Burger and Barrel

Monday, February 23, 2015
The_Burger_Adventure-Burger&Barrel

Burger and Barrel – 25 West Houston, New York, NY, USA
Burger:
Bash Style
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
8 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16 USD
Summary

They say if you make it New York you can make it anywhere. Well, Chef Josh Capon and his “WinePub” Burger and Barrel, have been making it for the last 6 years. They’ve now taken out People’s Choice award for best burger in NYC, up against 29 other worthy contenders at the New York City Wine & Food Festival. There’s nothing particularly fancy about B&B; it’s a Gastro Pub with a widespread menu offering several different burgers, pasta, salad and soup. Basically there’s something for everyone. But they must be doing a lot right, because bookings are essential. The only reason I was there was infamy. I ordered one of their Sunday brunch cocktails and a Bash Style burger that came with mustard cooked beef patty, a potato bun, onion & bacon jam, pickles, American cheese, special sauce and a side of fries.

Comments
“I wanted this burger to knock my socks off and declare it Burger Royalty. But, I had to settle for a hamburger that was just, “good”. This was not worth the hype. I mean, the patty was great and so were the onions. But there was just something missing from this burger. I wasn’t hungover. It wasn’t overly busy. How could it be awarded people’s choice five times? Surely I got a dud? I wanted an experience that heroed the meat but the burger ended up being too balanced for me. Maybe this is just the nice, polite guy of the burger world? The burger that doesn’t offend. But at the same time, doesn’t excite me. It’s me vs NYC, so if you catch this write-up Mr Capon, I’m free next weekend. Rematch?”


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.”


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


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


Humburger

Friday, February 7, 2014
The_Burger_Adventure-Humburger

Humburger – 789 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
New York
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13
Summary

Located towards the northern end of the Glenferrie Rd shopping strip, Humburger recently opened with a contemporary, modern interior fit out featuring exposed white bricks, cow hide stools, neon lights and mirrors. With ample dining options including inside, outside and courtyard seating, it’s an ideal place to grab a bite to eat regardless of time or weather. With 5 different beef burgers, a chicken and a vegetarian on offer, there’s a burger to suit everyones taste. We went with the ‘New York’ burger with 2 beef patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, Emmental cheese, pickles, mayo and tomato sauce. You can wash it all down with either something alcoholic or a milk shake, and if you’re still not full by the end, the humballs are delicious for dessert.

Comments
“I’m surprised this didn’t fall over by the time it reached us, as it was delicately placed together with everything neatly piled high. What looked like something that would turn into an incredible mess, actually squashed down into something manageable, with plenty of juice squirting all over my strategically placed fries. The beef was a lot more tender than I expected and with 2 patties there was plenty of beefy flavour, with subtle hints of pickle and salty bacon coming through. The bun held up well for a while but had almost disappeared by the end.”
“Humburger feels a little more like more of a bar than a burger joint. Walking up to the counter the friendly staff look like hipster bartenders that will mix you a good drink, but surprisingly they are only interested in your burger order. The pattie was beautifully cooked and just crumbled in my mouth. The sweet bun was fresh and a delight to bite into. The other highlight was the exquisite bacon and the super runny cheese that reminded of the kind you’d get on a pizza. The burger was a little hard to manage but the payload is good, so persevere with the juice going down your hands and enjoy yourself.”
“This was a delicious start to 2014 for me. The first bite was initially soft and fluffy, but by the time I bit all the way in, I was chewing fresh crunchy pickles. The patties were cooked just a little bit pink and felt like the mince had been ground with a fine mincer – they were tightly bound, but it still worked for them. A nice sweeteness lingered during the meal; I can only imagine that the majority came from thee sauce and grilled onions. This is a very simple burger that’s really worth while. Best option in the area for sure.”
Humburger on Urbanspoon


Little Bacoa

Monday, November 25, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_Bacoa-Barcelona

Little Bacoa – C/ Colomines 2, Born, Barcelona, Spain
Burger:
Bacoa Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
20 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
€6.50/$9.60 AUD
Summary

When the burger wave hit Barcelona, it hit pretty hard. In a large way, one Australian is at fault. In 2006, Brad Ainsworth, a Brisbane-born, Rockpool-trained chef opened Wushu: Wok restaurant and Noodle Bar. It was so successful that people couldn’t even get a table. This is normally a good thing for a venue, but in order to appease the crowds Ainsworth decided to move his Thai restaurant to a bigger venue. During the move and whilst trying to sell the former Wushu shop, Ainsworth decided that he didn’t want space to go to waste, so he opened up a temporary burger joint with hope to attract new buyers. Sure enough, in no time at all there were queues forming around the block. The bastard love-child, Bacoa, was such a hit that he closed down the new Wushu and opened up Kiosko, sister venue to Bacoa, where burgers reigned supreme. Little Bacoa as it is now called (to differentiate it from their 2nd venue Bacoa Universitat) is located right next to the Santa Caterina Market, so produce is always super fresh. Their menu consists of different hamburger options from a traditional option to a Japanese burger that uses a teriyaki sauce. I went for their signature Bacoa burger that came with two 150g beef patties, bacon, Manchego cheese, caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce and special house sauce.

Comments
“Initially I thought of heading to the sister venue Kiosko. But, my homie in Barca steered me away saying, “That’s where the tourists go. Bocoa is for real locals.” In other words, long live the original king. I sat down at the large communal table elbow to elbow with burger loving Catalans and was presented with quite a monster of a burger. It looked super sexy but probably about 5 bites in it all started to fall apart. The all-ingredient packed bites I did manage to get in were highlighted by the tightly packed, fat-coated beef pattie and the salty Manchego. The bacon, caramelised onions, tomato and lettuce all blended with another, which in this case was quite a good thing – they let the heroes lead the way. I got a nice zing from the pickles every now and then but they weren’t overwhelming in the slightest. If you’re going here for lunch I would be wary of the epic sleepiness this brings on… or should I say “siesta-ness”.”


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Burger:
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