Burgers & gelati! Eat here: The Beer & Burger Bar and Pidapipó, Melbourne

Summer in Melbourne. The perfect time of year to pull up a seat outside with a few friends and enjoy some good food. Burgers and gelati in particular scream Melbourne summer to me, and we’re blessed with some amazing options 🙂 These are two I tried for the first time this summer, and would definitely recommend adding them to your list, too…

 

The Beer and Burger Bar
112 Swan St, Richmond
http://tbbl.com.au/

I’d heard plenty about this place, but had never managed to make it in – Richmond isn’t the easiest area to get in and out of at peak times, so I generally avoid it. But, a few weeks ago I had a new tattoo added to my collection at Good Luck Tattoo in Richmond, and I decided that after a couple of hours under the needle, a nice, big burger was in order. A few minutes walk later, and I was finally ready to try this popular burg. I went with the cheeseburger – brioche bun with a beef pattie, cheese, tomato sauce, Dijon mustard, gherkins and aioli. Plus bacon. Obviously.

The buttery brioche bun was perfect for this kind of burger, toasted just enough to help hold it together against all the sauces and juicy pattie. And it was a juicy one – perfectly cooked to medium-rare, still pink inside. The cheese was just right and melted all over, bacon nice and crisp, but not the point of being like cardboard. The trio of Dijon, ketchup and aioli were on point, and to be perfectly honest, there’s really nothing I can complain about with this burger. It was really fantastic, much better than I expected it to be!

The Beer and Burger Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Other burgers worth your calories this summer are:
– 1090
– Beatbox Kitchen
– Burger Boys
– Chew
– Easey’s
– Grand Trailer Park Taverna
– Huxtaburger
– Laurie Dees
– Mr Scruff’s
– Rockwell & Sons

 

Then, after a burger, you need dessert. And it’s gelati weather right now.

Pidapipó
299 Lygon St, Carlton
http://pidapipo.com.au/

I can’t believe I didn’t make it here last summer… To be fair, though, I did spend just over half of summer on the other side of the world, but it’s been a long time coming getting here. Lisa Valmorbida’s proper Italian gelateria came after years of experience in some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, a solid education at Carpigiani Gelati University, and a visit to her family’s home town in Vicenza, Italy, to eat real gelato with her Nonno. What she’s doing at Pidapipó (the name comes from a childhod game her Nonno made up to keep the kids entertained) is amazing, genuine, honest Italian gelati, and it’s phenomenal. I visited during cheese week, where they had their amazing formaggio flavour range available – three unique cheese-flavoured gelati, because Italians love cheese… and gelati!

Available flavours were:
– Parmesan, fig and honey
– Ricotta, cannoli and Nutella swirl
– and the one I knew I had to have, mascarpone, berry and biscuit crumble

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Silky smooth, with just the right amount of mascarpone to remind you that there was in fact cheese in there. The berries and biscuit crumbles added the perfect sweetness and texture, and it showcased 100% the originality Lisa is bringing to the gelati game. This is the stuff Italians dream off, it’s worth lining up for, and it’s something you need to experience this summer.

Pidapipó Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Other ice cream to get your sticky paws into:
– Billy Van Creamy
– Dex2Rose Nitrogen Gelato
– Gelato Messina
– Il Melograno

 

While the sun is still shining, go grab a burger and ice cream, and enjoy the last few days of 2015! Hopefully most of you get the change to do that instead of being back at work this morning like me  >_<

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Eat here: Gypsy & Pig, Melbourne (Japanese/pork)

Gypsy & Pig
Shop 3, 391 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD
http://gypsyandpig.com.au/

Monday again – how quickly it comes around! This weekend was a bit more exciting than usual though, because it was a long weekend (good work, Melbourne, giving us the day off in preparation for the footy), which happened to fall on our five year wedding anniversary, which we therefore took advantage of with a night away (which gave me a chance to put together another get away mini-guide 🙂 ). But we were back in town on Friday night and decided that instead of token gifts (we’ve been together for 11 years now, we’ve run out of crap to buy each other), we’d go out for a good dinner instead. Because why would you want another necklace when you can have all of the pork?!

