New York Minute

Friday, August 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_NewYorkMinute

New York Minute – 491 Mount Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
New York Mac
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$10
Summary

Located on a compact, corner block with a spiffy new modern interior, New York Minute comes from pretty good pedigree as the owner is previously of Danny’s Burgers in Fitzroy and St Kilda. Offering a short but sweet menu these guys are open 7 days a week from breakfast ’til 10pm with nothing over $10. One sleepy Sunday night amongst the aroma of two of our favourite smells (coffee and burgers), we eagerly awaited their New York Mac with 2 Beef patties, special sauce, spinach leaves, Swiss cheese, pickles, onion and one and half buns.

Comments
“It takes some balls and confidence to take on the big guys when it comes to imitating an absolute classic however, I really think they’ve done it justice with their own twist. The 2 thin patties covered in cheese, combined with the 3 soft buns meant a super soft burger experience that contrasted really well with the sharpness of the special sauce and pickle. I was left looking a complete mess but I’d be happy to tackle it all over again.”
“This was what a real Big Mac should taste like! It had a real home made and slightly healthy spin to it with the inclusion of spinach and a higher grade of beef. The pattie tasted great and combined with the cheese and mayo it was like a gift from the take away gods. Delivered with minimal spinach so to avoid that gritty feeling in your teeth, the only real down side was that the bun was a bit too thick – especially the middle bun. The chips were great and were well worth paying an extra $5.50.”
“I ordered the New York Mac and didn’t even know what I was in store for. It arrived before me and all the planets aligned. A little hard to manage at first but when you bite in you those memories of when you graduated from Happy Meals to the big boy meals started to flood back. They’ve made their own special sauce, got the onions right and the pickles were spot on – but multiply any McExperience you’ve had with a wheelbarrow of quality and flavour and, this is where the New York Mac is at. The beef patties had a sweetness to them and the Swiss cheese was a beautiful creamy touch. It really makes you rethink ever eating a Big Mac again.”
New York Minute on Urbanspoon


Father’s Office

Thursday, May 23, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_FathersOffice

Father’s Office – 249 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Man Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
21 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
Price:
$22
Summary

If you’re reading this thinking California’s famous Father’s Office has opened up a faction in Australia, think again. Call it clever marketing or flattering imitation, it got us curious enough to check it out. Up some dark stairs along Little Lonsdale St and you’ll find yourself in a large bar draped head-to-toe in wood and 1920′s inspired paraphernalia. Serial entrepreneurs Stewart Koziora and Anna Carosa took over for Match Bar in 2012 and went on to create a space that caters to all walks of life. Whether it’s after work drinks, weekend comfort food or functions they’ve got it covered. On a weekend a decent drinks menu will keep you liquored up until 3am or if you’re more the civilised type and food is your vice then there’s plenty to choose from. An extensive Americana inspired menu will have you “Ooing and Ahhing” over Kansas City Baby Back Ribs, Philly Steak Sandwiches and Warm Apple, Pear & Blueberry Pie. We couldn’t look past the Man Burger though. It came with a brioche bun smothered in Dijon mustard, topped with a 200gm grass fed Queensland yearling MSA certified black angus pattie, 2 pieces of Swiss cheese, a layer of beer battered fries, 2 more pieces of Swiss cheese, a fried egg, a full rasher of bacon and chipotle mayo.

Comments
“It would’nt suprise me if whoever thought up of this burger was drunk, or if a large percentage of customers who consume this burger are also drunk. I’m sure it felt like a good idea at the time but its complete overkill and unnecessary. It’s a shame as each individual flavour was nice, but you don’t need 4 slices of cheese, aswell as a creamy gooey egg, aswell as mayo and mustard, aswell as a layer of chips to overpower and kill any flavour from the beef or bacon. So unless you have masculinity issues, are extremeley drunk or like feeling sick after a meal, I’d go ahead and order something else from the menu.”
“I’d read about this burger and had been a little bit impressed. I mean 4 slices of Swiss Cheese! That’s a party. I was pretty blown away when it came out. It was oozing with cheese as expected and I started to dread the extra KMs I’d have to run to burn this sucker off. Biting in was a bit of a challenge, purely because it was so dense. But immediatley all that mustard hit me. It was good! But that was only my first bite. After a while the burger became a bit of a chore and a boring one at that. I’ll give it points for consistency but all the flavours stayed on the same side of the spectrum. What this burger was missing was sweetness to cut through the heaviness. I’d replace the chips with either onion rings or caramelised onions. Screw it, just ketchup would have done fine. The menu says the beef is decent quality, but it didn’t hit me with too much flavour. On that day I didn’t have the stomach to finish this thing. But I still stick by Yokohama accomplishment if you want to challenge my eating prowess.”
Father's Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Tree of Us

