Pop Burger

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pop Burger – 14 E 58th St, Midtown East, New York, NY, USA
Burger:
Pop Burgers
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12 USD
Summary

Located in one of the most iconic locations in New York City, opposite the Apple flagship store, FAO Shwartz toy store and adjacent the Plaza hotel and Central Park, Pop Burger offers up 6,000 square feet of designer eating and drinking space split over 3 levels. On the ground level you’ll find the takeout counter and casual seating. Go one level up and there’s the lounge with table service. Then on the 3rd floor is another bar with a pool table. So all-in-all they are catering to practically everyone from holidaying families to the hungry/thirsty after work crowd. They’ve even got the capability to throw up-market large scale events with their very own full-time Event Director. Owner and famed New York restauranteur Roy Liebenthal talks about where the POP burger concept came from saying, “Warhol is my favorite artist. What I liked about him was, he was all about commercial consumption and the ordinary object. It wasn’t only for the intellectual financial elites. That’s what I find exciting about Pop Burger, is creating a product that everybody across cultures—depending on where their finances are – everybody likes Pop Burger.” So I ventured upstairs to the Lounge to see if I would love it as much as he does. I ordered the Pop Burgers that came with lettuce, tomato and American cheese, all on mini brioche buns with a side of onion rings.

Comments
“On a very rainy, wet and miserable day, Pop Burger came to the rescue. To escape the rain and to chill out for a while we decided to head past the Andy Warhol lined downstairs restaurant and venture upstairs to lounge about on one of their large couches. The only thing better than one burger is three burgers. Even though they were mini, they still packed a huge amount of flavour. The beef, being so small, was cooked a little more than I like and was a little charred, but the brioche style bun held it all together perfectly. I’d love to see these guys add a regular sized burger to their menu, as I think, with a bit of tender love throughout the cooking process, it could be simply amazing. The wait staff were also extremely friendly, constantly refilling my coke. And as many of you know, I’m a simple man and free refills are one of my favourite things in the world.”
Pop Burger on Urbanspoon


Yellow Bird

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yellow Bird – 122 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Yellow Bird Chilli Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

Yellow Bird is an eclectic restaurant/cafe/bar that attracts all walks of life. From the fixie riding hipsters, struggling writers, artists and musicians, people with beards, people with pug dogs, fashionistas and everyone in between. Wherever you decide to sit; inside with the bird cages, vintage furniture and band posters (that are for sale) or outside, you will be in one of Melbourne’s greatest people-watching spots. Especially catering for those cats that wear sunglasses at night, the bar is open until 1am and the kitchen until 10pm. Locals wont shutup about their breakfast burritos and modern-australian take on mexican food. But as usual we had to look past them all and go for the Yellow Bird Chilli Burger that came with a spicy ground beef patty, jalapenos, tasty cheese, red onion, tomato, bacon, rocket, chutney and a side of fries.

