The Beaufort

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Beaufort – 421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Out-N-Out Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
16 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$10.50
Summary

The brainchild of one of Melbourne’s bartending veterans, Dave Kerr opened the doors of the now much loved Beaufort with a handfull of other Melbourne misfits almost 6 months ago. Turning a bit of an obsession into reality, Kerr’s nautical themed dive bar come American diner delivers well-mixed classic drinks as well as a few quirky house specials. Their menu is blatant Americana, providing Carlton locals with mouthwatering treats like buffalo wings, deep fried pickles and pulled pork sandwiches. Amid a sea of cool cats (and one dude that looks like he’d been drinking there since the 70’s) we ordered their Out-N-Out Burger that came with a beef pattie, cheese, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard all on a soft sesame seed bun.

Comments
“From the moment this burger arrives on your table in a classic American diner style basket with a pickle served on the side, you know these guys have put some thought into it. Although, once we ordered and received our burger we were informed that the bun they had used wasn’t the usual due to a sellout night the day before. Not that this proved any problem for me, as I loved that they lightly toasted the bottom sections to help hold the juices in and what seemed liked the top was steamed keeping it piping hot and soft. A nice thick and juicy pattie stood out as the star with little else to fight with in this burger. I have to say I really liked this burger, but still feel it needed something else to make it amazing.”
“I’m not exactly sure how they achieved it, but this burger remained piping hot from first to last bite. The classic sesame seed bun was ideal, with just enough burnt toast marks to add some texture and structure while the rest was soft and fluffy. The thick juicy pattie was perfectly matched with the sharp tang of the ketchup and mustard sitting underneath it, creating a classic, no thrills and good value burger. I was really pleased to see that the old drunk guy talking to himself at the end of the bar was still made to feel welcome and didn’t mind that an American dive bar had been built around him.”
“A great tasting pattie that was generously on the thick side, so it didn’t leave me hungry. Having diced onions in the burger was a welcome change and really worked to dull down the acidic onion flavour that can sometimes dominate the palette. The bun was soft and I loved the toasty flavour it got off the grill. But what really impressed me was that it was served with both tomato sauce and mustard in it – winning!”
“I wasn’t completely sold on this burger. And this wasn’t for a lack of trying on my behalf. I really did want to like it because upon first inspection it looked the goods. The hero pattie was great. It was nice and coarse and really let you know you were getting a decent amount of beef. I actually hardly noticed the other ingredients because of it. But, the burger lacked something. I was enjoying the onion rings. So, I even tried putting put them in my burger to give it a hand. But the burger felt dry and without any stickiness of oil or fat it made me reach over to the complimentary spicy sauces and add a bunch in. After some contemplation I figured a whole egg mayo would’ve added a nice fatty creaminess and taken it up a notch. Then maybe if the pickles were inside the burger instead of on the side we’d have a real contender.”
The Beaufort on Urbanspoon


Parlour Diner

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Parlour Diner – 64 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Parlour Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$12
Summary

That’s right, Melbourne has another American-style Diner. What separates this place from the other dozen Americana eateries around town is the subtleness of the dining area. Even though it gives nod to some old school American diner properties like the long bar, the stools, the table layout and the open style kitchen. It still has that certain unique Melbourne cafe quality to it, whether it be the Asian style pork sliders that appear in the menu or the fine china used in service, it all represents Melbourne’s multicultural casual quirkiness. This of course is all backed by some great, friendly service and coffee aroma that greets you at the door. We chose to smash the Parlour Burger that came with a 8oz Beef pattie, tomato, lettuce, cheese, pickles on a brioche bun.

