Trunk Diner

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Trunk Diner – 275 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
8.5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$13.50
Summary

As a baby brother to Trunk Restaurant & Bar, Trunk Diner caters for the more casual breakfast/lunchtime crowds. Their menu does its best to soak in the values from a traditional American diner (with some SoCal influences) offering everything from eggs, waffles, quesadillas and of course, apple pie. Stepping away from all that Americana nostalgia however, you’ll find yourself waiting for your order in what only can be described as.. a shed. But don’t worry about feeling claustrophobic in there, the walls are clear plastic cafe blinds that do their bit to keep nature out and your food on your plate. On a warm day the seat of the house is in their courtyard, allowing for excellent people watching whilst soaking in some warm rays. We took our places “inside”, looked over all the sauces lined up on the table (home-style ketchup, BBQ and El Yucateco), and proceeded to order The Burger that came with 175grams of fresh ground Wagyu beef (cooked medium-rare) on a grilled brioche bun, baby cos lettuce, Spanish onion, thick cut tomato and house-made pickles. There are plenty of extras you can throw into the mix (for a small price) with 3 different cheeses, jalapenos and guacamole to name a few. We kept with the all-American theme and went with the crispy bacon, Monterey Jack and a side of fries.

Comments
“This pint sized burger really packed a punch and it was quite surprising how filling it actually was. After adding the sides of fresh lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles, I also gave it a good dollop of the house-made tomato sauce. It was awesome and looking back I probably didn’t even need to add the tomato. The bacon was well cooked adding just that little bit more texture and the Monterey Jack cheese was melted perfectly into the thick and juicy pattie.”
“I got a little excited and ate the pickle by itself before giving it a chance in the burger. I’ve learnt my lesson and will add it next time; it would have suited the burger amazingly. A great little compact burger that for me was very neat and tidy. The bacon added a great crunch and the cheese melted well into the beef to add a touch of creaminess. The fries came with possibly the best home made tomato sauce ever – none of this fancy tomato salsa shit, just good old-fashioned home-style dead horse.”
“This burger is surprisingly filling; what looks like a small’ish burger really does fill you up. The pattie is fantastic – good amount of thickness, juicy and nicely pink in the middle topped with some nice melted cheese. The pattie was so tasty I could have had it on its own. On the side you’ve got a great tasting slither of pickle, a nice cut of lettuce, red onions cut into rings and a slice of tomato that was slightly too thick. I plan on going back again to try it with some caramelised onions. Chips were OK.”
“My ears pricked up as soon as I heard the sound of a cute American girl behind the grill – an excellent sign. After some anticipation and after all the recommendations we’ve had, it had arrived. In short , the bun was perfect. It soaked in the juices nicely, but then left enough to ooze out onto your chips below. The overall flavour throughout the burger was flame-grilled utter beefiness. As for the extras, I honestly even forgot I added bacon.. so I’d probably skip it next time. The Monterey Jack was good and tasted alot like a bold cheddar, but I think I would’ve preferred the gruyere to add even more creaminess. Like the others have noted, the homemade ketchup and pickles were both ridiculously good. It looks like I’ll have to go back again to try and find the perfect combo of additions (I’m thinking gruyere and caramelised onions), but frankly this is the kind of burger you could have as simple as: Bun, Beef and Sauce. Some fantastic work by the Trunk team. Do believe the hype.”
Trunk Diner on Urbanspoon


Jones the Grocer

Thursday, February 10, 2011
Jones The Grocer – 1341 DANDENONG RD, CHADSTONE
(CHADSTONE SHOPPING CENTRE), VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
Burger:
Jones Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

In 1996, in the prominent Syndey suburb of Woollahra, Jones the Grocer opened their flagship store. Recognising a new growth in café culture they sought out to offer their customers fantastic service and produce (like a great café), but then also sold all their produce for use in everyday living (like deli). So when Chadstone Shopping Centre went through an epic makeover in 2009 they looked to Jones The Grocer for something new and different that many shoppers hadn’t yet experienced. The big glass structure that is Jones the Grocer Chadstone is hard to miss when trying to find a park. Feel free to browse their produce like fresh bread, cured meats, international jams and most notoriously, the cheeses in the their walk in cheese room. But, if you can’t wait to get home to try your purchases you can always dine in. Jones’ menu caters for both the early risers and the afternoon shoppers offering everything from traditional breakfasts, all the way to freshly prepared baguettes, pasta, risottos and salads for lunch. Most importantly of course is the Jones Wagyu burger. It comes with a Wagyu beef pattie, bacon, lettuce, gruyere, Jones bois boudran sauce and olive oil chips. Now all thats left to do is decide whether you prefer this or Capital Kitchen’s Cheeseburger just around the corner.

