It was Damo’s Birthday a few days back and we’d planned to catch up for a refreshment or two on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately (Or fortunately depending on how you look at it…) his birthday party went longer than planned and he wasn’t out of bed until late afternoon on Saturday. Instead we decided that the best course of action would be to catch up on Sunday and grab a feed from a burger joint that just happened to be around the corner from his new place in Thornbury. So early Sunday afternoon, I crossed the Yarra and headed into the Northern suburbs. On the way I drove past the Anarchist Club… I knew that northern suburbs were different… Anyway, I made it Damo’s new place unscathed, picked up Damo, his girlfriend Minnie, and their friend Tessie.
As it was fairly early in the evening, it was easy enough to get a park out the front. We were also able to sit inside, even though there is fairly limited seating. Without even looking at the menu I was pretty sure that I would be leaving happy – they sell Dr Pepper AND Dr Pepper cherry! Winning at life! Anyway, the four of us took a little time to peruse the menu before settling on our selections. Damo went the Hot Rod Chilli burger, and a side of chips and deep fried pickles, The girls went for the vegetarian version of the FJ Holden Aussie Burger – which just swaps out the meat patty for a chickpea vego version, and I went for the F250, some buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce all washed down with this amazing liquid concoction:
Tessie had never tried Dr Pepper, so I tried to explain the flavour – of course that conversation ended with her trying some Dr Pepper and then exclaiming that it tasted like cough syrup, Pft… Look, I guess that Dr Pepper is an acquired taste for most Australians (Or New Zealanders in this case…). The wings here are really nice – super crispy with a really good blue cheese sauce, I’d prefer it if they cut them up into pieces for ease of eating though – and get rid of the wing tips. The deep fried pickles were nice enough – but you really have to love your pickles to enjoy these – I do and I did, but not everyone was so enamoured. Good chips here as well, and with the ranch dipping sauce – even better…
But who cares about all that – we’re here to talk burgers right – so let’s do that.
Ok, so one of the things liked about this place is that you have a choice of bun, old school soft white bread bun or brioche – both with sesame seeds (There’s also a gluten free option if you hate life or actually have coeliac disease – which would not be much fun – like eating gluten free bread…). I liked the choice because I think that brioche is really over used – it’s too sweet for a lot of the burgers that I’ve eaten, and it can really throw off the balance of the burger – don’t get me wrong, in the right burger it’s great and really enhances the experience, but all too often it’s just too cakey and doesn’t work.
The F250 burger is just like the F150 burger – only it has double meat, bacon and double cheese. At $16.5 it’s a lot of meaty, cheesy, bacony goodness. The first look lets you know what you are in for – dripping oozy cheese and meat juice, bacon hanging out the side. Picking the burger up, already the sauce, cheese and juice is all over your fingers. The “Old school” white bread bun was soft and spongy. The first bite you get a lot of cheese, bacon and meat – strangely enough… The patties are really good, cooked medium, so there’s no hiding here – you get good quality, well seasoned meat. Not a prime cut, but a good meat to fat ratio, with a looser grind, very juicy. When you combine that with the melted American cheese, smokey fatty bacon and caramelised onions – you get a really juicy, rich, beefy burger. There was a leaf of lettuce there down the bottom – I’m sure I saw something green. Although It may very well have been some of the pickle. They don’t mess about here – good solid slabs of sharp pickle. Very much needed to cut through the rich fattiness of the other elements. To be honest, a little bit more lettuce and a slice of tomato wouldn’t have gone astray in these burgers – being as rich and fatty as they were, the freshness of a bit more lettuce and fresh tomato might have balanced out the burger a bit more. But really I’m just being picky – I did very much enjoy my burger, and judging by the appreciative smiles all round, I wasn’t the only one. I’d give it an 8.5. This a burger place I would come back to.