Comments
“This burger wasn’t exactly what I expected from these guys given the decor, menu and atmosphere of the diner. And, after a little tweaking I was a very happy camper. At most I enjoy a little bit of lettuce to add a bit of crunch and texture in a burger. I don’t actually want to taste all that greenery, so when presented with this much sharp and bitter flavour I promptly removed it. What lied beneath was a thick, juicy, well seasoned beef pattie covered in perfectly melted cheese on a super soft and glistening sesame bun. Just a word of warning, there is a small and sharp skewer hiding, like a tree trunk holding up all those leaves.”
“What I loved and hated about this burger was the imperfection of it. Like the pattie tasting great, but being over cooked. Great choice of bun, but cut unevenly leaving the base really thin. There was too much green stuff, but I loved the pickles. There is a trend here of good things working for this burger, but maybe lacking that extra bit of care that could really make it pop. Loved the curly fries though, no if’s or but’s about that!”
“This is a fresh, tasty summertime burger. Especially when you couple it with some curly fries, onion rings and maybe even a milkshake. Although the pattie was thick and juicy, all that greenery almost made me think I was eating healthy for once. But it only took more two bites for that bull to poke its horns out of the forest and remind me I was eating a meaty and a lovingly fatty hamburger. Between it and the lettuce, I actually missed all the rest of the other ingredients. Whether this was because the burger was super balanced or they were drowned out by the Amazon amount of lettuce I’m note sure. I’d definitely head back with a crew next time I’m around.”
Parlour Diner  on Urbanspoon


Half Moon

Friday, October 19, 2012

Half Moon – 120 Church Street, Brighton, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Beef Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
35 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$22
Summary

Rejuvenated for the umpteenth time, Half Moon is as synonymous to Brighton as cosmetic surgery, convertibles and inbreeding between the local inhabitants of the Brighton bubble. Calling itself a pub is a slight understatement; this place is big, modern and bares little resemblance to what you would consider a traditional pub. Split over 2 levels and boasting no less than 6 drinking and dining spaces both indoors and outdoors, Half Moon caters to everyone from families with little kids eating dinner, mates catching up and watching the footy to cougars on the hunt for their future ex-husbands. The menu offers a small selection of pub classics as well as a some pastas and meat dishes. We ordered the Beef Burger that had bacon, Swiss cheese, sweet and sour onions, lettuce, tomato and aoili served with chunky steak fries.

Comments
“I was a little disappointed at first when this burger came out as the bun greatly outsized the pattie itself. But once getting hold of the burger I came to the conclusion that anything smaller might’ve have left you cradling a mess. The bun itself was actually pretty good and held a think juicy pattie that was perfectly cooked. I have to say the standout and highlight of this burger though has to be the sweet and sour onions. All the other ingredients were still fresh and flavourful though. With the addition of a lil’ sauce you could have a pretty quality Bayside burger on your hands.”
“This place has ruined many Christmas lunches for me by providing me with many epic hangovers (Half Moon used to throw the best Christmas Eve parties). The carpeted dining room was a far cry from the last time I was there and everyone was a lot better behaved. The bun on this burger was huge and it did take a few bites to reach the beef however, it needed to be, nothing else would of been able to keep this burger together. The thick chunk of beef was cooked to a perfectly pink medium-rare, and was one of the best quality I’ve tasted in a while. With the bun being so large, the sweet and sour onions sort of clumped together in one small spot so were only tasted in a few bites, which was a shame as they were great. Sometimes the pricier burgers can leave you still feeling hungry afterwards, this was definitely not the case in this circumstance.”
“Sometimes you come across little culinary gems in life that at the time really leave an impression on you. I may have found one on this outing folks. This time it wasn’t the pattie, even though it was good and had a lot of those awesome attributes. It was the sweet and sour onions that got my attention – a clear differentiator to other burgers I’ve had recently. I loved the contrast those onions added to the rest of the ingredients in the burger. There were some things I didn’t think that well of: the bun was too big, the chips were a bit average and the burger did need extra some sauce. No matter how good those onions were it still would’ve need more sauce to tak it up a level. Either way a good burger, but heaps of potential.”
“My first bite was nothing but dough. With this much bun I figured this was going to be a filling burger. The beef was pink throughout, very juicy and excellently beefy. There was a quality charr to the outside of the pattie and it had a nice amount of fattiness in it. Swiss cheese is probably one of my favourite cheese for a burger and this really hit the nail on the head. It was beautifully melted but, didn’t melt into the background and stayed bold. I really didn’t mind the bun but it really should’ve been smaller. That, and the lack of aioli/ketchup/mayo (take your pick) both in and outside the burger were the only things I’d hate on in this burger. But if I were around Brighton again getting my Milf on and I got hungry, sure, I’d be back.”
Half Moon on Urbanspoon


