Bianca: My last Melbourne trip was a bit of a whirlwind and I knew that I couldn’t possibly top my greatest achievement from my visit in February 2015, our ‘Burger crawl’. I allowed myself a definite two burgers over the weekend, the hardest decision was really narrowing down the contenders. My old favourite ‘Grand Trailer Park Taverna’ easily made it into rotation with ‘Easeys’ rounding out the duo.
Easey’s was one place I had my eye on ever since Instagram burger legend @Jimmysburgers announced he was opening a burger joint. My timing earlier this year didn’t work out so well, so for the past 6 months or so I had been tortured by all the beautiful burgers being churned out of the kitchen by the burger god. Spanning several floors with the pièce de résistance being the old trams adorning the rooftop. If there was a mecca for hipsters to worship in Melbourne, it would surely be Easey’s. Also home to, seemingly the slowest elevator on the planet.
First impressions were good, friendly but slightly aloof staff and a buzz about the place that hipsters aside, was rather contagious. It was pretty impressive stepping out of the lift into one of the carriages. Knowing James of @Jimmysburgers fame is on top of the burger game across most of Australia, my expectations were beyond ridiculous.
So the reason for the visit, I need to stop beating around bush. The ‘Easey Cheesy’ – beef patty, American cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, ketchup, mustard, mayo $10 w/ streaky bacon $3. I found this reminiscent of an In N Out burger with a bit of that greasy, 2am vibe. I was going to go without the foliage as I usually do but I wanted to try the burger as the man ‘Jimmy’ himself created. I was intrigued by the potato bun, soft and for me, similar to a plain old white roll. I couldn’t say the difference in bun paid off for me. I added crispy bacon because life is always better with the porcine treat. The beef, a rather thin patty had a lovely char on the outside whilst remaining succulent and juicy. There was some patty juice run-off which is always a nice sign. Melted cheese action is always appreciated, I did however find the use of mayo excessive and it did overpower the other flavourings within the burger. I’m more of a classic cheeseburger fan so perhaps I ordered incorrectly for my tastes. This gets 3.6/5 pickles.
My dining compadre went the ‘Too-Ease’ –w/double cheese patty, double American cheddar, pickles, onions, ketchup & mustard $14.00. Which is your basic cheeseburger, unfortunately he wasn’t too blown away. Likening it to a Maccas burger for 3 times the price. I sympathise with the statement but the point of difference is in the quality of the patty. It was good but nothing revolutionary, I’ll edge it slightly in front of the Easey Cheesy, this gets 3.8/5 pickles.
A serving of ‘Regular chips’ $4.00 went down a treat and were one of the best things we ate at Easey’s, crispy and moresish. Save some calorie space for these.
I used to love a good dim sum after high school back in the day so we thought we’d try the 4 pack ‘Dim Sim’s $4.00. I took exactly two bites and promptly put it back in the dish. Very dry, very forgettable.
And just because of the novelty factor we had to try the ‘Doughnut’ – Milkshake flavoured custard filling $2.50. What milkshake flavour exactly was a little hard to pin down, it was odd. In terms of the actual doughnut it was good, fluffy and oil-free.
So, mixed feelings after my first Easeys visit, if locale wasn’t an issue I would have loved to have visited a few times to make a more sound and rounded judgement. I guess fundamentally it all comes down to whether id go back. The answer would be yes. The carriages are pretty special and a great place to kick back with friends, with a drink and a burger in hand.
GRAND TRAILER PARK TAVERNA
To say I was impressed with ‘Grand Trailer Park Taverna’ during my visit last feb, is a massive understatement. Set out like, you guessed it…a trailer park and touting itself on their website as a trailer park wonderland. It is consistently my go to referral when recommending great food/ burgers in Melbourne.
The vibe is laid back, the people are friendly and the food is fantastic – but please….the burgers?
I couldn’t make the trip down south without stopping in and getting reacquainted with Francis. So here he is the ‘Francis Underwood’ – Beef patty, American cheddar, tomato, lettuce, mac & cheese croquette, special burger sauce and mustard $17.50 + bacon $2.00. I believe in the future when I eventually have my own home, instead of having photos of friends, family and children in photo frames ill have walls lined with burger photos. But the largest and most important photo, would most likely be reserved for the Francis Underwood, the grand pooh-bah of burgs.
Perfectly cooked and charred patty with a medium rare centre, crispy bacon, melted cheese and the ultimate of burger nirvana that mac n cheese croquette. Nothing has come close in terms of execution when mac n cheese has been added to the burger, it either loses its shape, is too overpowering or turns the whole thing into a gluggy mess. The croquette was crispy, creamy adding a whole entire dimension in terms of textures. The bun was a brioche but one of the better ones I have come across, it being not overly sweet. I didn’t even mind the lettuce and tomato. Improving on its 4.7/5 score last visit, to unicorn status – 5/5 pickles.
Milkshakes and burgers essentially go hand in hand but add a bit of booze and we have a spiked milkshake, the ‘S’mores, Mozart white and milk chocolate’ $21. Further proof you don’t need half a confectionary aisle dangling precariously off the top of the cup to make a damn good milkshake. This is rich and best shared between two. Plus a s’more for dessert if you can wait that long.
Bre-Arn under strict instructions to order something other than the Francis had ‘The Chunk –Double Double’ – Two beef patties, double American cheddar, caramelised onions, jalapenos, sliced pickles, mustard and tomato sauce $16.50. Well executed patties, with the onions adding a hint of sweetness and a slight kick from the jalapenos. If cheeseburgers are your jam you’ll love this one. Small and compact like a lady’s purse, said no-one ever… This gets 4.1/5 pickles.
Please, to any-one that reads this, move Grand Trailer Park to the top of any food related list you have for Melbourne and get yourself the Francis Underwood.
Thank you and that is all.
Melbourne, I’ll be coming back for you early in 2016. BURGERS BEWARE!! Burger Crawl part deux.