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.”


Dr.Morse

Friday, December 19, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-DrMorse

Dr Morse – 274 Johnston St, Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Classic Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13
Summary

If you’re a Southsider, there’s a good chance you’ve never been to this end of Johnson St. That’s because there really hasn’t been much reason to go, unless you’re an old school Collingwood fan or a junkie (or both). Nowadays the “other side” of Johnston St is picking up and it’s mostly to do with Dr Morse. The renovations took about a year but they’ve worked their way from a little coffee dispensary to a full blown bar and eatery. Big glass windows greet you as you walk straight past the bar into their oversized beer garden (straight to another bar). They’re pretty proud of their food and drink so you’ll always see some little brewer taking over their taps for a weekend or a pig on the spit as a bit of a treat for the locals. What excited us was their Weekend Menu, which slightly differs and is made a little more straight up and down to their every day dinner haul, offering an all day breakky and stuff like Fried chicken & kimchi sandwiches. We managed to grab a beer and their Classic Beef Burger that came with a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese, mustard and pickles on a brioche bun.

Comments
“Just a ripping, well executed burger with all the important elements spot on. The beef patty was on the thicker side with a great amount of char and flavour burnt onto each side, yet the inside remaining pink and juicy. The cheese completely enveloped the patty with parts hitting the hot plate and leaving a delicious crust, which, combined with the sharpness of the mustard really married together well. Texture wise it was perfect, with a little crunch coming from the lettuce under the soft brioche bun.”
“It was a good looking burger. It was simple, small and didn’t try too hard. It did end up letting me down just a smidge though. For $13 I really expected some chips on the side. The beef was quality but could’ve done with a pinch more salt. The lettuce and tomato did nothing for it. They mainly just created more slide then necessary. The burger has real potential, especially if it were to be simplified even more. Just beef, cheese, mustard and pickles, and it would be great!”
Dr Morse Bar & Eatery on Urbanspoon


Umami Burger

Friday, November 14, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-UmamiBurger

Umami Burger – 2184 Union Street, San Francisco, California, USA
Burger:
The Original
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12 USD
Summary

The idea behind Umami Burger was conceived in another, be it, the most sought out burger on the West Coast: In-n-out. It was 2005 and Adam Fleischman was digging into one of his favourite indulgences – a double cheeseburger – and he started to wonder why America was so fascinated with burger and pizza culture. He then thought back to his favourite cooking shows and remembered the word Umami. The gourmet burger scene was about to be born. Fleischman started experimenting with all sorts of ingredients to obtain the “5th taste”, throwing everything from seaweed, miso soup and fish sauce in between some buns. In 2009 he was ready, opening the first Umami Burger in Los Angeles in a failed Korean Taco shop. From then on it boomed with many more locations opening up and was even named 2010’s Burger of the Year by GQ. Each location usually has a signature burger on their menu, something that Fleischman hopes to move Umami Burger away from the chain burger store stereotype and towards more of a classier restaurant group. For example, the San Francisco location uses its surrounding for inspiration and offers a Bacon Wrapped Scallop Burger (which we here hold in contempt). I was there for the original though and proceeded to order, wait for it, The Original. It came with a Wagyu Beef blend patty seasoned in Umami sauce (soy) and dust (porcini mushrooms and dried fish heads), a parmesan frico, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, Umami house ketchup all on a Portuguese-style bun, made exclusively for Umami Burger.

Comments
“It’s been many years since I first heard about this famous burger joint, but when I arrived at their San Fran store, it wasn’t what I expected. I thought it’d be all open kitchens and burgers flying around the place, but it was more like a Yankee Japanese restaurant. I get that’s where the flavour inspiration comes from but it was trying to be a little too cool. When the the burger came out it looked delicious – noticeably smaller than the Umami burgers I’ve eaten in Melbourne. The first bite was soft, salty and the patty was cooked nice and pink. The salty and sweet from roast tomatoes and shiitake did their part in upholding the Umami buzz, but I wanted more from the parmesan. At the end of the day, I’d say to Melbournians go visit Nshry because they’ve nailed the whole notion of Umami. If you’re by a Umami Burger in the States, I’d say try one of their other burgers that adds bacon or an extra patty. They might be the Original, but the Original has been trumped by Melbourne’s very own Nshry.