Chapel Bar & Bistro

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Chapel Bar & Bistro – 147 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand
Burger:
Chapel Beef Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$19.50 NZD / $15.45 AUD
Summary

Known as “the Local” along Auckland’s trendy Ponsonby Rd, the Chapel is everything you want it to be, when you want it to be. With dim-mood lighting and a roaring fireplace, its the perfect destination to take that special lady friend or, grab some mates and order some of their famous pizzas, have a drink or two and flirt with the waitresses. Their staff in fact are one of the key factors in Chapel’s success. They say that they’re “carefully selected for their knowledge, personality and willingness to go the extra mile.” We in-fact experienced this first hand when we ran into some of the staff that night on a drunken Auckland dance floor. On a rainy NZ day we took our seat outside under the cover of their terrace and ordered the Chapel Burger which came on a soft NZ style bun (becoming a trend now) with caramelised onion, grilled bacon, cheddar cheese, house smoked tomato relish, pickles on the side & hand cut chips.

Comments
“There was a reason no one else was sitting outside; it was about 6 degrees out there and inside it was warm and cosy with music playing. But majority rules and I lost so we sat outside. Research has proven one of the cures to freezing your tits off is a nice burger so luckily this burger eased some of the pain. The beef was packed full of herbs and was highly processed. It reminded me of the kind of beef pattie you get from the supermarket in a BBQ pack actually. Although not the best quality, for some reason if you burn the crap out of it and leave some char, it really tastes ok. The char mixed with the caremalised onions gave a really great combo of sweetness and pepper notes, whilst the thick bacon against the soft bun softened the overall texture. Finally common sense prevailed and we moved inside to start drinking.”
“The burger was cooked evenly and the right amount of seasoning and herbs. The chutney was awesome, but did make the burger very peppery and as a result made every bite taste pretty similar. The onions were sweet and caramelized to perfection. I enjoyed the bacon in the burger but the rocket leaves weren’t doing it any real favours. The hand cut chips really pissed me off and made me hate myself for ordering them because they were too thick and too painful to eat. After the meal I realised that thin fries were an option and I would definitely recommend adding that in your meal combo.”
“This being my 2nd NZ burger, it was interesting to see that they both used pretty much the same sort of buns (claiming these as NZ Burger Buns from now on). As the last place, it was soft as burger buns get. Once you bite into the pattie you definietly notice a bit of spice. Then looking at your burger you saw the multicoloured levels of herbs that are used throughout the mince. My burger wasn’t evenly cooked which was dissapointing: the edges were much more pink than the centre. But I did really enjoy the bacon mixed with smokey chutney. Yes I’ll complain about the chips as well, purely for the fact that “if something ain’t broke don’t fix it” – french fries would’ve done nicely. Overall the burger was good, but I felt like the pattie got a bit lazy and left all of the other ingredients do most of the leg work.”


Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew – Side of 413 Brunswick St,
Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
The Lot
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$17
Summary

A diner like feel blended with the low lit cool-school-NYC restaurant/bar makes the Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew one of the smartest new joints going around. Not even a month old and already getting a reputation around Melbourne, we had to hit it and see what it was all about. Greeting you upon entry is what feels like a never ending bar/communal table that invites you to sit and partake in a meal with the locals. Mostly, it’s a cool place to sit back, have a bite and a drink, and who knows you might even catch the gaze of the the chef and sweet-talk the man helping you create your own monster burger (we do not actually recommended this as most chefs will stab you for bastardising their pride and joys). So, with a good combination of burgers and other delectable bar foods you will definitely find something to satisfy that salt-tooth of yours. After some deliberation we went for The Lot that came on a sesame seed bun with a beef pattie, bacon, cheese, pineapple, lettuce, pickles, onion, mayo and “sauce”.