Comments
“When I first walked in and sat down I started to think, “What sort of ill thought-out and slapped together meal am I going to get by a place exclusively staffed by groovy Chapel St hipsters!!” I was quick to find out that it was actually a pretty damn good one. It turned out to be one of probably the best versions of a chilli burger I’ve had, without trying too hard to be different. The subtle balance of the jalapeno chillies and the raisin filled chutney really work well with the thick beef pattie. The really great thing about this burger is that it packs enough of a punch to let you know your eating chilli, but not too much to let you forget you actually ordered a burger.”
“The appearance of this burger is very deceptive. As it arrived at our table it just looked like your stock standard take on the traditional burger, with a sesame seed bun, pattie, lettuce, bacon and cheese all visible to the eye. It’s only when you bite into the burger that it really comes to life; hiding under the sumptuous piece of beef are some fiery jalepenos that give a great kick once bitten but don’t linger around too much longer. Then to keep the surprises coming you are hit by the very sweet chutney with raisins that’s spread on top of the pattie. I probably would have preferred this burger just as a pure spicy burger rather than adding the contrasting sweetness of the relish. A simple dollop of ketchup would’ve done me just fine.”
“What impressed me most about this burger was the casualness of it. No it didn’t dress in baggy jeans and call me “dude”, it was just the manner in which it was presented and served on a plate – zero pretentiousness. And, for a burger served on Chapel St (aka wank central) that is saying a lot. It was a good thick pattie, the jalapeno chillies in the burger were great and the chutney worked well in balancing out the flavours. I’m normally not that crazy about raisins in my food, but they did work well in the chutney. Nice thinly cut red onion with well-prepared bacon was another plus with just the right amount of rocket leaves. I personally did have to add some ketchup to it all and yes, the fries were good.”
“I was about to pull out the iPhone and take a hipstamatic shot of the burger, until D slapped me in the face, reminded me that I use a Blackberry and we were here for business. This burger was, in one word, “good”. The chefs have kept everything relatively simple. I always enjoy a good ol’ kaiser bun and the addition of jalapenos are always welcome. The lightly seasoned ground beef patty was on the money; even with it’s coarse texture it was still very light, almost on the delicate side. Where it lost out with me was the raisin filled chutney. It was almost like too many pussies complained that it was too spicy for them and they needed to add something extra to calm down their oh-so-mortified tastebuds. Or who knows, maybe its just more added wank factor that we see more often than not. Don’t get me wrong, the chutney (as a chutney on its own) was fine. But next thing you know they’ll be adding quince paste to burgers.”
Yellow Bird Cafe on Urbanspoon


Kodiak Club

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kodiak Club – 272 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Kodiak Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$17.50
Summary

Down the uber trendy end of Brunswick St, Melbourne – ok who are we kidding the whole street is so frkn hipster it hurts – you’ll find the all American inspired Kodiak Bar. Taking a page out of “Anytown U.S.A” bar culture, Kodiak’s menu dishes out a range of modern, regional American bar food, as well as priding themselves on being Melbourne’s prime destination for American Whisky and Bourbon. Open Wedensday through Sunday ’til the wee hours of the night, its the perfect cosy nook you’re looking for on a chill Melbourne night, especially if its bacon infused bourbon that you’re craving. After getting a little too excited about the rest of their mouthwatering menu we settled on the Kodiak Burger which came with 2 grass fed beef patties, cheese, dill pickles, onions and Woodford Reserve mayo on a sesame seed bun, served with beer-battered onion rings.

Comments
“I really have to to say it was an epic wait for this burger to come out of the kitchen. But was it worth the wait…? Well I could go either way. It was really a very up and down burger. The bun and cheese get my thumbs up, and the onion rings were great. Everything else in the burger was just ok, even though I did like the fact that there were two thinner patties instead of one thick one. The biggest question mark over this burger however was the Woodford mayo. I think there was a little to much bourbon in the mayo making it a bit over powering and less of a complement. Would love to revisit Kodiak in a couple of month to see if things have changed.”
“If in 63 minutes you think you’re going to be hungry, I would recommend ordering now. Otherwise prepare to starve for 63 minutes! Now onto the burger.. the first bite was overpowering due to the really strong mayo and sour pickle. So I tried a different strategy: I scraped off as much of the way too strong and inconvenient mayo and added ketchup. I love the site of two beef patties but I would have preferred the same amount of meat, just in a single, more juicy pattie as opposed to two drier, thinner and charred ones. I love the idea and theme behind the bar but I know that the yanks wouldn’t be happy waiting that long, and probably would have glassed a few hipsters at the bar in frustration.”
“When seeing the waiter bringing you this burger from afar you can tell this burger will not require any dessert after inhaling it. It is a great looking burger with some great features: double beef patties, brioche bun and oozing cheese – loved them all. What I think let it down a little was the mayo, it was good, but you can have too much of a good thing sometimes and in this instance there was way too much of it. In my eyes the Kodiak was operating as a bar first and as a restaurant second. What I mean is, the burger took almost an hour to come out and the music was loud, I mean LOUD. I like the theme music to Top Gun too, but that volume was uncalled for if you are trying have people eat. I would like to go back again though, it is the right environment for a burger and beers. Onion rings were great.”
“Ok, so it was good, but I think they tried too hard. I understand that the mayo made the burger different and unique to their famed Bourbon bar but I would’ve honestly preferred it to have been be a more traditional mayonaisse. If I’d been partying with bourbon all night, the last thing I would want to taste for my hangover cure is more Bourbon. I dont think that the the Woodford Mayo had been reduced enough. I was a big fan of the brioche bun, creamy cheese, and the subtle point of difference using the double patties. I would be adding bacon to this burger next time I go so it packs a little more saltiness though. So no serious crimes committed on this one; the wait time was shit and the mayo wasn’t excellent (points for effort though), but that’d be an easy fix which will have me coming back… maybe for some Bacon Bourbon and Buffalo Wings.”
The Kodiak Club on Urbanspoon