I actually can’t for the life of me remember how I came across Gypsy & Pig (some random Zomato or Google search?!), but I’m stoked I did – tucked both obviously and totally inconspicuously on the corner of Little Lonsdale and Hardware Sts in the middle of the city, it’s signage basically consists of a glowing pig out the front. Because that’s what they’re all about; pig. Kurobuta, to be more specific, which is a particularly prized type of pork to the Japanese (coming from the ancient Black Berkshire breed), and considered to be the best pork in the world.

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Chef Kenji Higuchi is a one-man machine, running his business and kitchen with the most captivating silent precision; it’s only a little place, seating around 24 people if I had to guess, and Chef Kenji feeds everyone pretty much single handedly. We were seated with the best view in the house, in my opinion, facing the very open kitchen and enjoying the whole show.

The menu is incredible – very Japanese, very pork-centric, and each item sounding more delicious than the next, making it really hard to only pick out a few things. We decided to maximise tasting opportunities and ordered a few dishes to share…

Seared salmon nigiri sushi ($4.00 per piece)
Smoky, fresh, incredible. The perfect way to kick off the night!

Potato croquettes with Kurobuta mince ($18.00)
Landing in front of us literally fresh out and piping hot, they were delicious – smooth and almost creamy centre, perfectly crisp coating.

Deepfried crumbed Scotch Egg ($8.50)
This is their signature entree, and it wasn’t hard to see why – thick, golden coating with a flawlessly soft inside.

Deepfried crumbed Kurobuta hamburg with melted cheddar cheese ($21.00)
We were expecting an actual hamburger, but got this instead; it’s all the good bits of a burger without the lettuce, tomato and bread! Extraordinarily soft and crumbly mince tucked inside yet another perfectly crisp and golden shell, with just the right amount of melty cheese in the centre. Wow.

Crispy Kurobuta belly and vegetables ($19.00)
Actually the best pork belly I’ve ever eaten to date. No words can describe the perfection of this dish; the meat was literally melt-in-your-mouth soft and tender, the fat flawlessly rendered away… I mean, there’s just nothing I can say that can do this justice. Just go an eat this. Just eat it.

 

The service was faultlessly attentive, the food was just incredible, every little detail was impeccably attended to. Yes, it’s a pricey night out, but when you’ve eaten your way through this menu in this beautiful, intimate little space, I can guarantee you won’t regret the cost. It was such a great night out, and I genuinely already can’t wait to return!

 

Gypsy & Pig Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My Burger Manifesto – what makes a great burger and my (current) top 10

There was a lot of chatter among the world’s burger aficionados when Momofuku mastermind Dave Change released his burger manifesto last week. I absolutely love this adorably dimpled evil genius and all he does, and if his crack pie didn’t win me over, his inappropriate banter with other insane favourite Anthony Bourdain during their trip to Crif Dogs and his adventures on the first season of The Mind of a Chef certainly did. The man knows his shit, he’s got a brilliant food mind, and he just seems like the kind of dude I’d want to hang out with over a few drinks.

All that said, back to his burger manifesto; it really got me thinking about my own burger manifesto, were I to write one. It’s something that I’ve thought about time and time again, and discussed ad nauseam with my favourite and most trusted burger buddy, the husband (though it must be said that we don’t always agree on what makes a perfect burger).

Chang’s manifesto can be summed up as follows (though I do recommend taking 5 minutes to read the lot):
“My ideal burger is bun, cheese, burger. Sometimes bacon. Ketchup on the side, so I can control it. Pickles—yes! Obviously. And the cheese thing has to be very clear: American cheese only.”
1. I do not like a burger with a bunch of shit on it.
2. I’m not a fan of salad on my burger (he refers to lettuce, tomato and onion here, stating the only acceptable lettuce is iceberg)
3. Another thing that’s a no-no on a hamburger is mustard – ketchup only
4. No pita bread or brioche as a bun
5. Grass-fed beef does not make burgers, in my opinion (he says that it’s too lean and fat content isn’t evenly distributed. Wagyu also a no-no because fat content is too high, around 70%
6. Australians fuck up burgers by putting fried eggs and tinned beetroot on them
7. A  medium-rare burger made with really good meat that has been properly ground up is a very wonderful thing

His final disclaimer being:
Do as I say, not as I do. When you catch me eating one of these kinds of burgers that I have spoken against, please know that I am the ultimate hypocrite and that I am probably enjoying the shit out of it. Hamburgers are pretty much all good.

