Bianca: Strap yourselves in, tighten the corsets, lift the skinny jeans for I’m about to regale you with a tale. A tale that spanned 8 hours, involved meticulous planning, caused stress pimples and quite possibility led to my second greatest achievement in life. My first being part uno Burger Crawl Part 1 – 2015. Eight places, one day, three people, one signature burger. Our bodies……were probably not ready… but they took the punishment anyway.
Much like our first foray, choosing the eight places was by no means an easy feat, I couldn’t just go choosing places willy nilly. Opening hours and location are problematic. And as well as the 8 places we managed to hit in the one day, Alex and myself also checked out 4 other burger joints. Which I will detail in another post.
Last year’s winner of the Burger Crawl – MR BURGER!
The usual crew was back, myself, Alejandro and my Melbournite sweetheart Shannon. Burger tees at the ready, Alex in a @Mistergeeburgertruck and myself in a @barlucasydney number. Shancois never one to play it totally straight opted for a slightly quirky option, with a reference to Bob’s Burgers! Went straight over my head!
We came across a few operators that were aware of our burger crawl who tried to sway us into some free extra burgers. Do you know how hard it is to say no to FREE burgers, to remain loyal to the eating quest? Real bloody hard!
*Note* – When I say signature burger that’s generally my definition of a signature burger (unless they happen to be known for something in particular). The cheeseburger is a classic and also one that is hard to hide behind. It’s simple and it shows the quality of all ingredients used. Also most of the notes are taken directly off our note sheets so most of it is rambling and incoherent.
And so we set off, first up was:
- BURGLED in Oakleigh. THE GETTYSBURGER $11.50.
Bianca: Appearance = 3.6/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3.5/5, bun = 4/5, burger as whole = 3.9/5 for a total score of 15/20. Notes > Zingy herbs in the patty and cooked really well, pink in the middle. Nice melted cheese and raw onions. Way too much lettuce and tomato for me, kinda ruined the burger.
Alex: Appearance = 4/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 4/5, bun = 4/5, burger as a whole 4/5 for a total score of 16/20. Notes > Nice balance of mustard and tomato sauce and loved the addition of the raw onions. Only issue was the thick slice of tomato.
Shancois: Appearance = 4.2/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 4.2/5, bun = 5/5, burger as a whole 4.3/5 for a total score of 17.7/20. Notes > really liked the mustard, mayo, tomato sauce combo. Quite enjoyed the brioche style bun as it had a slight sweetness (almost like a hot cross bun). Too much lettuce and the tomato slice also got another mention.
Grand total score of = 48.5/60. With a FBAS pickle score of 4/5
- TUCKSHOP TAKEAWAY in Caulfield North. The MINOR WITH BACON $12.00.
Bianca: Appearance = 4/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3.8/5, bun = 3/5, burger as a whole = 3.9/5 for a total score of 14.7/20. Notes > the place was SUPER cool and quirky. It killed me that I couldn’t order a milkshake because my stomach would explode. Patty was quite pink in the middle, we got a huge hit of pepper from the patty which was interesting. I liked the shredded iceberg lettuce, totally the way to go if you’re adding crispy water to any burger. Super crispy bacon = big plus!
Alex: Appearance = 4/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3.2/5, bun =3/5, burger as a whole = 3.3/5 for a total score of 13.5/15. Notes > Hints of pepper, patty cooked well but felt it lacked flavour. Lettuce detracted from the burger.
Shancois: Appearance = 4.1/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 4.3/5, bun = 4.2/5, burger as a whole = 4.1/5 for a total score of 16.7/20. Notes > really liked the aesthetics of the café, retro primary school interior with great music. The crispy bacon was a highlight as well as the homemade sauce. Standout was the overall pleasant texture of crispiness. Liked the pepperiness.
Grand total score of = 44.9/60. With a FBAS pickle score of 3.7/5
- ZIGGYS EATERY in Balaclava. CHEESE $10.90.
Bianca: Appearance = 2/5, patty taste/texture = 1/5, bun = 4/5, burger as a whole = 2.3/5 for a total score of = 9.3/20. Notes > Seems stop #3 has become controversial on both crawls. With Andrews Hamburgers producing a less than stellar burger on lasts years crawl. Patty was super tough, gristle. Bacon was super crispy but there seemed to only be one thin rasher? What the hey guys! Their house smoked cheese was ‘interesting’. It pained me to give this score because the guys in the shop seemed so nice.
