Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jus Burgers

Burger Reviewed: The Pommy Burger

Venue: Jus Burgers

Date: 25/1/2013

Today's burger adventure saw the Fellows make their way down to Jus burgers, a Western Australian institution, for an absolute ball-tearer of a burger.

We made our way down to Chapel street and were greeted by a Grill'd style venue, complete with graffiti on the walls, tattooed waiters and waitresses (although I believe the word waitress is no longer gender equal - I think this was designed to eliminate the awkwardness if Caster Semenya ever became a waiter/waitress) and modern hip-hop beats. Word!

We ordered the "Pommy" burger and one expected an English cricketer to come wedged between a brioche. But then I remembered, no one in the English cricket team is actually English. Seriously, what were they thinking giving Ravi Bopara a passport? He is the only batsmen to ever be outsmarted by a Mitchell Johnson slower ball. But that is off topic.

The table number we were given was easily the most unique we have had so far - it was a toy dinosaur with a number drawn on it with a permo.

So I thought I would do something slightly different for this blog and issue a viewers poll.

So, on the count of three, name your favourite Dinosaur. Don't even think about it. Just name it. Ready?  One, two, three - Velociraptor!

Admittedly, Palaeontology is just a hobby of mine and it has been a long time since I watched Power Rangers so I am not sure what type of dinosaur it is in the photo. Diplodocus?

Anyway I should probably describe the burger before I go and wail on some pumpkins in the garage.

The patty was clearly hand made. It was an excellent size in proportion to the toppings and the bun and it was really juicy and cooked well. You can always tell a hand-made patty from the way the meat fibres coagulate into smaller delicious lumps of meaty goodness as compared to a processed patty which has no discernible meat fibres. Just some advice from the experts. I am wearing a cravat if that makes me any more trustworthy.

The bun was a perfect fit. Fluffy, light and slightly toasted. There were some minor structural integrity issues but good burger management skills should see you through without a problem. Think Mark Ricciuto's shorts - yeah you might get the odd cheeky nut but they are there to support the bigger picture.

The toppings were good as well. The cheese was melted on top of the patty whilst it was being cooked and the bacon was crispy and provided that charred Flavor Flav. We could not ask for more there.

My one gripe is that I did not notice the sauce as much as I wanted but the burger was not at all dry.

The main job of the sauce is to provide some pizazz to the burger. Whilst we got some tang out of the burger, it just lacked that tiny bit extra to take it to the next level. And I don't think butter will do anything George Colombaris.

This burger is an easy fix - add a pickle for some tang, and include it in a meal deal with a beer and all of a sudden you are looking at burger nirvana!

The sportsperson I would most liken this burger to is that of Buddy Franklin. A Western Australian turned Victorian, with some graffiti on his walls and has all the makings of something special. But with just a few minor tweaks, namely to his goal kicking, he will be right up there with the greats.

Definitely get there if you are in Chapel Street. You will not be disappointed.

Burger Friday Rating: 40/50  

Jus Burgers on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hare and Grace

Burger Reviewed: The BBQ Wagyu Beef Burger

Venue: Hare & Grace

Date: 23/01/2013

Today's burger venue was Hare & Grace, located at the bottom of the Rialto (conveniently just around the corner from the ladies of the night, wink wink, nudge nudge). With such a name, it instantly brought back memories for me of the old childhood fable the Tortoise and the Hare.

In the spirit of fables and their convenient morals, I will tell another fable which is less known of the Hare and the Master.

A Hare hotly pursued by a group of hunters fled for refuge into a barn and buried itself in some hay, leaving nothing to be seen but the tips of his ears.  Soon after the Hunters came up and asked if anyone had seen the Hare.  The stable boys, looked round, but could see nothing, and the Hunters went away.  Shortly afterwards the Master came in, and looking round, saw that something amiss.  He pointed to the hay and said: "Why the Fark are there ears sticking out of the hay?”.  And when the stable boys came to look they discovered the Hare, and soon made an end of him.  Thus the moral of the story is that nothing a Master misses nothing.

And in the world of burgers, the Fellows are the Masters. So for today’s review I thought it would be worth noting some of the finer details of our experience at Hare & Grace. While a rookie burger eater may have missed some of this minutia, like wily veterans ala the big Fed Express, the Fellows are seasoned campaigners in the burger game and revel in this type of food snobbery.

