You guys. Shake Shack has dominated my Instagram feed, and it seems to be the holy grail of American burger icons. I finally found it! Having never been to the States, I was thrilled to find an outlet at Dubai’s International Airport on my way home from Germany. So, being the dedicated foodie I am, I ordered a Shack Burger (AED $35) with a side of crinkle cut fries (AED $20) at 8am – roughly AUD $20. I am a huge fan of soft, sloppy burgers (give me that over crispy burger buns anyday) and Shake Shack totally rocks this category. The patty was fresh and cooked just right, although on the downside, it did have a piece of gristle inside (not cool). The lettuce, tomato and cheese are all pretty standard, but the ShackSauce was so excellent that it lifted the burger up a notch. I couldn’t finish the fries (8am people, 8am) but I found them a little underdone (just a minute more and they would have been awesome). The crinkle cut certainly expands the fried surface, maximising flavour, and they were well-seasoned. Overall, this was an enjoyable burger, although not quite worth the fairly high price for what it was.
Shake Shack, Terminal 3 Airport Rd, Dubai United Arab Emirates, https://www.shakeshack.com/location/dubai-dxb-airport/
My brother and his partner tell me that Fudd’s has the best burger in Adelaide, and on my last visit they took me there to back up the claim. We arrived fairly early on a Saturday night and the place was already packed, so we sat in the outside area (which has great heating, thankfully!). We started with a bowl of chilli cheese fries ($10) to warm us up. The chilli had a nice amount of heat without being too much, and although it was drier than I like my chilli to be, that meant the chips stayed crisp, so I think the balance is right. Yum. I chose the Cheeseburger ($10) and on the waiter’s recommendation added bacon ($2) – this was a great decision. The burger is served on a milk bun with a huge patty, mustard, ketchup, Fudd’s sauce, pickles, red onion and cheddar cheese. The beef was absolutely delicious – although it was cooked through, so could have been a shade pinker – and had a great texture. The mix of sauces worked really well together, with the Fudd’s sauce rounding out the sharp mustard and ketchup. This is the sort of burger my Dad makes at home – hearty and tasty. Best burger in Adelaide? Pretty darn close.
Fudd’s, 3/40 Sandpiper Crescent, Aberfoyle Park, SA, no webiste
Latkes? What are latkes? I usually try to order the unusual things on a menu, and this drew my eye for sure. I met an old friend for breakfast on a Saturday morning and we holed up along the long communal table at Bowery to Williamsburg, where you’re practically part of the kitchen. The Lox & Potato Latkes ($20) was a great side to a good catch up, with two perfectly poached, runny eggs, spears of asaparagus, a slab of cured salmon and latkes with horseradish. The mystery was solved on first bite – latkes are potato pancakes, and these were spiked with zucchini – they were filling and tasty and delicious with the kick of the horseradish. I’m generally not a huge fan of fennel, but pickled the way it was, it brought a great flavour contrast to the latkes. The cured salmon was more subtle than smoked, which was appreciated that early in the day. The asparagus was cooked nicely and had just the right amount of bite, without being stringy. This was a fun introduction to New York food for me – enough familiar elements to be comfortable and enough new things to be exciting.
Bowery to Williamsburg, 123 Hardware Street, Melbourne VIC, no website
Ink Bake Grill does a roaring lunch trade – on arrival, we joined a long queue so had plenty of time to decide on what we wanted to eat from their blackboard menu. I’d decided on the beef stroganoff pie, only to find that they’d sold out. Instead, I ordered the lamb and chardonnay ‘doggie’ (hot dog), served with honey mustard, tomatoes and sweet potato crisps ($11.50). Our food came out fairly quickly, considering how busy they were, and I was delighted by the pile of chips and jam-packed hot dog roll. It’s the kind of dish you can’t wait to get stuck into. I started with the chips, which were liberally seasoned with chicken salt, with just the right balance between crispy outside and soft, fluffy inside. Yum. The hot dog was equally delicious – the sweet potato crisps added a great contrasting crunch to the sausage, which had a great lamb flavour. The honey mustard was well complemented by gooey cheese, and everything was freshened up by the slices of fresh tomato. This is a really tasty, hearty meal on a cold day – I’ll be back for sure.
Ink Bake Grill, Shop 3, 7 Geils Court, Deakin ACT, http://www.inkbakegrill.com.au/
Manchester Press’s lunch menu is all about the bagels (oh yeah), so after a delightfully perfect soy hot chocolate (seriously, I had to confirm that it was dairy-free, it tasted so good), I ordered the Reuben closed bagel ($14), with smoked pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and pickles. Also – bonus – the bagels are served with salted pretzels and a pickle. Yum! The bagel itself was firm but not too dense, and you get a sensible, serrated knife to eat it with dignity. There was so much pastrami on this bagel I couldn’t quite believe it – I particularly liked the spicy kick of the seasoning (it reminded me of spicy togarashi), but be warned that it isn’t for the faint-hearted. The meat was tender and tasty, just as it should be, and I loved the way that the pickles served in the sandwich were diced up and mixed throughout the creamy dressing. Mmm. The sauerkraut flavour was a bit lost amongst the strong tastes of the pastrami and the dressing, but there was enough of a tang to know it was there. Basically I’d happily eat this any day with no complaints – #cometocanberra?
Manchester Press, 8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne VIC, no website
I wanted to kick the new year off with a 10/10 post – a meal that I had completely, utterly loved. So, ladies and gentleman, here is Bread & Bone Wood Grill. I started with the Dark & Stormy cocktail ($12) – a perfect blend of rum, ginger beer and lime that packed a punch but at the same time was just right (so much lime!). On the waitress’s recommendation, I ordered the B&B Burger ($18), the house specialty. Cooked on their eponymous wood grill, the beef patty was done to perfection, blushing pink inside, and had fantastic flavour. To be honest, after my first bite, I didn’t deconstruct the burger in order to be able to give you a blow-by-blow – I devoured that sucker without another word. So, all I can tell you is that there is some sort of magic mayonnaise/sauce, lovely thin bacon and that the whole damn thing is so tasty you’ve made me want another one right now just thinking about it. The fries were also top grade, well-seasoned and super crispy. With flawless service, great atmosphere and heavenly food, add Bread & Bone to your must-visit list for 2016.
Bread & Bone Wood Grill, 15 Peel Street, Adelaide SA, no website
To celebrate this week of Christmas, I’m celebrating my favourite foodie thing – burgers! Welcome to #burgerweek! I adore Grease Monkey. I really do. When my friend came to visit from Adelaide I took her straight from the airport to Braddon for a solid Canberra burger experience. On my quest to try all of their burgers, I picked the Pitt Stop ($15), stacked full of BBQ pork brisket and apple cider coleslaw and spiced up with a habanero mayonnaise. As always, Greasy’s didn’t disappoint, with the food coming out quickly and obviously freshly prepared. There was a huge serving of their delicious chips, which I’m not ashamed to admit I devoured – yes they were salty, but man, that seasoning is so good! The burger itself was also perfection – the BBQ pork paired with the milk burger bun was surprisngly and delightfully sweet, and the pork just melted in your mouth. I’d added pickes to the order (an extra $1), and they were chopped up and mixed into the coleslaw, which was perfect. The coleslaw was actually really great to balance the huge amount of meat. Every mouthful was a bite of happiness, and I seriously wished for a second stomach to be able to eat more. Nom nom nom.
Grease Monkey, 19 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, no website