Friday, March 1, 2013
The-Burger-Adventure_TreeOfUs

71 Church St, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tree Cheese Burger
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
18 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$14
Summary

When you consider its location, you could almost say Tree of Us is in the middle of nowhere. Standing as a solo cafe/restaurant away from the busier end of Church St is a bold move. But thats the style of the three Primary School pals who opened up this ecclectic, high-quality produce driven eatery. Part owner and former Chef at Rockpool, Shane Scource, has created a menu that’ll cater to pretty much anyone with a jaw and a decent set of tastebuds. Breakfast offers the likes of eggs cooked your way to slow cooked organic beans to a breaky burger. And that’s where it gets interesting – the burgers. With a whole page dedicated to the Meal of Kings you’ll find a number of different takes on the traditional hamburger. They’ve even got a burger challenge going that might get you a burger named in your honour. When it came for us to try one of their acclaimed creations, we took a seat in some ex-church pews and ordered the tantalising Tree Cheese Burger. In between a Brioche bun came a Bertie’s Butchers Wuk Wuk beef chuck pattie covered with melted Swiss, mozzarella and goats cheese, red onion, roquette, house tomato relish and dijon.

Comments
“A seriously fresh and light burger that was really easy to consume, in what felt like about 3 bites. The soft and fluffy bun completely enveloped the ingredients and helped keep everything from falling out. Although, I did remove the roquette myself as im just not a fan of its texture in a burger. The house made tomato relish was the real dominant flavour, giving off hints of a traditional tomato pasta sauce that unfortunately drowned out the course, beefy pattie and trio of cheeses. I’ve got to say I’m a BIG fan of the fact they donate a percentage of their profits to planting trees.”
“This is how I imagine the Tree Cheese Burger was created… Owners to Chef: “You can’t really be thinking of melting 3 different kinds cheeses onto that burger can you?” Chef to Owners: “YOLO mothereffers!” and walks out the room with his hands in the air. Well, I hope it went down that way because it sure got my taste buds excited at the thought of all those cheeses. Arriving at our table the oozing was just as I had expected. Biting in I noticed that because of all the home made relish – choc full of cumin and paprika – the pattie remained cleverly unseasoned. Smart move as to not drown my palette but I wished the Wuk Wuk beef the star of the show. But unfortunately its condiment counterparts and creamy cheeses hogged more of the stage than desired. All in all, I left Tree of Us with my mind made up that this is the sort of burger that I’d have to be in a particular mood to eat. Its not a 3am dirty burger, its something I’d push towards the gourmet side of the scale. Which you’ve got to respect. Next time I’d give it a crack but ask for my relish on the side.
The Tree Of Us on Urbanspoon


Bar Ampere

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bar Ampere – 16 Russell Place, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Bifteck a L’Hambourgeoise
Serviettes:
2
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
10 minutes
Would we recommend:
Definitely
Price:
$20
Summary

If you’re looking for this joint, some people might say, “Google it”. But if you’re a Melbournian who loves a decent drink, then it’d be easy enough to just mention that it’s next door to Gin Palace. You’ll be even more tempted once we mention that Bar Ampere is brought to you by the same cat that owns Gin Palace, Madame Brussels and Collins Quarter. That cat is Vernon Chalker and with Bar Ampere he pays tribute to the futurism movement which swept through Paris and Italy at the turn of the 20th century. With Béton brut (raw concrete) wall to wall, light globes hanging from an army of mannequins hands and a back bar built from wine bottles, can all make dining at Bar Ampere feel like entering an art exhibit. But when the extremely friendly staff welcome you, you can untuck your shirt, relax a bit and think with your stomach. The menu again takes a little bit of French and adds a lot of modern Melbourne. With only splades to assist you, you might find yourself ordering anything from a ham and cheese toasty to a syringe filled with mash potatoes (yes we’re serious). On a cool Sunday evening we ordered a round of home made Ginger Beer and Bar Ampere’s Beef Burger (Bifteck a L’Hambourgeoise) that boasted two beef patties, a buttermilk bun, Swiss Gruyère, carrot & grain mustard wombok slaw and is finished with a side of cornichons & tomato chutney.