 

Honestly, I agree with most of that. I especially agree with the fried egg and beetroot thing being a scourge on society. Syrupy, sticky tinned beetroot and a dry, overdone fried egg. It ain’t right. Other things I disagree with. Mustard on a burger is a fine thing (providing you use the right type of mustard, obviously). Anyway, time to compare; this is what my burger manifesto looks like comparatively…

 

My Burger Manifesto

1. Bun: I don’t care what anyone says, I like a brioche bun. Not the super sugary ones you find in the Bread Top bakeries (they do have their place, but it’s not holding my burger), just a regular, standard brioche. As long as it’s been toasted a little first on the cut sides – fresh brioche buns fall to mushy piles of crap when they’re holding a solid, juicy, greasy burger and they haven’t been toasted first. And if it’s a regular burger bun, that’s fine too, providing it’s actually fresh, fluffy and lightly toasted.

2. Beef: I’m not going to pretend to know the finer points of butchery and beef – I just want really good quality beef (and you CAN taste the difference between good quality and freshly ground versus frozen and defrosted supermarket quality crap), I want it to be a good thickness, and I want it cooked medium-rare. It needs to be a little juicy and pink when it’s bitten into. My only real exception to this rule is a smash patty a la Rockwell and Sons – I absolutely love the charred bits on the outside of the patty. If I’m going with the thinner smash patties though, my burger then needs to be a double instead of a regular single thick patty. Best case scenario is a single thick patty that’s a little charred from the grill and STILL pink and juicy on the inside. And just a bit of salt and pepper to season it, thanks.

3. Meat-to-bun ratio: This is an important point of contention to me, and it’s an absolute must to get right. I don’t want all this extra bread at the end, nor do I want my burger innards flailing about all naked with not enough cover half way through.

4. Condiments: I like the trinity of ketchup, American mustard and mayo, in relatively equal proportion, and not too much (ie. not dripping all over the place and pooling in the plate half way through). And if I can get Kewpie mayo instead of regular mayo, I’m a really happy girl.

5. Salads: Lettuce – not a necessity, but if you are going to use it, make it crispy cos or iceberg, or just don’t bother. No one likes warm, limp, wilted lettuce. Tomato – one of two slice, but not too thick. Onion – I like a few thin slices of raw red onion, but a nice pile of caramelised onion certainly has it’s place as well. If you are using caramelised onion, though, don’t use the lettuce or tomato.

6. Cheese: Make it sturdy but melty. American cheese, pepperjack, Kraft singles, that’s all good. Don’t get all fancy and use blue cheese, Havarti, fior di latte or anything like that. Just no. And for the love of all things good, make sure it is melted all over that patty – there is nothing more disappointing than getting a burger with unmelted cheese!!!

7. Additions: Bacon and pickles. That bacon had better be browned off and a little crispy (read: not still soft and pink, not burnt to a blackened crisp), and the pickles need to be sliced thinly enough so as not to make the burger any harder to eat than necessary (no little cute whole pickles, just sliced ones, like your tomato). I wholeheartedly agree that the beetroot and fried egg is completely shit. The only burger I’ve ever eaten with an egg was at Au Cheval, and it was gently cooked so that the yolk spilt out and acted as a sauce. That was magical perfection, but if it’s not like that, don’t add the egg. Especially if it’s one of those backyard BBQ, chalky overcooked yolk, overly oily from sitting on the grill for an hour eggs. That’s nasty.

8. Burger VS Sandwich: If it’s fried chicken (it’s very delicious, but) it’s not a burger. If it’s pulled pork (as much as I love this stuff), it’s not a burger. If it’s made from tofu or mushroom or lentils, it’s not a burger. Those are sandwiches, and lots of them are perfectly lovely. But if it’s not centered around a beef patty, it is absolutely and unequivocally NOT A BURGER!

9. General feel: This may sound strange, but to have that certain je ne sais quoi, it’s gotta just be a bit of a hot dirty, greasy, juicy mess. When I’m holding onto that lightly toasted bun with a big juicy meat patty, nestled between crispy bacon and melted cheese and all the rest of it, I don’t want it to be nice and clean. It should be a little messy. It should be oily and greasy. It should give me reason to lick my fingers as I go. It should cause the paper holding it to turn a little translucent. I’m not saying I want the thing dipped in grease and deep fried but I also don’t want it all neat and tidy; it’s hard to explain, but if you get what I mean, you’ll probably get why it’s a big deciding factor on what, to me, constitutes a really great burger. If I want clean eating, I’ll get the salad.

