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An explanation owed….

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Hello burger enthusiasts! I know I have been very quiet on the burger front for awhile, but that is because I have been jetsetting around the world in search of adventure. You can read all about it here.

My Internet access was too sporadic and my appetite too large for me to document every burger I have eaten around the world in the last four months, however, I did manage to get pictures of SOME of the delicious burgers we devoured. Please enjoy and do not fret, I will be back to reviewing burgers in Melbourne before you know it.

Thanks,

Amy!

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A hefty price tag….

Arena Cafe right next to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne is an unusual establishment for something that is designed for a quick, pre-event meal.

It is an eclectic but confusing attempt at a classy dining experience, yet you have to go up and order your food and drinks at the counter.

arena

Value for money? Not so much!

While there is nothing wrong with this, the “boutique” pizzas and gourmet pastas do not really fit in with the pub ordering system.

For this reason, it was with great trepidation that I ordered the $26 beef burger and chips. Considering some of the best burgers I have had at burger bars around Melbourne go for anywhere between $10 and $20 dollars at the top end, it had to be an amazing burger to warrant such a hefty price tag.

Sadly, it did not even come close. The only commendable item was the bun. Light and crumbly sourdough it had a delicious wood fired taste.

The patty was more like a tightly packed rissole. Aside from the large, rock hard piece of gristle I got in mine, it was dry and fairly bland.

The salad was standard- there was plenty of it and it was fresh.

The sauce also tasted like it was out of a bottle, there was nothing bad about it, but it was not memorable.

Put simply, there is no way I would recommend paying $26 for this meal. If this was an $8 burger at a BBQ I would be more than happy with it, but for the price you could get two burgers from a whole host of better burger joints around Melbourne.

Batman Avenue
Melbourne VIC 3000

A touch of class

My first impression of the Gourmet Burger at the brand spanking Third Wave Café in Prahran was that it was absolutely massive!

Thankfully I had purposefully starved myself all morning and was consequently ravenous, so I was pretty excited at the prospect. Upon first appearance the beautifully glazed and seeded brioche bun looked sturdy, which was necessary considering the monstrous patty.

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Monstrous, yet classy….

The porterhouse mince patty was one of the most flavoursome, yet still incredibly meaty patties I have ever sunk my teeth into.

The combination of fetta cheese, sundried tomatoes and spice included was happily not overwhelming.

The individual components were not even particularly detectable, but the overall effect was a patty full of flavours that rather than competing with the delicious porterhouse, just enhanced it.

The salad was all very fresh, bright and the perfect amount. It did not detract from the star of the show that was the patty, but complimented it perfectly.

The basil mayo was subtle but creamy. I was worried that the basil would cut through strongly and overwhelm the other flavours, but like everything else in the burger, it was present without being too much.

The chips were crumbly and golden on the outside and as fluffy as can be on the inside.

All in all, a really yummy (but huge!) feed. With the Prahran location having recently opened due to the loyal and large customer base at the flagship Port Melbourne premises, it is worth getting down Chapel Street before word gets out and you have to wait too long for a table.

30 Cato St Prahran, VIC

Third Wave on Urbanspoon

Hey mister!

For a burger that comes out of the back of a truck, Mr Burger was a really good feed.

Admittedly, it does remind me of a glorified Whopper from Hungry Jacks, but to be honest, I love that!

There are two beef burgers and one vegetarian on the menu.

The signature "Mr Burger"

The signature “Mr Burger”

We went for the signature “Mr Burger” which included a thin, yet flavoursome beef patty, and a mix of salads and condiments including fresh lettuce, tomato and onion.

The cheese wasn’t overly melted but the flavour was good. The pickle added a nice crunch and tangy flavour to the overall burger.

The mustard, mayonnaise and tomato sauce were all generic and out of a bottle, but sometimes that is a winning combo!

The chips were surprisingly well seasoned and crunchy and didn’t give me anything to complain about.

The burger wasn’t anything to write home about but it had typically delicious fast food flavours with the added class of a brioche bun. I was a fan.

You should jump on the Mr Burger website or Facebook page to find out where the food trucks will be each day, to get your meat fix.

Location Varies 
Melbourne, VIC

Mr Burger on Urbanspoon

Making their mark

The Wagyu burger at Markov Place in Carlton was a really nice surprise.

Recommended to me by a friend (which always makes me nervous in case I don’t like it) it was a pleasant change from a lot of the American style brioche, heart attack inducing burgers you see nowadays.

A soft, floury fresh roll encased the thick beef patty, which was cooked medium.

Yummy and filling!

Yummy and filling!

The charred, rosy pink meat was deliciously juicy and full of meaty flavour, something which I often find you miss in a Wagyu patty.

The smear of avocado was really refreshing. Something you normally only see in chicken burgers, but I think a lot of the beef counterparts could really do to adopt it- because it was great!

The cheddar cheese slice could been slightly more melty, but that is only if we nitpick.

The beer pickles and salad were crunchy, fresh and fab.

However, it was the free range bacon that was a standout. It was chargrilled (yes, you could actually see the grill bar marks), but yet somehow more like pork crackle than the thin leathery bacon I was expecting.

It brought all the other wonderful flavours together and added a beautiful crispy texture to every bite.

The fries were golden, crunchy and just oily enough. They accompanied the burger beautifully.

With a ridiculously large amount of beers on tap and a cosy but casual atmosphere, I suggest you head to Markov Place with some mates soon!

350 Drummond St 
Carlton, VIC 3053

 Markov on Urbanspoon

In a real pickle….

Big Mouth Burger Co has two stores in Melbourne. One in the illustrious suburb of Frankston and one in Mordialloc.

We made the trip to Frankston to sus out what this beachside burger joint was all about and I must say it is a tough one to review.

Unfortunately for Big Mouth their “In a pickle” beef burger did put me in a real pickle. Was it delicious or disgusting?

They at least looked good!

They looked good at least!

This is purely based on the fact that there was so much tomato chutney inside it,  you literally could taste nothing else at all.