Alex: Appearance = 2.5/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 1.5/5, bun = 3/5, burger as a whole = 1.9/5 for a total score of 8.9/20. Notes > Patty overcooked, lacked flavour, tough, gristle. Fake liquid cheese?
Shancois: Appearance = 3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 2.2/5, bun = 3.8/5, burger as a whole = 2.6/5 for a total score of 11.3/20. Notes > gristle in patties, cheese sauce was way too thin, watery and oozey but had a nice flavour. Patty lacked flavour or nuance in grilling. Bun was decent, a sweet/savoury seeded brioche.
Grand total score of = 29.5/60. With a FBAS pickle score of 1.9/5
- CAFÉ 51 in South Melbourne. MAPLE BACON CANUCK $9.00
Bianca: Appearance = 5/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 4/5, bun = 3.7/5, burger as a whole = 4.1/5 for a total score of 16.8/20. Notes > this burger was controversial amongst us. It’s totally up my alley and was one of my highest rating. I saw maple bacon and got completely side-tracked when ordering. So it’s the only burger that didn’t follow our cheeseburger formula and thus perhaps it was at a disadvantage. The patty for me was pretty much flawless, the only one the day that melted in the mouth. A super loose grind, almost texturally perfect. The bbq sauce was subtle. But it was hella messy to eat and was incredibly rich. Till this stage it was the only burger I wanted to keep eating beyond my quarter portion.
Alex: Appearance = 5/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 4/5, bun = 3/5, burger as a whole = 3.8/5 for a total score of 15.8/20. Notes > Beautiful ‘holy grail’ in the looks department. Very messy, the bun was soaked. Nice sweetness which contrasted with the patty but way too rich.
Shancois: Appearance = 1.3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 1.3/5, bun = 1/5, burger as a whole = 1.2/5 for a total score of 5/20. Notes > Roh roh, Shancois was not happy! Way too greasy, everything was soaked in oil/sauce. Patty flavour wasn’t great. Had an overt spicy sweet sauce. But I couldn’t eat more than one bite. Bun was greasier than a croissant.
Grand total score of = 37.6/5. With a FBAS pickle score of 3.1/5
*This one killed me because I loved it so much. Not to mention the rest of their menu looked fucking amazing. Sorry, please don’t ban me from your store…blame Shannon!!
- WONKEY TROLLEY in North Melbourne. CHEESEY B $9.90
Bianca: Appearance = 3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 2.9/5, bun = 4/5, burger as a whole = 3.8/5 for a total score of 13.7/20. Notes > The dreaded burger cut. I do the cutting of the burgers on the crawl!! But I appreciate their thoughtfulness. Not super photogenic tho. Nice balance of sauces. Was that a tomato salsa I tasted? We all got major Mexican flavour vibes?
Alex: Appearance = 3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 4/5, bun = 5/5, burger as a whole = 3.9 for a total score of 15.9/20. Notes > “Tasted like Mexico… “What even Alex? Simple yet effective, very ‘substantial’.
Shancois: Appearance = 3.8/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3/5, bun = 4.3/5, burger as a whole = 4/5 for a total score of 15.1/20. Notes > neat, clean and simple presentation. Very ‘intact’ easy to eat. Good sauce/mustard balance. Flavour of the patty was a tad on the salty side but not objectionable.
Grand total score of = 44.7/60. With a FBAS pickle score of 3.69/5
- ROYAL STACKS in Melbourne CBD. MISS ELIZABETH $12.50.
Bianca: Appearance = 3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 4/5, bun = 4/5, burger as a whole = 4.8/5 for a total score of 15.8/20. Notes > this was a late entry as our number 6 stop BURGER BOYS had moved locations (planning fail). But I think Shannon was particularly happy as she thought we were coming here initially, which we weren’t. Alex and I had been a few days prior and were suitably impressed. Miss Elizabeth is almost flawless. Simple but classic. Letting the truffle mayo do all the talking. Perfect amount of sauce, meat, bun and cheese. I could see it also working as a double as it can look a little underwhelming. Some rocket wouldn’t hurt either. But then you’d be getting into MISTERGEE TRUFFE territory. Packaging is super sleek. Major Shake Shack vibes.
