Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Burger and Beer Lounge

Burger Reviewed: The Beef Burger

Date: 8/3/13

Venue: The Burger and Beer Lounge

Today the Burger Friday fellows stopped via the Beer and Burger Lounge in Swan St Richmond on route to watch the Melbourne Rebels, the most recent addition to the field of professional sporting teams in Melbourne.

The Beer and Burger Lounge is a new player in the ever growing burger market. Having opened only recently, the premise behind this venue is just sheer blokey brilliance. And really the name says it all. Take two separately awesome things, being beer and burgers, and then combine them together into a half takeaway and half bar venue, and boom the Beer and Burger Lounge was born.

Located with in proverbial spitting distance of the Melbourne sporting precinct, this place has all the elements to be successful. Or at least all the hallmarks of a great venue to grab a feed on the way to or on the way home from a game.  

On what was celebrated as international women's day, it was with bemused interest that we heard on the journey in that a new league of the Legends (formerly Lingerie) Football League will also soon be joining the Rebels and the Melbourne sporting landscape, with a new franchise to open. Running such a story on the radio on women's day must have had Germaine Greer's big arse wobbling with rage on the way back to the kitchen. Burger, beer and Lingerie Football, it might just be the holy trinity.

Onto the burger. It is worth noting that in choosing today's burger, the fellows were spoiled with a plethora of choices. Being a burger restaurant, it was not surprising that there was multiple types of burgers available. However the variety of meats available certainly was. It was as if someone had butchered the cast of charlottes web. The choices included beef, chicken, salmon, game (duck was the game of choice on special), lamb, pork. In compliance with the Burger Friday Constitution and the meat hierarchy, the burger reviewed today was the signature beef burger.

The beef burger arrived with a substantial and juicy pattie on a brioche bun, smoked bacon, gruyere cheese, beetroot relish, American mustard and topped with an onion ring. Soft and full of flavours, this was a real Americanised tasting burger which quite easily seemed to melt in your mouth. 

As we know, the perfect burger is about the balance of the sweet, savoury, saltiness, and tang. Whilst certainly delicious, there was two things overwhelming the beef burger from reaching its real potential for mine. Firstly the Gruyere cheese, which as visible from the photo was extremely generous. Melted onto the pattie, the volume of the cheese just seemed to try and take over the burger. Attempting to keep the cheese in the burger bun itself required serious burger management and "folding" skills which would make a chinese dry cleaner proud. In the end, the amount of cheese left the burger cheesier than a lump of Stilton.

The second thing was the bun itself. Whilst brioche buns are naturally sweet, this bun was on the very sugary end of sweetness. This was coupled with the bun being extremely soft, ala the velvet sledge hammer Matthew Lloyd, which led to a number of structural integrity issues. 

In combination, the strength of the cheese and the sweetness and the softness of the bun meant that the flavours of the pattie, beetroot relish and american mustard all got overrun like the way Jonah Lomu used to trample blokes with his Maori sidestep.

The accompaniments to the burger were both excellent. Beautifully crispy chips, that just had a perfect amount of salt and which together with the freely available choice of sauces available at the bar (including dead horse, bbq, HP) provided the most perfect pairing seen since Shannon Elizabeth in American Pie. And then this was topped off with a deliciously refreshing Stone & Wood Pacific Ale, genuinely one of the best beers going around.

In honour of its extreme cheesiness, I am going to dub this burger the James O'Connor. If you have seen the swisse vitamin commercials, then you know what I am talking about. O'Connor is the epitome of the blond pretty boy and the face of the Melbourne Rebels. He is also one of the Bungy Brothers alongside blokes equally as happy with themselves like Buddy Franklin, Sharrod Wellingham, Kurtly Beale and Josh Gibson.

The burger is similarly a good looking rooster, very tasty and extremely cheesy burger, accompanied by some absolute stars in the chips and beers. But like O'Connor and the Melbourne Rebels they look the goods but struggle to keep it up for the full eighty minutes. With a couple of little extra tweaks though they could be a genuine championship team.

Overall, if you are around the area definitively give this boy a crack. Good value for money and serving some great beers to accompany some very tasty burgers, you can't really go wrong.

Burger Friday Rating: 36.83/50

The Beer and Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon

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