The masked ingredients included a premium lean beef patty, cos lettuce, tasty cheese, vine ripened tomato, dill pickle and herb mayo.

Texturally it was quite pleasing. The beef seemed tender, the salad all seemed very fresh, vibrant and crisp and by looking at it, I could tell the cheese was melted. But I cannot honestly tell you a single thing about the flavour.

The tomato chutney has a pleasantly sweet, yet acidic flavour, but honestly that is not the point. And because of the sheer volume of the chutney, the burger was incredibly messy to try and eat.

We also ordered a “Some like it hot” beef burger which consisted of a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, capsicum, spanish onion, jalopenos and a spicy harissa sauce.

The flavours here seemed to be a little better balanced than the other burger and in the overall scheme of things has a good Mexican vibe, but would probably not have you rushing back.

And I know this may sound silly because the name of the place is “Big Mouth” after all, but bloody hell were these burgers piled high and extremely difficult to eat.

The highlight of the meal!

The highlight of the meal!

On the plus side, the seasoned chips and herb mayo were to die for!

There are not a lot of choices in terms of burger joints on the Peninsula, but in my opinion you would be much better off driving the extra ten minutes to Mornington and checking out Deck Burger instead.

The concept is good, but Big Mouth’s burgers missed the mark for me.

21 Wells St 
Frankston, VIC 3199
Big Mouth Burger Co. on Urbanspoon

The Belle of the ball

Stepping inside Belle’s Diner makes you feel like you are walking into one of the classic American diners we are oh so familiar with, thanks to Hollywood.

You can sit up at the bar on the stainless steel bar stools and check out the action in the kitchen, or slide into a booth before being presented with menus outlining all your favourite American, cholesterol heavy dishes.

Dinerr burger

Dinerr burger

The Dinerr burger (apparently a Twin Peaks reference for those of you who remember that TV show!) was where my head was at. I will start off with the positives.

The wagyu beef patty was one of the best I have ever had! A deliciously meaty flavour, the perfect thickness and juicy and charred in all the right places, this was certainly a standout.

The caramelised onions were full of flavour and complimented the extremely generous serves of pickle inside the burger and served as a complimentary side dish on the plate (an awesome addition!). They were fresh, full of crunch and plenty of bitey flavour.

The tasty cheese, tomato, lettuce and mayo were generously served and unable to be faulted.

The bun however, was a huge letdown. Even for brioche it was noticeably sweet, but more importantly it was very dry, to the point where it didn’t feel pleasant in your mouth.

The paprika seasoned fries were tasty, but not life changing and we had to ask the waitress three times to bring us some sauce to go with them.

Because the wagyu beef was so well put together it was still a decent burger overall, but with a fresher, fluffier bun it could be a real showstopper!

150-156 Gertrude St
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Belle's Night Lunch Diner on Urbanspoon

For brews over burgers

Considering Beer Deluxe has an entire menu completely devoted to burgers you would expect they would do them reasonably well.

Unfortunately, I was left underwhelmed by the cheeseburger.

A patty is arguably the most important element of any burger and this one was not to my liking. Dry, reasonably thin and flavour-wise was distinctly reminiscent of a pre-made rissole from Coles or Woolworths, it could definitely use a better quality cut of meat to add some juiciness and “melt in your mouth” qualities, which would help excuse the generic flavour.

The cheeseburger and chips

The cheeseburger and chips

The bun, however, was commendable. The perfect thickness so you could pick the burger up and eat it with minimal mess and reasonable success.

The salad was very fresh, crunchy and gave the burger the lift and moisture that the patty lacked.

The mayo and “deluxe sauce” (seemed to just be some sort of generic tomatoey number) were nondescript. The mayo had a nice tang as all good mayos should.

The chips were forgettable. A bit pale and not overly crunchy but useful for soaking up any leftover mayo from the burger.

Probably best to give this one a miss- in all honestly, with the amazing range of beers and other alcohol on offer it is better to just go here for a drink and soak up the alcohol with a meal elsewhere.

Federation Square,
Flinders Street 
Melbourne, VIC

Beer DeLuxe on Urbanspoon

I am not Robinson Crusoe

Seems like I am not the only one that thinks Huxtaburger may be just a teensy bit overrated? 

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Check out what The Age Good Food guide has to say about the burger juggernaut in their latest review which can be found here.

Helping a brother out

My long awaited visit to Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew did not disappoint.

K.I.S.S

K.I.S.S

With an extensive 100 per cent Wagyu beef burger menu, plus options for those who prefer chicken, pork, vegetarian and more, it will take you awhile to decide what to order.

I finally concluded I would keep it simple and go the plain burger which consisted of a juicy Wagyu beef patty, lettuce, house-made pickles, mustard mayo, and ketchup.

The patty was perfectly charred and black on the outside with a pink and succulent medium rare centre.

The pickles almost stole the show, thick cut and visible as soon as the plate hit the table.

The crunch and bitey flavour did exactly what it was meant to do- it created a lovely contrast with the creamy yet punchy house-made mustard mayo, which, by the way, was the best thing inside the bun.

It seemed the chef also recognised this as there was no shortage of mayo and it was positively oozing out from every angle of the burger.

My fellow burger munchers were more adventurous than me and decided to order the oh brother burger, which was packed to the rafters with two Wagyu beef patties, double cheese, jalapeños, lettuce, American mustard, ketchup and pickled onion.

The hot one

The hot one

While they couldn’t fault the flavour of any of the elements, multiple serviettes were needed throughout the course of consumption and even then the juice and very generous dollops of the sauces meant your wrists and beyond were covered in drips.

There are plenty of sides to choose from but all we could fit in were the fries, which were as they should be. Well salted, golden and accompanied by aioli and tomato sauce.

There is plenty to rush back for at Brother Burger and I plan to do so very soon.

413 Brunswick St 
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

 

Brother Burger and the Marvellous Brew on Urbanspoon

Revisiting an old flame…

So this is most unorthodox but I felt the need to do a short second post about a venue that I have already posted about.

At Father’s Office there was a menu item that I was too stuffed full to try last time and it was brought to my attention that I should go back and sample it second time round.