Therefore, taking the spaghetti western approach, here is the good, the bad and the ugly of the Hare & Grace burger experience:

The Good
  • The meat patties cooked on a genuine Weber BBQ. Cooking on a BBQ just gives that lovely chargrilled flavour that can only come from grilling meat over hot coals. Massive tick for this as the smoky aroma alone would be enough to turn Peter Siddle back to meat, or the Australian netball team back to men.
  • The price. At the cost of a heeler ($10), this hits the spot for a good tasty burger in the CBD.  
  • The salt and peppering of the tomato’s. A really simple thing, but like combining Mick Malthouse with mediocre players, it just takes it to level above where it should be.
  • The toasting of the brioche bun on the grill. A nice little touch.  
  • The terracota pot of chips with gravy. A historical and very enjoyable moment for the Burger Friday Fellows, this is the first time we have encountered chips and gravy with a burger. It was an experience enjoyed nearly as much as watching a streaker at the cricket making a mad dash to evade ten security guards only to get pummelled into the ground to the groans of the crowd. While I am not sure I particularly enjoyed eating out of a pot plant, kudos to the chick who rammed as many chips as possible into that sucker.  

The Bad
  • The bun was dry. This was unfortunate because it was actually a tidy brioche bun but just a couple of days too old. Pamela Anderson like, ripper in her hey day, but whilst you wouldn't say no now, the thoughts just linger that she is not as good as she was.  
  • The cucumber on the burger. I am not sure about this. Kind of like adding fruit to beers, an acquired taste.
  • The no bacon. Self explanatory really.  

The Ugly
  • The service. After being first directed into the bar to order, and then being told by the bartender to go back to the terrace to order, I was more lost than Israel Folau trying to play AFL.
  • The order number. Eventually when we did order we were given a raffle ticket as an order number.... and there was no meat tray as a prize. Raffle ticket was lost within 35 seconds of ordering.
  • The no sauce. It’s like trying to play football without goalposts. Granted they did have some Heinz big red handy, I take the motto to sauce first, ask questions later.

So to truly deserve a place in the pantheon of gastronomic wonders known as the Burger Friday best burger list, these are my simple recommendations: Add crispy bacon for crunch and flavour, and add a couple of sauces (mayo and bbq) for a bit more flavour and zing. That simple.   

Today’s burger I am dubbing, somewhat controversially, the Patrick Dangerfield. Without the Big Sauce Jacobs feeding him the pill, he is just a very good player without being exceptional. Add the Big Sauce and he is a star. Give this burger a crack if you have the chance.