MOS Burger

Monday, August 15, 2011
MOS Burger – 2-53-3 Hatagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
(2-53-3幡ヶ谷、渋谷、東京、日本)
Burger:
Tobikiri Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
5
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
¥390/$4.88 AUD/$5.07 USD
Summary

Whilst working in Los Angeles in the 1960s, founder Satoshi Sakurada frequented a local hamburger chain called Tommy’s. Inspired by the ‘cook to order’ concept, Mr. Sakurada hit on the idea that this kind of hamburger joint would be just as popular with his fellow countrymen. After returning to Japan, Mr. Sakurada set up the first MOS Burger in Tokyo in 1972. Taking inspiration from their name “Mountain, Ocean, Sun” and slogan “Making people happy through food” MOS Burger has grown to the 2nd largest burger chain in Japan (behind McDonald’s) with over 1,400 outlets throughout, and with another 100 spread across Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia. We had been hearing rumours of MOS expanding to Australia for a while and after the opening of a Brisbane “Test Run Store” in March, we decided that we had to check out the original. Each of us grabbed a different item but I grabbed the Tobikiri Cheeseburger (Superb Cheeseburger) that came on a soft whole-grain bun, 100% Japanese beef + pork mince pattie, melted Japanese Gouda, HS Pepper Soy Sauce and onion slices.

Comments
“There are one of two things going through your mind right now: 1) “Holy cow, is that a river of ooze on the side of that burger?” Or, 2) “Wow that Z bloke is one sexy mf”. Either way, you are right. This thing came out dripping in cheese – it was insane. Through some broken english, we found out that the mystery drippy cheese was indeed Japanese Gouda. The entire thing had a teriyaki vibe to it though, with soy sauce and cheese being the most dominant flavours. Like most of the burgers here, it was bite sized. So if you wanted to get full you’d probably need at least 10 of these things. But I wouldn’t recommend it as the cheesiness is a little overbearing. So all in all, it wasn’t my favourite style of burger in the world, but it was still definitely worth the experience.”


Station Hotel

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Station Hotel – 59 Napier St, Footscray, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Station Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$18
Summary

Dating back to 1864, this typical Aussie pub is breathing new life thanks to experienced head chef and owner Sean Donovan. With an impressive CV that includes the likes of three Michelin star restaurants like La Tante Claire (London) and Georges Blanc (France), and more recently South Yarra’s famous Botanical, it was safe to say we went into this Adventure with some high expectations. You step into what appears to be a pretty normal looking pub, until you walk into the dining area where you’ll find the heartbeat of the venue. Its the the open kitchen where a team of chefs serve up everything from Onion Soup Gratinee to grass and grain fed Aussie beef, seafood and of course, there are the more traditional pub dishes. We ordered the Station Burger that came out partially deconstructed – a beef pattie, bacon and gruyere cheese all on a brioche bun, then the lettuce, pickles, sun-dried tomatoes and tomato chutney were all “add as you please”, placed neatly on the side.

