Kustom Burgers

Monday, August 3, 2015
The_Burger_Adventure-KustomBurgers

Kustom Burgers – 861 High St, Thornbury, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
EH Smashed Burger
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$14
Summary

This is the definition of a passion project: know what you want, work your butt off and then make something awesome. A guy by the name of Paul Hendrie is behind Thornbury’s Kustom Burgers. He brought his love of burgers together with his love of cars to create a one-of-a-kind diner. Sure, parts of it looks like a regular old diner, but then there are all the bits that’ve come out of a chop shop. There are tables made of old truck boots, stools like tractor seats, and an actual truck who’s tray doubles as a slot car racing track. Of course then you come to the burgers. All designed by Paul himself, named after classic beauties like the F150, FJ Holden and the Imapala. Some of their burgers are classic beef favourites, but they also do a Fried Chicken one, even Chilli Dogs and wings. I couldn’t go past the EH Smashed Burger. I opted for the classic hamburger bun (you can go for brioche if you like), with 2 smashed Angus grass-fed beef patties, double bacon, double American cheese, lettuce, onion and a house-made special sauce.

Comments
“Damn it feels good to eat a burger this great again. It kicked me in the mouth with flavour from the very first bite. Smash burgers are the way to my burger-loving heart (big nod to Laurie Dee’s). The cheese was Oh-So-Oozy and had a nice bit of saltiness to it. The whole thing balanced out perfectly. Every bite was filled with beefy goodness, salt from the cheese and then the sweet from the special sauce. I’m rather happy I went with the Standard bun – brioche just would’ve been overkill. The onions were also fantastic. I wanted more as soon as I walked out. I will be back. I’m even contemplating moving Northside.”
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The Fish Shop

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The_Burger_Adventure-FishShop

The Fish Shop – 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Dan’s Famous Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$18
Summary

In 2011 this Merivale Group venue hosted a few burger lovers to one of their most memorable burger experiences to date. Back then it was called Lotus and sadly it ended up closing down. But not for long. Inspired by the Fishing Clubs of Nantucket, The Hamptons and Cape Cod, The Fish Shop opened up to Sydney-siders hungry for a different take on Fish n Chips. There’s fish everything here: fish tacos, fish fingers, fish schnitzel and fish burgers. But when designing the menu for The Fish Shop, the Merivale Group owners knew they couldn’t just let the legend of the Lotus Cheeseburger die. Amongst all the sea shanty, maritime paraphernalia sits a proud statement of burger genius – Dan’s Famous Cheeseburger. Former Chef of Lotus, Dan Hong once described his creation as “bun, meat, onions, sauce, cheese, mayo and pickles – it is a proper burger – no fancy shit”. So it’s a good thing that Chef Jeremy Strode has tried to mess with it too much. I sat down on a sunny Saturday and eagerly ordered the burger that almost lead me to quit this wicked adventure of ours.

Comments
“My word! It’s been 4 years.This burger was so good the restaurant changed names/concepts/menus/everything and it’s still here. And good reason for it. It’s amazing! I might have to say it a my favourite burger in Australia. I feel like if the king or queen of a nation asked for a burger this is what they should get. Nothing but the finest ingredients done so simply. The cheese, the bun, the pickels – all Devine. Then take the patty. So damn good. I’d even skip the chips and just order another one (even though the chips were great). I’m so impressed. So salty. So soft and so beefy. Well f**king done.”
The Fish Shop on Urbanspoon


Minetta Tavern

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The_Burger_Adventure-MinettaTavern

Minetta Tavern – 113 Macdougal Street, New York, NY, USA
Burger:
Black Label Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
$27 USD
Summary

Those who know a thing or two about burgers will tell you that Minetta Tavern is the be all and end all of burgers. Everyone who’s anyone in the NYC food scene has been there to try there $27 pride and joy. There’s good reason too. The guys behind Minetta Tavern are also responsible for New York institutes like Balthazar, Pastis and The Odeon, and, they only use the best of the best. In this case, it’s Pat La Frieda Meats. They’re world famous and still family owned since 1922. They worked closely with the Minetta team to get their Black Label Burger shining brightest amongst the galaxy of New York burger joints. Although they’ve only been around since 2009, the place will looks you into thinking it’s been there since the old days. What’ll trick you is all the old-style caricatures, checkered floors, portraits from decades past and the red leather booths. I sat down and triumphantly ordered their Black Label Burger that comes with a beef patty – a mix of dry aged, skirt steak and brisket – caramelised onions and a custom brioche bun.

Comments
“It was oh so soft. This was the most subtle burger I’ve ever eaten. It kind of felt like listening to a lullaby or piece of soothing classical music. Each bite was fluffy, juicy and delicate. The patty crumbled in with each bite reveal a beautiful shade of pink. I’d say it was probably cooked closer to rare than medium but I’m so up for that pink with that quality of meat. Every bite had a bit of a crunch from the clarified butter they use to give it a nice seal. The onions again were so subtle but sweet. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re used to the fish and chip shop and that’s your jam. It’s the kind of thing burger enthusiasts dream about because the quality was just outstanding. Saying that, it’s not a burger I could eat everyday. It’s a burger that needs an occasion, a celebration maybe? It’s the birthday cake of hamburgers.”