Burger Friday Rating: 33.83/50

Hare & Grace on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Bridge Hotel

Burger reviewed: Wagyu Beef Burger

Venue: The Bridge Hotel

Date: 18 January 2013

The newly renovated Bridge Hotel in Richmond served us up the Luc Longley of burgers.  Those accustomed to our burger to sportsperson/equine analogy might be asking – why Longley?  This is one very large and uniquely Australian burger, and there are few bigger Australians than the former Boomer but more on this later because for those of you who haven’t been to the Bridge Hotel in the last few years will be pleasantly surprised.
Renovated isn’t really doing the Bridge justice, think bigger, this is the Optimus Prime of transformations. This pub typifies the best of Melbourne’s urban culture in what is an eclectic mixture of style and flare. If Andy Warhol were to design a pub, this would be it.  That’s enough about the décor and onto the reason for our attendance – the burger.
The rustic wagyu burger is packed with bacon, egg, caramelised onion, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cheese, relish & aioli – pierced together by a wooden skewer.  I have previously aired my frustration at the increasing use of skewers as a substitute for the old-school sprig of parsley, but this was less of a culinary decoration and more of a necessity.  Think late night kebab on Brunswick St and you’ll understand why a skewer can be important.  Be warned though, this is the type of burger you can’t really put down for fear that it will fall apart.  
Often when a burger tries to squeeze in as many ingredients as the Bridge it is bereft of any real sense of flavor.  Not so here. This brings me to the central pillar of any burger – the synergy.  There was nothing particularly impressive about the individual ingredients, the bacon could’ve done with a few more minutes on the grill and you can never have enough relish, but when all the ingredients are combined as a whole, it just works.  I need to be clear here so as not to build unrealistic expectations; the burger doesn’t have the cohesion of the Brisbane Lions of ‘01-‘03 or even the Cats of ‘07, ‘09 & ’11 and is more akin to the workman-like Sydney Swans of the last decade.
As you would expect, a lot of our attention when reviewing any burger goes to the pattie.  To be frank, I was a little underwhelmed with this.  It’s not as if it had any inherent flaw, but it brought us to the question of whether bigger is better? This was without a doubt the thickest pattie we have come across to date and, as much as it surprises me to say it, was almost a bit of meat overkill. It’s not something that can’t be fixed though, as with Ronaldo in the 2010 world cup, just trim the fat and perhaps add a few spices and you should be on winner.
You couldn’t really fault the bun as it was fresh and toasted but it just lacked that bit of an X-Factor for mine.  It is probably best likened to the vanilla of neopolitan ice-cream, it is a very safe choice when its competitors are offering things that have a bit more pizzazz.  On the other side of the plate, the beer battered chips were cooked to a golden brown and seasoned generously. You can’t do much more than that. 
Our main gripe was not so much the burger, but that its service was slower than Eric “the eel” Moussambini at the Sydney Olympics – we must take some responsibility for this as we did arrive in the middle of Friday peak hour.  On the topic of service, it would be remiss of me not to mention our waiter who shared an uncanny resemblance to a man made famous on the mediocre AFL footballers of the 1990’s facebook fanpage; ex-Bulldog, Mark West.  The doppelganger was about as good as it got for Westy as he failed to clasp his mitts around a pint glass when clearing the adjacent table and it fell shattering to the floor.  It didn’t stop there though, as the old bloke in the corner decided to provide special comments that even captain obvious himself, Mark Waugh, would be proud of – “at least you know it’s made of glass not plastic now mate”.  Not quite in the league of Junior Waugh’s summation of a third umpire review of a Brad Hodge run-out attempt during the week – “this one’s close, he is either going to be adjudged out or not out here”.
Don’t expect this burger to be a feature in The Age good food guide– it is too rustic for that; however, like Longley to the ‘94-96 Bulls dynasty of Jordan, Pippen, Rodman & Kukoc, it is a more than serviceable side-kick to what is a stellar venue.  It is certainly the type of place where an afternoon burger could easily become beers into the late evening.  A great venue for a beer and a solid burger.
Burger Friday Rating: 36.83/50
Bridge Hotel on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ponyfish Island

Burger reviewed: The Deluxe Beef Burger

Venue: Ponyfish Island

Date: 16/01/2013

Arrrghhhhhhhhhhh! No that is not me screaming in agony, but actually a largely pathetic impersonation of a pirate, as I thought it was befitting of the venue of today's burger - Ponyfish Island.

Ponyfish Island is found clinging to a few concrete pylons on the underside of the Yarra pedestrian footbridge, connecting Southbank and Flinders Street station. Practically in the middle of the Yarra, this is as about as close as I will ever get to paying homage to Jim Courier and his Australian Open Yarra River swimming victory celebrations.

Whilst in winter its cold as buggery with the wind whipping up, in summer this cafe turned bar is hipster Melbourne at its best. Given its tiny size, its meals are largely limited to what it can serve from a toasted sandwich maker and a BBQ. This is a shame because I would love to see what they could dish up with a full size kitchen. But at the end of the day when you have beers and bbq, you really can't complain otherwise you will look like a right royal twat ala Jana Pittman (or whatever alias that whinging minger is going by now days).

What is a Ponyfish you may ask? My initial guess was that its a funky move taken from puppetry of the penis shows performed as a party trick whenever the occasion should suit. For some reason though, I can't imagine that hipsters would call their bar after an agates and tackle trick. So what it really is, I have no idea. But one thing for sure is that the proprietors have got this place pumping harder than Jimmy "The Pumper" Cassidy going down the Flemington straight before those annoying whipping restrictions came in.

So onto the burger. The fellows today sampled the Deluxe Beef burger which comes with a big whack of beef on a sesame seed bun with coleslaw, mustard, tomato sauce, cheese and grilled onions. Whilst not necessarily visible from the photo, this burger is a genuine behemoth with some absolute ripper flavours. With the combination of the coleslaw and various sauces, this is a juicy and tasty burger. Big marks for the melting of the cheese on the meat pattie whilst on the grill! The crunch of the cabbage in the coleslaw also plays off nicely against the other flavours and really reminds me of a real home style burger, the type that you would get at a family bbq.

