Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published December 30th 2011
The 3 Best Burger Joints In Melbourne
There's enough classy food in Melbourne to satisfy a gourmet forever (until the money runs out.) But what happens when you're sick of entrees and delicacies, and when the thought of candied walnuts or rich truffles makes you feel faintly ill? Well, that's when you turn to the wonderful realm of fast food, where the quality of a meal is directly proportional to the amount of grease and, often, inversely proportional to the price.
It seems like there's a Grill'd popping up everywhere recently, from Degraves St to Lygon St to Melbourne Central and so on. This is a good thing: when places like Grill'd become truly ubiquitous, we might never have to visit a McDonalds ever again. Grill'd make good, if a little pricey, burgers - the meat is juicy, the buns fresh, and they're liberal with the avocado and mayonnaise. Try the vegetarian burgers, as well; especially the Garden Goodness, which is everything you could want from a vegie patty and more.
Danny's Burgers is on St Georges Road, up the other end than the Moroccan Soup Bar. The burgers and sandwiches are cheap – around seven dollars each – and very old school. The steak in the sandwiches, for instance, is more than a millimetre thick, and the beef patties are always juicy. By some black magic the buns are rarely soggy, and even the steak sandwiches only get soggy a little around the edges. The closest Danny's Burgers comes to a vegetarian option is an egg sandwich - a very nice egg sandwich, but not a patch on a well-made vegie burger.
Pictured: not meat.
The crowd here can get a little unruly (especially around closing time at 2am), but it's never a serious problem. Expect the staff to become even less polite as the night goes on – if you desperately want your burger cut in two, arrive before 11pm or just bring your own knife. Wear your old jeans and a hoodie and you'll fit right in.
Even the logo makes you hungry.
And now for what's probably the best burger place in the city: Andrew's Hamburgers, at 144 Bridport St, Albert Park. It's got quite the reputation, and it deserves every bit of it. The burgers are hefty, big enough to hold with two hands, and the crispy outside of the meat seals the moistness in. The bacon is meaty and not overdone, and the general impression when eating is just the right slightly messy layering of tastes that defines a good burger. The tomatoes are ripe and juicy, rather than crunchy, and the slices are thick enough so that the taste of the meat doesn't overpower them. The lettuce is deliciously crunchy, like a cos lettuce heart, and includes just the right amount (that is, very little) of cabbage.
Think that one of these places doesn't deserve all the hype it gets? Know of a place that isn't on this list (but should be?) Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below – and scroll down and read the comments anyway, since they're likely to be full of useful information. Whatever your perspective, we'd love to hear from you.
Service? At Brunetti? Not for years. Customers line up and wait (sometimes for ages) for their mediocre coffee and food, you have to ask for everything you need -- serviettes, cutlery, and so on -- and are made to feel as if it's an imposition for the staff to get things for you. Yet, despite there being no real service, there is no reduction in prices.
They used to make their sandwiches fresh (my favourite was their artichoke, tuna and hard-boiled egg), but now they're made in advance of lunch, placed in plastic containers and into the fridge. The ingredients are so cold that the flavours, the elements in the sanger, are indistinguishable from each other.
From the 1970s, Brunetti used to be one of my favourite places to go, to eat and to meet friends. Not any longer.
And, were you related to Gwen