The Counter Burger: a guest review

July 12, 2010

This week we introduce our very first ‘Friend of the Burger Boys’ guest blogger, Burger Bone-anza.

He’s been hamburgaling since before he could walk… at the age of 21, disillusioned with the Newcastle burger scene, he packed his bags and headed south, to a place he had been told a man could order a burger bigger than his head. His quest for burger perfection is what drives him, what keeps him going and what will eventually kill him. He walks the streets at night, sampling all burgers before him, looking for the burger .Bone-anza’. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Burger Bone-anza…

 

The Americans are responsible for all the great inventions in the world, namely:

The Prank Proof Fire Alarm that locks your hand in the alarm once it is setoff to prevent pranks (whilst also preventing escape from a burning building)!

But if there is one thing they are truly to be respected for, its taking the art of eating to scary new levels..  (Turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken anyone?)

So, despite downing a respectable 38 hot dogs in 10 minutes last weekend in Nathans July 4 Hot Dog eating contest (http://nathansfamous.com/PageFetch/getpage.php?pgid=38 ) , it was with some trepidation that I swaggered into The Counter Burger, hidden away in Sydney’s own version of Cougartown, Crows Nest.The Counter Burger is like one of those 50’s burger joints from the movies, and i half-expected to see Danny Zuko and the T-Birds to burst into song at any point.

As a long time fan of the Burger Blog, it was a great honour to be asked to become Darth and DJ’s Northern Correspondent, responsible for continuing their hunt  for Sydney’s best chicken burger north of the Bridge. If we can get any southern and western Sydney residents on the case, we can cover twice the ground.*

With an empty stomach and a heart full of dreams i was brimming with confidence as i placed my order, disregarding the warning my server gave me when i decided that Cheese Fries would be a good idea for a starter. Whoever invented Cheese Fries should be shot. Fried potato drowned in Cheddar sounds amazing in theory, and while it may taste great, the exploding beat of my heart told me this was a rookie error, and that in the kitchen there was a waiter laughing at me, and a hospital bed ready for me.

I should’ve cut my losses at the Cheese Fries. They were a warning.but, foolishly i put the Cheese Fries experiment down to experience, and eagerly awaited my burger.

If i was scared before, i was soon terrified. It took 3 men and a trolley to bring my burger to the table, and if there is a chicken shortage in Sydney now, i feel partly responsible.

 

Taste = 9/10

After sitting motionless for at least a minute, partly shaking with fear, partly drooling with excitement, i planned my attack. Too large to eat in one go, i cut it in half to give myself a fighting chance. BOOM! Flavourtown. Moist Chicken, sauce running down my arm. Beetroot! (why are politicians worrying about trivial things like global warming while chicken shops are still allowed to serve chicken burgers without this?). A soft, wholemeal bun and gooey swiss cheese only added to the experience.

                     

Value = 9/10

While $17.90 might be expensive for a burger, this was no ordinary burger. Sending a few of these over to Africa will wipe out famine, and i felt like a western pig having finished it.

TOTAL = 81/100

While this meal was a trip to Flavourtown, too many of these would send any man to his grave, so its best saved for hangovers and special occasions. It is now 5 hours since i have eaten, and my heart is only now beginning to relax.

* NB – For anyone who’d like to become our official Southern and Western Correspondents, please give us a yell. All fast food bribes accepted – The Burger Boys

 

Advertisements

Sydney Café makes world’s biggest burger, but it’s not chicken.

June 7, 2010

The 90 kg burger patty weighs in at just under four times Darth Burger’s weight. But that isn’t going to stop Darth from wanting to eat it. “That’s nothing, I’d eat that while I wait for a taxi to take me to The Colonel, AKA KFC, at 3am on a Friday night,” said Darth Burger.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the burger, made by The Ambrosia on the Spot cafe in Randwick, contained a “giant beef patty, 120 eggs, 150 slices of cheese, 1.5 kg of beetroot, 2.5 kg of tomatoes and almost 2 kg of lettuce all topped off with a special sauce on a giant sesame seed bun”. Which kind of sounds like the most awesome Big Mac ever.