Comments
“I wasn’t sold on this burger. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I think I was personally a little let down by the beef pattie. I thought the beef was a little pasty, somewhat like sausage mince. Not to say that it actually tasted like that (even though so many others do). In the end you could tell the beef was of good quality and taste, but it just wasn’t the kind of pattie I like. All other ingredients were fresh and well proportioned. I particularly enjoyed the bun and fries.”
“A small and well proportioned burger. The beef was a little charred for my liking but its still had a great crumble and flavour to it. On the top bun you had the ketchup and on the bottom there was possibly one of the best mayos I’ve ever tasted. To finish it off it had perfect presentation with a fancy dollop of sauce on the side for the chips. I’d advise not ordering if you are on your lunch break from work; this place is catered towards the ladies who stop by during/after shopping and are in no rush..”
“Overall a good lunch time burger. However, there is one condition: you have to wait 15-25min for your burger to arrive (service can be a bit slow, but that’s ok because the final product is worth it). I wasn’t a fan of the chips cooked in olive oil – some of them were too greasy and heavy. The positives included a light, small and very easy to manage bun, a light and well cooked pattie, perfect bacon, a very tasty and nicely melted gruyere and just the right amount of carefully selected lettuce leaves.”
“The sauce on the wood is undesirable and is different just for the sake of being different. The chips your meant to use to dip in it are cooked in olive oil – nothing but a gimmick because quite frankly they taste bad. It did take forever to get service/meals but in the end, you honestly get quite a simple and decent burger with a Wagyu beef pattie that’ll melt in your mouth. To add to this there was salty, crunchy bacon and really good ratios of cheese and lettuce. Its a good, perfectly proportioned lunchtime burger.. but only if you’ve got all the time in the world.”
Jones the Grocer on Urbanspoon


The Counter

Thursday, December 16, 2010
The Counter – 7919 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Burger:
Counter Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
27 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10.15 USD
Summary

1) Grab a clipboard. 2) Pick up a pencil. 3) Try and keep from drooling. This is the process you go through when you first sit down at The Counter. This “build your own burger” franchise prides itself on providing its guests with over 312, 120 possible burger combinations, using only the freshest and finest quality ingredients for you to personalise your own gourmet burger. With this kind of formula, friendly staff and ice cold beers, they’ll have you coming back week after week day after day.
If the idea of creating you’re own burger just seems like too much pressure and avoids you asking, “I wonder what pineapple, hardboiled egg and mustard taste like..?” then look a little further down the menu and grab yourself one of their tried and tested Signature Burgers. I decided to go for the Counter Burger that included a Hamburger bun, 1/3 pound beef pattie, Provolone cheese, crispy onion rings, lettuce blend, sautéed mushrooms and tomato, all finished with a side of sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. These guys also have a wicked fries menu including a “Fifty-Fifty” where you can get a mix of both regular fries and sweet potato fries! (Breaking News: Aussie Burger Fans! Don’t have time to get to the States? Check out their closer to home, Sydney location).