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(L-R) Chicken, pork and beef baby burgers.

The sliders. One of my personal favourite sort of burgers. You can have a couple (or maybe more) without feeling guilty about it, or if you are generous enough you can even share.

The trio of sliders on the “From the Bar” menu comes in beef, apple and beetroot, buffalo chicken and pulled pork.

The buffalo chicken has a delicious piece of juicy chicken breast and some beautifully contrasting crunch from a selection of salad bits and pieces.

The beef, apple and beetroot is one step up with a perfectly charred, yet tender beef rissole perched on top of a mound of beetroot and apple chutney that almost (but not quite) steals the show.

And then, the piece de resistance, the pulled pork slider. Basically just shredded pork in an unbelievable marinade of some description. It is gooey and melts in your mouth and packs so much flavour- it is not to be missed!

So even if you don’t like beef or chicken, go along with a friend and share the sliders along with some of the other incredible bar menu options, just so you can get your hands on that pork.

249 Little Lonsdale St  
Melbourne VIC 3000

Father's Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

What a burger tease!

The beef burger at The Swan Hotel in Richmond was one of the most frustrating burgers that I have ever ordered.

This is because it had some of the better elements that I have tasted in a burger, but also some of the most unforgivably appalling.

I will start with the negatives. Within two bites, the patty has completely crumbled and fallen to pieces all over the plate. A number of us at the same table ordered the burger, so unless the kitchen was just having a REALLY bad night, they need to review their recipe.

Because of this, it was absolutely impossible to eat the burger properly. You had to de-construct it like a Masterchef tosser on your plate and then smush it all up on the back of your fork if you had a prayer of tasting any of it.

This was more disappointing than ever due to the fact the flavour of the patty was actually BLOODY BRILLIANT! It was really well seasoned, juicy, tasty meat.

If it were bland and chewy, my life would have been so much easier as I simply could have left it uneaten…. But I really wanted to persevere.

Aside from this, the bun was quite sturdy and toasted, the salad fresh and the egg and bacon reminded you of a traditional Aussie burger. The homemade basil mayo was also very tasty.

The cheese was not particularly noticeable, not to say it was bad at all, it just did not overwhelm. And the crunchy little pickled cornichons added another layer of bitey flavour.

Overall, if the patty had stayed intact this would have been a very decent pub meal. But as it was, it was incredibly disappointing….

425 Church St 
Richmond, VIC 3121

The Swan Hotel on Urbanspoon

The next generation of burgers

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Star Trek popularised it and on Monday a chef pan-fried it — the world’s first laboratory-grown burger has been cooked and tasted at an event in London.

You can find out more about this incredible creation here.

Tell me burger fans…. would you eat it?

You are my Everest!

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Doyles Bridge Hotel is not ordinarily somewhere that I would go for a burger, but the description of the Wagyu burger and spiced kipfler chips on the side was just too tantalising to pass up.

Sadly, the real thing did not quite live up to the description in black and white.

Situated on the water in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, seafood would seem to be a safer bet at the relaxed deck bistro.

While the patty in the Wagyu beef burger had a decent flavour, it was just ridiculously thick. Think Mondo Burger from the classics 90’s flick, Good Burger.

Seriously, the burger was my Everest.

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The monster patty!

There was absolutely no way that you could fit your mouth around it so the only option was the knife and fork.

I love my burgers but there was no way I could get through the entire thing PLUS all the yummy kipfler chips.

The bun was nicely charred and despite the patty monstrosity, it actually all held together quite well.

There were lashings of melty cheese, ample crunchy pickles and nice fresh salad to accompany the meat and the overall mix was actually quite pleasant.

It was just too damn big.

If you’re a man on a mission and like a burger that is predominantly meat then this might be up your alley. But despite the quality of the Wagyu, for me it was just too much of a good thing.

1 Nepean Highway
Mordialloc, VIC 3195

The Doyles Bridge Hotel Deck & Bistro on Urbanspoon

Beauty and the B.East

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Normally when I am on Lygon Street I would be looking for an authentic pasta or classic pizza, but The B.East proved that Italian is not the only cuisine done well in this neck of the woods.

With a decent range of beef, chicken and veggie burgers, plus a few more left of centre options such as shrimp, corned beef and pulled pork, there is definitely something that will appeal to everyone.

We sampled both the Classic B.East and the Filthy B.East burger.

A real classic...

A real classic…

The Classic sported a glazed and beautifully golden seeded brioche bun that was honestly the perfect thickness. It held everything together nicely but didn’t overpower the rest of the ingredients.

Similarly, the juicy, pink beef patty was thick enough to satisfy, but able to be eaten comfortably.

The vintage cheddar was dripping out the side of the bun when it arrived, which to me is always a good sign.

In this case, it didn’t disappoint. The cheese added a nice bitey, oiliness to the burger and was melted well.

The sweet and chunky tomato relish and sharp, aromatic mustard worked so well together that they almost stole the show.

Luckily, the thin and crunchy pickled red onion made some noise as well.

The Filthy had the same delightful brioche bun, juicy patty, crunchy pickles and stringy cheddar, but the burger patty was cooked in fried mustard, which packed a real punch flavour-wise.

Now that's filthy!

Now that’s filthy!

The chilli paste added a real kick of spice, but didn’t stray into mexican jalopeno territory.

This, coupled with the horseradish aoili meant that this burger was truly all about the sauces. This burger was a real winner.

The alternative, undergound vibe of the bar was really cool and you can see why some nights people will flock here for live music, a wide choice of alcohol and plenty of food. Definitely check it out.

80 Lygon St 
Brunswick East, VIC
3057

The B.East on Urbanspoon

For a good time out….

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Time out in Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square looks just like any other trendy cafe/ bar.

But the boutique style Aussie beef burger is a nice surprise, as it is the perfect balance of hearty Aussie burger and boutique delicacy.

The glazed, dark brioche bun is reminiscent of an upmarket burger joint, but the fresh and generous slice of beetroot reminds you of a great fish n’ chip shop burger.

