Merricks General Wine Store – 3460 Frankston-Flinders Rd Merricks VIC

Posted: December 8, 2014 in Burger Hunt
Tags: , , , , , ,

wpid-1417944575465.jpgWe were down on the peninsular over the weekend and had plans to catch up  with Paul and Ness at some stage, either Saturday or Sunday. Eventually we decided on Sunday lunch, and to be safe I made sure that where ever we were going had a burger on the menu. Ness had suggested Merricks General Wine Store – a fairly centrally located venue if you are touring the vineyards of the Mornington peninsula. Before agreeing, I had a sneaky look at the menu and discovered they did in fact have a burger so everything was OK with me! I also really enjoy the drive up around the hills – through Red Hill/Merricks, so the venue sounded good to me. Although the day was pretty rainy, it’s still a beautiful part of the world and a lovely drive – even better on a nice sunny day. As a bonus, if you like Pinot’s then there are some really good wineries in the area as well that produce some excellent examples of the Mornington style.

Anyway, we made a booking online and organised to meet at the restaurant. Merricks General Wine Store serves as cellar door for three small winery’s, they also sell local produce such as olive oil which I have to say is also pretty good – there’s some really good oil available in the area, but it’s hard to know what to pick without tasting first. Generally, any of the local extra virgin Olive oil is good, so I’d recommend giving one a shot, you wont go too far wrong. We wondered around the art gallery situated next door and then into the restaurant which was pretty quite as we got there fairly early. There was a bit of a hiccup with the table, the online booking hadn’t been written down on the paper list so they didn’t have a table for us, thankfully the manager was more than helpful, and set up a table out in the bistro section in a good location – and then sent us on for a wine tasting (Well, just me since Katie can’t drink). I do have to have a little bit of a whinge here – one of my bugbears with the peninsula is the price of the wine – generally you have to fork out at least $35 for anything halfway decent and north of $50 for anything really good at most of the wineries. I’ve been to other wine regions and in comparison the Peninsular is just too expensive for what you’re getting. All I can think is, if I go to Dan Murphy’s and spend $30-$50 I can get some really good wine, and even some really good wine from the Peninsula! Look, I get that these are small producers, I get that I can’t get this from a regular bottle shop, but honestly, if you are asking me to spend north of $50 for a bottle of wine it better be damn good, and usually, it’s not that good. Suffice it to say, I didn’t buy any wine, although we did sample a glass with Lunch which really is the way to do it – If you are touring the wineries, I’d really only buy a couple if they were really good, otherwise stick to Dan Murphy’s et.al. to buy your more high volume Peninsula Pinots – they’re generally pretty good and half the price, I rate the Paringa Estate PE which is generally sub $30.

Ok, so on to lunch – by the time Paul and Ness arrived Katie and I were pretty hungry. I ordered the Merricks burger, which is described on the menu as –  O’connor angus grass fed beef, caramelised onion, tomato, cheese, lettuce, pickles, mustard & mayo, comes with fries and it’s $28. Yep, the food on the peninsula isn’t cheap either, I guess you just have to deal with it, it’s a tourist area and these are tourist prices… The burger was very generous so that made up for the price, it was a two hander kind of burger, with a big meaty patty. The bun was nicely toasted and was quite soft, the sesame seeds on top had been toasted slightly just in the middle on the top – just a little kiss from the grill – this added a nice toasted note. The bun was a standard white, very soft, not as sweet as some, worked well with this burger. The first bite revealed a burger made from quality ingredients from start to finish. The patty was big, cooked to medium, seasoned perfectly. You got a strong beefy flavour suggesting the addition of a prime cut in the mince, with just the right amount of fat, the juices were flowing – this was the type of patty you think about when you are hungry. The next taste you get was the caramalised onion – almost a jam, sweet and savoury, a perfect partner to the meat. Then you got the cheese – melted, protecting the patty from drying, adding a creamy salty flavour. The salad was your standard lettuce tomato combination, although both were fresh and the tomato was tasty. Finally, the mustard and mayo were both quality, seemingly home made in style, probably Dijon mustard, you got a mature, more complex profile than your sweet American style. Finally the pickles added a sharp contrast against the sweet onion. This was a grown up burger, executed well. I wasn’t complaining about the price at the end, so you know they nailed it. I would get a burger here again without hesitation, well worth the trip. I give it an 8.5 – Quality.

Merricks General Wine Store on Urbanspoon

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