Saturday, March 2, 2013

Wayside Inn

Burger Reviewed: Wagyu beef cheese burger, smoked bacon and hand cut chips  

Venue: The Wayside Inn  

Date: 1/03/2013 

The Burger Friday fellows rolled down City Rd to the Wayside Inn, an atmoshperic gastro pub nestled somewhere in between South Melbourne and South Bank. Atmospheric refers both to ambience of the location and to the presence of gaseous substances from a beer garden located close by to a road route frequented by big semi trailers. 

Having been named as pub of the year for 2012 by the over 60s station 3AW, it would be easy to expect that this local would be full of geriatric geezers with nothing better to do than talk about their gripes regarding young footballers sideburns being non respectable whilst whinging about the price of fuel, the influx of Asian citizens to Melbourne and some blokes called Ross and John? (I'm much for of a triple m bloke myself). Thankfully there was absolutely none of this. Instead this pub is a genuine cracker, reinvented in recent years with a full makeover and doing some very good food and craft beers. 

But enough about the venue, and on to the food. So after being seated in the beer garden on what was a glorious Melbourne day, as is the usual burger Friday tradition we proceeded to make the waitresses life infinitely easier by having an order consisting entirely of burgers and beers. This strangely enough is the also the entire diet of Darren Jarmans after football career (do yourself a favour and google Darren Jarman fat into google image search - very good for a laff). 

The burger arrived, also similar to Jarman post AFL retirement, rotund and robust. The sizeable pattie was cooked a very solid medium with just enough juice to indicate it was not over. Presented on a brioche bun, and completed with smoked bacon, cheese melted over the pattie, beetroot relish and a tang of american mustard this burger for mine hit all the proverbial flavour spots as easily as Ben Barba commits assaults... 

For me, the real winners in this burger were the combination of the excellent pattie and the generous helping of the oft under appreciated beetroot relish. While maligned over the years in various nappy San and omo commercials, the tanginess and sweetness of the beetroot relish really does well to complement the paired back simplicity of the meat pattie. For mine, beetroot relish is like the Tony Parker of relish. It is a little bit foreign compared with its more famous counterparts like tomato, and consistently underrated despite always delivering the goods. 

As mentioned, it is the combination of flavours and how well these complement each other which is critical to the development of the perfect burger. The perfect burger has an amalgamation of saltiness, sweetness, and savoury flavours in each bite that just makes your mouth sing. This burger had the excellent balance of a young Macedonian marvel Peter Daicos, with each mouthful pure enjoyment. If I was going to give a criticism of the burger, it would be that it could have used a smidgeon more of that American mustard for tartness. 

Visible from the photo the hand cut chips accompanying the burger must have been cut by old buckets Stu Loewe because they were ginormous. Whilst definitively tasty, a few of the Fellows felt they could have used slightly more of the crunch factor. Perhaps the AFL illicit drugs policy could have given provided an improvement (i.e. thrice cooked). 

Extra points should also be considered for the excellent choices of beers available, such as Trumer Pils and an absolute favourite beer of the Fellows, Stone & Woods Pacific Ale (direct from the Byron Bay). Beer and burgers, just a match made in heaven. 

In honour of a player who was singled out this week as not being hungry last year (yet still averaged almost 40 touches a game!), I am going to liken this burger to the great man himself Dane Swan. Like the pub he has undergone major paint job over the last few years, and is a bit rough around the edges (like the pubs location).  And like the burger he is slightly rotund, but very well balanced, loves a frothie and just manages to deliver the goods week in week out in an honest and consistent way.  

Get around this burger now! And do yourself a favour and compliment it with a pint of Pacific Ale.  

Burger Friday Rating: 39.17/50

Wayside Inn on Urbanspoon


  1. Interesting rating. I have had burgers there that are top notch and others that were very over cooked. Brilliant site/blog though

  2. A very positively framed review, where has this one lost marks to have not scored higher?

  3. Overall a fantastic burger - Lost a few points for inconsistencies with the patty... But we couldn't fault much else!