The patty is nicely charred on the outside and just pink on the inside, meaning it is juicy. It is also a pretty good thickness- nice and meaty, but you are still able to wrap your mouth around it.

Aussie Aussie Aussie

Aussie Aussie Aussie!

The melted cheese, lettuce and tomato are inconsequential. They freshen up the burger nicely as they should, but do not steal the show.

The seeded mustard mayo and the tangy tomato sauce are both delicious and work well together.The sweetness and sharpness of the tomato sauce is complimented by the creamy, yet flavoursome mustard mayo.

The fat chips are golden and crunchy, the sort of thing you would expect to see at a really excellent pub, but not always at a restaurant like this one.

A really pleasant surprise. Definitely worth ordering it if you find yourself at Time out, although be prepared to pay restaurant prices for what is really just a bloody good burger and smallish serve of chips.

Federation Sq Flinders St 
Melbourne, VIC
3000

Time Out on Urbanspoon

Not for the faint hearted….

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As much as I love burgers there are some truly disgusting concoctions out there…..

Click here to see 15 of the craziest looking and sounding burgers I have ever come across. Personally none of them tickle my fancy but maybe you disagree and think some of them look heart attack inducing, yet delish?

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Hit the deck!

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Deck Burger Bar in Mornington was a really pleasant surprise.

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The ‘Classic’ burger

Considering it is one of the only ‘pure’ burger joints on the Mornington Peninsula, I had never heard much about it from my family and friends who live in that area.

So because of this, my expectations were not that high.

The burgers came out and the first thing that caught my eye were the dark coloured buns.

They are freshly baked daily and are a wholemeal/ sourdough mix, which makes them sturdy but still delicious.

The patties were incredibly lean prime beef, but despite the lack of fat still had plenty of meaty flavour about them.

Nothing puts me off more than gristle in a patty and this one was tender and smooth.

All the salad is locally grown produce, so it is very fresh and crisp. It is  backed up nicely by house made sauces such as the winner of a tomato relish (a perfect balance of sweet onion and acidic tomato) and the tangy mayo.

The Cheeseburger

The Cheeseburger

This burger was the perfect balance of healthy yet incredibly tasty.

The lack of cheese in the classic burger probably helped cut down on the grease factor, but even the cheeseburger didn’t leave you feeling too guilty, because of the wholemeal roll and lean beef.

You still felt like you were enjoying a weekend treat, but didn’t feel like you would have to run for hours afterwards to work it off.

And there was certainly no food coma, which meant your afternoon could be enjoyed as you pleased.

The chips were yummy too! Less healthy than the burgers but still not overly greasy, and the herb salt added a little extra flavour that went really well with some of their dipping sauces, such as the aoili.

Chips, house made aoili and tomato sauce

Chips, house made aoili and tomato sauce

The menu is extensive with ten beef burgers, eight chicken burgers, three vegetarian options plus salads, breakfast options and desserts.

Even someone who is not traditionally a burger fan would find something to appease their taste buds at Deck Burger Bar. Highly recommend.

241 Main Street
Mornington 3931

Deck Burger on Urbanspoon

A true burger enthusiast!

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Check out this video of A true burger enthusiast!

I like my burger blogging but this guy takes it to a whole new level!

burger guy

Who knew burgers had balls?

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And… we are back! After a short, unavoidable hiatus I am back eating burgers with enthusiasm levels that would rival Eddie McGuire at the zoo.

Babu barburger with balls is an establishment on Chapel Street that I had been to once many months ago, before the days of this blog.

So I felt as though I needed to revisit it and pay close attention to the food before writing about it.

Babu burger minus the balls...

Babu burger minus the balls…

The process of ordering a burger here is very much step-by-step, like building your own sandwich at Subway. You pick the size patty you want (as it was lunchtime I went for the smallest, 150g beef patty, which was plenty) and choose the way it is cooked. There are also chicken and veggie patty options for those who prefer it that way.

The patty was quite bizarre. It was pink and juicy and quite thick. There was no gristle or fat as far as I could see. Yet, it had a very strange texture- almost like gelatine. While the flavour was fine, I found the consistency quite unpleasant.

The list of extra ingredients and sauces you could include in your burger was exhaustive! Bacon, avocado, caramelised onion, cheeses you get the idea… however, as all the burgers come with salad, I chose to stay basic and only add tasty cheese so that I could really taste the patty.

The bun was a good thickness and had a nice colour on top, but the bottom of it was charcoal black… not sure that was meant to happen. All was forgiven though because the waitress was so friendly and attentive.

The chips were very average, pale and slightly soggy with minimal salt. The Babu ‘balls’ are an alternative side- a variety of different flavoured meatballs with a choice of sauces, however there was enough meat in the burger without ordering a side of meat. Babu market themselves as “burgers with balls,” but I must admit, while they get points for individuality the concept is somewhat lost on me.

With plenty of local beers, ciders and more you will not be left thirsty so jump on a tram rather than drive.

Although to be honest, there is a Grill’d opposite or Jus Burgers just up the road, so I would be inclined just to skip Babu entirely…

156 Chapel St,
Windsor, 3181, VIC.
Babu Bar Burger With Balls on Urbanspoon

Detoxing….

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Hey guys,

Don’t think I have forgotten about consuming as many burgers as my wallet and waistline will allow- because I haven’t! I am just taking care of a few other things at the moment but will be back eating and writing as soon as possible. So please stick around and I will bring you some more delicious content very soon!

Fit for a king.. or a prince…

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Our trip to the Prince Albert Hotel was rather lacklustre.

Despite being told the burgers were worth investigating, I just wasn’t sold on the idea.

“It will just be another stock standard, average pub burger, how good can it be?” I thought to myself as we made our way there.

Maybe it was the bordering on negative attitude I had thinking about the burger that meant the real thing was such a pleasant surprise.

Served on a board with frites (deliciously crunchy, thick cut chips) and aioli (which had a pleasant amount of bite and did I taste some mustard in there?) the burger upon first look seemed rather small.

The deceptively filling Prince Albert burger.

The deceptively filling Prince Albert burger.

