Panned Pizza opened up on Bourke Street in the CBD a couple of years ago. the strip houses your average late-night takeaway. You know the kind: all sorts of deep-fried options. The food you don't feel so great about the morning after.
I was desperate. No-one serves anything after 9.30pm on a Monday in the CBD, but I needed something to eat.
They were open.
Of course I got it.
And now here was one on a menu in front of me. Something about it was a bit excessive, yes, but also intriguing. The thought of biting into a burger and having cheese ooze out promised a sensual experience, something I'd not previously associated with hamburgers.
I forked over the $14 expecting to be disappointed. Things were winding down for the night; the staff looked tired. They seemed to barely maintain enough momentum to assemble my burger, which required a complicated set of tasks and at least one timer.
My burger arrived just as the guys were putting the chairs on tables. I dragged my weary carcass over to a bench and unbagged and unwrapped it.
The burger was enormous. Cheese dripped from it, yellowly glinting and still flowing from the heat. The scent of onions and mustard lit the air.
My first bite confirmed what I suspected, namely that my $14 had gone to a good cause. This thing was amazing. The patty was, as the name promised, juicy, and I'm not talking just about the cheese. A blend of salts had brought out some nice browned flavours on the meat's surface. The molten cheese (say that wonderful phrase to yourself, 'molten cheese') added another dimension, a certain creaminess. The onions were perfect, and blended nicely with the mustard and sauce.
A review full of praise is as unpalatable as a cold burger, and it's here that I do find fault. As the burger cooled down the patty revealed itself as less-than-awesome. I wouldn't complain, but I felt it would be remiss to say that the Juicy Lucy was without fault.
Panned Pizza isn't dishing up Tolarno Burgers. That said, the Juicy Lucy delivered what it promised. If you're in that area of the city, Panned is a good choice.