Unfortunately for the Ponyfish Island's burger rating, the one thing that I wish was home style, but evidently from its taste wasn't, was the meat pattie. We all know that the pattie itself is the most important part of a burger. This is evidenced in and a key feature of our patented burger rating system. A processed pattie is a big no no for mine and in the end this is what was the burgers down fall along with no available chips or bacon. Swap this out for a nice hand made piece of beef, slap on some bacon and a side of chips, chuck in a beer, charge $20 and this would be a very very good burger.

So in honour of the processed meat pattie and its behemoth size, I will dub this burger the Hulk Hogan. It was great sadness the day when I found out that the Hulkster wasn't just taking vitamin C when he was preaching to everyone to "say your prayers and take your vitamins". A similar level of melancholy coursed through my veins when I bit into this visually appealing beast of a burger only to taste a manufactured pattie.

If you are in the area though definitively check out Ponyfish. If you are going to have the burger, I recommend sampling a few of the longnecks of beer they were selling first. Probably will taste amazing after a refreshing froth or three. Arggghhhhhhh

Burger Friday Score: 30/50

Ponyfish Island on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Burger Lounge

Burger reviewed: the Lounge Signature Burger
Date: 13 January 2012

The Fellows further showed their disdain of the Australian test selectors "resting" policy as they ventured out to the leafy shire of Nillumbik to sample their fourth burger of the new year. This time, at the ever popular local eatery, the Eltham Burger Lounge. The site of the old TAB - the smell of the ashen thickened walls and the confetti of discarded tickets now distant memories - has been revamped into a contemporary, yet somewhat eclectic, dining room centered around a large communal table. This family friendly diner is a beacon for locals and is regularly sighted with a queue long enough to rival Chris Bosh's neck.

Owners, Gerry and Florie Mustafas; on the back of their success at the highly regarded Charcoal Chicken on Bolton Street, clearly understand what patrons want and offer an extensive menu of quality, fresh and locally sourced ingredients. With such an abundance of choice one could be forgiven for thinking that the Fellows would have more difficulty than John Inverarity in picking a first XI when they approached the counter, but as any burger enthusiast would know - always go the house burger.

The Lounge Signature Burger comes with a 100% prime organic gippsland beef pattie stuffed with havarti cheese and basted with a balsamic glaze. While the pattie is undeniably the star of the show, it is ably accompanied by pickled cucumber, red onion, mixed lettuce, fresh tomato as well as relish and herb aioli. As much as I am advocate of seeing a burger topped off by a crispy rasher of bacon; the reality is, and much like two-thirds of the EPL ladder, it wasn't needed.

The pattie is handmade daily and featured a first in our burger ventures - cheese inside the pattie. Cooked medium with a charcoal finish, the melted cheese provides a texture and juiciness unlike any other burger we have sampled. A real delight. Although this burger fan prefers a marginally thicker pattie, the size of the burger to the bun was perfect.

On that note, the traditional Artisan sourdough panini - the bun, for those of you not interested in a blog which reads of Pete Evan's blanched almonds - is generously coated with seeds and is lightly toasted to provide a nice crunch, but not so much that it loses its freshness. Plaudits cannot really be given for the simple act of toasting bread, but its getting the little things right which transform the good into great - just ask Wayne Harms.

Not surprisingly, the chips are crispy, perfectly salted and seasoned with a mix of herbs. Don't expect any sachet of Heinz Big Red, but there is a great mixture of condiments - we went for the sweet chilli mayo - a good investment for the small sum of a dollar. You do, however, receive a complimentary moist towelette that puts even Colonel Sanders to shame.

As is the current trend, there is no side salad but what is inside the burger would be more than enough to keep Pete Siddle happy - not sure why you'd become a vegetarian when burgers like this are on offer, but that's a topic for another day. The salad is finished off with a garlic aioli and tomato relish which wouldn't look out of place in some of Melbourne's elite restaurants.

The Burger Lounge is the Roger Federer of the burger world. The alcohol free venue is a real family favourite and the signature burger, much like the Fed Express on the court, is just about the complete package. The burger didn't have the standout ingredient à la a Roddick serve or a Henman serve and volley, but it didn't have any shortcomings either. It ticked all the right boxes and, like Federer at his peak, would require something special to beat it.

It is well worth the stop if you're in the area or the drive if you're not.

Burger Friday Score: 41.67/50

The Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 11, 2013

Meat & Wine Co

Burger Reviewed: Gourmet Beef Burger

Venue: Meat & Wine Co

Date: 11/1/13

Today's burger adventure was one like no other. For the first time in Burger Friday history, we allowed not one, but two of the finest young ladies I know to score the burger using our precisely developed scorecard. Not only that, of the five people that made the trek to Meat & Wine Co, four of them were female.