However, the patty was nice and thick and cooked to a juicy, pink medium, which meant it was a lot more filling than you would think.

The flavour of the patty was comforting and meaty, although a few small bits of gristle were slightly off- putting.

The tomato relish smeared on the bottom half of the bun was quite sweet but slightly tangy and the aioli on the top was the same creamy goodness that accompanied the frites.

The caramelised onions were a stand out. Sweet and rich and just enough that it didn’t overpower the other flavours, rather left you wanting more.

The tomato, red onion rings and lettuce were standard, but there is nothing wrong with that! It was fresh and vibrant and exactly what you wanted alongside the mild melted cheese.

The brioche bun was glazed and the perfect thickness- thick enough to contain the monster patty, which was the hero of the meal, but not so thick that it felt heavy and doughy.

Although I was hungry, the size of the meal overall was perfect. I was full at the end, but not painfully so and I didn’t lapse straight into a food coma.

Washed down with a very reasonably priced James Squire Orchard Crush Cider, I went home one very satisfied customer.

My only complaint would be that a sharp pickle or something of the sort would have been nice to cut through all the sweetness of the relish, aioli and onions. But that is a very minor criticism.

619 Church St 
Richmond, VIC 3121

Prince Alfred on Urbanspoon

Back to basics

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Our trip to Andrew’s Hamburgers was highly anticipated.

We had seen the sky high Urbanspoon ratings and read the endorsements from Matt Preston- I mean if the man can strut in there with his cravat and deem their food delicious, then who am I to argue with that?

Well, as a freelance burger blogger I am going to be the one to argue with that.

Don’t get me wrong, it definitely wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t anything special and I am left a little bemused as to what all the hype is about.

The beef burger with the lot sported a large white roll, which was sturdy yet soft and the patty was cooked to perfection with a nicely charred outside.

Image source: http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/profile/796262

The beef burger with the lot. Image source

The burger was a real challenge to get your mouth around, as it was stuffed so full of crunchy lettuce and fresh, zingy tomato.

The cheese was perfectly melted but got somewhat lost in among the crispy bacon, fried egg and onions.

Topped off with your standard store bought tomato sauce, this burger gave the distinct impression of a good ole’ fashioned fish n’ chip shop burger- done very well.

If you are not a complete spud in the kitchen and have cooked your own homemade burgers with some degree of success before, the result would likely have been similar to what Andrew’s produced.

However, there was no one ingredient that stood out, no one element of the whole thing that seemed original and nothing that I would walk away talking about.

Oh and don’t wear your favourite shirt because with so many ingredients piled in between the bun it is a messy affair, even for the most experienced of burger eaters.

If you are in the mood for a very filling, no frills, Aussie burger then I can see why you would head to Andrew’s, but as for the cult following and celebrity endorsements, I am just a little bit lost.

144 Bridport St 
Albert Park, VIC
3206

Andrew's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

The big bad wolf… not bad at all!

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Strange Wolf is the dark horse of my burger exploits of late.

Although it came highly recommended by a number of sources, the fact I had attempted to dine there twice before I actually did, made me feel as though nothing could possibly live up to the burger that I had fantasized about in my head. In the end, I really didn’t know what to expect.

But I was wrong. It was even better than what I had imagined.

The Wolf Burger- a brilliant classic!

The Wolf Burger- a brilliant classic!

The Wolf Burger arrived first with the bun looking perfectly glazed and seeded.

The cone of sweet potato chips on the side was easily overlooked when the burger looked so mouthwatering.

The patty was cooked to a perfect, pink medium and was so juicy and full of flavour.

The Swiss cheese was melted and plentiful- just how I like it!!

But, it was the wicked combo of the sticky caramelised onions, the tangy mustard and incredibly thick, crunchy slices of pickle that set this burger apart.

The Mongrel Burger arrived with the same perfect looking bun and same deliciously pink patty.

However, if you are after something a little more exciting then this may be the burger for you.

The addition of crispy rashers of Boucher bacon made the overall flavour a lot richer, but it was balanced out really well with slightly spicy jalapeños, which cut through the richness of the other ingredients without overpowering them.

The chips were extremely oily and lacked salt, but they were excellent for mopping up the excess mustard and juices that dripped out of the burgers onto the plate.

What a mongrel!!

What a mongrel!!

While from the outside the venue does look like the sort of underground establishment that Alf Stewart would frequent, once inside it is quite unique. Be brave and walk down the stairs- you won’t regret it!

Strachan Ln 
Melbourne, VIC
3000

Strange Wolf on Urbanspoon

How’s your father?

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A cool vibe, some great food, wicked decor and plenty of drinks at the bar- what more could Melbournians want in a burger joint?

At Father’s Office there are a variety of menus and if you are looking at value for money it is best to order from the Corporate Lunch menu.

MAN UP!

MAN UP!

If you have something to prove then you really must tackle the Man Burger.

There is a lot going on so you would really want to be in the mood for it, but it is a great feed. It is massive and comes with a huuuge pile of golden, shoestring fries.

The patty is tender and juicy and the four slices of cheese do not leave you wanting.

But, the cholesterol hit is not over with the layer of beer battered chips inside the already rich brioche bun.

The egg and bacon add another unnecessary but greasily delicious layer, which is luckily offset by the tangy fried Dijon mustard and spicy chipotle mayo.

If your tastes are more simple, then grab the American cheeseburger off the bar menu.

The same light but rich bun, the same juicy Angus beef patty, amazing fried Dijon mustard and some crunchy house made dill pickles (which go sooo well with the mustard!)

Warning: cholesterol levels will skyrocket upon consumption.

Warning: cholesterol levels will skyrocket upon consumption.

The cheesy bacon beer battered fries (try saying that after a couple of drinks) are thick beer battered pub chips at their finest. Add to this lashings of oily melted cheese and fatty, caramelised bacon chunks to be dipped with aioli- what more could you ask for?

These, alongside the burger, will induce a greasy food coma for the next few hours so beware and don’t eat too many!

The place reeks of that ‘genuine American’ feel, so consequently is high on the fat and grease (in a good way!)