Comments
“In true LA style, I parked my electric scooter on the curb, removed my helmet and gave my hair an awesome Fabio flick. After almost knocking into an interracial gay couple walking a lactose intolerant Labradoodle, I made my way inside, then immediately asked to sit outside – God bless LA weather. There wasn’t much point building and reviewing my own burger (although I would’ve made a cracker) as everyone has their own taste and style. So I tackled their Signature Counter Burger; excited at the thought of my first experience of Porvolone and Vinaigrette together. After ordering from my cute, waitress/actress/dancer I only had to wait for about 3 minutes before my order of “Fifty-Fifty” fries came out. Just when I began to think “Wow that was quick!”, my burger was being presented before me. When things seem to be too good to be true, they usually are. You want to feel like they’re taking some time in the kitchen, singing as they cook and talking about how much they love their job. In contrast, it was a bit like, “Hey you wana burger? Here’s one. Let us know when you want to pay.” But maybe I’m just old fashioned? Even though it came our super-quick, it also came out looking super-awesome. I couldn’t wait to get the photoshoot over and done with and sink my teeth into those crunchy looking onion rings. I took a few bites and nothing really jumped out at me. The Italian cheese had a bit of a bite to it, but you only really tasted it if you ate it without any meat. The beef was ok: lightly seasoned, a little bit pink, but too perfectly shaped and not juicy enough for my liking. It wasn’t until after I poured on the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette that the burger took a turn for the positive. The mix of heavy flavours from the Provolone, mushrooms and beef were now getting a contrasting and delicious tang that you rarely taste in a burger. For some reason I ate rather quickly, but still managed to feel pretty good afterwards. Then the sleepiness from the Provolone crept up on me forcing me to stay put, and to order another beer. A fun place to take your friends and try all of your different creations, but as for the Signature Counter Burger, its only real highlight was the sweet sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.”


Portland Hotel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Portland Hotel – Cr Russel and Little Collins Streets, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Portland Emu Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
3 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$24
Summary

Chances are that when you’re tossing up between eating at the Portland Hotel or it’s neighbour James Squire Brewhouse you’ll see a similarity in menus. In fact they’re the same venue. The Portland is where you might see a family sitting down for dinner, whereas the James Squire Brewhouse might be more suited for those caring more about a scoreboard rather than how anyone’s day has been. They are serviced by the same kitchen, dishing out your traditional Pub meals thrown in with some Modern-Australian twists like Char Grilled Kangaroo Fillet or as we decided, the Emu Burger. It came upon a Turkish style bun with lettuce, roasted tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, roasted capsicum relish, mayonnaise and a side of chips. Being Melbourne CBD’s only working micro brewery, you’d best grab yourselves a beer to wash it all down.

Comments
“I think this burger was trying a little too hard. Although I kind of enjoyed it, I was left a little unsatisfied. The emu pattie was nothing great, just something different. Being such a lean meat it wasn’t that juicy or tender. I quite enjoyed the capsicum relish and the sharp bite of the gorgonzola cheese. Once again the dreaded Turkish bread was used, but I will say it was one of the better ones… a crime all the same.”
“This burger made me all confused and dizzy; I didn’t know what to do. First off the flavours of the gorgonzola and tomatoes were too overpowering, so I removed most of it, then the emu pattie itself tasted a bit like a scourer so I just gave up. This was way too much effort for a hangover. Very well presented though.”
“I really wanted to like this burger. I really tried, but no dice. The emu pattie was a little bland and dry, and my bun was a little over toasted. The roasted capsicum took-over and if that wasn’t enough the gorgonzola added a sharpness that really did not suit the burger. This burger was trying to do too much. My message this week is ‘keep it simple’. Chips weren’t that good.”
“Totally not what I was expecting. I really thought it would taste a lot more like koala, or even maybe chicken. What we found here was pure, super lean emu mince. But as we all know a lean burger isn’t really a good one. Still, I rate it because it was bold and unlike anything I’d ever had before. The closest description I can offer is if you can imagine eating a really lean bit of beef that was mixed with kangaroo or rabbit mince (gamey). With some carefully selected ingredients added its obvious some thought has gone into creating this burger. The gorgonzola was like a flavoursome lovebite, contrasting the emu pattie’s laid back (stereotypically Australian) flavours. It may be a bit gimmicky, and is possibly aimed at tourists or those who’ve eaten just about every meat under the sun, but going by the research they’ve put into this one, I’d go back to try their beef burger for sure.”


Burger Culture

Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Burger Culture – 3 Cole St, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The New Yorker
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

Located just moments from Williamtowns’s picturesque strand with views of the bay and Melbourne skyline, Burger culture offers a large variety of beef, chicken and veggie burgers that you can either eat in or take-away. Our burger came between a sour dough blend bun and featured 95% fat free lean beef, tomato, lettuce, tomato relish, “Culture Mayo”, caramelised onion and Swiss cheese.

