Chicken schnitzel burger and a small chat about nostalgia

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As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of nostalgia.

I especially love food memories. Actually, it’s pretty much just the food memories that I really love.

The meals that my mum and nanna would cook mostly amazed the fuck out of young me… sometimes they didn’t really amaze me heaps (that would be the viciously-boiled-way-past-the-point-of-being-dead Brussels sprouts and the “stir fried vegetables” that would be slowly-braised-way-past-the-point-of-being-dead in the electric frying pan and then have a jar of store bought gelatinous strange looking stir fry sauce added. You can imagine my surprise when I went to Singapore when I was 15 and realised what a stir fry was actually meant to be), but most of the time I truly couldn’t believe how these ladies made things taste so good.

The chicken schnitzel was one such meal.

Chicken that was expertly crumbed (breaded) and then shallow fried in mum’s big* electric frying pan and then served with whatever else mum felt like rustling up. No set recipe, just whatever mum was feeling on the day. It was a classic in our house. When I think about it though, I’m pretty sure anything that was crumbed and fried was immediately lifted to the pedestal of “classic”, and often even granted “food of the gods” status.

Tastes change fo’ sho, but sometimes my face just begs me to let it have a little of those good ol’ times… and of course if my face has been a good boy, I happily oblige. If, on the other hand, my face has been behaving like the foul mouthed little sailor’s spawn, then I shall give it a damn good beati… n… g…

Chicken schnitzel – this time it’s going on a burger (sandwich) because I really like burgers.

Electric frying pan boogaloo.

The chicken schnitzels could’ve been a little smaller I guess…

Two good times.

CHICKEN SCHNITZEL BURGER

(per person)

1x 120-150g chicken breast, hammered out a little and crumbed. Your butcher may be able to do that for you**, if not just do it yourself
1 burger bun, you may buy this from the supermarket if you like. I don’t mind a dirty white death roll for a burger. Just as long as it’s not some kinda sour dough or other artisanal crusty crap that’s going to push the entire contents of the burger out of it’s arse and onto the floor
1 handful of coleslaw, home made or heck, you can even get that from the super market too, you lazy bastard
A splash of hot sauce or BBQ sauce

A squeeze of lemon juice

Salt and pepper

—————————–

Shallow fry schnitzels in a pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Layer burger buns with chicken, ‘slaw and sauce.
Get that right into your face so that it may smile again ☺

* That electric frying pan always seemed really big, but I realised years later that it was just a normal sized electric frying pan.

** Please do not use those fucked up looking “chicken schnitzels” or “crumbed chicken burgers” you can find in the freezer section at the supermarket

A tasty good burger

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best hamburger recipe
There are a few things I don’t often shy away from in this life.

A good burger, helping an old friend and helping a old friend make a good burger… that and carnie racing. I really love carnie racing…

Recently I was asked for a recipe for a tasty burger, hence my stupid little anecdote. Needless to say, the words that follow will indeed help my old friend, and also yourselves, to make a tasty burger in the comfort of your own home.

Also, after a lot of trial and error I have decided that I like a burger pattie that is around the 150g mark or even slightly smaller. There was once a time when I truly believed bigger was better but since having employed my new burgertechnology ™ (and experience gained from that one time I ended up in a prison cell for the night) I have come to the conclusion that bigger is not actually always better. Littler can also be better sometimes. I have indeed fallen in love with the slightly crumbly, yet still hella juicy texture of the thin-ish pattie. That’s another kinda pointless little story to add to the collection.

Fry den beef patties and then get some cheese on top so it melts damn you

Fry them beef patties and then get some cheese on top so it melts damn you

Burger mis en place

Burger mis en place

Do not, i repeat, do not forget to make some chips (fries)

Do not, I repeat, do not forget to make some chips (fries)

It's good to put it all on a plate so as not to get your table all dirty

It’s good to put it all on a plate so as not to get your table all dirty

TASTY BURGER (serves 4)

500-600g beef mince
Salt and pepper to season
8 slices Jack cheese or tasty cheese
4 buns that you think you may like to encase your burger
20 slices pickled cucumber (there is some in the burger sauce but add extra if you are a pickle fan. I am a pickle fan)
A few lettuce leaves. I like the crunch and refreshing crispness of iceberg but what ever you have in the fridge will do the job
A few slices of tomato, sliced thin so the whole burger doesn’t collapse into your lap and make it look like your navel just gave birth
Tasty burger sauce (recipe follows)
Oven chips to serve

