Tag Archives: gourmet burgers

birthday, beer and burgers

As the lovely birthday celebrant Anna pointed out, who can refuse a cheap beer and burger deal and alliteration? But seriously, Melbourne’s favourite non-blogging food blogger was celebrating – who could miss it for the world? 1000 Pound Bend has been around for quite some time and they even have a Cafe Poet but to be honest, I’d been too wimpy to go. It would appear it’s not hipsters who have a problem with me, maybe I’m the hipster racist! I like the inclusive ones, honest! There just doesn’t seem to be many of them…

pretty lights

Anyway. Anna’s birthday. As soon as I got through the door, a jam jar of mulled wine (or three) was the ticket. Melbourne had been gorgeous all day and then fog descended like mad and it got fucking freezing. They really hit the spot.

mulled wine

An amusing blog post has been making the rounds of late and I realised that, sadly for you, dear reader, I identify with quite a few types. My personal favourite is this one:

The Literary wannabe
Probably the least read of the tribe. Pepper their posts with writerly posturings and clumsy literary references that any grade five kid could recognise.

Oh so guilty as charged. However, this post conforms to another one of the types listed which to be honest I find a little less shameful:

The ‘what I ate last night’ crowd
Totally pre-occupied with explaining in excruciating detail, the contents of their bowl of Weetbix and milk

I guess one of the reasons I find the latter less shameful especially in this particular situation is, laugh if you want, but often looking back on this food blog has been a chronicle of really positive memories and meeting people who have given off those vibes. It’s also been a lovely pleasant distraction from not being able to write any poetry, or find readers for said poetry when written. Of course there’s nothing wrong with your friends not wanting to read your poetry (it is nice when they invariably do) but when an activity like that means the world to you and you have no audience, it gets very lonely.

St Jerome's Caledonian lager

So my apologies – you’re reading about the burger, beer and cake I had the other night at some trendy joint because I’m trying not to sook about my ignored, appalling poetry!

Personal disappointments aside, there are a few reasons you should probably check out 1000 Pound Bend if you’re in the area and particularly on a Tuesday night. $2.50 pots of St Jerome’s Caledonian lager and $8 burgers – you can choose from a patty of roo, chicken or saganaki. I know Anna went the saganaki. I had a roo one which while absolutely delicious is not a first date experience: you’ll get it all over your hands and all around your mouth and one napkin will not be enough to save your dignity.

Tristan came fashionably late (a few folks did have an half-hour wait at some stage in the night because the burgers were very popular, do note) and his order got a little lost in the matrix and only chicken was available to him. I believe you need to turn up between 5-11pm for the cheap beer and burgers.

roo burger

I may have got a little enthusiastic about eating my burger, so much so that I nearly inadvertently body modified my lip with a skewer piercing. Uh yeah, remove the skewer before you eat your burger, folks, even though it will fall apart. You can see how they would be unwieldy – look at it, leaning all Tower of Pisa-like. Beautiful sweet-sour relish and a not too gamey pattie. Could’ve had two, really.

Billy of course had his burger-eating technique down-pat: the trick is to take the top of your burger bun, scoop out the soft underneath, replace and then proceed to eat like a…fast food burger, and with some dignity. Both in Melbourne eatery and kitchen know-how, Billy really never fails to make my jaw drop (unfair, man). On this particular night it was directly because of the lovely birthday cake he made with Penny and Henry’s help. He is going to make the best guncle ever to future nephews and nieces.

the best homemade birthday cake I have ever seen

Of course it was delicious, the birthday celebrant loved it and Billy sliced it and doled it out like a pro. Truly.

burger birthday cake, detail

The venue were kind enough to supply extra crockery and cutlery.

A wonderful night was had by all. Happy birthday, dearest Anna!

1000 Pound Bend on Urbanspoon

no goddamn colonels, no goddamn clowns!!!


Grill'd interior

Post-fillum nosh and I was starving. I persuaded the Bit O’ Meat (the nickname for my better half) to buy me a gourmet burger. A mere hop, skip and a jump across the road from Cinema Nova and we’re at Grill’d in Carlton.

I must say when I first was introduced to the gourmet burger bar concept, I was singing the praises of rival Urban Burger to all and sundry. However, I have now defected to the other camp: I much prefer Grill’d and find them on the whole to be more flavoursome and satisfying, and aesthetically, less sloppy.

