The day we visited McDonalds

Friday, October 17, 2014
Gourmet-Flyer-Maccas

We’ve always said that McDonald’s isn’t an Adventure. But, when they got in touch with us a couple of weeks ago, they promised a Maccas experience like never before. We receive emails all the time to come in for a burger “on the house”, but always decline in favour of coming unannounced where we’re sure we’ll receive the same burger as the guy walking in behind us. In this instance, we had the chance to be one of the first people to check out a new concept that’s somewhat of a big deal to a company who’s served billions of burgers world wide. So, before we knew it myself (Z) and D were on a plane up to Sydney to build our own custom McDonald’s Gourmet Burger.
NewMaccasKioskBurger

After a few handshakes with the McDonald’s folk we were standing in front of some touch screens punching in a variety of different options we’d like in our burger. You get an interesting amount of choice that we really didn’t expect to find in an Australian McDonald’s. Options like a Brioche bun, Tortilla chips and Applewood Smoked Bacon were all a surprise. We decided that we were going to make two different kinds of burgers: something that the average punter would try and make (basically throw anything and everything in a burger) and then something that would make Ron Swanson proud (meat x meat x meat).
D threw in mushrooms, caramelised onions, fresh onions and jalapenos amongst the traditional McDonald’s burger fair and I went straight into double beef, Jack cheese, 4 x bacon and jalapenos. Once we’d finalised our order a receipt was spat out, we found a table outside and observed. Within about 5 minutes our burgers were brought over by an enthusiastic Maccas team member posing as a waiter (table service is all part of it) and hoed in.
It’s probably the first thing I thought of (and the last): it doesn’t taste like McDonald’s – not the McDonald’s I’m used to anyway. Granted, D’s burger was an utter mess and no doubt there’ll be plenty of people getting a product that they think might taste great when ordering, but really shouldn’t even exist. If I were in charge I’d actually have the people who select certain combinations like no bun ( yes you can do that ) escorted quietly out of the store. There is a reason why Big Macs have stood the test of time. First off, McDonald’s are a squillionaire corporation so everything they do will be thought out and researched. And, secondly, because everyone knows what you’re going to get with a Big Mac; familiarity. So, when people start creating God Knows What, we’d probably advise them to get a side of Cheeseburger to carry them through the rest of their day.
Z-MaccasBurger

The Double Meat Quad Bacon creation on the other hand was seriously a pleasure. You probably wouldn’t want to run a marathon afterward but it’s more in line with the McDonald’s most of us know. The patties tasted like an upgrade from the normal menu and with that amount of bacon plus some Jack cheese you shouldn’t be able to mess it up.The things that let D and I down though were the details. When opting for a more meaty burger other things need to be upped to balance it out. The same amount of sauce and jalapenos were used that a single patty might’ve just covered, so the zing of spice didn’t really come through. I guess thats something that a production line might miss when you compare it to a local burger joint.
So, we had some ups and downs, but generally we had a decent feed. Some chains like Grill’d might feel a pinch in the big cities, but where this is really going to take off is in more rural areas where they don’t have more Gourmet Burger options. It’s hard to predict how Australia will feel about paying over $16 for a meal at Maccas though.
The enormity of the task at hand for McDonalds is rather scary: within the next 6-9 months they plan on rolling this out to every store in the country. So, start thinking about what you might want to cram into a burger now, because you might not have to wait too long (unless there’s a line of course, then you’ll probably wait a while). We have no idea how they’re going to pull it off but if anyone can do it it’s probably these guys.

P.S They flew us to Sydney, paid for our transfers and our meals, then left us to it.



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?”


Racks Ribs Co

Friday, August 8, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-RacksRibsCo

Racks Ribs Co – 680A Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield South, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Racks Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
15 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$12
Summary

Located in South Eastern suburbia this little cosy, woodgrain-walled shop greets you with friendly staff and the tantalising smell of BBQ. With mouth-watering menu options of delicious meat cuts cooked BBQ style, you can’t help go home still smelling like a cook-out. Their busy nights are Friday and Saturday so we recommend you get there early and be prepared to come back again to try all the assortments of “fall-off-the-bone” meats they have on offer. We went for their famous “Racks Burger” served on a brioche bun with a basted 180g pattie, mix lettuce, tomato, sliced cheese and Racks sauce.