So I guess that’s it. That’s my burger manifesto. And much like David Chang, you’ll almost certainly find me eating other burgers that don’t entirely fit that bill, and I’ll do so happily with greasy cheese smeared over my freckled face and bright yellow mustard staining my sleeves. Because burgers, for the most part, are good.

But some are better than others. And I’d know; I’ve eaten a disturbing amount in my time. Allow me to now take a moment to pay homage to what I currently rate as my top 10, in order of favouritism, as of July 2015 (review excepts below, click the link to go to the full review) …

 

1. The 1090 with bacon from 1090, Melbourne

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With beautiful looking burgers come high expectations, and I’ve lost count of the amount of pretty burgers I’ve eaten that have tasted like crap, so I tried not to get my hopes up. Totally unnecessarily so. This was the burger of my dreams. It was all the best parts of my favourite burgers combined. The holy trinity of mustard, mayo and ketchup was perfectly proportioned, and didn’t lead to soggy buns (thankfully, because the burger bun was perfectly soft with just enough crispness to hold it together). Flavour of the beef was just about perfect, cheese was melted magnificently and the bacon was crisp and so very good. Just the right amount of lettuce and tomato, and I know it seems like a random point, but best onion I’ve had in any burger. I don’t know what it was or where it came from, I just know it was several types of delicious.

 

2. The Manly burger from Umami, Los Angeles

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The Manly was another level of burger, and any time we discuss our top 5 burgers ever, The Manly is ALWAYS up there. Just think about it – perfectly booked pattie. Brioche bun. Crispy, golden onion rings. Chunky bacon cooked in fat to bring out a bacon flavour I didn’t know existed. And melted cheese. Seriously. Nothing more needs to be said about this burger; it’s as close to the perfect burger as I think I’ve ever had. Those bacon lardons… omg…

 

3. The double patty smash burger from Rockwell & Sons, Melbourne

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Bun – perfect, buttery, toasty enough to hold it all it sans sog, soft enough to melt on your mouth.
Special sauce – really f#^$@ng special. Really.
Kraft cheese – historically my cheese of choice on home made burgers. Couldn’t have been happier!
Patties – this smashed patty business is something else (google it – I had to!). Crispy and crunchy on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside, perfectly seasoned for my liking.

 

4. The Raph from Beatbox, Melbourne

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They’re plain, simple, and the flavour of the patties are flawless.

 

5. Double cheeseburger with egg from Au Cheval, Chicago

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A perfectly toasted bun help the double pattie and cheese business on one end, and a creamy aioli-like sauce, chopped raw red onion, pickles and a perfectly fried and soft-yolked, chive-sprinkled egg on the other. Meat was perfectly cooked and seasoned with a little crust happening and a still-pink centre. Good bun-to-pattie ratio, great cheese, and the egg yolk was the best sauce you never knew you needed with it.

 

6. The Original from 5 Napkin Burger, New York City

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I’m stoked I ordered it medium rare; cooked to absolute perfection and made all the difference in taking it from a good burger to a great one. The gruyere and caramelised onion were perfect accompaniments, and just the right amount of aioli. Couldn’t fault this one bit; it was a surprisingly amazing burger.

 

7. Bad Boy Burger from Bad Boys, Melbourne

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I was absolutely stoked to discover the promise of “crispy” bacon was not actually an empty one, like so many burgers I’ve had before. Crispy bacon usually ends up being half-cooked, barely browned bacon. This bacon was genuine crispy, and it was GOOD! The burger pattie itself was fantastic, one of the best I’ve had, actually! The outside of the patties were crispy and had a great charred flavour, the insides were still pink and a perfect medium-rare.

 

8. Double Laurie Dee with bacon from Laurie Dees, Melbourne

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The double smash patties were perfect, they had the best charred crust, and were all sorts of greasy delicious. The addition of the bacon was the best decision of the night, it was actually crispy, and the Special D sauce was similar to the Big Mac special sauce, but a whole lot better!

