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Published August 13th 2017
Is it a rustic French bistro? Or is it a burger bar?
South Australian Restaurant and Catering Awards - Burger Bar Winner 2017 - The White House, Hahndorf.
Spring has sprung and its burger season! As we emerge from the windy and wet weather of winter it's almost expected that Adelaide will turn on an amazingly beautiful and blue late winters day. This Sunday in late August was no exception. Driving up from Adelaide we crested the ranges at Mt Lofty and wound our way to the vine and orchard studded valleys of the Adelaide hills.
Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills.
There are some amazing café's and restaurants in towns like Summertown, Uraidla, Verdun and Balhannah but today we decided to head for Hahndorf, Australia's most famous historical German town. We expected it to be busy and it was packed! Mind you, parking a few streets away from the main street isn't a bad thing. Hahndorf is full of cute old cottages, halls, and churches and on a beautiful day in the cool climate of the hills a hundred metres or so isn't far to walk.
The White House, Hahndorf.
A beautiful wattle and daub heritage listed 1858 tin-roof cottage on main street, once a family home, has undergone a series of transformations to become The White House. Enticed by the blackboard burger menu leaning on the white picket fence outside, we headed in (mind your head on the low front door) and were quickly offered a table inside. The outdoor area looked dreamy in the fine weather and today the few tables and chairs were full of happy diners. Not to worry though. The cool and cosy atmosphere inside oozes heritage and style.
Lazy lunches on warm and sunny late winter days watching the world go by.
The restaurant and menu has a rustic French bistro feel and today, it's all burgers. Wait, is it a burger restaurant? Or a rustic French bistro? It's hard to say, and they seem to like it that way. Having said that, The White House was crowned Burger Bar Winner at the 2017 South Australian Restaurant and Catering Industry awards and they did not disappoint!
On offer for lunch is a selection of beef and vegetarian hamburgers, and fries (as a side or bowl to share). The drinks list is a tight selection of wines, beers, soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea, true to keeping as local as possible. We were served with a jug of iced water and cutlery wrapped in a napkin. It's a good idea because the burgers are juicy!
Our waitress suggested what the kids would like and their cheeseburgers were the real deal and the girls devoured them! There's a vegetarian black bean patty option with the rest being beef patty burgers; apparently the patties are made to the owners special 'half-greek' recipe. We chose 'The French' and 'The Paddock' burgers and both took the idea of hamburgers to whole new level! The soft buns, creamy dressings, melting cheese, caramelised onions, and crispy salads were faultless. The oregano dusted fries teamed with a garlic aioli dip were naturally crispy and rich but so, so moreish.
The girls chose chocolate milkshakes which are like a reverse hot chocolate or something... smooth, creamy and chocolatey, but cold...and totally awesome. We chose a glass of Sparkling Pinot from Bird in Hand Winery (just up the road), and a 'Hopwork Orange' American Pale Ale style beer from Prancing Pony Brewery, both superb matches for the food, and super local.
The White House demonstrates why it deserves its award with an impressive short menu served in an iconic location by passionate people. It's open 11am-4pm on weekends, so head up to Hahndorf for lunch this weekend. If you think you know burgers then you must try The White House.