• Make 4 balls out of the mince, keeping them fairly even in size
• Squash them down with your hand or a pizza tray or a lump of wood, so they are about 1cm thick
• Heat a little oil in a hot pan or get your grill/bbq nice and hot
• Season patties and cook over highish heat for 2 minutes
• Flip patties and put two slices of cheese on each. Cook for another 2 minutes for medium doneness
• Assemble with tasty burger sauce, pattie, pickles, tomato, lettuce and then more tasty burger sauce on the top
• Get that shit into your face

Burger sauce and flowers. Pretty as fuck... and really tasty too... except possibly the flowers. I didn't eat the flowers

Burger sauce and flowers. Pretty as fuck… and really tasty too… except possibly the flowers. I didn’t eat the flowers

TASTY BURGER SAUCE AKA. RUSSIAN-ESQUE DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
¼ cup diced onion (from roughly ½ small onion)
¼ cup chopped dill pickles
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce

• Pulse all ingredients in a food processer until combined or chop the onion and pickles nice and fine and mix it all together in a bowl
• Left over dressing is really good to dip hot chips into, or pretty much just put it on everything…

Getting ready

Getting ready

Fully going for it. Really tasty stuff. I thanked myself for this one

Fully going for it. Really tasty stuff. I thanked myself for this one

Some places to eat tasty food between Tweed Heads and the Goldcoast

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Breakfast at Paddock was awesome. Anywhere that put's a little thought into it (and these folks certainly have) gets my vote every time

Breakfast at Paddock was awesome. Anywhere that put’s a little thought into it (and these folks certainly have) gets my vote every time

Last trip I made to Tweed Heads I pulled into the hospital and left the following day sans tonsils, appetite and with not so much as a good-bye peck on the cheek…

Bitch hospital and it’s quackish, prudish medicine men.

This trip was reserved for venturing up and down the coast between the Goldy (Goldcoast) and Tweed Heads with the sole purpose of eating all of the food with my diary totally clear of visits to the witch doctor and nary a throat sawing quack in sight.

Although a very beautiful piece of coastline it is (getting my Yoda on here) someone back in the day made a pretty big fuck up when they decided that they would slap the NSW/Queensland boarder smack bang in the middle of the place. Like Tweed Heads is here (literally here) and Coolangatta is there (once again literally). That is how far the two cities are apart. Yes it is a city and state boarder.
“That shouldn’t be an issue Graz”, I hear you say. “You’re really starting to get a bit whingy as you get older, mate.”
“Yeah and a little smellier, too.”
“Yeah and I don’t think he’s got much of a grip anymore.”
“I’ll tell you what he does have a good grip on though, his fricking c… o…”

Back to that pretty big fuck up; NSW and Queensland are on two different time zones for the 6 months of the year that daylight savings is in effect. Starting to get my gist yet? Picking up what I’m putting down, homeboy? In Tweed it’s 4:19pm and two steps away in Coolangatta it’s 3:19pm… it’s a fricking head-fuck I call tell you… trying to work out which state you’re in… I have enough trouble just trying to stay sober.

Now, we do have a few favourites up this way but this trip we made a conscious effort to stay far from our comfort zone, remove ourselves from the warm bosom of our mothers and basically just get the fuck into someone else’s place for a change of scene. The Byron-esque nature of the come-and-go restaurant scene and the ever-ready construction teams of city expansion and glorification up here truly lend themselves to a fresh experience and the customer having the opportunity to sample something new on a regular basis.

Dick yes. This was our jam!

But, first up it was time for a haircut and a beard trim – my first for the year… or maybe a year. Normally my shaggy dog looking head is something I really care very little about (FYI, one doesn’t win three “best in show ribbons” in the shaggy dog division by trimming ones shaggy dog look) but all of the hair dressers in this place, I swear to god, and they were moving in on our hotel under the cover of darkness. It was a pincer movement and a damn fine pincer movement at that. I was starting to feel more than just a little self-conscious.