 

9. The Chew from Chew Burgers, Melbourne

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My burger was bloody fantastic, but did require several (5 in total) napkins for the extreme juice factor. The patty was soft enough to crumble when you bit it, but held together really well, and had a simple but really nice flavour. Great burger patty-to-bun ratio, and the bun was really nicely toasted, so it really didn’t go soggy (amazing feat considering the juiciness!!). Simple but delicious and noticeably fresh accompaniments of lettuce and tomato, and the aioli was unreal.

 

10. The Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy’s, San Bruno (San Francisco)

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Finally, this one I actually never blogged, and it was completely unexpected, but dear God this abomination was DELICIOUS and I still think of it oh so fondly…

 

Special mentions to Burger Boys, Huxtaburger, Grand Trailer Park Taverna, Le Bon Ton (cheeseburger not included in this review),  Nieuw Amsterdam (cheeseburger not included in this review), and Shake Shack, all of which are absolutely fantastic burgers. I think next time I do this it’ll have to be a top 20… it’s like choosing between children..

Inclusions on my current “to eat” list include Mr Scruffs, 8bit, Lazerpig off the top of my head – more suggestions are invited!! Anyone else care to share their burger manifesto and/or top 10?!

Eat here: Burger Boys, Melbourne (burgers)

Burger Boys
525 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD
http://www.burgerboys.com.au/

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I know what you’re thinking. “Another bloody burger review? Seriously?” Yes, seriously. Melbourne has become home to the fancy-ass burger apocalypse, and I’m ok with that, because I love burgers, and am always happy to try anything touted to be the next best thing. My Instagram feed has been peppered with burger shots from this place for months now, and I walk past a poster for the Burger Boys every morning when I get off the train. It was time to check it out for myself. But I’ll get to that in a moment. First though, I’m just going to quickly share some of my thoughts out loud. I’m writing this on the train as I make my way home from a General Assembly blogging networking type event, “The Business of Blogging.” Fabulous guests included the hysterically funny and very lovely Pranav from Zomato, dreamer turned do-er Lauren of Haynes & Bruce, the very insightful Bec of Dancing Through Sunday, and Melbourne food blog royalty Ashley of I’m So Hungree fame (I’m a huge fan of her work, and have been ever since I started following her during my first foray into blogging back in 2011), and hosted by the gorgeous lady who directs and edits Onya Magazine, Sandi Sieger.

  

It was awesome to sit down and listen to some real talk from people who are in the business of blogging, particularly because this forum was based on food blogging. Suffice to say there was a lot covered and discussed, but the two big things I took out of it were:

1. Blog because you love it, not for the numbers of likes or followers.

2. You have to love what you do!

 

The old cliche about finding success when you stop desperately looking for it seemed to be true – the resounding advice was so it for the love, not for the followers, the likes, the freebies, the payments. Just write about what you love, put quality content out there, build a relationship with your readers and success will come. I’ve been pretty honest about this from the start; this blog is primarily a creative outlet for me, a space to record and share my adventures, and the fact that I have hundreds of followers now still completely astounds me. It is truly the most humbling thing to know there are people out there interested in what I have to say.. Just wow 🙂 And on that other point, the number of people who came clean tonight about leaving the jobs they had to work to pay the bills (solar energy complaints department.. “do what you love!”) to pursue what they loved was incredible, inspiring, terrifying and insanely motivating all at once.

Which brings me to my next point: why take the risk and start yet another burger joint in a city that’s already got a ton (and not all of them good, mind you) of them? In their words:

We love the large number of great burger spots in Melbourne, but on our hunt for the perfect burger we couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for. So we decided to make our own. We buy our beef from Queen Vic Market and grind it ourselves to get the fat content of our patties just right. We season our beef with Kosher salt and cracked pepper just prior to cooking. Then add a layer of hi-melt cheese. We use real brioche buns which are baked in South Melbourne each morning.

That’s a mission statement I can respect, even more so after all that inspirational chit chat. Anyway, my favourite burger buddy and I visited last Friday after work. The Burger Boys are open Tuesdays to Fridays from midday until sold out, and they sell their burgers out of Deja Vu Bar. We each decided to go with the Classic (150g beef patty, American hi-melt cheese, streaky bacon, tomato, lettuce, red onion, American mustard, ketchup, Kewpie mayo and a nice juicy pickle on the side) for $10.00. Add a side of fries with paprika seasoning and Sriracha mayo for $4.00 (no, I’m not just saying that, actually order the side).