It seems like perfect food for late night drunken antics, which is lucky as the kitchen is open late and the location is central. Check it.

249 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Father's Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Do you like a classy burger?

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You expect something special when heading to Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill for a burger.

You are welcomed to the classy establishment by the concierge and immediately offered drinks. While wine and champagne are quite pricy, a boutique beer is not ridiculous and the cocktails are standard sort of Melbourne bar prices.

The Italian Sour no. 3 cocktail was something very different to anything I had tried before. If sugar and spice is your thing then give this one a miss. It was bitter but very refreshing and nice and light with a burger.

The trademark wagyu burger

The trademark wagyu burger

There are two choices for burgers at Rockpool- the famous wagyu or the mishima.

The waiter described the difference in the patties as “the wagyu would melt and have a richer, more meaty flavour, whereas the mishima is more textured”.

Personally, I actually preferred the taste and texture of the mishima- and that is coming from someone who likes their meat tender!

Both patties were very lean, quite thick and cooked medium, but as discussed previously the wagyu had a rather strange “roast dinner” flavour, whereas the mishima tasted like a genuine burger patty, although a very well made one.

Patties aside, the burgers were identical and both delicious.

The seasoned tomato slices and lettuce came out on the side of the burger, allowing you to add as much or as little as you liked (personally I stuffed it all in, if you are going to pay $22- $24 bucks for a stand alone burger I want value for money people!)

The bacon was perfectly crunchy without being singed and fatty enough that it was delicious but not chewy.

You knew you were eating a high-class burger, purely based on the amount of Gruyere cheese inside.

While some greasy burgers will have cheese dripping all the way down your wrists, this one had a small amount and a subtle flavour.

Personally, I would prefer to strike a happy cheese medium.

The trademark tomato and chilli jam is not spicy, merely full of zingy flavour. The chefs had shown restraint by putting just enough, but not too much in.

The pickles were quite strange. They were very crunchy but seemed more like raw, shaved cucumber or zucchini than a real pickle.

They didn’t ruin the burger in any way but for someone who is a big fan of a pickle, they didn’t add much either.

The dark horse of the night- the mishima burger

The dark horse of the night- the mishima burger

Unless you’re looking for a really special night out, don’t bother making a reservation because you can order at the wine bar, which eliminates the fuss.

It is the perfect place to go if you are craving a burger, but want to dine somewhere with more ambiance than Bourke Street Maccas.

Crown Complex
Southbank VIC 3006
Australia

Rockpool Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

I would walk 500 miles….

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If you are hungry (and I mean really hungry) for a truly spectacular burger, then it is worth hopping in the car/ on a train and making the somewhat lengthy journey to Eltham.

A family business with a welcoming vibe, The Burger Lounge is tucked away on the corner of the main strip of shops in Eltham.

As soon as I walked in, the friendly staff asked me if I had been there before and upon learning that I hadn’t, excitedly walked me through the menu, suggesting little tricks here and there as to what condiments and extras to order.

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The classic burger with cheese, herb chips and house made onion rings.

The ginormous burger appears on a huge wooden board, surrounded by perfectly herby, salty chips piled up in a little pot and shaggy looking house made onion rings which seem like they were created specifically to be a deliciously light vehicle for the garlic aioli.

I can not understate the amazingness of this burger. Although the size of it would make Michelle Bridges’ eyes get that look of molten hatred in them that she gets when watching people guzzle four litres of ice cream for breakfast, it is great as a ‘sometimes food.’

For my first visit, I just wanted to keep it basic, so opted for the “classic burger with cheese,” however, with 24 burgers on their menu you are certainly spoilt for choice!

The sturdy bun was covered in cape seeds and the like, which almost tricked you into thinking you were eating something healthy. It was great because this, in addition to the other fresh elements, didn’t leave you with that greasy, post junk food coma you get with some burgers.

The free-range beef patty was a rosy pink colour, cooked medium, which left it in an impossibly tender state, but not so rare that juice dripped everywhere.

I am a fan of salad, so the excessive amounts of gourmet lettuce piled in underneath the patty were right up my ally, but might be a bit overwhelming for everyone’s taste.

The tomato relish was sweet but bitey at all the right moments and the herb aioli was subtle, but creamy.

This meal was so large it left me feeling like I needed an after lunch nanna nap, yet it was one of the most satisfying and delicious burgers I have ever eaten.

I am very much looking forward to making the trek back out to Eltham to tackle some of the 23 other burgers and wide variety of sides and desserts on their menu.

What a winner!

902 Main Rd 
Eltham, VIC 3095

The Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon

Just another burger

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The wagyu beef burger at the Richmond Club Hotel is pretty much a ho-hum pub burger that could use some improvements.

The thick, crusty bun is nice and solid, which is necessary when trying to keep the rest of the burger together.

I don’t know about all of you but I am not the most graceful eater at the best of times, which is why the patty is the big downfall of this burger. Through recent experience it seems like wagyu beef, while delicious as a cut of meat, might not be the best choice for a burger patty.

Richmond club

Wagyu beef burger and chips

This one had a rather strange flavour, in that it was far too rich and bordered on sweet. Worse than that, it completely fell apart, making the burger incredibly difficult to eat for the less skilled of us.

Aside from this, the burger was not memorable in a good or bad way. There was a good amount of salad and cheese. The caramelised onions were decent, but not amazing.

The aioli and relish both had really nice flavours and worked together well. The creaminess of the aioli balanced well with the sharp, aromatic tomato relish.

The chips were stock standard pub chips. Fluffy on the inside and reasonably crunchy on the outside. They would not win accolades, nor incur complaints.

There is not much more to say about this meal. All the ingredients were fresh and well prepared. If you had a burger craving and this was the only pub open then it is an inoffensive meal.

But considering it will set you back $19.95 you would be so much better off zipping next door to the Beer and Burger Lounge for a cheaper and better feed.

100 Swan St  
Richmond VIC 3121

Richmond Club Hotel on Urbanspoon

A very saucy sauce

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I feel like I am about to make a lot of enemies here, but I pride myself on my honesty and I feel like this is something that has to be said…..

