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.”


The Anthem

Monday, January 5, 2015
The_Burger_Adventure-Anthem-Chicago

The Anthem – 1725 W. Division St, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Burger:
Jucy Lucy
Serviettes:
8
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10.99 USD
Summary

Just like Australians, the Americans are super passionate about sport – in all shapes and sizes. The Anthem has dedicated itself to sports fans by providing belt loosening comfort food that will hold you whilst your team loses yet another thriller. Their extensive beer and cocktail list will then make you forget about all those woes and get you ready for the next game. They’ve got huge screens everywhere so you can soak in the glory or wallow in sorrow. So, it’s really easy to get a love/hate thing going with this 70s neon Sports Bar. When it comes to Chicago critics however, they can’t stop raving about the place opened ever since 2011. One of the reasons they’re so famous is their Jucy Lucy. Originally an invention out of Minneapolis the Chicago locals have made it their own. In between two three-ounce patties lies an ounce and a half of Velveeta cheese, there’s caramelised onions, sweet horseradish pickles and a buttery bun – that’s it. I sat in front of three big screens, watched the Baltimore Ravens throw a ball, then ordered the “local celebrity” that is the Jucy Lucy.

Comments
“This is a Sports Bar on steroids. Hoots and hollers were more than welcome but I kept my mouth shut so as to prepare for the hype that was their Jucy Lucy. It arrived looking like a hot mess even before I got into it. There was so much cheese ooze pouring out I carefully placed a doubled up napkin on my lap and hoped for the best. The first bite was good – really pink and soft for the medium they said they would cook it. But I hadn’t hit the cheese yet. The second bite was going to be the most important. That’s when it happened. The water fall of cheese that flooded my mouth was madness. Never had I experienced such a Cheese-nami. It was smooth and silky like a disgraced Italian news reader. I’d never had Velveeta before but I imagine it was big in the 70s with the fondu folk. Was it all necessary though? I’m not so sure. This style of burger for me is adventurous but what I think tends to happens is that it puts the cheese on a pedestal, and the patty on a dental chair (at the lowest setting). Good for the casual beer and bite but add a winning/losing team and some jugs and you’ll probably find it amazing.”


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


South Melbourne Trader

Monday, March 31, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-SthMelbTrader

South Melbourne Trader – 111 Cecil St,
South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$15.90
Summary

The South Melbourne Trader is one of those contemporary pub venues that’s built to cater for all sorts of crowds, from the big lunch time work crowds on a Friday, to the modern family who’s not in the particular mood to cook. Located only 2 minutes’ walk from the South Melbourne Markets this place has done well to build a local following in an area with plenty of old time pubs on offer. Former Rockpool Bar & Grill chef Johnon MacDonald has brought his knowledge to SMT and put together a quality Wagyu burger at an affordable price. It arrived on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, house made pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, Jamaican Jerk and hand cut chips.

Comments
“At first bite, several of the distinct flavours made be double guess whether or not I’d actually eaten this burger before. Once I lifted up the top bun and the bright pink pickled onions stared back at me, revealing the uncanny similarities between this and the Wagyu burger at Rockpool. The brioche bun combined with all the pickled vegetables and Jamaican Jerk sauce unfortunately overpowered the beef patty, which was cooked a little longer than ideal. However, when tasted on its own had great flavour.”
“The burger had a very tasty pattie with the right level of moisture in it and at the perfect thickness. The bun did get a bit mushy towards the end, but it made the distance, so no real complaints. There was minimal green stuff on offer, but they were very generous on the mayo. For a lunch time option I think it’s slightly on the heavy side, but that’s what long Friday lunches are for. Chips were average.”
“I’m normally the kind of guy to put more mayo on top of mayo. But this experience was even too creamy for me. The Rockpool on a budget burger still had really good moments. It makes sense for them to copy its greatness as not every one has had the pleasure of visiting Neil Perry’s fine establishment. The beef was by far the standout with a nice beefy charr to it, but it needed to be heroed more. All the sauces and onions stole its limelight. It looked small, but the sleepiness that hung around afterwards was enough to make me think about pulling over on my drive home. Pretty good but I’d go the original (and pay for it) any day of the week.”
The South Melbourne Trader on Urbanspoon


Bruny Island Winebar and Grill

Thursday, March 20, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-BrunyIsland-Tasmania

Bruny Island Winebar and Grill – 4391 Main Rd, Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia
Burger:
Bruny Island Premium Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

About an hour south of Hobart (add in a 20 minute ferry ride) and you’ll be driving across Bruny Island. Surprisingly large in land mass, generally compared with Singapore’s, Bruny Island is home to about 650 people (Singapore has over 5 million) so it makes a perfect escape from the daily grind. Covered in beautiful vegetation, mountains and surrounded by unruly oceans there’s not much to do but to take in the sights and then enjoy the local produce. The Bruny Island Winery is Australia’s southernmost vineyard and is owned by Richard and Bernice Woolley who bought the Wayaree Estate property in 1997. Their Winebar and Grill lets you match some of their award winning wines along with sampling plenty of regional produce. I sat down with my babein’ accomplice, grabbed a Pinot Noir and ordered the Premium Beef Burger that came on crusty roll with a beef pattie from Hat’s Farm next door, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, chilli jam and tomato sauce.