Three Crowns

Thursday, November 6, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-3Crowns

Three Crowns – 365 Victoria St, West Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Three Crowns American Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in area
Price:
$18
Summary

Some will argue that it’s North Melbourne, others West, but whichever way you look at it it’s still a great old pub for locals and tourists alike. Renovations have come and gone, but with it Three Crowns has taken on a new chef with an American inspired menu. Head Chef Chris Smith has given North Melbournians a selection of mouthwatering options like fried chicken, chilli cheese fries, tater tots and ribs from a smoker. Three Crowns know how to look after their locals, even giving them a 10% discount on a Sunday night. We had heard good things about their burger so we ordered a round of beers and a round of American Cheeseburgers that came with a 100% ground beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, bacon, tomato, “fancy sauce” and pickles on a brioche bun. For some extra coin you can double, or even triple your fun.

Comments
“You can see the care and attention that went into creating this burger, as it’s a far cry from your traditional pub burger. The American influence on the new menu is clearly obvious. Texture-wise, it did alright by me, with a super soft brioche bun, juicy patty and creamy cheese with the only crunch coming from the bacon and the barely noticeable lettuce and tomato. The fancy sauce added a nice little kick, which cut through all the subtle flavours that combined so well together.”
“A Pub-Burger is something that’s very close to this writers heart. Yeah, sometimes you have a burger you hope to forget due to its rissole-like patty and its slice of canned beetroot, however this was not the case. Even though this was one damn greasy experience, the meal itself was still reasonably good. The patty was cooked nicely and covered with melted cheese and delicious bacon. The bun really couldn’t hold it’s integrity even from when I received it, it even looked a bit soggy.The meal was uber filling so I advise on skipping a meal before you go. I did like the chips and the tip jar! My money went to the Stones (you’ll know what I mean when you go).”
“It looked impressive. Espescially with the site of the American cheese oozing out the sides. The spines of lettuce poking out of my burger worried me in the beginning but I came to find they didn’t impact my meal at all. There was an awesome sticky fattiness to each note. It coupled with the sweetness of the melted cheese oh so gloriously. For me this sets a standard of how a burger should be cooked. The bun was on the heavy side and after falling apart I actually left a quarter of it on the plate – it was too much. A surprisingly non-pub style burger that I reckon I’d go back for. Un-Australian in a good way.”
Three Crowns Hotel on Urbanspoon


Tuolumne Meadows Grill, Yosemite National Park

Sunday, November 2, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Yosemite

Tuolumne Meadows Grill – Tioga Rd. (Rte. 120),
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Burger:
Cheeseburger + Bacon
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$8 USD
Summary

If you drive 5 hours east of San Francisco you’ll encounter some of the most breathtaking views on the planet. Yosemite National Park’s incredible vistas attract everyone from lollygagging tourists, avid hikers, animal lovers and artists. There are plenty of things to do and see in the park but chances are you’ll be driving through Tuoumne Meadows; a popular spot to set out for a range of hikes and trail-rides. Not far away from the visitors centre you’ll find a shack with a flyscreen door where hungry campers and hikers can get their fix for classic Americana. They do mostly sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs but you can always get a nice plate of bacon and eggs if you’re there before 11:30am. I ordered a Cheeseburger with extra bacon that came with an oat/flour topped bun with a beef pattie, lettuce, American cheese, onion, tomato and pickles.