I went to Huxtaburger and it was not the best burger place I have ever eaten at in my life.

Before you take up your pitchforks and start to storm Melbourne in search of my place of residence, please let me explain.

Huxtaburger almost needs no introduction. This indie burger bar located in Collingwood has somewhat of a cult following, which has gradually expanded into the mainstream.

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The Huxtaburger and Chipotle fries

People are fanatically passionate about this place. And I can see what they love about it.

But, I also think there are one or two things they could improve on to really take out the crown of Melbourne burgers.

The menu goes back to burger basics, with a limited choice of beef burgers and rather forgettable plain or chipotle flavoured crinkle cut chips available.

There were absolutely stunning aspects of the meal.

The melt-in-your-mouth, but somehow-still-solid-enough-to-hold-everything-together brioche bun is one of the best buns (pun intended) I have come across.

Their signature Huxtaburger has such a wonderfully zingy combo of creamy but light mayo, mustard and crunchy pickles, that the recipe should be kept in the same vault as the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices.

The Denise burger is… awesome. There is no other word to describe it. A less authentic Mexican burger than the one you will find at Tree of Us, but still very tasty. Think Americano with a hint of Mexico.

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The Denise burger

As one avid Huxtaburger hunter I know said, “the patty tastes just like an American slider and their seasoning and spices are spot on. The jalapeños give it some bite, which works well with the brioche bun.”

The real pitfall for me were the patties, which was particularly noticeable in the simpler Huxtaburger.

I have never had a waygu patty with so much gristle and chewy fat in it before. The chunky texture of it was very off-putting and almost (but not quite) ruined the fantastic work of the sauces and bun.

Despite the multiple positives if the patty isn’t good, the burger is never going to be amazing. I may be in the minority, but I wouldn’t be rushing back.

106 Smith St  
Collingwood VIC 3066

Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon

A very merry time

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If you like your burger with a view, then the Merrywell in Crown is the place to be.

You can do as the menu instructs and ‘Keep It Simple Stupid,’ by ordering a K.I.S.S burger, which is pretty much your standard cheeseburger- but a bloody good one. While the damper bun didn’t sound overly appealing, it was actually very tasty, soft yet strong enough to be a good base for the burger.

I added some of the Merrywell “special sauce” to the burger, which may just about rank as the best decision of my life. A mayo with a bit of bite to it, it really complimented the tangy mustard and helped all the flavours work well together.

merrywell 3

Some like it hot with ‘The Red Eye’

The Red Eye burger sounded good in theory, but was not so great in practise.

The spicy sauce had a very odd flavour to it, which sort of overpowered the entire burger. The crunchy jalapeños were the only saving grace, but the rest of the burger was a real mystery, completely masked by the sauce.

The BBQ burger is a fantastic alternative if beef isn’t really your thing. The pulled pork patty was tender and had a subtle smoky, Oriental flavour to it.

The cole slaw and BBQ sauce work surprisingly well together, balancing creaminess and smokiness perfectly.

The loaded fries are a great accompaniment to any of the burgers, smoky little bacon bits, melted cheese and sour cream for dipping. Let’s face it- chips are awesome, melted cheese always makes things incredible and bacon… well… need I say more?

merrywell2

Loaded fries

It is important to remember that the burger menu is only available in the more casual downstairs setting.

If it is a nice night, you should definitely grab one of the tall tables and stools in the enclosed outdoor area.

There is quite a selection of beer and cider on tap and with plenty of taxis lined up outside Crown there is no need to go without.

While the atmosphere and décor may slightly outweigh the quality of the burgers, it is still worth a visit.

8 Whiteman St  
Southbank VIC 3006

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

A burger bigger than Ben Hur

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You should definitely only tackle Jus Burgers on an extremely empty stomach.

The burgers are simply massive and a meal deal does not just involve fries and coke.

Not long after Jus Burgers opened in South Yarra in June last year, I was eagerly stalking their tantalising Facebook photos and begging anyone who would listen to go with me to have a meal there.

Finally, after months of anticipation, I jumped on a tram and made my way down Chapel Street to finally try one of these glorious burgers.

Considering how much I had built Jus Burgers up in my head, it is amazing that I wasn’t disappointed. I went for the cheeseburger and immediately fell in love with the charred, sourdough bun encasing the juicy beef patty.

The house made aioli and relish dripped out of the burger and I must admit, I got so flustered about keeping all the deliciousness inside that I put my burger down and ate it with my knife and fork (I feel like this is burger blasphemy!) However, this was more due to poor eating skills on my part, rather that a badly put together burger.

jus burger

The Pommy Burger. Source: http://spohieyumyum.blogspot.com.au/

The Pommy Burger is what people seem to keep going back for, very similar to the cheeseburger but throw some back bacon in there for a far more complex, but better balanced overall flavour. It adds almost the perfect amount of salt and rich fat into the mix, so I can see why it is a crowd favourite.

For those hipsters out there that like something just a little different, I suggest you try the Roo burger. 100% Victorian marsupial, which is grilled into a neat little patty and smothered in horseradish slaw & goan cuisine green chilli jam.

Despite the kick from the horseradish, the flavours are a lot subtler than that of your beef burgers and all quietly compliment each other.

There are multiple vego options, such as a chickpea or pumpkin patties but I won’t bother going into them in great detail (I mean really, how much of this blog’s demographic would be vegetarian… cue onslaught of abusive comments from vego readers…)

As aforementioned, a standard meal deal at Jus is a lot fancier than what Ronald is offering us over at the golden arches. It consists of any burger, with chips or salad, green tomato pickle & slaw.

You could definitely take or leave the slaw, having a very bitter taste mixed with an unpleasant level of creaminess, but it is nice to have the option of the pickle as a dipping sauce for your chips or to smear inside your burger.

With one of the biggest ranges of burger varieties I have ever seen, this place is definitely worth a look in. As cliché as it may sound, there actually is something for everyone.

364 Chapel St  
South Yarra VIC 3141

Jus Burgers on Urbanspoon

Who needs a taco when you can eat a burger?