Comments
“As we were the only one’s in here (and it’s quite a compact little shop), I could see how much care and attention the chef was putting into each burger. Which is why I was amazed when he opened a fresh bag of buns, then burnt one on the grill, turned to the girl working with him and muttered something along the lines of “oh crap, I burnt that one” and then continued to serve it to me. My dining companions seemed to be enjoying theirs, however it was pretty hard to accurately assess its flavour and texture when it felt like biting into a charcoal briquette.”
“I really enjoyed the whole experience; the service was friendly, the shop smelled of BBQ and was warm and cosy for a winters day. The burger itself was OK, but nothing in the burger really popped up for me with the exception of the delicious Racks sauce glaze. What really sets this place apart for me is entertaining the thought of sharing a rack of ribs with a group of friends then moving onto the burger. I did pay an additional $3 for the chips which I think was a no brainer; no meal is complete without chips.”
“As soon as the burgers went on the grill the smell of nice charred meat was in the air. It was a lovely looking burger although before I bit in I was a little worried the patty might be a little too far on the dark side. Yes, it was crunchy on the outer, but ended up being so soft on the inner. It was really well-balanced and had notes of sticky sweetness from the base sauce, sort of reminding me of a Big Mac Sauce. It was an all around solid burger but I wish it had a little more cheese and maybe even a pickle on the side to finish off the meal.”
Racks Ribs Co. on Urbanspoon


Chur Burger

Monday, July 28, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-ChurrBurger

Chur Burger – 48 Albion Street,
Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
7 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10
Summary

If you’re unfamiliar with native New-Zealand-ish then “Chur” is just another made up word that you and your friends will argue about, end up on Google, then call your favourite NZ buddy to confirm. You see, Warren Turnbull, former fine dining chef, is a NZer and the only way he wanted to describe the mouth-watering burgers he was creating was “Chur!”. What us Aussie’smight call “Ripper”. After a fire in the original hole in the wall burger joint that was Chur Burger, he set up shop in Surry Hills in a larger space offering a larger selection of burgers, chips and “drank”. He has seen so much success for his burgers that there are now four Sydney locations and another opening up pretty soon in Brisbane. Collaborating with fellow countryman and designer, Scrap Wall, their Surry Hills location seats plenty, has a bit of a found/industrial art vibe to and is the kind of place you can spill a drink and noone will bat an eye. They do milkshakes, fries and a bunch of different burgers that cater for all walks of life. Cooked medium-rare, I went for the classic Beef Burger that came on a brioche bun with a beef patty, cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickle – simple.

Comments
“I’ll admit it. I’m one of those contrarians that hates hype. And, from the countless emails we’ve received, there was plenty of hype about Chur. I was in Sydney on a tight schedule and I knew I had to make my way round to see what all the fuss was about. Their brioche bun wasn’t overly sweet (which is a nice change) but I would’ve preferred something a little softer. As I bit in to the patty I noticed it was nice and fatty, but with bits of gristle in it I started to fall less in love with it. Having read that they served medium rare as a standard I was let down by the grey pattie that had been left on the grill a little too long. Halfway down something happened. The burger changed. This was the delicious pink I was looking for. It stepped up so quickly. Why was it so uneven though? If you’re a regular here you’ll know that I’m keen as mustard for mayonnaise in a burger, but this was overkill. I feel like Chur Burger started out as this delicious burger joint where tender love and care were put into making every single burger a work of art. Now with the popularity and expansion I imagine it’s harder to control the quality (as we’ve seen in other Melbourne burger joints). The framework of an stand-out burger is still there. It was just missing the key ingredient: love (single tear).”
Chur Burger on Urbanspoon


St Edmonds

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-StEdmonds

St Edmonds – Rear 154 Greville Street, Prahran, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Wagyu Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

For decades Chapel St has been the place to see and be seen. These days its little brother, Greville St, seems to be the go-to place for all things boutique and chic; same goes for eateries like St Edmonds. Like a lot of great Melbourne venues, St Edmonds feels like a place made for Locals Only, even though it’s popularity has far surpassed the Pug walking Prahran natives. You’ll find that the venue has the soul of a garage, but they’ve got good food and coffee at the heart. We know they’ve been going strong since 2011, but we finally made our way down to try their Wagyu burger that came with a brioche bun, a Wagyu pattie, pickle, bacon, tomato relish, tasty cheese and lettuce.