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First up, kudos for the Instagram-ready presentation. They looked perfect, with the cheese all melty and the crispy bacon peeking out the side. Also on the pro side: perfectly melted cheese, the condiment trinity was fantastic (Kewpie mayo over regular mayo makes me SO happy!), and the patty was cooked perfectly medium rare -still nice and pink and crumbly in the middle, just the way I like it!  Fries were a great side – loved the paprika seasoning and mayo!

On the con side – tomato was too chunky and hard to eat, there was not a whole lot of bacon in there (note to self: add extra bacon for an extra $1 next time), the bun wasn’t toasted enough so it got soggy quickly, and the patty was well under-seasoned for my tastes.

Overall though, solid burger with all the basics on point, just needs a few tweaks to get itself up there with the likes of the 1090s, Rockwells and Beatboxes of the city. But well worth a visit, and an awesome way to end a long working week. Particularly given that these burgers are sold out of a bar. With lots of beer and cider and wine to choose from. Go on – when you finish work tonight, pull up a stool at Deja Vu, start writing out your dreams on a bar napkin, and smash down a burger while you’re doing it. Just treat yoself 😉

 

Click to add a blog post for Burger Boys on Zomato

Eat here: Bad Boys, Melbourne (burgers)

Bad Boys
Punch Lane, off Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD

https://www.facebook.com/BadBoysMelb/timeline

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I’ve only started hearing about this place recently, mostly because photos of their burgers have started to invade my Instagram feed. We were in the city earlier today anyway and needed some lunch after an early movie and before an afternoon ice cream appointment (more on this tomorrow!), so thought we’d give it a go!

Located down the end of Punch Lane, it’s a little space packing a pretty big… crap, I was going to write punch, but that’s too lame a pun even for me. Anyway, you get the point; there’s some bench top seating inside, and some astro-turf garden seating outside. It was pretty busy for a 35 degree Celsius Sunday afternoon, and we ended up waiting around 20 minutes for our burgers, which wasn’t ideal… that said, there were only two staff working, and they did a fantastic job of getting through the never ending pile of orders!

We both ordered a Bad Boy Burger (wagyu beef pattie, crispy bacon, cheese, cos lettuce, tomato and Bad Boy sauce), one with a side of beer battered chips and the other with a side of onion rings, and a soft drink each – that only cost $15 per person, surprisingly good value for Melbourne! Points for the civilized pricing options!

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First up, I was absolutely stoked to discover the promise of “crispy” bacon was not actually an empty one, like so many burgers I’ve had before. Crispy bacon usually ends up being half-cooked, barely browned bacon. This bacon was genuine crispy, and it was GOOD! Unfortunately for husband, he only seemed to have gotten one slice in his burger, while I got 3… happy days for me, sad for him – a little inconsistent. The burger pattie itself was fantastic, one of the best I’ve had, actually! The outside of the patties were crispy and had a great charred flavour, the insides were still pink and a perfect medium-rare. Good cheese, lettuce, tomato; the Bad Boy sauce was a spicy kind of tomato sauce, which I thought would have been perfectly balanced out with a little mayo and/or mustard in there, too. But sadly, no dice. Really good burger though, next time I’d probably go without the Bad Boy sauce and just ask for ketchup instead.

As far as the sides go, that’s an interesting one… a glance into a quickly opened freezer door revealed familiarly branded plastic bags containing the onion rings, and I’m guessing the fries too – they were all a bit too consistently perfectly shaped. They were really delicious, though, golden and crispy to absolute perfection, well seasoned too. And ketchup and aioli available for only $1 each to dip – great offering!

Anyway, the burger was what I was really there for, and I really enjoyed it! I’d very happily go back again for another one, and wouldn’t mind trying the Cheesey Boy or the Porky Boy next!

 

Bad Boys Melb on Urbanspoon

Eat here: Grand Trailer Park Taverna, Melbourne (burgers)

Grand Trailer Park Taverna
Upstairs of 87 Bourke St, Melbourne CBD

http://www.grandtrailerpark.com.au/

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I know, I’m super late on the Trailer Park train. This place has been open for AGES, and I LOVE burgers and I STILL hadn’t found the time to go sooner! Shame on me!

Anyway, finally got the chance to check it out this week on a Wednesday night burger date with a very good friend and fellow food enthusiast. I’m sure you’ve read the million other reviews on this place out there, so let’s keep this simple.