You might recall that I previously wrote about Grill’d. So for this occasion, I made sure to choose a burger I hadn’t had before – the ‘Grill’d Bird ‘n’ Brie’, while partner had ‘Hot Mama’, available in either ‘hot’, or ‘extra hot’. Bravely, I thought, Bit O’ Meat chose ‘extra hot’. The chicken and brie one I decided on sounded very similar to one of my favourites at Urban Burger, and so I was keen to compare.

Below is a photo of my ‘Bird ‘n’ Brie’ with its best ‘come hither’ look:


Grill'd Bird 'n' Brie burger

It’s become clear to me that Grill’d burgers are actually prepared pretty carefully (it seemed so to me as they prepared our order) – they’re always neat and all ingredients are in balance. though mine was a little heavy on the cranberry sauce. The brie was melty and luxurious with bites of chicken. Partner’s was also delish but not as hot as I thought it would be – just enough to give the burger a good hit of flavour and heat.

I’m actually looking forward to trying one of their vegetarian burgers next up. Might bring a toothbrush with me if I have a side of fries…those things, while addictive, are definitely not first-date food. I don’t care: I will still eat them and look stupid with green bits in my teeth, and remind my companion with the promise of breakfast at St Ali’s and dinner at the Station Hotel in Footscray. Don’t let anyone tell you bribery doesn’t work!


Grill'd on Urbanspoon

long way for some fast food!

I don’t quite recall why, but on what was supposed to be a lazy Saturday after months of constant activity, myself and my partner ended up going to Westfield Doncaster. We did in fact have our hearts set on Crust Pizzas  for lunch, but the ruddy joint wasn’t open! The drive to the nearest one, in Doncaster, is at least twenty or so minutes from my house.

Plan B was to hang out at Westfield Doncaster till Crust Pizza opened. Of course our stomachs got the best of us, and so after agonising decisions in the food court (I swear relationships can be broken by less!) and in an attempt to prove that I don’t just eat Japanese food, Grill’d was settled upon. I love gherkins and mustard (though I prefer the latter seeded), and so chose the ‘Mustard & Pickled!’ and partner had the ‘Kung Fu Fighter’. A side of herb-laden chips to share with herb mayonnaise was also ordered.

My burger was delicious and oh so juicy. Instead of the standard fast-food pissy little slices of pickle, I got these massive sideways-sliced pieces – I’m pretty sure an entire gherkin was used (they are usually half the size of a slender carrot). It was most satisfying, especially if you’re a pickle fiend. My partner kindly let me have a bite of his burger which was fragrant with the promised coriander. My standard MO unfortunately means I can never eat gourmet burgers without them disintegrating towards the end, but that’s because it’s hard for me to fit the dastardly thing into my mouth.


Grill'd burger


The chips are very moreish and I may have greedily scooped up more than my share of the mayo (sorry T!). They smell and taste deliciously rustic.


Grill'd burger & chips!


Naturally, they take longer to make Grill’d burgers, and I look forward to sampling more of them in the future. As if being treated to gourmet burgers for lunch wasn’t enough, not long after we nipped into Koko Black. The partner thought it might be a nice way to sample their wares if we shared the Summer Spoil platter they currently have available. For this, you get your choice of hot (chocolate) drink, two chocolates, a shortbread, a miniature white chocolate raspberry cake, raspberry sorbet, and some chopped strawberries. Perfect, really!

Koko Black summer spoils plate for two people

The strawberries and sorbet really refresh the palate when you’ve had enough of the sweetness and richness of your hot drink (we both had the standard hot Belgian chocolate) though I must say I’m extremely partial to raspberry sorbet. The two chocolates we had were a simple chocolate praline-type, and a dark chocolate encasing a mango-flavoured filling. I felt spoilt! The staff were extremely polite and helpful and there’s a lovely old-world feel in the decor of Koko Black – whichever one you go to, as they are decorated similarly. Good food and drinks don’t always have to be fancy, and it certainly is nice to be reminded thus. I’m still looking forward to trying Crust Pizza for this very reason. Well, till I can afford to go out for some true posh nosh!


Grill'd on Urbanspoon Koko Black on Urbanspoon