Chew Burger #2

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FAMILY BURGERS!!!

Hardly surprising that a visit from the Blackwell’s had me thinking burgers. The pressure was on to produce the goods; to come up with a recommendation that would show I am a true burger connoisseur! Last time I went for burgers with the Turner’s at Laurie Dee’s it was a horrible experience, with a unanimous verdict that their burgers were scarcely better than Hungry Jack’s. OMG, what an indictment!

This time I left nothing to chance. Keen observers will note I was here a few months ago, and loved it! But this time was guaranteed to be even better, with the chance to share it with my favourite people in the world – my family!

Chew Burgers does this area proud. Our posse of 11 really filled this place up. The kids stared mesmerised at the classic 1980’s video games, trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with the touch screen… (credit Matt for this joke) We waited with baited breath, until the onion rings came out; and it was ON!

Onion rings were amazing – unanimous! Funny how my whole family got into the spirit of rating the burgers. Seems they have all been paying attention to my reviews, with the kids all well versed in the “burger rules.” I was accused several times of breaking them, but no, I followed them to the letter. There were comments about the heavy handed use of ketchup and mustard; the bun being too big; perhaps the patty was too pink (no, never!); Jill fell in love with the paprika on the onion rings (made in house, of course).

For me, this is a great burger. As above, definitely one from the “ketchup and mustard rather than mayonnaise” camp. Perfectly pink patty, with a fantastic bun that only suffered from being a little too large. This is a 190g patty, so it’s a big burger. Love the attention to detail from these guys, with everything seemingly made in-house, with love (within reason – they ain’t a bakery). All-in-all, everyone was happy! Mission accomplished.

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Chew Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Grill’d

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Grill’d review! This could be controversial…

It’s common knowledge that I love burgers, and one of the most common questions I get is: “What do you think of Grill’d?” I always reply, truthfully, that I haven’t been there for years, and I don’t think it was that memorable. I always thought that they just took the McDonalds’ model, and applied it to ‘gourmet’ burgers. Nothing wrong with that, but for me there is no passion, or craft, in mass producing burgers and having 16 year olds cook them – and in a shopping centre no less.

Now, they do make a song and a dance about the quality of the ingredients on their website… But wait, so do McDonalds! Good marketing can’t replace the soul, and love required to make a great burger.

Anyway, Gareth floated the idea for a visit to Grill’d today, and I could hardly say no to that. Slightly stretching my burger rules, I had the “Crispy Bacon & Cheese.” When ordering, the guy (16 year old) told me that the seeded bun was wholemeal, so I went for the sour dough option.

Which segues nicely into my first complaint… This is not a bun designed for a burger. I finished with flour on my nose; not grease. The patty tasted ok, but a little manufactured, and was cooked all the way through. The cheese was actually quite nice! But, the sauces were not great – relish was ok, but the herb mayo just tasted manufactured (there’s that word again). The lettuce was crisp and fresh, although the tomato’s were clearly sliced in a large batch at least a day previous, if not more.

I think I get “it.” A consistently good gourmet burger that leaves you feeling like you could have just eaten something healthy. But, that’s just not what burgers are about for me. I won’t be rushing back here.

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1090 Burger

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Friday’s 2nd burger adventure… 1090 Burger

Came here after a few warm up beers with Daniel Taylor. I followed my rules and got the basic burger; the 1090 Burger. A solid effort; possibly the best burger within walking distance of my house. But, not spectacular.

The bun was way too soft, but the rest was really good, although the 2 stack of tomato is very confusing to me… Nice patty, very creamy ingredients with a focus on the tomato sauce and mustard. Average pickles out of a jar.

Think Dan’s was the “Thunderburger.” Looks a bit OTT to me, but he seemed pretty happy with it. Creamy goodness dripping from anywhere it could.

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One thing I will say about these burgers: they were good for soaking up some of the (too many) beers we had that night. Fun times.

I will probably come back here again, based on location and price ($9 for mine). However, this is not a destination burger joint. The fit out of the shop was completely uninspiring – think fish and chip shop. Designed to get you in and out as fast as possible. Turn those tables!

1090 Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Fat Bob’s

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Ah, Fat Bob’s, you have been on my list of burger joints to try for so long now. Funny that too, as it is literally just down the road from work. Unfortunately your burgers are pricey, and for that, you don’t get my love for so long.

I had the Jackie O, as dictated by my burger rules. Now, so I am not misunderstood, this is one hell of a tasty burger. It’s got all the makings of a top contender. Presentation is flawless.