In scenes not dis-similar to the shaving of Brendan Frazer in “Encino Man” or Tom Hanks in “Castaway”, or any other wookie-gets-shaved type scene from an outdated movie, suddenly I was cleansed… I was one of them… I would be pulled close to the bare, lactating breast of society once again… and fuck me I would breast-feed in public!

*How is it that, through the wonder that is the interweb super highway, I could tell millions of people about how we could make the world a better place, or share a beautiful poem or send random messages of kindness and love but instead I’m here telling fourteen people and a small dachshund about the day I got a haircut. Dear good lord*

Our regular couple o’ favourites are (in no particular order except JRs Smokehouse Barbecue is at the top because it’s my favourite);
JRs Smokehouse Barbecue
Lester and Earl
The Blacksheep Esspresso Baa
And we’ll always try in vain for a decent meal a few of the cut -from-the-same-mould, predictably shit-can restaurants from the Shit Restaurant Co. (producers of many quality dodgy restaurant strips and concepts in many popular tourist destinations. I think you would have come across their work some where on your travels)

But, as I mentioned earlier, we were on the search for something new and more importantly, quality. Here’s what we found/were pointed in the direction of by local intel;

Getting my a.m. coffee on at Larder

Getting my a.m. coffee on at Larder

A damn tasty pulled beef sandwich and cracking coffee at Griffith Street Larder

A damn tasty pulled beef sandwich and cracking coffee at Griffith Street Larder

Griffith Street Larder
• Great coffee, check
• Perfectly poached eggs, check
• Kickass sandwiches and salad bowls available at breakfast, check

Shaggy watching over the hot sauces

Shaggy watching over the hot sauces

Jamin' a bit of everything from Jamroc into our faces

Jamin’ a bit of everything from Jamroc into our faces

Kick-ass goat curry with red bean rice... just like I imagined it would taste

Kick-ass goat curry with red bean rice… just like I imagined it would taste

Jamroc
• Boondocks shopping center car park setting, check
• Moist and delicious grilled chicken and goat curry, check
• Heaps of hot sauce for the table, check
• Feed the family for a 50 bag of the finest Jamaican “green backs”, check

Breakfast at Poboy Cajun and Creole. The farmers breakfast (right) with oven roasted chicken breast, tomatoes, bacon and mornay sauce had me looking for a suitable park bench to nap on

Breakfast at Poboy Cajun and Creole. The farmers breakfast (right) with oven roasted chicken breast, tomatoes, bacon and mornay sauce had me looking for a suitable park bench to nap on

Dinner at Poboy was gumbo, jambalaya, poboy and more of the generous serves and affordable prices

Dinner at Poboy was gumbo, jambalaya, poboy and more of the generous serves and affordable prices

Poboy Cajun and Creole
• Cheap Creole and Cajun cooking, check
• Massive serves, check
• And insight as to why America is on the obesity-diabetic radar, check

Good burgers, crisp onion rings and fries, tasty dipping sauces and quick service is a winning recipe at Betty's Burgers

Good burgers, crisp onion rings and fries, tasty dipping sauces and quick service is a winning recipe at Betty’s Burgers

Simple and delicious

Simple and delicious

Betty’s Burgers
• Tasty burgers and sides that don’t cost your left arm, check
• Fast service, check
• A recipe that many other gourmet burger bars could learn a thing or two from, check

A pretty little sign and shit

A pretty little sign and shit

The fricking Philly cheese steak roll with onions, capsicum, mushrooms and jalapeños was off the hook

The fricking Philly cheese steak roll with onions, capsicum, mushrooms and jalapeños was off the hook

This pork, pistachio and apple sausage rolls was one of the best

This pork, pistachio and apple sausage rolls was one of the best

Paddock Bakery
• Massive wood fired oven and baking area enclosed with glass so it kinda like Seaworld and you can watch all of the orcas err, bakers and chefs at play… or work, check
• Great breads, pastries and breakfast in general, check
• Awesome little mythical country setting that quite probably actually has a waterfall that flows sweet, sweet lemonade, one street back from Goldcoast Highway, check

Burgster
• Closed Monday, check
• Sad face, check
• I will be back, check (Burgster was very high on my list, so you can imagine if you dare my disappointment when I was sussing their Facey page only to realise it had those dreaded words “closed today’. I almost had a tear but held it back enough for me to put it down to a high pollen count and me being a weak breed in general. It’s Monday – I know heaps of places do it (heck, I own a restaurant and even that bad boy is closed Monday), I do not hold that against anyone I was just real keen to give it a bash… next time for sure.)