We have reported that it does not contain chicken, but it does contain awesome.

The fact that it raised $2500 for the Sydney Children’s Hospital makes it slightly rad.

The Hero of Waterloo, a double review

May 24, 2010

It’s the reason why Torvill and Dean performed as pairs and not individuals, and why the Woodies won 50 doubles grand slams and not one singles title. People just work better in teams. Was Ferris Bueller able to have such an awesome day off from school by himself? No, he had help from that semi retarded friend of his.

DJ Burger loved the flowers he received

To put this notion of teamwork to the test, DJ and Darth Burger decided to get together for a double review of the chicken burger offering at the Hero of Waterloo in The Rocks (we were also there for a farewell lunch, but this obviously came second to such an important burger review).

We entered the pub like Bush Cassidy and the Sundance Kid albeit without the guns and knuckle dusters. Instead we brought a much dangerous weapon – our appetites. Pub Chicken Burgers have received quite a beating by the Burger Boys. The Orient (https://burgersydney.wordpress.com/2010/02/17/the-orient-loses-it%e2%80%99s-flavour/) is still recovering from a catastrophic beating, although the Tilbury did put in an admirable performance. How would the Hero of Waterloo fare?
Darth Burger’s Review:

Taste: 6
It should have been a better burger than what it was. The potential was there. I could see it in the menu. Unfortunately a rookie chicken burger error was made at the Hero of Waterloo. There wasn’t enough sauce! Can you believe it?! The chicken was plentiful the bun was soft and sweet, but (lack of) sauce let this burger down. It’s like a 6’10” basketballer who can’t slam dunk. What a massive let down.

Value: 6.5
$13 for a burger is expensive from a fast food/chicken shop perspective, but as a meal in a pub, it’s not too bad (especially given the $14.50 we paid for that crap at The Orient). I’m a big fries man (or should I say hybrid human???) so I was a little peeved at the limited amount provided on the plate.  We did however both leave feeling particularly full so the value for money wasn’t too bad.

Total = 39/100
Not a bad effort Hero of Waterloo. Maybe we just got you on an off day.

Dude, where’s my sauce?!

DJ Burger’s Review:

Taste: 5.9
It was juicy, after I covered it in tomato sauce. Chicken was tough and the bun was soft and sugary. Kind of like eating duck feet. Tasted good, but just wasn’t right.

Value: 5.5
No way this was good value. There weren’t many chips, the sauce bottles were stingy and the burgers are better at Hungry Jack’s.

Total 32.45/100

ACCUMULATIVE TOTAL SCORE: 35.73/100
The closeness in scores between DJ Burger and Darth Burger really proves the point that two hands are better than one. Or in this case, two burgers are better than one.

Live eating coming soon

May 18, 2010

That’s right, we are going to eat burgers live. See it all here on Burger Blog, probably on Friday around lunch time.

Eating kinda like this dude. But not with corn

See the live eating / us hanging out not doing much here.

Darth Burger kills time and space/ABBA fan

May 5, 2010

Darth Burger just sent me this video. He’s killing me and my time.

Apparently it starts slow, but don’t worry, it gets better toward the end.

Thanks Darth. Thanks heaps.

Ogalo – Kensington

May 3, 2010

There was a time when Green Day and Blink 182 were considered ‘underground’ and ‘cool’ before ‘selling out’ when record labels signed them. I always struggled with the notion that a band quickly goes down hill from the moment they start receiving popular attention. If given the opportunity wouldn’t you too want to ‘sell your soul’, as DJ burger would say, by starting to earn some money as you ply your craft? This was the decision facing Bondi Portuguese chicken shop Ogalo some years back when they decided to create a franchise.

ten billion record sales later – Kings of Leon YOU SUCK!

Ogalo was much like Kings of Leon back in those days. They had the same skinny jean, messy hair, ‘hey look I’m at Bondi and not wearing any shoes’ fan base in their prime. Susan and Steve owned the shop. I went there. They used to give me free chicken tenders. One day about a decade ago, Susan and Steve were gone. I was gutted but then happy when I learnt that there would be more Ogalo stores opening! That’s right, Susan and Steve were creating a franchise.