Shake Shack, Dubai

Monday, December 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ShakeShackDubai

Shake Shack – West Food Court, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Burger:
Shack Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
25AED/$7.60 AUD
Summary

When you happen to visit one the most arid, terribly hot places in the world, the best place to hang is a mall where you can enjoy luxury shopping, skiing and one of the world’s most famous burgers. Opening in 2011, Shake Shack Dubai was the first of many of its international locations (now in Turkey, UK and Russia) and ever since day one they’ve always had queues. If you aren’t aware of Shake Shack’s infamy, you can read more from D’s NYC review here, but they’ve come a long way since starting out as a humble hot dog stand in NYC. I took my place in line, watched the workhorse that is the Shake Shack kitchen do their thing and eventually got to order the Shack Burger that came with a 100% Angus beef pattie (cooked medium), cheese, lettuce tomato and Shack Sauce all on a soft burger bun.

Comments
“Not having eaten Shake Shack in NYC, I was glad I was at least going to have a crack at its first international location. But, when hype is involved, I’m usually the first to get a little suspicious. I mean how good could this be? That first, soft and meaty bite was enough to tell me everything I needed to know. The pattie was oh so right: a little bit charred on the outside and so soft on the in. It’s got a certain beefy saltiness with a smidge of pepper that I don’t believe I’ve ever tasted before. Whether it’s their cows or meat blends I don’t know, but this and their Shack Sauce is (just one) reason why people love it. The next thing I noticed is that these guys don’t cut their bun all the way through. How damn smart! A cure for the inevitable burger slide. The lettuce and tomato balanced out the heavier beef quite nicely… And the bun reminded of something White Castle does with their sliders: super soft. Originally these guys started out by slinging dogs and you can see the influence in their burgers. For me the bun is basically a hot dog bun but in burger format. Give it time and I have a feeling these guys are going to take over McDonalds as the most recognised burger chain in the world. Tremendous.”


Patty & Bun

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Patty&Bun-London

Patty & Bun – 54 James St, W1U 1HE London, UK
Burger:
ARI GOLD Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
£7.50/$13.50 AUD
Summary

When you’ve got an idea and the passion to drive said idea, chances are you’ll do alright. Patty & Bun is the story of Joe Grossman: a young Englishman who’s great at what he loves doing. After a trip to the States and experiencing the awesomeness that Shake Shack delivered, he saw potential back home amid the street/dude-food boom and began on his own adventure to out-do the yanks at their own game. Much research and many recipe experiments later, Grossman began to pop-up with his burgers at different bars and locales around London. His followers started to grow and grow and so when it came to open his first permanent establishment there’s no surprise that there are queues out the door. I patiently waited my name to be called, took a seat and then ordered what many call London’s best burger: the ARI GOLD Cheeseburger. It came with a grass fed 35 day aged Aberdeen Angus beef pattie, cheese, lettuce, pickled onions, ketchup, smoked P&B mustard mayo in between a glazed brioche bun.

Comments
“It was 20 minute wait. But, it was also a hot London day, so sitting on the bench outside (purpose built for waiting) I soaked the weather up. The burger came fully clothed in wax paper and as my boy D always boasts, “Good things come in wax packages”. I unwrapped the little guy with some eagerness and to be truthful I wasn’t ready for what I was about to see. It’s like I was 13 and my Christmas gift had been mistakenly swapped for a stack of Playboys. I wanted to take this burger upstairs to my room and make it mine. It was so darn sexy and so darn cheesey. The smokiness, saltiness and softness of the patty and bun combo made me glad I was sitting down as my legs would’ve probably given way. I didn’t taste too much of the pickles but the red onions were sweet enough for me not too notice. It’s hard to imagine but my Ari Gold experience left me cursing more than the character it’s named after – so f****en good.”
Patty & Bun 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


Paris-New York

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_ParisNewYorkBurger

Paris-NewYork – 50 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10e, Paris, France
Burger:
Vintage Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
21 minutes
Would we recommend:
Go Now!
Price:
€11.40/$16.15 AUD
Summary

Ever since December 2012, the rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis has seemed a little bit brighter. Next door to a fishmonger with a cluster of Broadway bulbs shines Paris-New York, a.k.a, PNY. In what may seem like an obviously awesome mix of cultures, PNY have embraced the best of both Paris and NYC, and turned it into their own swanky, hell-bent on quality hamburger joint. With the help of CUT Architects, this two story venue’s monochrome design takes cues from both iconic cities, even managing to subtly reference icons like Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower into their interior steel structure. Where it gets exciting is at the menu: they work closely with artisinal producers and get their hands on nothing but top-notch produce. This was made no more apparent than when I ordered the Vintage Cheeseburger. Its beef pattie is aged, chopped in house and comes from French Piebald cattle and the cheese is Somerset Cheddar, aged 18 months. These were served on a toasted brioche bun with pickles, Classic America sauce and a generous serving of fries.

Comments
“At first I sort of grumbled to myself about le service being slow. But when le burger came out I had forgotten all about it because this thing was swimming in glorious cheese. My first bite was incredible. Le cheese was quite bold and tended to linger with every mouthful. Le beef was just as tasty: it was fatty, salty and chopped nice and coarse. I’m normally am not a fan of mustard my burgers (must be part of what they call Classic America sauce) but this was really great – it didn’t over power anything. It was predictably French, cooly whispering that it was there and didn’t yell at me like most obnoxious American mustards do. I also couldn’t find a bad fry among the lot of them: so crispy on the outside and soft on the in that I wanted to eat them by the fistful. This was truly an outstanding Burger Adventure that I hope le other dudes get to tick off their list one day. Merci Paris-New York.”