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The reason I included a photo of my half-devoured burger, is to highlight the pinkness of the patty. Now for me this is absolutely acceptable; in fact encouraged! This thing was dripping blood and juices, and I was lapping it up, caveman style. But (and this is a big BUT!!!), if you are going to serve a medium rare patty, you MUST season that baby just right. This one was sadly lacking and it just detracted from the whole experience. It’s like eating raw meat. The salt and pepper is critical!

Otherwise a good combination of flavours. It’s a member of the ‘tomato sauce and mustard combination must dominate’ camp, with a slightly less prominent mayonnaise presence to round it out. The salad is so fresh, and the bun was surprisingly good – soft, but not too soft, and flavoursome without being overpowering like some brioche buns can be – despite the lack of sesame seeds. Nice bite from the cheese too.

Darren reckons the “Victa” (chicken burger) was top notch – one of the best he’s had.

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Gareth somehow managed to get his mouth around that “Fat Bob” despite the presence of way too many ingredients – beetroot and egg = OTT and too hot to handle, make a mess everywhere, but it’s oh so good, yeah!

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Good selection of beer here, but being lunchtime on a workday, no such luck.

Fat Bob's Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Easey’s

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So, Easey’s

I wanted to REALLY love this place. The fitout was insane. Loved the train theme. Brought me back to my high school days, catching these old Hitachi trains with the windows down in Summer. I remember waiting at the train station, hoping that one of these non-air conditioned trains wouldn’t arrive. They were sweat boxes! The way they have set this place up was truly amazing.

But, the burger was just a little, meh?! First of all, the patty was amazing. Perfectly cooked. Awesome beef flavour. Probably the best I’ve had. But the rest just doesn’t live up to the hype. The bun was 1 step up from a standard white bakery roll. The lettuce was cut. OMG, chef’s love to throw around fancy French terms like “chiffonade,” but for me cut lettuce is the wrong way to go about it for a burger. And the tomato sauce dominated the experience. I can still taste it now.

Pinky had a double, and it was tiny. He left well undernourished.

Don’t think I could revisit this place. Despite the awesome views, the hype, and the beer, the burger is the main event. It fell well short of expectations.

Tonight I tasted Melbourne Bitter for the first time; and it was horrible.

Sad face.

Easey's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Cultural Commons

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Paid a visit to Cultural Commons for lunch today. Had been planning a trip here for a while ever since Gareth suggested it, but of course he didn’t bother to come. Loser!

First impressions were not great; the place was pretty empty and the prices steep. Good selection of burgers on offer, with some interesting combinations to tempt you.

Came here for the “Mack,” and so didn’t deviate from that choice. After seeing Darren’s “American Dream” and Howard’s “OG” I was a little jealous…

The Mack was a pretty simple affair, with shredded lettuce (don’t shred teh lettuce!), lots of mustard (too much IMO), cheese, red onion, “mack” sauce, on a brioche bun. Man, that bun was seriously buttery and sweet. Way OTT. And the whole combination was just too creamy. It’s a large burger, for sure, but I am left feeling way too full and bloated. Just too rich! And I barely remember tasting the patty.

A pretty good experience, but given the $18 price tag (incl. chips), I don’t think I would go again. Judging by the serious lack of customers in the place today, I’m sure that others have reached the same conclusion.

Only time will tell…

Cultural Commons Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Burgerlab #3

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Announcement: BURGERS MAKE ME SO HAPPY!!! (I’m just a simple guy…)

Thanks for suggesting another trip to Burgerlab 3194 Phil Foreman! It’s been too long between burgers! (approx. 2 weeks?!)

This trip provided me with an opportunity to break my burger rules, as this was my 4th trip here. Normally, I stick to the basic burger – generally a cheeseburger – with bacon as the only addition allowed. Otherwise, keepin’ it bog stock! Given that I have adhered to these rules on previous visits, I decided on something new – a chicken burger. They call it the “Atomic Rooster.”

I have been dreaming of some good ol’ fashioned fried chicken for a few weeks now. There are a couple of fried chicken joints in Melbourne on my list. Well this has convinced me to get out there and try them. Loved it! Another great burger from the guys at Burgerlab, although I thought the combination of pickles AND jalapenos was a little OTT. Gave the sauces a bit of a “manufactured” taste. And 2 slices of cheese! Not sure if this was a mistake, albeit a delicious one?

The coffee here also deserves a mention. Not too shabby!

Grinning from ear to ear! I can see myself coming here over and over to feed my obsession. No doubt the burger coma will soon set in; caffeine can only hold it back for so long!

Will need to wake up for a bike ride when I get home to work it all off…

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