Venue: Parlour Diner
Today the Burger Friday Fellows ventured to the Windsor end of Chapel St to sample the offerings at Parlour Diner. Parlour Diner is an American style diner, serving mac & cheese, fried chicken, ribs and a various array of delicious burgers.
While having opened only as recently as 2012, the style and layout of the diner has that shabby chic feel which would be easy enough to fool you in to believing that burgers had been flipping here for the last 50 years. With the retro vibe, long diner bar and old school stools and tables, the décor made it feel like we could have easily been kicking back in a bar in New York, listening to Micky Mantle smashing homeruns on the wireless in the fifties!
We were seated at the bar, which provided a perfect vantage point to watch the chefs in the open kitchen dishing out mouth wateringly consistent burgers the whole time we were there. Consistency is an underrated virtue in both restaurants and sport. These chefs had the type of consistency that only comes from years of controlling and patrolling the hot plate. For the customer it provides that comforting reassurance that these guys know what they are doing, they do it well and to just leave it in their capable hands. This is much more than can be said for the long suffering Melbourne football club supporters whose team do not look like they know what they are doing and are only consistent at being inconsistent.
As is tradition, the burger reviewed today was the signature Parlour Burger. Coming with a sizeable hand made beef pattie, tomato, generous amounts of lettuce, cheese and pickles on a picture perfect brioche bun, this burger is the quintessential embodiment of the Americana burger movement. That is to say it is bloody good! And for a burger with so few ingredients, it was surprisingly packed with flavour. While the burger seemed moderate in size, the sweetness of the bun and the richness of the cheese melted over the meat pattie more than make up for it, to make even the most seasoned burger eater satisfied.
The pattie was the star of this burger. Generous in size and clearly hand molded, it was beautifully cooked with a lovely crunchy chargrill on the outside and enough juice to keep serious flavour. A hand made/minced pattie is just an absolute winner for burgers, and this pattie was a nod to the traditional, with the mince fairly coarse to help both keep the pattie moist and together.
The accompaniments to the burgers at Parlour Diner also deserve special mention. Curly fries served with a slightly spicy aioli were just awesome. The coke was glass bottled, which is clearly the most superior way to serve cola. And the condiments of the imported French’s Classic Yellow American Mustard and ketchup were just a textbook pairing for the burgers.
The only slight criticisms I would give the burger was that it lacked a bit of the zing/tang factor and did not come with bacon. Although it had pickles, these were a little overwhelmed by the dominant flavorings of the sweet bun and the pattie/melted cheese. It was not unlike watching the AFL debutants in round 1 suiting up for the real thing. Whilst you can clearly see talent, it’s pretty hard to make an impact straight up. Having the genuine American mustard however did assist this quite ably.
This burger for me was like Joe DiMaggio. Quintessentially American, DiMaggio was a good looking rooster, known for his incredible consistency with the bat, setting a record 56 game hitting streak which still stands today. The burger was equally American, good looking and consistent. And if the burger is DiMaggio, then the curly fries and glass bottle coke accompaniments are his second wife Marilyn Monroe, who was quite clearly a star in her own right.
Overall with the low price point, great vibe and very good burgers I would definitively recommend you give Parlour Diner a try.
Burger Friday Score: 40/50