Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
My son spent his teenage years flippin' burgers at Maccas, so now that he's a young man about town and almost finished his degree, I was keen to take him out for a great meal.
But his food choices are still in the same register, and like lots of young men, he still loves his burgers with fries, so this one, to my mind, had to be a 5-star burger experience. But it also had to be gourmet (read healthy) enough to suit a fuddy-duddy mother like me as well.
You would think that 5-star would mean $$$$$ but this hotel is situated up Little Collins ,where I gather it needs to compete price-wise for the lunchtime crowd.
So incredibly their gourmet burgers start at only $9 for a little number they call The Little Collins ,which is your traditional burger (albeit with beef patties made from Tasmanian premium grade ground beef) with cheddar cheese, grilled bacon, iceberg lettuce, tomato relish and aioli.
One of the reasons the burgers are so good here is that chef, Ketan Seth, uses Laugen rolls for buns. This is European specialty bread looks spectacular as it has a dark crust but a soft, creamy fluffy interior.
Yes I'll have fries with that. Sweet potato fries!
There is also an incredible array of unique fillings. My son, who is about to embark on an overseas trip, was keen to try the burger with a Japanese spin.
The burgers are named after local landmarks so it was called The Bourke, but inside was Japanese Chicken Karaage (lightly fried chicken but with great spices- tastes like ginger, garlic and soy) pickled vegetable slaw, tomato relish and wasabi mayo ($12).
He wanted fries with that but got more than he bargained for as they came with rosemary salt (slightly flecked with green) which made them seasonally sensational.
Standing on my health laurels -- sometimes I wonder why I bother - I opted for a naked burger. I was half expecting the normal limp lettuce leaf but this was anything but.
Sheets upon sheets, indeed a small mattress of crisp squares of lettuce beautifully stacked in lieu of the bun. Inside was a golden orb of a vegetable and potato pattie (with a crispy golden halo crust) an almost entire avocado, red onions and aioli. This little number was called The Spring $10.
I don't normally order fries but who could resist trying zucchini fries at least once. I expected little round slices of sizzled up zucchini but instead the chips were large and as thick as your finger. Somehow the chef managed to keep the sweet chewy consistency of the white flesh. Coated in a gorgeous light batter, these plump delights were then lightly fried, keeping in all the nutrients. They were heavenly creamy inside. And not to lead you astray ,they would be great with a beer. Like one of the Great Northern Brewery beers on offer.
We couldn't try everything on the menu but they sounded like some other real winners.
There was the good old Aussie favourite burger quite aptly named The Flinders Lane. This one had a beef pattie, cheddar cheese, egg 'sunny side up', grilled bacon, beetroot (of course), pineapple, iceberg lettuce, tomato relish, aioli $12.
The Elizabeth was a bit fancy with slow cooked beef brisket, maple BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, grilled red onions, iceberg lettuce, American mustard and aioli ( $12).
As a lot of Greek restaurants are in Lonsdale Street, the lamb burger was fittingly called The Lonsdale and inside you'll find a lamb pattie, baba ganoush, halloumi cheese, parsley, red onions and tomato.( $14 )
The top of the range (no pun intended) was the ACDC Lane with all kinds of meat, including pulled beef, Virginia ham, Hungarian salami, grilled bacon, egg 'sunny side up', tomato, cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, American mustard and aioli ($14). Meat lovers are sure to break into song.
You can add potato fries to any burger $3, but I reckon the zucchini chips just have to be tried and the sweet potato fries are dazzling as well.
You can also add fries & house beer, house wine or soft drink to any burger for 7$. Gluten free bun available at $1.
The 111 Burger menu items come in clever packaging with the location 111 emblazoned on the paper. Although of course, you get a plate as well.
Stamford Plaza's (Harry's Bar and Restaurant) had better take care or it will become a tourist attraction in its own right especially given the iconic local names of their burgers. There already selling thousands at lunchtimes.
Gosh, perhaps it might even become a chain because when I asked my son what he thought of his meal he said. "I'm froth'n these.'