on-trend dishes like pulled pork and buffalo wings but there is still the option of a traditional pie and classic parma. We went for the Beef burger that came on seeded bun with a beef patty, tomato, lettuce, cheese with a side of pickles and French fries.

Comments
“The venue is barely recognisable from it’s previous existence and I can sense the current owners are trying to turn it back into a classic local pub. To the naked eye there was nothing fancy or experimental about the burger, with everything being your stock standard burger ingredients. That is, until you bit into the extremely thick, spicy, chilli flaked beef patty. It felt out of place and dwarfed all other flavours, and due to the size, had been cooked for a while leaving parts of it really dry. Highlight of the night was getting to meet and pat the local resident dog, Billy.”
“Visually this burger looked to have each of my boxes checked. The bun was fluffy, the melted cheese looked amazing on the pattie and the mustard with the pickle looked to keep everything balanced. Just like my disappointment on Christmas day when my parents decided to buy me encyclopedia Britannica instead of the Lego Police Station I wanted, that same level of disappointment came rushing back when biting into that pattie. Like my parents that year the chef chose to do something different from normal convention. In his case he tried to distinguish the burger by what I call “misusing beef” by making it super dense and sticking a whole heap of unnecessary ingredients like chilli and mustard seeds. And just like I told my parents back then, I repeated the words again to my fellow diners on this occasion, “Can we return it?”. Unfortunately in my case I had pretty much consumed half of the burger and would feel a bit awkward returning it at that point, but the pain and disappointment was there folks. I would like to try this burger again when (or if) the powers at be change their recipe, I think there is huge untapped potential here. Shoestring fries were awesome.”
“Now, at first glance this looked pretty good. It had everything I really like in a burger, down to the side of pickles and French fries. That first spicy bite raised my eyebrows and made me say “Wow”. I was not expecting any spice to it all. The patty was finely minced, it had little bit of fat and plenty of spice. It wasn’t the kind of spice that burnt though – far from it. It was just that it was the dominating flavour in the burger. It took over any, saltiness or beefy goodness that the patty had to offer. And for 20 bucks you’re getting screwed. This burger has so much potential here too. K.I.S.S.”
The Palace Hotel on Urbanspoon


The Sporting Globe

Thursday, February 20, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Sporting_Globe

The Sporting Globe – 690 – 694 Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds
Burger:
Royale Cheese
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$14.90
Summary

As with most trends in Australia, whether they are in culinary, fashion or entertainment fields, you’re safe to presume it’s been done for years in the US before reaching our shores. So it’s with no surprise the ever popular, be it kitsch man-caves known as ‘Sports Bars’ were going to start gaining popularity here. The Sporting Globe is exactly as you would expect, with dozens of flat screen plasmas showing every possible live sporting event going on from around the world (including personal ones in the dining booths), you can order a myriad of dude food including buffalo wings, pizza, wraps, chicken parma, steaks and burgers. We went with the ‘Royale Cheese’ burger that comes with Prime Australian aged beef, Monterey jack cheese, sliced pickles, Spanish onion, herb mayo, tomato sauce served with chunky steak fries.

Comments
“When you really simplify a burger, it usually consists of 3 main ingredients; a beef patty, cheese and bun. Unfortunately when the bun is the only positive to come out of the meal it usually results in a fairly forgettable experience. The beef was clearly a processed frozen patty, and even a healthy dollop of herb mayo on top could not hide the blandness. To add insult to injury, 2 slices of cold cheese added at the end had no chance to even begin melting. Credit must be given to the waitresses who appeared understaffed and really tried their best to accommodate everyone while running around in the 40 degree heat.”
“The pattie was really well cooked and had a real grill/smoky flavour which was nicely complimented by the subtle onion and pickle. The bun seemed to be too doughy, but compressed well when you palm it. Sauce-wise, I thought the mayo, relish and cheese combined well. Herb chips were ok. Overall the whole experience was satisfactory, but a very easily forgettable meal.”
“I do love a good adventure. Espescially when you’re so far off the scent you’ve never evern heard of the place you’re walking into. I went in hungry and hoping I’d get something decent. But, unlucky for me this train was an express to Crapsville. The kaiser style bun was huge and took up too much space. The pattie was atrocious: so overly spiced even that it was coloured red. I didn’t finish this burger. There was no need, or want for that matter.”
The Sporting Globe on Urbanspoon


Burger It

Thursday, January 16, 2014
The-Burger-Adventure_BurgerIt

Burger It – 628 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Star Spangled Banner
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$11.50
Summary

Blink and you might miss it. But, what you won’t miss in this small shop is their big range of burgers on offer. With enough bench space for 7-8 people and its very friendly service, they’ll make you want to eat in rather that take away. There’s a big emphasis on sourcing local produce and freshness, every burger is made to order with a real “Ma and Pa” feel; the hardest thing is picking what burger to go for. We went for the “Star Spangled Banner” burger with a 150g char grilled organic beef pattie, double tasty cheese, pickle, lettuce, tomato sauce, American mustard and 1000 island mayo.