Comments
“I really like it when the “local pub” puts such an emphasis on the quality of dining and it’s menu. This well thought out burger came out of the kitchen looking great. A well presented burger that had a thick, juicy and near perfectly cooked pattie, just a little pink on the inside. However, I think the bun could do with improvement, as I’m not sure whether it was just too dense and heavy or it was just not as fresh as it could have been. The sun-dried tomatoes were a point of difference; still not sure if a good one though. The side of chutney had a nice sweet tang, but not really sure if it was necessary. The other sides of pickles and lettuce were also quite fresh. All in all, this was a good burger, but it just needed a better bun (and maybe kept a little more simple) to take it up a notch.”
“Compliments to the waitress who let us know that the beef was going to be a little pink on the inside (which was ideal for us). To me this burger came out exactly as it should of: a large slab of expertly cooked, pink and juicy beef, a couple of thick pieces of bacon and a small amount of gruyere cheese, all on a dense bun worthy of containing the juicyness. Really, this in itself was enough. I’m not sure why they bothered putting a really strong tomato chutney, sun-dried tomatoes, lettuce and pickles on the side as they could only take away from and spoil the most important flavours. Overall I thought it was a fantastic burger but don’t bother with the other condiments, just give me fries instead. Ps. I did add the pickle.”
“I love a good modern day take on the traditional Pub Burger. The pattie was tasty; big and juicy. The bun was filling and the herb butter on the bottom bun and on the pattie were a nice touch. The pickles and lettuce on the side were fresh and well prepared. I ended up adding the sun-dried tomatoes to the burger – sure, it was a different take, but I’m not convinced that it worked.”
“This one had such potential. It really looked the business. You could even see the juices slowly oozing out of it! I was a little unsure how to approach it though. I totally understand the theory behind building your own burger and making it the way you want to make it but, I feel like Chef Donovan is in a position to flex his muscles a little and really show his guests the best way to enjoy his creation. I mean, if it tasted better with sundried tomatoes, I wouldn’t even have known it, because for me they’re just added wank. In saying that, the meat really did shine. It was simple, flavourful and awesome. But everything else was just OK. The bun for me was way too sweet. It didn’t taste all that fresh and was alot more doughy than what is necessary when it comes to brioche. If I was ever on that side of town again though, I’d be back for sure, purely for the amazing pattie.”
Station Hotel on Urbanspoon


MOS Burger

Thursday, June 30, 2011
MOS Burger – 2-53-3 Hatagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
(2-53-3幡ヶ谷、渋谷、東京、日本)
Burger:
MOS Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
2 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
¥350/$4.10 AUD/$4.35 USD
Summary

Whilst working in Los Angeles in the 1960s, founder Satoshi Sakurada frequented a local hamburger chain called Tommy’s. Inspired by the ‘cook to order’ concept, Mr. Sakurada hit on the idea that this kind of hamburger joint would be just as popular with his fellow countrymen. After returning to Japan, Mr. Sakurada set up the first MOS Burger in Tokyo in 1972. Taking inspiration from their name “Mountain, Ocean, Sun” and slogan “Making people happy through food” MOS Burger has grown to the 2nd largest burger chain in Japan (behind McDonald’s) with over 1,400 outlets throughout, and with another 100 spread across Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia. We had been hearing rumours of MOS expanding to Australia for a while and after the opening of a Brisbane “Test Run Store” in March, we decided that we had to check out the original. Each of us grabbed a different item but I had my eyes set on the MOS Cheeseburger that came on a soft whole-grain bun, a beef + pork mince pattie, Australian cheese, thick slice of tomato, onion, mayonnaise, American mustard and the classic MOS meat sauce.