Alex: Appearance = 3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 5/5, bun = 4/5, burger as a whole = 4.9/5 for a total score of 16.9/20. Notes > Amazing! No words. Perfect amount of truffle mayo to tantalise the taste-buds.
Shancois: Appearance = 4.7/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 4.6/5, bun = 4.3/5, burger as a whole = 4.8/5 for a total score of 18.4/20. Notes > burgers are deliberately small and look unassuming but well presented by wrappers and packaging. Good char on the patty, patty was tender. Right balance of sweetness with the bun and sauce. Truffle mayo was the favourite sauce of the day by far!!
Grand total score of = 51.1/60. With a FBAS pickle score of 4.3/5
- 1090 BURGER in Richmond. CHEESEBURGER $8.
Bianca: Appearance = 3.9/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3.9, bun = 4.5/5, burger as a whole = 4/5 for a total score of 16.3/20. Notes > patty was tasty and well-seasoned, we got a slight wine and herby taste as well. Bun was soft, almost as if it had been steamed yet it had a nice char under the ‘bonnet’. I was intrigued by this burger and pleasantly surprised.
Alex: Appearance = 3.8/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3.5/5, bun = 5/5, burger as a whole 4/5 for a total score of 15.7/20. Notes > Bun was excellent, reminded me of a steamed pork bun. Patty had similar traits to mumma FFS’s meatball polpette. Tasted ‘Asian’.
Shancois: Appearance = 4/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 2.9/5, bun = 4.3/5, burger as a whole 3.4/5 for a total score of 14.6/20. Notes > another deliberately minimalistic looking burger. Patty was grilled well but seasoning and flavour was not to my taste (pork flavour, garlic powder, wine?) Steamed bun was very good and mustard sauce combo was decent.
Grand total score of = 46.6/60. With a FBAS pickle score of 3.9/5
And our last stop of the day…
- MR SCRUFFS in Collingwood. BEEF BURGER $10.
Bianca: Appearance = 3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3.5/5, bun = 3.5/5, burger as a whole = 4.1/5 for a total score of 14.1/20. Notes > Tasted just like a Big Mac. Loved their ‘scruff sauce’. Patty looked incredibly thick in relation to the rest of the burger but it wasn’t heavy or overpowering in the slightest. Winner touch with the shredded lettuce.
Alex: Appearance = 3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3/5, bun = 3.5/5, burger as a whole = 3.2/5 for a total score of 12.7/20. Notes > Found the patty too thick and salty. Thank god it’s over!!!!!!!!
Shancois: Appearance = 4.3/5, patty taste/texture/grind = 3.5/5, bun = 4.5/5, burger as a whole = 4.2/5 for a total score of 16.5/20. Notes > Overall texture and balance was good. Pleasing tangy ‘Big Mac’ type sauce. Sweet brioche, light and airy. Melted cheese done well. Hard to discern the flavour of the patty from the rest of the burger. Coarsely ground beef for a nice mouth feel.
Grand total score of 43.3/60. With a FBAS pickle score of 3.6/5.
We felt so rejuvenated after all the burgers we thought we’d wash our last Mr Scruffs burger down with their poutine, which may have led to Alex’s downfall later that evening on the couch. Such an amateur! Having finished well ahead of schedule, our 2016 Melbourne burger crawl had come to an end. Seemingly a much more manageable task than last years, having stuck to our one burger only rule with no sides and limited liquids. Though there was a frozen custard debacle at Royal Stacks, I blame Shannon!
But what about the winner you ask?
The final tally!
- Royal Stacks with 51/60
- Burgled with 48.5/60
- 1090 Burgers with 46.6/60
- Tuckshop Takeaway with 44.9/60
- Wonkey Trolley with 44.7/60
- Mr Scruffs with 43.4/60
- Café 51 with 37.6/60 (sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
- Ziggys Eatery with 29.5/60
The usual disclaimer. Taste is such a subjective thing and our reviews should in no way reflect the business’ usual day-to-day operations. We sampled one burger from vast menus. But it was interesting to see just how on par we were with each-others scores (minus Café 51) and thoughts. We did not discuss scores whilst reviewing.
Next year, I’ve decided to cut the burger crawl down to 6 places, more manageable, more fun!
Hope you enjoyed our madness.
Photos by Alex & Bianca