The big ‘C’ word is not one that I like hearing when it comes to burgers. But much to my devastation after eating at one of the new Ogalo stores I decided that yes, the burgers had been compromised. I know things have to be done quicker these days, I know we live in a globalised world, but chicken burgers? Really?

So sets the scene for my review of the Ogalo on Anzac Parade in Kensington.

Not even the flashy branding on the plastic bag would change my opinion

Taste: 8.25
Look, the burger is still delicious. A generous amount of sauce, but a lack of chicken breast was a bit of a disappointment. Still, I smashed that burger quicker than you can say Jack Johnson.

Value: 8.5
$1 more expensive than it’s little brother Ole’ down the road. Still good value to be able to get a burger, chips and a drink for $11.

Total 70.13
Unfortunately little brother Ole’ has defeated Ogalo in this family battle. But it must be said that in anyone’s language 70/100 is still a solid score. Overall Ogalo is still a terrific burger eating experience – much like U2 and Cold Play are still good bands. But when you’ve been around the chicken burger traps as long as I have, it’s hard not to think back to the glory days.

The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo

May 3, 2010

Friday afternoons were invented by office workers. And what an invention, the celebration of nothing more than the end of the working week. What an awesome reason to down a few beers and eat a chicken burger.

On a Friday or Saturday night the Tilbury has that ‘I have a job and drink beer from long schooners’ vibe. Surprisingly, on a Friday afternoon, it has more of a ‘I don’t have a job/ slash/ I have a cool boss and I’m going to get magget before all the tools arrive later in the evening’ vibe.

The burger. For $9 I got a tasty, moist, chicken burger with fresh ingredients. I could even see the chef make my burger fresh in the outdoor kitchen. It was good to see someone else working as  I sipped beer from my long schooner. Pretty good.

Even better, try adding a little of the Tabasco sauce provided (you have to get your money’s worth). I think all chicken burgers should be served hot. But that’s just the DJ Burger/Rob Hunwick way.

If it wasn’t for my drunken antics later in the night, I would have to say this was an amazing chicken-burger-dining-experience. Congratulations/sorry to all who witnessed the degradation of DJ Burger, especially you, lifeisbetterwithdumplings. As part of my apology, this killer burger will be my next challenge, the KFC Double Down. It’s a challenge because it’s only available in the USA. Damn.

Value: 8

This isn’t the cheapest burger, but what a great price for pub food – especially when you compare it to the price of The Orient’s chicken burger.

Taste: 7.9

This was a good tasting, fresh burger that really surprised – and best served with Tabasco sauce

Overall: 63.2

Oporto’s – Westfield Bondi Junction

April 6, 2010

Being Darth Burger, it’s always difficult trying to balance my work on the Death Star (aka Advertising) with my blog writing commitments. All in all I try to do what’s best. Afterall it’s about the chicken burgers people.

I work with some real idiots sometimes

I’ll take you back a few weeks to a mighty hangover I was suffering on a Sunday morning thanks to a boozy dinner party with ‘Girlfriend Burger’ and some of her mates. Happy to feel sorry for myself in front of the TV, I was reminded that we needed to go grocery shopping in order to buy food for the upcoming working week. I was devastated until it dawned on me that heading to the shops meant heading to the food court, which meant heading to a happy hunting ground of mine – Oporto at Westifeld Bondi Junction.

Not even the bright flouro lights and shrieking babies would be getting in the way of my double fillet Oporto burger. As a chicken burger traditionalist it is somewhat of a disappointment when like Oporto’s, chicken burger places go from ‘made to order’ to ‘I’ve been sitting here for 5 minutes but I’m still good’. “Such is the world of globalisation” would my old history professor say.  Today though this is something  I’m happy to overlook thanks to the thumping disco that’s going on in my head.