This place is decked out like the most gorgeously classy trailer park in the world – we only had a party of two, but that didn’t stop me snagging on of the giant caravans designed to seat a good 8 – 10 people. How often do you get to dine in a caravan park that has chandeliers? Gotta do it properly! A++ for the decking out of the place, absolutely loved it!

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I got the orginial, the KSA – Aussie beef pattie, American cheddar cheese, tomato, butter, lettuce, mustard, the special burger sauce of their own that everyone seems to have these days, and toasted bun. We also shared some chips, because we heard they were pretty good, and they were – think of fish-n-chip shop style chips, but actually crispy instead of soggy, with just the right amount of salt for once. The burger itself was somewhat underwhelming for me; I guess that’s what happens when you spend so long listening to the hype before actually trying it yourself. I’m not sure how best to describe it… kinda like a really, really, extremely classy, hotted up and fully furnished fish-n-chip shop type burger, using the absolute best ingredients available. That is not necessarily a bad thing, so don’t misinterpret this – it was just really different to some of the other burgers out there, like the Rockwell, Huxta and 1090. It didn’t quite have that same X factor as they do and I think that was the style of burger I was expecting, so I wasn’t too sure what to think at first! It was different, but different isn’t a bad thing – I actually really did enjoy it!

If you’re like me and STILL haven’t visited, it’s still getting a good wrap for a reason – grab a friend and a caravan and enjoy a good burger!
Grand Trailer Park Taverna on Urbanspoon

Eat here: 1090 Burger, Melbourne (food truck)

1090 Burger (food truck)
https://www.facebook.com/1090BURGER

Hamburgers have always been my favourite food, and much to my utter and complete joy, the burger phenomenon that began to take Melbourne by storm a couple of years ago is still going strong. My general allegiance has always been pledged to Beatbox as my all-time, all round favourite basic burger, and the double smash from Rockwell & Sons would have to take out my favourite “dirty” burger (read: dripping with melty cheese and grease and sauce and everything I love. Dirty is NOT a bad word here!). I didn’t ever think I’d find a hybrid so perfect. 1090 Burger, where on earth did you come from, and where have you been all my life?!

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This little gem of a food truck is a regular in my northern ‘burbs (thank the burger gods), and compared to a lot of it’s competitors, it really doesn’t stand out at first glance. It’s a plain, unadorned truck, that might be mistaken for any other parked truck in the area, were it not for the crowd of people on the lawn beside it with picnic mats, beers, dogs and burgers. Like all good food trucks, the menu was small but impressive – I always like to try the signature on my first trip to any burger place, so I went with the 1090 Burger ($8.00) which was made up of bun + patty + cheese + lettuce + tomato + onion + mustard + mayo + ketchup + fairy dust. At the last minute, I noticed bacon on the menu for an extra dollar. My hands were tied. Give me bacon, too.

The burgers came wrapped in plain white paper, in a simple brown paper bag stamped with the 1090 logo. I loved that; simple is good. I carefully unwrapped my little gold nugget, and it was up there with the absolute best looking, most picture perfect burgers I’ve ever seen. It was burger porn.

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With beautiful looking burgers come high expectations, and I’ve lost count of the amount of pretty burgers I’ve eaten that have tasted like crap, so I tried not to get my hopes up. Totally unnecessarily so. This was the burger of my dreams. It was all the best parts of my favourite burgers combined. The holy trinity of mustard, mayo and ketchup was perfectly proportioned, and didn’t lead to soggy buns (thankfully, because the burger bun was perfectly soft with just enough crispness to hold it together). Flavour of the beef was just about perfect, cheese was melted magnificently and the bacon was crisp and so very good. Just the right amount of lettuce and tomato, and I know it seems like a random point, but best onion I’ve had in any burger. I don’t know what it was or where it came from, I just know it was several types of delicious.

Honestly, there really isn’t much else to be said. I think 1090 Burger just soared to the top of my list. To be certain, I plan to chase down the truck again next week, and possibly the week after. Quality control, you know.. Also, they often park up at Ruckers Hill in Northcote, and I mean, how much better a view can you ask for?! Anyway, believe the hype, this burger is beyond amazing, my new fave, and if you’re not already on social media trying to find it for dinner over the next few nights, then you need to have yourself examined.

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