Sitting in the booth of this trendy restaurant with modern decor surrounded by these beautiful women, I couldn't help but feel like Mario Balotelli when he sends one of his entourage to approach a girl in a night club to say "Balotelli will see you now".

Chauvinism aside, let me now present to you - Burger Friday's first gender neutral burger review (not really based on the numbers, but anyway)!

This burger was one of the better ones we have tried.

 In NBA terms, burgers would rate somewhere from the "White Mamba" Brian Scalabrine (YouTube it) to perenial All-Star and arguably the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan. Put it this way, this burger wouldn't be a starter in the All-Star game but it would have polled enough twitter votes to find a place on the bench - think someone like Kevin Love.

If you have read our review of the Merrywell burger you would have noticed a fake history lesson introducing a phenomenon known as the "grilling sweetspot" - Meat & Wine Co have made it to the promised land in that sense. The patty was charred on the outside and juicy and medium on the inside. The outside of the patty even had the perfect criss-cross grill lines that every Tom, Dick and Harry Styles have been trying to get in their backyards for generations.

The bun was on par - I would liken it to making 370 batting first at the Adelaide Oval. You won't get beaten badly from their but you just know the deck is going to be good for batting in days two and three.

The chips were good. As you can tell from the photo, they came in this copper coloured baseless metal ring that looked like the wedding rings that would be used if Stewart Loewe and Brian McMillan were to wed. No sauce was supplied but the waiter was more than happy to squeeze some Heinz Big Red into a cat food dish for us.

I do have a couple of gripes with the burger which on initial reading will sound like the burger is rubbish but as I will explain, it is not all bad.

The burger was under sauced. However, the patty was so juicy that things never really went dry.

There was no cheese. Admittedly, the burger had enough flavour to survive without the creamy nuttyness of the cheese.

There was no bacon. But the burger didn't suffer because of it as it did have these fried shards of battered onions which gave the burger the crunch you look for in charred bacon. It is kind of like in the NAB cup a few years back when if you hit the goal post and got three points - yeah you didn't get the goal but it was still a lot better than the behind.

The other thing I love was the pickle. Such a playful little pickle. Similar to Buckwheat on the movie The Little Rascals, "I love pickles!"

The sportsperson I would use to describe this burger would be that of Mario Balotelli. A man who was once involved in a car crash whilst having $25,000 on the passenger seat. When asked by police why he had such an exorbitant amount of money in his car he replied "because I'm rich". The reason I mention that story is because the place we reviewed is called Meat & Wine COMPANY - this name gives off a "big money" feel as you are eating at a company rather than a restaurant. And like Balotelli, this burger was better than most, but not quite good enough to play with the big boys.

Well worth the $25 for the burger and beer if you are in the area.  

Burger Friday Score: 36.33/50

 The Meat & Wine Co on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Café Vue

Burger Reviewed: Blackmore Wagyu beef burger, Andrew’s Choice bacon & house fries

Venue: Café Vue

Date: 9/01/2013

Continuing the momentum of the new year, and proverbially spitting in the face of the oft quoted new years resolution of losing weight, the Burger Friday fellows ventured down to Shannon Bennett’s Café Vue to sample the Wagyu Beef burger for a burger rating.  

Café Vue on New Chancery Lane has become a bit of a Melbourne icon of recent times.  It typifies the Melbourne food scene, i.e. largely hidden down an inconspicuous laneway, serving great food and always busy.

The burger at Café Vue is often talked about in best burger circles. Unfortunately for the fellows, this did not quite reach it today. To be fair, having eaten the burger their multiple times before, it may have been that the summer time chef was on, as this was not as good as the previous burgers devoured. In tv parlance I think it is fair to suggest that it is a non-ratings period at the moment, so chances are that the key chefs might still be on holidays, whilst we get served up Huey’s Kitchen reruns all summer. Not that there is anything wrong with Huey, but it ain’t exactly Masterchef to watch.

Where the burger fell down for mine was in three areas. The patty, the bun and the Burger Friday factor.