Comments
“Not one to encourage overly processed patties with anything more than salt and pepper for seasoning, but the thick layer of crust on this patty had same seriously delicious flavour to it from what appeared to be garlic, oregano and speckles of chilli that gave it a bit of a kick. Add to this, a super crispy and salty piece of bacon, creamy melted cheese and a sweet chutney had all the contrasting flavours marrying together really well. All this sandwiched between a glistening brioche bun while throwing a few chips underneath to absorb any of the dripping juices meant I was left very content.”
“I’ve eaten breakfast here before and was turned on by their bacon. This was why I was excited to come back for a burger. It was pretty solid. The pattie had a nice charr and the bacon tasted like it’d been cooked over a camp fire. What let the burger down for me was the chutney: there was way too much chutney. I’d rather have not enough sauce and add my own then to have a burger have a lot of its meaty flavours drowned in sweet preserved vegetables. It had so much going for it but there was no need to go so fancy.”
St Edmonds on Urbanspoon


Big Huey’s Diner

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-HueysDiner

Big Huey’s Diner – 315 Coventry Street, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Big Huey
Serviettes:
6
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$14
Summary

Located right next to the iconic South Melbourne Market, Big Huey’s Diner has been pumping out burgers since opening in January 2014. The diner is the name sake of celebrity chef and fellow burger lover Iain Hewitson. Here at Burger Adventure we have been big advocates of Huey’s burgers dating back to his days at Barney Allen’s. The venue has a proper diner feel with booths, record duke box and Americana memorabilia. There’s a clear view of the magic occurring in the kitchen so you’ll be salivating in no time as the smells of beef and caramelised onion waft over to your table. We ordered The Big Huey: it came with two beef patties, Dijon mustard, housemade beetroot relish, crisp lettuce, sautéed red onion, grilled cheese, bacon and Judith’s tomato chutney all on Turkish bread roll.

Comments
“I had been eagerly awaiting visiting here for a couple of reasons, firstly, I’ve always been a big fan of Huey’s burger at Barney Allens and secondly I was expecting his take on the classic American diner. What was ultimately presented to us was about the exact opposite of what I was expecting. After initial disbelief I got around to cutting it in half in order to make it manageable. The Turkish bun was of the softer greasier variety and surprisingly held up fairly well, overall it was a very sweet burger coming from the beetroot, caramelised onions and tomato chutney that ended up superseding any of the traditional burger ingredients. Respect must be given to Huey for working the kitchen the busy Sunday afternoon we attended, and not simply putting his name on the door and resting on his laurels.”
“I believe Huey is out to challenge today’s double pattie burger with his modern day take. Having tried his burger in the Barney Allen days this burger is a departure from traditional. Maybe I’m just not ready to try new interpretations of what I consider as a real burger? I found the Turkish bread spongy and sloppy, the pattie wasn’t as tasty as I hoped it to be and what bunched my shorts the most was stacking the two patties side-by-side like a 6ft sub sandwich and not as God intended. Sorry guys, but it should be called a sandwich.”
“The burger was odd. I cant even be sure that I can call this a burger. More of a sub. I guess thats why this is an Adventure. I cut it in half, as did the others, to get two small sandwiches. Rather than an American diner inspired burger, it was like you were running late for a bbq and the host asked you to do one thing: bring some hamburger buns. Pity the bakeries are all closed and the supermarket has run out. Then the guy stacking the shelf suggests these turkish bread things. You panic because you’re late and just go with them. The desserts all looks pretty good, but because the burger was so sweet, I felt like I’d already had it. However memorable, it was just an OK burger/sub experience for me.”
Big Huey's Diner 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