The Burger Lounge in Eltham has been on my Burger to do list for quite some time, I’ve just never gotten around to making the journey up to Eltham. That is of course until now. Being out in Burwood these days, Eltham isn’t really all that far away, so when Chris and Katie decided they wanted to join me on a Burger hunt – we all agreed that The Burger Lounge was the obvious destination. The drive up into Eltham is lovely, I’ve never actually been up this way and I think I’ll be coming back to explore the area further.
An easy and an easy park – we found a park right out the front of the Burger Lounge and proceeded to venture in. A group was just leaving as we arrived so getting a table out the front wasn’t hard even though the place was quite busy – we timed our arrival perfectly. All signs were looking good. Browsing through the menu, there looked to be some very interesting choices.
Katie ordered the signature burger which is a beef patty stuffed with Havarti cheese then a balsamic glaze on top, with pickled cucumber, red onion, lettuce, tomato, relish and herb aioli – all for $13, add $7 for a large soft drink and their thick cut herbed chips. Chris went for the BBQ with crispy smoked beef, it comes with a beef patty, beetroot, tasty cheese, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion, relish and herb aioli – $12. I was a little bit stuck so I asked the girl at the counter what would be the normal burger people get and she told me to get the Classic with Cheese – which I ordered. The classic comes with a standard beef patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion, Tasty Cheese, relish and herb aioli – $10.50. I also got the meal deal with onion rings.
So, just looking at the menu and the prices, you think, gee – this place looks good value, and the burgers sound great. So what were they like you ask?
Let’s start with Katie’s burger. As mentioned she ordered the signature burger – which sounds great. After a couple of bites she noted that the burger wasn’t the burger she ordered. Expecting to bite into the patty and get some gooey Havarti cheese, instead she had tasted nothing by dry patty. Opening up the burger she noticed that there was a slab of fried Halloumi, and no Havarti in the patty. We asked the girl who was cleaning the tables what the deal was, as no mention had been made as it came out. She thought that it usually came with Halloumi on top – thankfully we had the menu next to us and we showed her, so she went and investigated what had happened. Apparently, they had run out of Havarti, and instead of telling Katie, they had just made a differently burger and given it to her without any comment what-so-ever… Katie, as you can imagine was not impressed, no solution or offer to take the burger back was given by the girl, and Katie decided not to complain and ask for another burger because 1) She didn’t want to wait and 2) It wasn’t that good and she didn’t really want any more. So Katie ‘s burger adventure ended in disaster…
On to Chris – here’s what he had to say:
The Burger that they serve at the burger lounge is not a good burger. The bun is not good, the patty is not good, the sauce is OK the lettuce is OK. the cheese is passable. The chips and the onion rings are very good but that’s like 18 inch rims on a Ford Cortina. The patty is thin, dry, not enough fat and overcooked. It has that “herby” flavor which I always suspect means that they haven’t used good meat. Overall this is a disappointing experience and not one that I am keen to repeat.
OK – so we can surmise that Chris wasn’t too impressed with his burger… What about my burger you ask. Well, for those of you playing at home, here are my thoughts:
The burger bun is the first disappointment – it’s not a great option – it’s too bready and solid. It’s great bread roll – no doubt, but it’s not the right choice here. The patty is over worked and has too much going on. It reminds me of the Grill’d patty, only it’s not flame grilled so you don’t get any smokey charred notes – it’s also a lot dryer. The beef is over cooked and you really don’t get much of a beef flavour. There’s also not enough fat in the patty mix, leading to a very dry patty. The Relish and aioli do work to counteract the dryness, but only so much can be done. The salad elements are good, but I would have loved some sharpness from a pickle… Overall a very underwhelming burger that I couldn’t give more that a 5.5. Very disappointing on a number of fronts after hearing so many good things – I really wanted this place to be awesome. I did note that in the kitchen it looked like there were a lot of very young staff – no one seemed to be older than 25, and most seemed under this age. Perhaps the normal crew were off for the long weekend and the kitchen hand had stepped in – I don’t know. What I do know, is that I wouldn’t recommend this place, based on my experience.