Sure it’s been thrown together, lettuce everywhere, tomato falling off the side, but it is definitely tasty. Especially when washed down with thick fries and a Solo. Not even a wandering dirty pigeon (Darth Vader’s Kryptonite) could distract from my level of content. While there were no chicken burger fireworks going off in my mouth, Oporto’s hit the spot like a missile hits a Jedi bunker.

Taste: 7.5/10: If you like your burgers saucy then this is the place to come. Chicken fillets were a touch too small for my liking though, which tilted the balance of the burger somewhat.

Value: 7.5/10: I can’t knock the value of Oporto’s. Any place you can have a burger, a side of fries and a drink for $10.50 goes alright for me.

Total 56.25/100: With Oporto’s Bondi Junction, much like Oporto’s everywhere it’s very much a case of what you see is what you get. And today I got exactly what I needed.

Feeling more human already

Out Of The Blue – Clovelly

March 4, 2010

This is my all-time favourite burger in Sydney. I mean, have you ever eaten a chicken burger with beetroot?

This fish and chip take-away on Clovelly Road, is just a couple of minutes drive from the beach. Best of all, it’s one of those rare local institutions that stays a local institution. There’s always a long line of people waiting, but its always got the same local beach vibe. Along with what I think is the best chicken burger in Sydney.

The only thing that isn’t local about the place are its owners, a strangely skinny middle-aged French couple. I say strangely skinny because most of the people working in take away shops resemble two battered savs that stuck together in the deep fryer. And to make it more international, there’s a couple of Russian speaking girls to serve you.

I’ve heard it’s pretty hard to get a table at North Bondi Italian. And it’s the same deal at Out Of The Blue. With a couple of old wooden tables and matching stools, I’d like to see you get a table here. Most people eat on the ledge outside or just take away. But I have to say, taking away is the best part of the Out Of The Blue experience. Since Clovelly beach is only a short drive down the road, it plays a proxy outdoor dining room to this take-away store.

Just set up on the cliff and enjoy the view. Sure, there may be a few seagulls, but they only make you treasure your food even more. Those bastards aren’t getting anything!

Back to the chicken burger, it’s great. They put a special mayonnaise on both buns, a great salad – including that beetroot, cheese, and healthy serving of chicken. The burgers are around $7 each, and well worth every dollar.

Taste: 9.5

This an old favourite of mine, and pretty much my benchmark for judging.

Value: 9

I’m still not sure how much this burger costs, I’m always so glad to be handing over my cash that I have never realised the price. At around $7, it’s worth it.

DJ Burger Total: 85.5

DJ Burger takes on McDonald’s McChicken burger – Circular Quay

March 3, 2010

If you like the taste of mayonnaise, you probably like McDonald’s McChicken burger.

It’s hot bun and mayonnaise mean the burger stays moist. But sadly, these are the only flavours you’ll taste. That’s right, the McChicken tastes like hot mayonnaise. It’s not surprising that the giant chicken nugget on this burger has zero taste. But it’s alright, it’s Maccas.

There’s something about the place that screws with your brain. On my way down to Maccas a colleague of mine (lets call him Grimace) made a comment about how quick we were walking. Seriously, Grimace looked like he was in training for that stupid Olympic sport where you always have to have one foot on the ground. But Grimace never had a foot on the ground.

When you think about it, everything about Mcdonald’s is terrible. The line, the atmosphere, the quality, the cleaners, the seagulls, the crowd. But for some reason it all fits together into some sort of crack-addict’s utopia. It’s just amazing. I think it comes down to that classical conditioning Maccas did to me as a child. That frigging toy that came with every happy meal, it has attached me to these seedy burgers for life. I would probably steal these burgers if I was born into a life of crime, like Darth Burger.

Taste: 7

Since I don’t know any better, I have to give the McChicken a 7 for taste. Not, amazing, but not all that bad.

Value: 7.5

At around $4 for the burger, this is probably the cheapest chicken burger you can buy in Sydney. Only problem, you’ll probably buy two, in a meal, and end up buying dessert, or a cheeky cheese burger on the way out. For this reason, I’m giving the McChicken 7.5 for value. (Since you’ll still spend less than $15 in a visit).

Total: 52.5