Comments
“The first emotion I felt was confusion, as when we arrived the front of the place was actually closed. Then I felt joy and recalled fond memories as I saw a neon sign that looked very similar to a very famous burger sign in New York City. Finally I felt visually impaired, as it was so dark in there I couldnt see shit. I’ve tried very hard to try and like pineapple in a burger as it pops up on a lot of menus around Australia. But still no luck, as I just dont like it. Its just too sweet and too overpowering flavour wise. After a few bites i tossed it and focused on the proper ingredients. The bun was super soft and tasted great however, did nothing to keep everything together and made a huge mess. The beef was a good thickness and was cooked well. There was perfectly melted cheese and the crispy bacon tasted great but only after the pineapple was removed.”
“For me the place didn’t really scream “we do burgers” (apart from the neon sign). It was more like a “bring your girlfriend and spend some cash” kind of place. Sure, there was still the diner feel to it, but it really did look quite sophisticated. I was never convinced we were going to get burgers from this kitchen and expected to be served a duck l’orange worth $45. Though when you open the menu you instantly notice that its all about burgers and a good blend of Australian bar food. The Lot does come with pineapple, which I’m not a huge fan of, but it is needed as I found the burger did lack some flavour, which pineapple help compensate for. I found the pattie a bit bland and the bun and fries were OK. The small plates the burgers are served on really annoyed me. Personal peev I know, but the plates are too small and you need a little bit more dish diameter to cover off spillage from the burger. On a side note I did find the Ginger Ale a bit weak and watered down, but hey it happens.”
“It’s not often you eat a burger and the pineapple is the highlight. But that’s only because the rest of this burger was kind of boring; disappointing when you’re forking out $17. I’ll give the meat credit for being supremely beefy but it needed to be salted and spiced a bit more. I enjoyed the pickle which was was nicely spiced and I wanted a whole lote more from the egg – more creaminess and more ooze. This thing didn’t commit a lot of serious crimes against the burger community, but most of the ingredients just didn’t turn up to the party like the pineapple did. Saying all that I’d still probably give that spicy burger on their menu a go.”
Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew on Urbanspoon


Hoboken*

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hoboken – 3 Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Hoboken Burger
Serviettes:
1
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
6 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$13.50
Summary

Tucked away in arguably Melbourne’s most famous lane way, Hoboken keeps some good company. Not only with all the tourists, artists and vagrants that frequent Hosier Lane, it gets to rub shoulders with (“Oh My GoD! Lets Blog about”) MoVida. Owner Hugh Thorn, of Von Haus fame, has now teamed up with baker Dan Younger, relentlessly working together to create a burger that is produced with products sourced as locally and organically as possible. Grinding the locally sourced meat in house, the team dishes out a limited amount of burgers each day – so be sure to get in and get your share. We managed to slip in one Sunday arvo and order the last burgers of the day. Before us arrived a glazed brioche bun with a thick freshly ground organic Cherry Tree Farm beef pattie, organic cheddar, Momo Fuku pickles, organic condiments, finely diced red onion and lettuce.