• Weird checking of ones self, check

Go to these places and let your face enjoy the good times!

Main Street Burger Bar and Mr Cook, my year 11 form room teacher

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main street burger bar byron bay
The café roulette wheel that is Byron Bay has been spun once again – this time revealing another new burger bar oozing with all of the qualities that new age burger bars possess; an American milkbar-esque fit out, quality local produce, home made fricking soda and lastly a certain amount of hipsterism because as we all know, if there’s two things those mother fuckers can do it’s make a decent drink (weather it be coffee, soda or a cocktail, these guys can do it… DNA programming right there) and a damn fine burger.

The menu looks pretty damn tasty

The menu looks pretty damn tasty

The place looks nice. It’s fresh and sparkly and new, and it smells pretty. It also has plenty of different seating scenarios to make everyone happy; foot path dining section for people watching, a back car park dining section for car park dodgy deal watching, and booths if you wanna get a little romantic and act like love struck teenagers section.

Winning.

The beef burger sitting aside some very impressive hot chips

The beef burger sitting aside some very impressive hot chips

We sat our weary asses down in the car park dodgy deals section and waited oh-so-keenly for our burgers.

After an impressively short (or maybe “length of time impeded” to be more PC) wait the friendly happy people made their way to our table with our order.

The beef burger... I wasn't over exaggerating

The beef burger… I wasn’t over exaggerating

The beef burger ($10) hit the table, or should I say it slinked its way onto the table. It kinda looked a little ashamed of the fact that it was mostly a big sweet bun (more on that in a second) ready-for-a-shave-lathered with mayo, encompassing a cute little grilled beef patty. That bun was the well and the poor little beef patty just kept getting forced to put the lotion on it’s skin or it got the hose again. Although it was plenty tasty in it’s own right, that cute little beef patty didn’t really stand a chance. It was like watching the hoochy mummas ass devouring her panties… The beef patty was both out gunned and out classed by the big, stronger flavoured bun, which I might add (yeah, here we go) was also damn sweet. Don’t get me wrong, I like a sweet bun just as much as the next guy (but do not necessarily like the sweet buns of the next guy), but I also like a little tang to counter that sweetness… and at the end of the day this burger just didn’t have a tang. No tang from the pickles. No tang from the mayo. No tang from the ketchup. No damn tang. I was not a huge fan of this burger.

That pork shoulder burger

That pork shoulder burger

The pork shoulder burger ($14) was in a pretty similar state of affairs. It was labeled as being crispy pork shoulder but was closer to being a little dry pork shoulder and there wasn’t a whole heap in there for your time. After we all had a try the rest was left on the plate… “Feed it to the pigs, Errol”.

Our saviour, the Sloppy Joe

Our saviour, the Sloppy Joe

The one burger that we had that was really worthwhile was the “Sloppy Joe” ($18); beef patty, brisket, barbecue glaze and house ‘slaw. This thing was moist and delicious. The tang of the BBQ glaze and ‘slaw was easily enough to foil the sweetness of the bun, and the double meat easily spanned it’s circumference plus more. The brisket was moist and delicious. This thing should’ve been called the “Happy Joe” because it certainly made me a happy, happy Joe… or Graz… Nope, this burger needs to be called the “Happy Graz”!

While we were eating the drinks mixologists went off to their little drinks mixology lab where they did some science and mixed that with a little voodoo magic and flicked out some cracking soda ($6). Like, really really good soda. That burger and the home made soda… that shit was the goods… on point…FTW.

Those chips...

Those chips…

They also served up some damn tasty chips. Chips can often be over looked in such a busy operation but these guys had it sorted. Crisp and tasty and each completed with a nice little dipping sauce; chips with rosemary salt and aioli ($6) and sweet potato chips with chipotle mayo ($6) were once again both on point and FTW.

The competition in Old Byron Town is stiff, like a virile young Dirk Diggler stiff, and although this place gets a little leeway for being the new kid on the block, I feel that if they don’t iron out a few teething problems pretty quickly they may indeed find themselves being flung out of the other end of that café roulette wheel and onto the metaphorical and/or actual pavement. But if they can get it together this place will be a gem of the local scene with out a doubt…
main street burger bar byron bay
I’m just going to finish up sounding like Mr Cook, my year 11 form room teacher, and say this place has so much potential. Sooo much potential.