Comments
“The best way to describe this burger is basically a McDonald’s Cheeseburger with a large dollop of Bolognese sauce on it. If it were any bigger it would have been a total mess however, I avoided all of that nonsense by scoffing it down in 3 bites. Sure, MOS is essentially a fast-food chain, but I noticed the locals were’nt treating it as fast-food; more like a place to hang out and unwind. There were kids studying and office workers kicking back, playing video games and puffing on cigarettes in the enclosed smoking areas. Also unlike some of the big chains, each burger is cooked to order. This may see you waiting a little longer but its worth the wait as the burgers come out fresh and hot.”


The Burger Lounge

Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Burger Lounge – 902 Main Rd, Eltham, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Lounge Signature Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
12 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12.50
Summary

If you look down the main street of Eltham on a Sunday night you’d say its a pretty quiet place. That is, until you spot The Burger Lounge. Its no wonder MP Steve Herbert (State Member for Eltham) recently nominated these guys for a 2011 Telstra Business Award; they are killing it. One of our readers had recommended The Burger Lounge to us, but it was safe to say this is not what we were expecting. People are everywhere; either scrambling for a table or picking up takeaway orders. The music is pumping and the lights are dimmed making the interior look more like a CBD cafe/bar than the everyday suburban burger joint that most of us are used to. We somehow managed to score a couple of seats outside and watched with astonishment as more and more people rolled in. It was crazy. After a bit of deliberation and going over their menu a million times we ordered the Lounge Signature Burger that came with a 100% prime organic beef pattie stuffed with havarti cheese, basted with a balsamic glaze, pickled cucumber, red onion, lettuce, tomato, relish & herb aioli.

Comments
“The first thing that took me by surprise was how unbelievably busy this “burger lounge” was. All of the burger’s individual ingredients seemed really fresh and of good quality but the whole package didn’t come together as well as I expected for a specialty burger shop. I wasn’t really sold on the idea of the havarti stuffed pattie as it didn’t add anything special and just seemed more like a gimmick. The pickles were good, but the whole thing seemed to be masked by it’s relish. I think it could’ve been a better burger if it were more simple.”
“After much heated debate about what burger to choose from their extensive menu, I lost. I would have preferred to try the Classic with Cheese, but the guys were hoping to try something new. The idea of some cheese that I’ve never heard of before stuffed inside beef just doesnt float my boat. It sounds like too much preperation and therefore not the freshest beef possible. Saying that, the beef still tasted great, but I didn’t actually notice the small lump of cheese in it’s centre as the mayo and strong chutney sauce overpowered it. Overall a very filling and messy experience. I can’t say I’ve ever been to Eltham before but in what seems like a sleepy pocket of Melbourne, full of fresh air, trees and birds, this place is doing a roaring trade.”
“Something about this burger really unsettled me. As I started eating it I could taste this flavour that would linger and semi-ruin the whole experience. After much discussion (debate) with the team I came to the conclusion that the relish was completely taking over in a bad way. By the time I had reached the end of the burger the bun looked more like a soggy, messy car wreck. So really the pro’s were only the pattie and pickles. I’d label the burger average, but only by a fraction. Chips were good.”
“My first impression was Great, weird bread again. Then I got a bit excited about trying our first burger with stuffed cheese inside the pattie. Sadly, the havarti was the wrong choice of cheese for the job, because once I bit in it didn’t ooze out at all. It just ended up going hard and rubbery like a Boccocini or Oaxaca cheese. On its own, the beef was actually pretty good; seasoned well and quite tasty. I wasn’t sure whether it was the balsamic glaze or the havarti but I did get a few sour hints with every bite. The Turkish/Foccacia style bun was way too big for the burger and I was left with just bread that I didn’t eat. Like we’ve all said, this place has the locals in a furor, so I’ll have to go back to try their Classic. As for their Signature though, I’d re-write it.”
Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon