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

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