It's the question that has divided university and college students for years, who does the best AB? Before you can go ahead and answer the question you may need a little background first.
The AB is one of Adelaide's great urban legends. The name supposedly stands for 'Abortion', but other variants are 'After Birth', 'Absolutely Beautiful' or 'Atomic Bomb'; we figure the later two are just trying to be polite. The story goes that a group of drunk university students wandered into an O'Connell Street yiros store one night, unable to choose between a yiros or chips. Instead they ended up with chips topped with yiros meat, slathering the dish with tomato, barbecue, and garlic sauce.
Who knows if the story is true, and there are others floating around, but it does make sense. When the mess of chips, meat, and sauce is sitting in front of you it seems only a drunken mind could have conceived such a dish.
So who is contending for the top spot? The Blue and White Cafe and the North Adelaide Burger Bar (Also known as the Red and White) both claim to have created the AB, and most AB fans will have a loyalty to one of these stores. They're actually both on O'Connell Street, only about three stores apart. They're open late at night, which is perfect for drawing in the drunken crowds, especially when there is a pub crawl roaming around.
A group will gather round a table, the AB sits in the centre, and floppy plastic forks controlled by drunken hands start to dig in.
Phevvy's Steak and Yiros in the Mile End Homemaker Centre is rumoured to also have a variation of the AB on their menu, and you may find something similar on other menus across the city, but none come close to the fame of the two North Adelaide joints.
So let us know where your allegiances lie, and tell us which is Adelaide's best AB. It may be hard to distinguish between the two at 3am when you're covered in beer and the smell of stale cigarettes, but we're sure you've got a favourite anyway.
If you've ever had an AB, even under another name, anywhere else in Adelaide make sure you tell us where. We'd love to know if the AB craze extends further than North Adelaide and it's thriving college student population.
Halas down on Grange Road at Findon is now doing one. I have yet to have one but if it is up to their usual high standard then it should be an absolute delight. Their burgers are brilliant so I am sure theit AB will follow suit
In Canada there are a few similar dishes. For instance, in Quebec, chips topped with fresh cheese curd (which I have found at the Farmers Market in Wayville) and a special gravy is called Poutine and served almost everywhere. Also, in Newfoundland, chips topped with dressing (turkey stuffing), green peas and gravy is a very popular dish.
The AB was invented by Thomas Stoddard, (apologies for the spelling Tom) circa 1990 in the Blue and White cafe of North Adelaide. AB does stand for Abortion, which was later shortened to AB to not offend other patrons of the Blue and White. Thomas was staying at Lincoln College in North Adelaide at the time and he later briefly worked at the Blue and White. The original AB came in one size, wrapped in paper with "all the sauces". Which meant BBQ, chilli, tomato and garlic though we varied the sauces depending on what we felt like on the night.
The reason that the meat was combined with the chips was to keep the meat hot as our yiros' got cold by the time we staggered back to college. Thomas was not drunk at the time but he may have had a little slivovitz earlier in the night while we were playing pen and paper RPGs.
Hard to say who has the best AB, it may take a while to sample them all.
YANNIS YIROS at norwood i heard make a pretty mean AB, i am a teacher at Pembroke and my students have told me alot of eastern suburb school kids go in to try one of their ABs,so that must mean something...
Hey dejia, this is because one of the guys at Souvlaki Bros used to be the main AB maker at the North Adelaide Burger Bar (Red & White). I actually don't think they've been 'quite' as good since he left there...
while definitely not the first mawson lakes chicken shop and yiros place(actually next to each other) are both better than either north adelaide place, makes quite a competition. Also definitely after birth, it can't stand for one word.
Somewhere else you can get an AB is at the Chicken shop in Morphett Vale, 146 Main South Road in the Woolworths shopping area. I can't think of the name of the shop at the moment but they sell them under the name of Stack pack (or something similar) with a choice of sauces and yiros meat served with hot chips.