Main Street Burger Bar, Byron Bay.

Lester and Earl… a place to get barbecue and booze at Palm Beach

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lester and earl, palm beach, the gold coast
Jennee used the interweb super highway to locate another American style barbecue joint for us to try at the Gold Coast, so indeed we did drive there to consume said smoky sustenance from the hickory tainted pits.

Looking up a Lester & Earl from the carpark out back

Looking up a Lester & Earl from the carpark out back


After what would’ve possibly been a half days journey by horse and cart, we pulled into the exit of the car park and parked our vehicle. The pulling into the exit was not because I am big and tough and don’t even give a fuck, but merely because I wasn’t wearing my glasses and don’t see the very best.

It was now time for me to get excited. Game on.

I will probably return to become great friends with that bar

I will probably return to become great friends with that bar


Now, I’ll let you in on a little moderately widely known fact about me; I get excited by the whole eating experience. Like, really excited. Like, I get excited like the new age hipster who has just found himself a solid supply of organic hand-crafted artisanal rocks to compliment his recycled wooden pallet shabby chic open plan lounge room/bathroom motif. One thing that really does not excite me though, is the new age hipster who has just found himself a solid supply of organic hand-crafted artisanal rocks to compliment his recycled wooden pallet shabby chic open plan lounge room/bathroom motif. Those people cannot be my friend. I fricking kid you not (yeah. Like top knot. Great pun, me) that shit is absolutely rife up here right now… I fear we may need to cull shortly to thin out their numbers purely in the interest of protecting the species as a whole, for soon there will not be enough hand-crafted organic chia seed, kale and tumeric loaves to support the population…

I’m probably going to get in trouble because I said I don’t like something. It’s not very nice if you say you don’t like things. It is generalized, pigeon holed, bigoted malarkey… but I did it… and you may need to prepare yourself for the scenario where I don’t actually recant my comment even one little bit…

But it could probably be said that we are not here today to discuss my uneducated social commentary, but rather to discuss the lunch we had at the comparatively new (compared to say, the beach and shining white sand that are mere meters from its doors) serving-all-things-southern-and-soulful establishment, Lester and Earl.

A bit of the menu

A bit of the menu


To start off with; great name folks. Really good. Now, moving on…
Root beer

Root beer


We were seated and quickly ordered some drinks. I ordered a root beer because I though I was a cowboy. Root beer tastes kinda funny but kinda nice to me, so I drank it all up. There was a bit of confusion with the other drinks but it was all sorted out fairly quickly which is good but… I’ve read quite a few reviews from peeps who weren’t really happy with the service here so maybe writing the orders down as they come from the mouths of the people, even if that’s just for the bigger tables, might be a better start?? Don’t get me wrong, I’m as impressed as the next guy if I can order 8 meals and it all hits the table as requested but, well, that just aint always the case… jus’ sayin’.

We ordered the ass out of what I thought to be a good cross section of what was on offer; beef short rib, pulled pork, buttermilk fried chicken, the American Classic burger, ‘slaw, collard greens and mac ‘n’ cheese.

Some of the goodies we put in our faces

Some of the goodies we put in our faces


See, that is a pretty good cross section.

When we ordered the chicken our waitress apologized and told us the wait was going to be 15 minutes. Her apology would have been better spent on something else worth apologizing about, like maybe her damn cheeriness, because I really didn’t consider that to be a wait. I was pretty sure I didn’t come to lunch at a fast food chain restaurant and I knew for a fact I have taken longer than that for my morning “movement”. Maybe the people are just in more of a hurry up here…

The food came, we ate, and we were happy.

