Bianca: Yes, I confess. Me – the burger loving fiend only just made the trip to the Newtown hipsterville mecca ‘Marys’ in early Feb. Yes it was LOUD and incredibly busy but if you’re going there you’ve already resigned yourself to what you should be expecting so this should surprise no one. My friends and I arrived a little after 6pm on a Friday, so had no issues with seating, keep in mind we were downstairs where there is no table service. We were more than happy to order at the counter and people watch as folks came in. People watch is actually code for perving on the pierced Asian bartender. He’s hot, we all know it!!
Marys is where I would imagine folks like Debbie Harry and Joey Ramone would hang if we were to go back some 40 or so years. Newtown locals Young Henrys have a few brewskies on tap – my go to beverage for the evening was the cider which I had and loved at Rupert & Ruby (now closed).
The artwork is a prominent feature within Marys so for those a little bored with their dinner companions or dates they can have a bit of a gander around. Part of the down and dirty charm is the staff, it’s a VERY laid back affair and I saw far too much chest hair action behind the bar, so I can attest to their casual-ness. I’d read mixed reviews about staff surliness but can report all beards wore a smile that day.
Down to business – there were 8 of us so when the universe combines and gives you even numbers you clearly order fried chicken. A piece each, we were happily content with the ‘Whole Bird’ $30. I generally do not enjoy fried chicken, I do not like foraging for my food, I do not like bones and I do not like greasy fingers. Yes I am a pedantic nanna. Whilst I can’t imagine Marys changing my overall aversion to fried chicken I’m glad it did for the evening. With a super unctuous crispy exterior with a bit of kick it’s a very close second to the fried chicken I had in Memphis in early 2014. It was cooked to a deeper shade than I’ve seen in a fried chicken whether this affected the taste I do not know – it was damn good that’s really all I can say. I did find it greasy, leaving me with a free coat of grease-gloss, which in this case it was so tasty I really didn’t mind.
We also ordered two servings of ‘Mash + Gravy’ $5. Again, enjoyable. Our burgers arrived soon after these were plopped on the table so my friends mostly forgot about them, they were directly in front of me so you can see how the situation ended. A few of my friends added some tomato sauce and mash + gravy to their fries and it apparently elevated it to the Lamborghini of fries.
And finally, why I was simply…put on this earth. The burgers. It was easily one of the greatest moments of my life – a man carrying a tray full of 8 baskets containing the prized burgers was brought to our table. The situation could only have been made better by a shirtless Taylor Kitsch (circa, Friday Night Lights, 2006) bringing those burgers round…But I digress, the burgers!!. I never double a patty ever…. but I had a brain fart. I went with the ‘Cheeseburger $14 w/ a side of fries, double meat + cheese $3 and Trashcan Bacon $4. For my Facebook FBAS friends, I’d give it a solid 4.4/5 pickles. That there is a $21 burger. The internet chatter had made mention of its cost factor but really, that is generally the going rate for a burger and a side of fries. I take issue with the initial cost of the cheeseburger which is rather high. Now, I have been on a Mister Gee’s burger kick for the last 4 months, they are without a question the best burgers I have eaten in my life. So much so, that they have now potentially ruined the rest of my burger eating life, as I’m constantly searching for that burger unicorn. The Mary’s cheeseburger came close. It’s main let-down was the trashcan bacon, texturally the whole burger melded into one soft bite, I was expecting a little crunch from the bacon but none was found. Whether it is usually a crispy element I do not know but I feel some return ‘investigation’ visits may have to take place to come to some sort of hypothesis.
The other choice on the table was the ‘Marys Burger’ $14 w/trashcan bacon $4. Some folk got the double Marys. An extra 2bux for a slice of tomato and a lettuce leaf seems a bit rich but hey…Consensus on all the burgers was overwhelmingly positive. I returned a few weeks later to try the Marys Burger for myself and I enjoyed it just as much as the cheeseburger. FBAS pickle score = 4.2/5. I can’t deny that they do their craft very well. One of my friends pointed out the salt factor but that’s pretty much a given when you decide to eat burgers and fries.
Horrible photos by Bianca