Comments
“It sounded pretty decent when I read the list of ingredients; all super enticing and I knew they’d be local. Upon arrival I couldn’t but blurt out a profanity. To say I was shocked was an understatement. “What was goig on with that bread?”, I thought to myself. The cerated knife stabbed through the middle would come in handy, because I knew that it wasn’t going to be pretty if I’d tackled this as a whole. When I cut it in half, squished it down and finally bit I was actually happy. All the elements were tasty and co-operated in their pursuit of pleasing my taste-buds. The chilli jam was the highlight followed by the sweet, fat coated beef. This could’ve been next level if they went for a more traditional bun. The ciabatta-style bread was enjoyable, but I’d rather leave it to dips and antipasto plates as opposed to the humble hamburger. Overall, not a bad, unorthodox burger that’s worth popping in for.”
Bruny Island Winebar and Grill on Urbanspoon


Back to the Burger

Monday, January 27, 2014
Back2theBurger4

For us here at The Burger Adventure, the year 2013 was filled to the brim with a tonne of tantalising new burger joints. So before we could dive into sorting out our top 10 for the year, we needed to revisit the 2012’s most awesome burgers for a little quality control. While there were some surprises, both good and bad, for the greater good and for the burger loving public, it had to be done.

10. HUXTABURGER – 106 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Huxtaburger
2013
Huxtaburger2013-2

“It felt like we copped a burger from the end of the production line as it was more like ‘sauce with a side of burger': absolutely drowning in sauce and soggy.”


9. PARLOUR DINER – 64 CHAPEL STREET, WINDSOR
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Parlour
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Parlour2013

“This time round the burger was presented a tad taller with a little less greenery.”


8. MR BURGER – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_MrBurger
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-MrBurger2013

“From food truck to multiple locations around Melbourne, we knew these guys would go a long way. Very similar burger as before with the exception of a whole lot more mayo being added to the mix. ”


7. BELLE’S DINER – 150 GERTRUDE STREET, FITZROY
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_BellesDiner
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Belles2013

“A new bun, a pickled onion on top and fries come separately now. Plus, they spell their ‘Diner Burger’ with only one R now.”


6. TRUNK DINER – 275 EXHIBITION STREET, MELBOURNE
2012
Trunk Diner
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Trunk2013

“Stacked a little higher these days with a sweeter brioche bun (that completely dissolved by the end). Still real good value though.”


5. ROCKWELL & SONS – 288 SMITH ST, COLLINGWOOD
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Rockwell&Sons
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Rockwell2013

“This burger hasn’t changed one bit, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”


4. ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL – CROWN COMPLEX, SOUTHBANK
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_Rockpool-2011
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Rockpool2013

“It’s got the exact same ingredients and flavours, however the burger has increased in size and is actually a challenge to finish.”


3. NSHRY – 129A BEACONSFIELD PDE, ALBERT PARK
2012
NSHRY
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-NSHRY2013

“This would have to be one of the most difficult burgers to get right every time, yet they always manage to. There’s also now chips instead of onion rings as the side.”


2. BEATBOX KITCHEN – VARIOUS LOCATIONS, MELBOURNE
2012
The-Burger-Adventure_BeatboxKitchen-2011
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Beatbox2013

“Even as the years roll by the Raph Burger is still consistently awesome. It’s got that signature creamy flavour that keeps Melbourne coming back for more.”


1. THE MERRYWELL – CR CLARENDON STREET & CROWN RIVERSIDE, SOUTHBANK
2012
Merrywell
2013
TheBurgerAdventure-Merrywell2013

“As big, as ugly, as messy and as delicious as we remember: exactly as it should be.”



Dude Food Man

Thursday, December 19, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_DudeFoodMan

Dude Food Man – Various Locations, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Dude Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$14
Summary

You can hardly say you’ve done it all in Melbourne until you’ve eaten from one our many food trucks. As much as some councils have tried to put the kibosh on where and when they can operate, the community has welcomed them with open arms. Relative newcomer to the scene is the Dude Food Man, who not only serves burgers but delves into other comfort foods between buns like a pulled pork slider and a Korean BBQ Beef sub. To say owner Johnny has his work cut out for him when it comes to competing for attention next to the acclaimed Mr Burger and Beatbox Kitchen is an understatement. But, with over 10 years training at places like Café Di Stasio and The Point Albert Park, sourcing only the best local ingredients, it’s no surprise The Dude Food Man has so many sell outs. On a sunny Sunday afternoon we found a spare patch of dirt at Ruckers Hill (check here for up to date locations) and ordered their signature Dude Burger that came on a brioche bun with a Wagyu pattie, lettuce, cheese, tomato, caramelised onions, pickles and aioli.

Comments
“Breaking down the cardboard box around this burger revealed an almost ideal 1:1 ratio between the size of the patty and bun. The patty was cooked perfectly, with a lovely coarse mix remaining pink on the inside, yet with the help of the crust and gooey yellow cheese completely hugging it, it managed to retain all the juice and flavour without dissolving the bun or dripping down your arm. Funnily enough, the stand out ingredient for me was the not too sour pickles that added just enough bite that enhanced the overall experience.”
“As far as food trucks go, this burger does not disappoint. The pattie was juicy, on the right side of pink, covered in cheese and had a healthy serve of mustard and pickle. The bun was great, but a bit susceptible to breaking-up while still eating. The triple cooked hand cut chips were good and super moist in the middle. The only problem I see with Dude Food is not with the burger, but with being memorable. Melbournians are spoilt for choice and the food truck business has become a very competitive category, therefore the only solution to this would be to create a more signature product on offer.”
“I eat a lot of burgers, but there’s this weird feeling that you get every now and then, when something is so damn good that you can’t help but thank a higher power. Another indication that I liked it was that it was almost all gone in under a minute. There was a lot of sweetness and saltiness in every bite, most likely from the mustard, pickle and aioli combo, but the cheese I didn’t really notice. Overall for me though, the pattie was the star, just the way it should be.”
Dude Food Man on Urbanspoon