Comments
“This was an extremely fresh and flavourful burger. The first thing I noticed was the shiny gloss of the bun and the really chunky piece of beef. Although the beef was quite grey in colour with barely any char on the outside, it was still really tasty and had plenty of juice. Underneath the beef it initially looked like coleslaw however it turned out to be shredded lettuce covered in mayo which, ultimately contributed to the bottom bun almost completely dissolving. The venue is quintessential Melbourne: down a laneway, dudes with beards, water served in jars, eclectic music and to my surprise, really friendly service.”
“These guys – quite unapologetically – have produced a really simple burger. Perfect for a daytime meal with no huge sleepy side effects. For me the whole story is in the beef. Sure there might be other ingredients in it, but every bite into this juicy, delicious beef makes you forget about everything else in your world, like those University loans that never seem to be paid off and for some reason just grow. The bun was as delicate as you would imagine Charlize Theron’s skin would be if she was smothered in butter in the warm Mediterranean Sun. I just wish I had had some fries to boot.”
“The first thing I remember about Hoboken was the glorious smell. Man did the room reek of grilled awesomeness! After my super sexy photo shoot I bit in – the pattie dripped with excellence and the organic cheddar added a lovely creaminess. The bun was cute and sweet like my high school prom date, and did a good job of holding the meat. My only qualm would be the pickles that interrupted the meal every now and then with their acidity. As good as the burger was, it was a shame that the Hoboken cats ran out of fries by the time we got there (2pmish); they would’ve been the perfect sidekick to this smallish dish. But, if you do miss out on fries, don’t stress. A full stomach is only another burger away.”
Hoboken Cafe on Urbanspoon

*Unfortunately all reports are true and Hoboken has closed down. Shame to see a decent burger go to the grave.


Jazz City Diner

Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Jazz City Diner – 238 Crown St, Surry Hills,
New South Wales, Australia
Burger:
Cheeseburger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
13 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$15
Summary

Jazz City Diner is conveniently located on a hill (so you can walk off everything you consume) and is the perfect getaway from the nearby madness that is Oxford St. The small 24 seat diner draws inspiration from the typical 1930’s American diner, with everything from neon signage, art deco influences and some all-star, friendly service. Chef/Owner Dan McGuirt has put together a menu that is destined for success; inciting your tastebuds to riot with the very mention of dishes like Chicken & Waffles, Kansas City Style BBQ Pork Ribs, Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Drizzle and of course, there are the 9 burger options to choose from. We felt it was most appropriate to keep it nice and simple, ordering the Cheeseburger that comes with a traditional sesame seed burger bun, a square beef pattie, onion, tomato, mayo, pickle relish and lettuce. This accompanied by a stack of sweet potato Fries (inc. in the cost) and a peanut butter milkshake, and you’re in business.

Comments
“A very humble cheeseburger with old fashioned roots. We got a chance to ask Dan why the burgers had square patties and he told us he grew up eating Wendy’s and White Castle burgers and he wanted to bring that nostalgia from back home to Sydney for all of his customers to experience. Mission achieved Dan – and, with a far better quality than you would ever get from Wendy’s or White Castle. Sitting under Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and other Jazz posters that hang on the walls, you can’t help but feel at one with that certain romance the diner delivers through its service and meals. The pattie was a nice, flat, square ol’ style pattie with all the flavour you would expect from a diner burger (in other words no fancy-shmancy exotic spices or herbs). The mayo, red onion, pickle and cheese were all good. The sweet potato fries – although not my thing – were good and I do recommend them.”
“I’m sceptical of almost everything “Aussie-Americana” these days, so Jazz City Diner was no different. This was probably due to all the average meals we’ve had at a few other so-called American Diners claiming to be the bees knees. But, I’d heard decent stuff so I really had to make up my own mind. Hearing a friendly American accent from the kitchen was a pretty good sign of authenticity. But then, I bit in to my Cheeseburger and duuuuude this was the real deal. The flavours were so humble and subtle. Dan’s square signature pattie had just the right amount of fat in it leaving an awesome amount of greasiness to echo around my mouth with every bite. This was a real heartwarming experience with nice personal touches here and there, like the simple addition of pepper on the tomatoes – gorgeous. Well done Dan and crew, Jazz City Diner has it going on.”
Jazz City Diner on Urbanspoon


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