Comments
“I’m always a little dubious when a venue claims to be “Australia’s Greatest Burger”. Even moreso when it’s newly opened and there isn’t a single other customer in site. This burger definitely wasn’t breaking any rules, with your stock standard ingredients all in small portions, leaving only subtle hints of flavour that combined to create a very non-memorable burger. The bun was rather doughy and the beef had been cooked right through, the only saving grace was the combination of three sauces.”
“This was a nice and easy to manage burger. The pattie was a perfect thickness with the right amount of juice and beautifully covered by a healthy amount of double cheese. I always like having options of altering my burger, unfortunately it wasn’t on how my meat should be cooked, but what bun I would like to go with: multigrain or a white bun, I went for the white bun. Pickles were good and not too much lettuce. Chips were ok.”
“There were no immediate signs of terrificness when I saw the burger. But the first bite in and a whole lot of charred flavour took over. That’s about where things started and ended. Every bite that followed was rather polite and safe. The most positive thing the burger had going for it was the sauce combo: never had a I thought of mixing mustard, ketchup and thousand island. it took the edge of the mustard and gave a nice sweet zing. I get that the area is filled with international students, and a sign saying “Australia’s greatest hamburger” is probably going to spark their interest. But c’mon guy, give us a break.”
Burger It on Urbanspoon


Third Wave Café

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ThirdWaveCafe

Third Wave Café – 189 Rouse St, Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Gourmet Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18.90
Summary

Down away from Port Melbourne’s main drag lies a café that you’re either going to say is breaking down barriers or just a little bit indecisive. Like many of the other internet dudes that take photos of their meals with oversized cameras, we were sent a few emails inviting us to come down and check out the menu. After gracefully declining (as we always do) we popped in on our own accord, primarily out of curiosity as to how a Russian/American menu, cooked by a Japanese Chef would work out. Even though you’ll find Blinztes to BBQ ribs on the menu, the desire to serve nothing but premium quality food is at the forefront of owner Greg and Inga’s minds. After being greeted by some super friendly staff we ordered the Gourmet Burger that came with porterhouse mince, spice, fetta and sun-dried tomato pattie on a bed of basil mayo in a brioche bun plus lettuce and tomato.

Comments
“I thought I would tackle this behemoth by cutting it in half; a decision I immediately regretted as the whole thing ended up looking like I’d just punched it, with ingredients splattered everywhere. I’m never a fan of any beef patty that’s been prepared earlier and seasoned with anything more than salt and pepper, and similarly, this thing just crumbled to pieces, with only small amounts sticking together by being burnt. The bun was burnt, which added another strong over-powering flavour and texture to compete with all the other big, bold flavours. Had everything been toned down a little bit it could be quiet enjoyable.”
“A nice smokey burger with some intense salty flavours like fetta and sundried tomato. The pattie and bun were huge and the burger was hard to control with all that slipperiness caused by a healthy serve of mayo and lettuce (a lot of lettuce!). The potatoes were perfectly cooked and well seasoned. I don’t mind the owners of Third Wave doing a burger a bit differently, but having seen how their BBQ dishes were coming out I would encourage them to give a classic a go.”
“Interestingly enough, for $19, this burger came with no chips. There weren’t even chips on the menu. I thought that this was going to upset me. However, the burger alone was plenty to get you full. Just like a lot of my basketball idols (Thunder Up!), it was tall and rich. Then and there I couldn’t work out if I liked it or not. There were moments filled with sweet creamy goodness from the lashings of Russian basil mayo. But because of this, it created a burger you just couldn’t keep your hands on; seeing D trying to deal with his was hilarious. The spices, fetta and sundried tomatoes added to the pattie didn’t help it’s structural integrity but did make for a soft, tasty pattie. If you’re looking for a less traditional style of hamburger – and want to splash some cash – then you could give this a try. Just maybe avoid wearing a white shirt.”
Third Wave Cafe on Urbanspoon