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The Tree of Us in Richmond is sandwiched between Bridge Road and Victoria Street on Church.

The small, unassuming shop front can be easy to miss, but is definitely worth searching for. Sit out the back in the courtyard, surrounded by the fresh herbs and chillies that are grown in pots and then used in all the house-made relishes and other condiments.

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The hamburger (plus cheese), with the hand cut chips.

You can start off simply with the hamburger (I added swiss cheese to my order, which I think was a good call). Everything seemed very fresh and unprocessed, with gourmet lettuce topping the soft, seeded buns, crunchy gherkins and generous amount of mayo and relish.

The house-made tomato relish, while a lovely flavour, dripped out of the burger and dominated all the other flavours, suggesting that the chef may have gotten a little overexcited by his creation and was thus heavy handed.

If you are looking for something completely different, the Mexican burger is packed full of familiar flavours, yet quite unique. Think genuine, legitimate Mexican food, just in a bun.

The meat patty gets somewhat lost between the mild but flavoursome house-pickled jalapeños, crisp red cabbage, melty cheese, onion and generous dollops of guac and sour cream. A few sprigs of fresh coriander in among all that provided a refreshment to cut through everything else. Despite being on the pricy side, it is definitely one of the better burgers in Melbourne.

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Hola Mexican burger with yummy onion rings!

The lightest of batter encases thick pieces of soft, red onion and a smear of aioli make the onion rings the best side on the menu.

The hand cut, twice-fried chips are somewhat disappointing, more like thick slabs of potato and very light on in terms of the rosemary salt.

The ambiance in the courtyard is quite relaxing and the uber-cheerful and enthusiastic staff are very obliging. Take along a newspaper and enjoy a coffee afterwards- for somewhere that is so close to the bustle of two main streets, you can really put your feet up.

71 Church Street
Richmond VIC  3121

The Tree Of Us on Urbanspoon

I challenge thee, Good Food Guide.

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So, I was a bit sceptical about reviewing The Post Office Hotel in Coburg…

The Age Good Food Guide named it “a clear winner” as the best burger in Melbourne for 2013… and who am I to argue with that?

But then I figured The Age’s criteria for what makes an amazing burger might not quite be the same as mine. So while I fully respect their opinion, I have to respectfully say that for me, this was not actually the best burger in Melbourne- but a very good one.

As we sat in Coburg on a blustery Melbourne afternoon, one of my faithful burger co-consumers commented, “this may not be the best burger I have ever eaten, but it is very high quality, with high quality ingredients.”

To start with, the toasted brioche bun was perfectly symmetrical. Thick enough that it was a good solid case around all the fillings.

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The pink, beetroot relish dripping out the side was the first thing to catch my eye.

The wagyu beef patty didn’t really even taste like a burger patty. More like a nice steak, or roast dinner in the shape of a pattie. There was the taste of having a good home cooked meal at your grandparents’ house in this burger.

The beetroot relish added a vibrant splash of bright pink, which looked appealing, but didn’t add a lot to the flavour. While all the flavours were subtle, at times it was bordering on bland compared to the big, punchy flavours you often associate with a burger.

To this end, the cheese was very sparse, perhaps an attempt to maintain the classy feel of the burger, so gruyere did not drip down your wrists as you ate.

The saving grace in the flavour department was the caramelised onions. They were delicious and rich, yet still packed that onion zing you want.

If it were not for the crunchy shoestring fries accompanying it, you would almost feel as though you had eaten something healthy. There was no grease and a strange cleanness about the meal.

You could not really fault it in any way. It looked good and was made with exceptional care and ingredients. But the home-style, high-class flavour was not what I would necessarily want when I go out for a burger.

231 Sydney Rd  
Coburg VIC 3058

The Post Office Hotel on Urbanspoon

The BBL is where it’s at!

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If you are a fan of the beef burgers at Huxtaburger, I can assure you, the Beer and Burger Lounge in Cremorne has comparable if not better ones, plus so much more.

BBL

Crispy chicken and beef burger- with delish complimentary onion rings on top.

Okay, so we have the butter toasted buns and succulent beef patties that people so love. And the beef burger also includes almost too much melted Gruyere cheese, smoked bacon, America mustard and an acidic beetroot relish, topped with your standard salad.

The overall effect is a perfect balance of juicy beef, with the beetroot and mustard providing enough tang to cut through the creaminess of the cheese.

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous the pork, ever-changing game burger (so far I have seen goat and kangaroo as options) or salmon burgers are fantastic options, with appropriately paired condiments such as a sweet apple relish on the pork and gherkins on the salmon.

If you are feeling patriotic get an Aussie lamb burger into you, topped off with crispy smoked bacon and aromatic mint jelly.

The crispy chicken burger with smashed avocado is a safe albeit, delicious bet or if you somehow still fail to be tempted…. who can possibly go past a good ole’ fashioned cheeseburger- AMIRITE?

Aside from lacking the variety of the Beer and Burger Lounge, Huxtaburger falls down with their soggy crinkle cut chips, so BBL swoops in to save the day. So crunchy that they look like little pieces of oily gold and the herb- flavoured salt is such a winner.

The onion ring that is given to you as a little gift on top of your burger would be enough to get the strongest willed customers racing back to the counter to order a basket for themselves.

Many other tasty sides grace the menu such as wild olives and crumbed jalopenos and the dessert menu is not to be ignored, if you have any room left. If you cannot fit in a chocolate crème brulee or ‘The Happy Ending’ donut dish, it is worth scoping the Persian fairy floss for a lighter sweet treat.

And the beer, oh the beer… and the cider for those who are more that way inclined. The taps are constantly rotating an impressive range of boutique beers such as the Mornington Peninsula brewery pale ale, as well as well as your Carlton Draught and on Tuesday’s you can get a pot of any of them for a measly $2.50.

The vibe in the place matches the food. Simple, but inviting and comfortable with super accommodating staff. And there is no eftpos minimum, which for those who are too disorganised to remember to get cash out is a real godsend.

112 Swan St 
Cremorne, VIC 3121

The Beer and Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon

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