Comments
“Regardless of all the veggies involved, the burger was actually so simple. For some odd reason it was a smidge cold and wet, but like most things in life, I’d blame the lettuce. I liked that they don’t add any sauce. It means you can make your burger how you want it. I felt like it didn’t really need it because you got a lot of sweetness from the fresh onion and pickle. It also helped to make the simple beef pattie the hero of burger. For once I’d probably say you don’t need the bacon. It didn’t really do much for the burger. If you were looking for something with more grunt, I’d double my pattie next time. Overall, it wasn’t anything amazing, but I really expected a lot less quality and for a higher price (without bacon it was $6). These guys could charge what they want but they know that a hungry hiker is probably going to order a few of these after a long trek.


Hooters

Friday, October 3, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Hooters
Hooters – 6922 Hollywood Blvd, Suite 109, Hollywood, California, USA
Burger:
Hooters Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12.08 USD
Summary

On April Fools Day 1983, six men sat in Clearwater, Florida, talking about a business prospect. They chose this day as a joke because they figured their idea was destined for failure. Decades on and many tight shorts later, Hooters is a booming enterprise. Half sports bar, half breastaurant, Hooters is still an all-American family friendly venue that has “good times on tap”. Making a name for themselves for their super smiley Hooters girls and spicy chicken wings has lead Hooters to open 430 locations all over the world all the way from Tokyo to Prague. At 11.30am along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I looked forward to escaping the California sun and diving into a cold beer and juicy hamburger. Just like their waitresses, the burgers come in different shapes and sizes, but I opted for the classic Hooters Cheeseburger. In between a soft traditional burger bun was a medium cooked beef pattie, American cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato and ketchup and mustard left on the side to add as I pleased. I couldn’t decide between the Curly Fries or Tater Tots, so I just got both.

Comments
“Forget about the plunging neck lines and ass-cheek-revealing shorts. The experience at Hooters is delightful. If you’re in a terrible mood their staff will be sure to cheer you up in a jiffy. The Hooters girls’ positivity and bubbliness rubs off, and surprisingly not in a sleazy way. Floor staff aside, the food is the real reason for my visit. The Cheeseburger was pure Americana with its dripping cheese and super soft bite, but it wasn’t anything amazing. The patty was OK on its own, but when combined with the raw onions it made for a meaty, salty treat. I like that the burger didn’t come with sauce because these guys appreciate everyone likes something different squirted on their buns. They know that they’re not gourmet so they don’t try to be. I was recommended to try my burger cooked medium but should’ve gone medium-rare to get a bit more juice. Overall, a really lovely experience. Beers as big as your head, burgers and super friendly staff. What more could you want?”


Ripponlea Food and Wine

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Ripponlea

Ripponlea Food and Wine – 5 Glen Eira Road,
Ripponlea, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu beef burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
17 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$24.90
Summary

Located opposite Ripponlea train station this little restaurant will charm the pants off you with its friendly staff, open kitchen and a comforting food menu, making you feel like you’re at your Mama’s house for dinner. There is something quite soothing about the how the heat from the kitchen enters the dining area with its white tiled walls and dark timber seating giving you a warm sense of familiarity. We went for the Wagyu beef burger that came with mustard, crispy bacon, tomato, cornichons, smoked cheddar with a side of fries and habanero mayo.

Comments
“I knew straight away I was going to turn this into a massive mess so to try and minimise the impact I decided to cut it in half. First thing that really stood out was the height and size of the patty, it had a really crumbly texture and plenty of herbs mixed through for flavour. Due to the size, it was cooked fairly well which left it fairly dry. Then, combined with the dry and flakey bun you really began to notice the lack of juice. The melted cheese and crispy bacon obviously helped the burger, however the thick chunks of tomato and pickle didn’t compliment at all.”
“From a place that had some great simple comforting food I had an expectation the burger would be OK and to a degree I think it was. The pattie was rustic and rissole-like with some great tasting characteristics and cooked to perfection. The bun though, didn’t keep its integrity throughout the meal. The mayo was really good with the chips. The one thing I didn’t like was the amount of greens – too much!”
Ripponlea Food & Wine on Urbanspoon