Comments
“It gets me a little bit excited knowing that you can come to a place like this to feast on a great burger up until 3am. Arriving on your table classically wrapped in wax paper lets you know these guys have put in the effort to create something special. The first thing you do when ordering is ask yourself two patties or the one? Of course we opted for two! The patties are beautifully cooked; nice and grilled on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. A heavy seasoning gives the patties a peppery finish that you won’t forget. It also somehow reminded me of meatloaf… and thankfully not the singer. The finely shredded coleslaw adds a cooling tang to the burger. The fluffy buttermilk bun was amazing, although the bottom started to get a bit soggy by the end. I really have to say I missed a good side of chips with this burger and, from how great this burger is, I’m thinking they could have been great too.”
“I’m not sure if it’s been scientifically proven, but there seems to be a direct correlation between a burger wrapped in wax paper and deliciousness. Inside I discovered a perfectly structured double-beef pattie and bun. A new ingredient I don’t think I had experienced in a burger before was the very thinly cut coleslaw that added a real tangy bite to it – similar to what you get from a pickle. It was perfectly balanced out by the spicyness of the mustard and worked really well together. The beef could of been a little bit more pink but still had great flavour and the soft bun soaked up all the juices perfectly without completely dissolving.”
“I loved the pepperiness of the pattie. It was also juicy, meaty and cooked just right. You are given an option of going for a single or a double pattie; Friends go for the double, it is that good, without it being overly filling. The coleslaw was used sparingly in the burger which I think was a good thing as it cools your palette down and neutralises that pepperiness from the pattie, but not too much to bore your tastebuds with a mouthful of coleslaw. The bun was beautiful; so soft and delicate. This burger does not come with chips which, was a bit of a shame, as I reckon they would have been the icing on the cake.”
“The zillion dollar fast-food food industry has been doing it forever, so it’s about time those cool-cat-burger-bars caught on. The difference is, when ordering a McWhopper you know exactly what you’re getting. But in this instance, the burger’s gift wrapping amplified the Adventure ten-fold, unaware of what your mouth is about to experience. Punch me for saying this, but I honestly wasn’t sure the double was the right choice. But once I bit in I cursed myself for ever doubting the decision. The best part was that the burger put the beef on a pedestal and let the other ingredients adore it without causing a frenzy. This is probably due to the fact that the chutney is left on the side so you can add it as you go without totally devastating the bun. Although it did get a little soggy at the bottom, it still held the ingredients together like a vice forged by a medieval blacksmith named Benedict. The only things I would do differently with this burger would be the addition of some mayo to enhance the creaminess and add some fries or onion rings as a side.”
Jus Burgers (South Yarra) 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


Tramway Hotel

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tramway Hotel – 165 Rae Street, North Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
Burger:
Tramway Burger
Serviettes:
3
Dress Code:
Smart Casual
Sleepiness:
9 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$16
Summary

The Tramway Hotel has been on our radar for some time now – even before The Age named it as one of their favourite burgers Victoria has to offer for 2012. But as some of you may know, we don’t always see eye to eye on what The Age considers almighty hamburger greatness. So off to a cosy corner of North Fitzroy we went. The Tramway offers pretty much everything you’d want from your local pub: friendly staff, comfy interior, good choice of beers and an eclectic (but not over the top) dining menu. Perusing the menu you’ll notice a decent portion is taken up by their “Fresh Burger Bar” consisting of 6 different “burger” options catering to both vegetarians and humans. We decided upon their signature Tramway Burger that sits on a Le Madre Bakery Ciabatta burger bun with a Char-grilled ground beef pattie topped with bacon, Swiss cheese, BBQ sauce, tomato relish, aioli, Spanish onion, tomato, and cos lettuce. Our burger also came with chunky hand cut chips with rosemary and bay salt, cooked in cholesterol free cottonseed oil.