Whilst boasting that it was Blackmores Wagyu beef, I was left a little underwhelmed with the patty itself. It was certainly cooked to a lovely and juicy medium. But on the meat scale of rock hard to crumble, it was certainly edging more towards the former rather than the latter. A patty for mine should hold reasonably well together, but have enough crumble for you to know that it is genuinely handmade and not a processed piece of meat. Here I was not so sure. It was getting a little to close to rissole territory for mine.  

The bun was just a little bit to dry and a bit to doughy. Given the patisseries they crank out there, I would expect better from their bakers.

But the biggest missing ingredient for me was the Burger Friday factor. The burger just lacked zing or tang. I was able to compensate for this with a bit of the jam pot of homemade sauce, which I must say was excellent, but would have loved some mustard or a pickle in the burger just to balance out the flavours of the meat and the cheese.

The house chips and homemade sauce were the highlight for mine. 

So all in all, whilst the review does not sound overly complimentary, this is definitively a burger that is well worth trying. It is a good burger and one that you would be happy to part with your hard earned for - unlike the Sri Lankan cricket team. Get around it if in the area. At least to try what the fuss is about.

Given that Café Vue is French, and in light of the upcoming Australian Open, I will dub this burger the Jo Wilfried Tsonga. It looks the goods (scarily similar to Muhammed Ali – the greatest of all time), and performs well, but when it comes to the crunch it just does not quite have the ability to compete with the real heavyweights. A perennial fourth round/quarter finalist, which evidently is where its score ended up.

Burger Friday Score: 38/50

Café Vue on Urbanspoon

The Precinct Hotel

Burger Reviewed: The Wagyu Beef Burger

Venue: The Precinct Hotel

Date: 8/1/2013

Ahhh the first burger of the new year. Walking towards the Precinct Hotel I got the same feeling I do on the morning of the first test for the summer - one of excitement. It is the same feeling I get after watching Richmond lose their round 1 match up and you just know that they are going to miss the finals for another year. I will begin this burview by issuing a sincere and heartfelt apology to our readership for the lack of reviews towards the later half of the year.

Our last review was back on the 14th of September meaning that whilst peaking early made Burger Friday's year a lot like Essendon's season, at least we made it to September. So to quote former possession of weapons convict T.I. and the Jonas Brothers (a poor man's One Direction) - "We're sorry".

We entered the Precinct Hotel and were surprised to find a absolute paddock of space for us to sit in. We promptly ordered the advertised $20 beer and burger deal and were given the table number 93 - a number best known for being the route which connects Newfoundland to Labrador. The year '93 was best known for the Essendon premiership, their first since back to back flags in 1984-85 - both of which Dustin Fletcher played in. That year in sport was also known for the Chicago Bulls completing the first of their two three-peats and Michael Jordan announcing his first retirement (seriously, MJ may be the greatest of all time but he is up their with Brett Favre in the worst of all time at retiring successfully. At least MJ pronounces his surname correctly).

History lesson aside, the burger itself is a tough one to describe as all of the individual ingredients that make up the burger could be criticised on their own but when combined into the unadulterated gloriousness that is meat wrapped in bread, the burger seems to work well.

Which leads me to the word I will use to describe this burger as a whole - workmanlike.

The patty was big and juicy but obviously processed. I would liken it to Russell Crowe's performance in the Les Miserables movie - forgettable. What was the casting manager thinking when he chose Russell Crowe for that part? Hasn't he heard of the insult to the music industry that is Russell's band - Thirty Odd Foot of Grunt (no, that name is not a joke).

The bun looked doughy on first peep but was needed to support the meaty beef patty. The bacon had barely kissed the grill. And the sauce combo of mayo and Heinz Big Red had combined with the lettuce shards to create a reasonable replica of McDonald's secret sauce.

This burger is an easy one to fix for the Precinct Hotel - add an 'erb or spice to the patty to give it a little kick and cook the bacon a little longer. The patty/bun/sauce combo is simple and effective, and with the changes recommended I would have no issue in rating this burger in the very high 30's.

The chips were the highlight. Well cooked, crunchy and plentiful. Some of the better we have had. But dipping sauce was non-existent.

The person whom this burger is most accurately compared to would be former Australian cricket captain Mark Taylor. He is not going to dance down the pitch and smack the opening quick back over his head or tug on David Hussey's shirt to stop him from running a second (if the stars play the renegades in the semi's I reckon we just line them up for a good old fashioned Donnybrook). But you know what you are getting from him.

I would recommend this burger if you are in the area and want a good honest feed.

 Score = 34/50

The Precinct Hotel on Urbanspoon