The Tramway Hotel – 165 Rae St, Fitzroy North

Posted: May 18, 2014 in Burger Hunt
Tags: , , , ,

Tramway1

Decided that I needed a burger after the schmozzle that was the football on Saturday. Unfortunately, the late notice meant that willing participants for the burger hunt were few and far between. Thankfully Damo was keen and the hunt began. After picking up Damo in Coburg and driving around for while we decided to search though Northcote for a likely burger, and proceeded to wander around aimlessly for half an hour. I’m not sure how Damo and I were unable to locate any suitable hamburger establishments, so eventually we got back in the car for some more aimless driving. With Damo as Navigator we somehow managed to eventually make our way to the Tramway Hotel in Fitzroy. The place was packed – which is always a good sign, and the menu had a page full of burger options – another good sign. So we decided that this was clearly the place for us. We managed to get a table out the back and quickly proceeded to order a couple of the standard Tramway Hotel burgers before we passed out from hunger. $16 a pop and they come with a good serving of chips and some coleslaw on the side – good value.  The menu description of the Tramway Burger is: Char-grilled ground beef pattie topped with bacon, Swiss cheese, tomato relish, aioli, Spanish onion, tomato, cos lettuce and hand cut chips. We didn’t have to wait long for our burgers to arrive which was impressive considering that they were very busy when we arrived. When the burgers came out the first thing I noticed was the bun – a dense, almost focaccia style bun, with a scattering of large seeds on top, too me just isn’t the right bun for a burger.

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Damo felt that I was pre-judging the burger too much, however I always keep an open mind. Unfortunately I was right – the bun was too dense and overly bready and this presents a number of issues – one, you can’t compress the bun enough to make it easy to put in your mouth, and two, you get too much bread to meat ratio and this throws out the flavour. Anyway, so not a great start. The first bite was difficult, this was a very generously sized burger – so a great value burger if you are hungry. Taste wise the first flavour I got was Cumin – far too much, it just over powered the pattie and the beefiness was washed out. The problem was that combined with the other elements (particularly the tomato relish) the overall flavour was like a mild taco. Sure, if that’s what your going for, great, but to me, I wanted to taste the beef. I wanted to taste the beef because it was cooked really well and all the ingredients were clearly of a high quality. I wonder if this was just a mistake in the kitchen and too much Cumin was added to the mince. After the burger we felt really good – a sure sign the burger was made with high quality elements. But during the consuming phase, all the comments were along the lines of – “Wow that taste like a mild taco”, “I’m pretty underwhelmed right now – I’m not even slightly whelmed” (Is that even a thing Damo?), “I can see how the table that just left, was able to leave almost three uneaten burgers on their plates”. This is a hard one to judge, I have a feeling that if I were to go back, it might not be so bad – all the elements are there for a pretty good burger, it was just blown away with far too much Cumin. I’d give it a 6.5 – not bad, but not great.

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