Comments
“I’m not really sure how to describe the difference between a juicy burger and a wet burger. But, all I know is this burger was wet. The beef pattie confused the hell out of me – it was seasoned well with herbs, was well cooked through but had no char on it at all and for some reason the cheese didn’t stick to the pattie, instead latching on to the piece of bacon. The bun was great and did its job of containing all the moisture of the burger right through to the end. The home style chips were really good and the venue has a pretty chilled atmosphere.”
“This has been a long time coming for me. There has been a lot of buzz about this burger amongst friends, family and of course, our audience. Now it was my turn to finally decide. It had a generous, thick, great single herb tasting beef pattie, and the Swiss cheese melted nicely combining well with the aioli. Even though I’m not an avid fan of aioli in burgers, I do have to say this aioli was light, non-greasy and had a delicateness about it. Although the bun was tasty, I didn’t think it suited a burger… more of a breakfast roll. The chips were beautifully fluffy on the inside and had a rustic crunch on the out.”
“At first I thought, “Oh here we go, its the fancy bun hour”. Usually when I get into that frame of mind it’s when people try a little too hard with their hamburger and stray from the fact that the meat should be the hero. Saying that though, even with so many ingredients in there, this burger still remained ridiculously balanced. With every mouthful it was hard to determine where the bun started and pattie ended. But maybe a little too balanced – like I said, the meat should still be the standout hero. For 16 bucks with gourmet chips, it wasn’t bad. I think this rather herbie burger is way over hyped though, but I can see how it floats some people’s boats. What I mean is, imagine if Grill’d opened a pub: this would be their signature burger.”
Tramway Hotel on Urbanspoon


Grub

Friday, January 21, 2011
Grub – 911 Seward St, Hollywood, California, USA
Burger:
White Truffle Burger
Serviettes:
4
Dress Code:
Casual
Sleepiness:
14 minutes
Would we recommend:
If you’re in the area
Price:
$13.50 USD
Summary

In the backstreets of Hollywood, amidst a forest of Post-Production studios lies Grub. You probably wouldn’t guess it were a restaurant if it weren’t for the sign and people coming and going. Co-Owners Betty Fraser and Denise DeCarlo (who met whilst waitressing at a pizzeria), deliver their cheeky take on “California Comfort Food” in a converted 1920′s duplex that from first glance, just looks like someone’s house or a quaint Bed & Breakfast. This is all intentional; Fraser and DeCarlo wanted a place that people could come to unwind, relax or soak up some of that lovely California sunshine in their courtyard after a busy day. With a meal in there for everyone, from breakfast, dinner and dessert, their tantalising menu will probably leave you undecided for a little while. Lucky for me I had been recommended the White Truffle burger by a LA local. It came on a Cheddar Kaiser with roasted Mushrooms, melted Swiss Cheese, caramelised Onions, fresh Arugula & Roasted-Garlic Mayo. Then of course it was all drizzled with the not-so-secret ingredient, White Truffle Oil.

Comments
“I was coming to the end of my trip. Los Angeles had been fun but it had also beaten the shit out of me. Long days and late nights were becoming the norm and the burger recommendations were flying at me left, right and centre. It was Emmy time and parties were in full swing. At one particular gala, after being introduced as “the Australian burger guy” for the 100th time, I finally had a recommendation that I knew I just had to try.
One morning (ok it was noon) I got up and decided to make the trek to LA’s trendy Post-Production district. For some reason walking seemed like a bright idea but after a decent hour, and a bit of a hunt, I found it. Strolling down Seward Street you’d be forgiven for missing it or just thinking its some random haunt. From your first step in to your last step out you’ve got amazing service – I’ve never been to a chirpier café/restaurant. As well as the White Truffle Burger I grabbed a homemade ginger ale and boy was a happy when it came out. Ten seconds later and the drink was gone. I knew I was thirsty from the walk (and from the night before) but this was ridiculous. All of a sudden the waiter brought out a few sliced carrots, cucumbers and pretzels with a herb-mayo for dipping sauce as a complimentary entrée – a really nice touch. My next drink of choice was going to be the blueberry lemonade. It was unbelievable. Burger or no burger, I’d be back at Grub in a second just for that.
Soon enough they brought out the burger. It came laid out like a conquered beast; with a steak knife straight through its heart making it ooze swiss cheese all over the place. I sat there in awe for a little while wondering how I was meant to tackle this monstrosity. After taking a few snaps of the Swiss Cheese Niagara Falls, I cut this bad boy in half and went to town. My first impression wasn’t great; the bun was way too hard and crunchy and I started questioning the use of this Cheddar Kaiser. All it did was take away from the other ingredients. The Swiss cheese coupled with the White Truffle oil was a big winner though, coating my mouth like the creamiest of melted butters.
Just when I thought it was getting better with each bite, I started pulling out the overload of lettuce, caramelised onions and mushrooms as they were killing my Truffle experience! On their own they were ok but they together they were like uninvited guests at a party. Even more disappointing was the beef – it was overseasoned and overcooked, which was a real shame. I didn’t bother eating my side of potato chips because I was just too full. I sipped on my amazing blueberry lemonade and thought about how much potential this burger had to be great. They really do have the right recipe here for an amazing burger (minus the stupid bun) but the ratios of ingredients and cooking times that day were just off the mark.”