Comments
“To me this burger was very “safe”. It wasn’t anything special, nor was it bad. However, I found the bun too large for all the ingredients (you end up with a whole lot of bun left over). Everything was quite fresh though and I really enjoyed their tomato relish. I’m a big fan of people making their own mayo but in this case the spices they used were a little overpowering.”
“The bun was large but I thought it helped trap all of the ingredients in and stopped them from falling out. The mayo was too herby and overpowered the flavour of the swiss cheese and onion, which individually tasted great. I would order this next time without the mayo so the beef becomes the primary flavour.”
“I found all the ingredients well placed. For me, none of the flavours were overpowering and it was a good fulfilling experience. It was hard for us to decide on what burger to have; we had 8 beef burgers to choose from, not counting the chicken and vegie burgers offered. I really liked the beef and the relish. I think if I had to pick something that let it down I would choose the bun.. I found it a little stale actually. I would go back again to try the other burgers on offer. Chips were ok.”
“I understand people are health concious these days, but as one of our readers pointed out and reinforced recently, a good burger is choc-full of fat. Why kid yourself and pretend you’re having a light meal (I’m referring to their 95% fat free beef patties ofcourse). Anyhow, the New Yorker was nothing like New York. So fail right there. But they added Swiss cheese, which is always a bonus in my book, and make their own blend of mayonnaise, which I swear is Mayo + Moroccon Mix spices.”
Burger Culture on Urbanspoon


The Toff in Town

Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Toff in Town – Second Floor, 25 Swanston St, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Chilli Beef Basil Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$9.50
Summary

Located on the second floor of Melbourne’s iconic Curtain House, The Toff in Town is renowned for being a place for hipsters, scenesters and the music and film elite. But with a recent change of the menu, The Toff now has another box ticked. With the Thai influenced menu being served until the early hours of the morning, this almost out of place, but unique flavoured burger offers a chilli beef and basil pattie with fried egg, lettuce and tomato, all concealed within perfectly sweet bun.

Comments
“Who would have thought this Thai menu would come up with such a little gem. A small yet flavour-packed burger that will surprise you with a special chilli beef and basil pattie. A great little snack, but you’ll definitely find yourself wanting and needing more.”
“My favourite bar in Melbourne now offers a burger. I might as well just move in! Absolutely loved it. The spicy beef is well balanced by the soft egg, all on a sweet asian bread roll that is as soft as a cloud. Order 2 if its dinner, or order 1 if its a late night snack. Who are we kidding? Just order 2 regardless.”
“A”two bites and you’re done” kind-of-a burger. Although this was damn good, it will leave you wanting more (we had to order seconds). Please remember this isn’t your typical burger joint, and they don’t serve fries. All in all, it does deliver in taste, but not in value.”
“Quite a wicked punch attached to this burger. I’d say its best enjoyed with other small dishes and a tall beer. It will turn into an expensive night, so if you’re strapped for cash, go and borrow some.”


Burgerlicious

Thursday, May 6, 2010
Burgerlicious – 130 Liverpool St, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Beef Crave
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$7
Summary

With four convenient locations around Sydney, Burgerlicious is great value for money. They use only lean cuts of beef and prepare all the patties, sauces and fillings in house. This includes baking fresh buns everyday. Our burger featured grilled onions, tasty cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and ketchup all on a wholemeal bun.

Comments
“The burger has BBQ style beef pattie that had a god subtle spice and a Worcesterchire sauce flavour to it. The red onion and pickles were also a great addition. I would’ve liked to have seen the cheese melted onto the pattie and with a little less lettuce. I wasn’t sold on the wholemeal bun either. However, I’d recommend this if you’re looking for something easy to eat.”
“It felt like a very healthy burger with plenty of fresh ingredients. It tasted as if it were cooked on a backyard BBQ. Great classic 80’s tunes playing the whole time. I may be stabbed for saying this, but I would prefer this over Grill’d.”
“A really fluffy and easy to eat burger. The thin, almost BBQ flavoured pattie was nice, but there was too much lettuce, cheese and raw red onion. It was a burger that I would like to try again, just because I think it had potential. I was not a fan of the english-muffin-like bread used as a bun.”
“Call me crazy but I tasted Mi-Goreng Noodles? The pattie and bun were great, but everything
else lacked substance.”


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