That burger

That burger


The burger was a highlight, as was the smoked short rib and the pulled pork. Pulled pork with Carolina mustard sauce is quickly becoming one of my favourite things in the world… my family is still first though, but pulled pork could take the top spot on a really shitty day though. And I reeeeallllly loved those waffle cut potato things, they made me feel like a child and I want to put them on my own restaurant menu. Fucking tasty, not-every-day-food, fried goodness. Oh, and I almost forgot about the smoked jalapeño and bacon poppers – soooo damn good, but if they were jalapeños the chef must’ve used some kind of spice removal kit on them because, much like a snake playing a soccer match, they didn’t have any kick at all. But, they were just so effing tasty I had to let it slide. The ‘slaw was good with a little Asian influence, and the mac ‘n’ cheese was indeed cheesy and maccy ☺
Mac'n'cheese
The pickles and collard greens were possibly the only thing I didn’t enjoy the heck out of. The pickle was a wedge of onion. Now some things just go together and I NEED some pickles with my barbecue, full stop … it’s kinda like Sunny without Cher, gypsies with out trinkets or a certain Victorian football club without a drug scandal. And the greens? Well they were a little too beef stocky for me. I like them to be a little more chicken stocky and bacon or smoked sausage smoky.
They have refresher towels so you can clean your beard and/or face afterwards. This made me very happy and the rest of the family very less embarrassed

They have refresher towels so you can clean your beard and/or face afterwards. This made me very happy and the rest of the family very less embarrassed


It was still a pretty damn well arranged little symphony that’s fo’ sho.

All in all a damn good lunch in a nice spot over looking the Pacific Ocean and the beaches that stop said ocean from enveloping the Gold Coast. Next time I will try a little later in the arvo so I can get stuck into the bottles of stuff they have at the bar!

Those not-quite-jalepeno-but-still-really-tasty-poppers that I almost forgot about

Those not-quite-jalepeno-but-still-really-tasty-poppers that I almost forgot about


Lester and Earl1097 Goal Coast Highway, Palm Beach

The Empire Café and Burger Bar, Mullumbimby… a really nice place to eat a burger

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the empire cafe and burger bar mullumbimby
This place is doing the town of Mullumbimby a service.

It has brought to town a cracking range of burgers so that the local burgerfiles may be satisfied. And I’m sure it has done many other good things for the town to boot – fed a lonely puppy dog or mowed lawns for the elderly or something like that, just because the people who were working in the place seemed like they would do that sort of stuff. They just seemed genuinely nice and like they actually gave a fuck about how your stupid day was going or if you were enjoying your meal. When we arrived at 11am to realise that lunch started at 12, we told them no worries but we would come back in an hour when lunch (and the freaking burgers that I had driven out here to eat) were ready to get into my face, and then do you know what the young lady behind the counter said? Probably not, unless you were one of the three folks sitting along the wall, who had their faces deeply embedded in their laptops… but I don’t think that was you… well, I don’t think it was… Well what that young lady said was this; “You can order off the lunch menu now if you want”. I did want. I did want very much and I was very thankful for the offer. That is certainly something that could be called a textbook definition of hospitality.

The menu looks almost exactly like this

The menu looks almost exactly like this


I feel like I should be taking a bit more piss out of something these folks did, but I gotta tell you, everything about these peeps was just nice. Sure it was starting to seem like they may be part of some kind of alien worshipping cult, but I was going to give their burgers a go none-the-less. I was liking this place a whole heap by now, but it was way past the time that I needed to be finding out if their Grazza McFilthy Mouth winning service was backed up by premium product!

“Zorba the Greek” ($13) for Dr Chris, the boys both ordered “the Wolverine” ($14), I hooked into “the Drover” (the name of a burger. I did not try to hook into the actual drover as he seemed like he wouldn’t really be a broke back mountain type of guy) ($13) and then I grabbed some onion rings and sweet potato wedges ($4 each) for the family… or mostly for myself.

The Wolverine. What a fricking beast!

The Wolverine. What a fricking beast!


“The Wolverine” was indeed a beast that was almost enough to leave a permanent scar on my children… almost. Although it did not come with retractable hand knife things, it did indeed come with a beef pattie, bacon, fried egg, caramelized pineapple, cream cheese, beetroot, tomato and lettuce. This thing stood tall and proud and it was not going to take shit from anyone that’s for sure. I don’t know if I was more impressed with the burger or the fact I had to fight my kids for a bite, but it was damn impressive either way. Truly a beast!

Dr Chris, who you may remember from “I’m not an actual doctor but I’m more than happy to take a look for you” fame, or possibly from the “A Current Affair” exclusive, or even from the fact that he is my dearest Jennee’s birth father, gave his lamb burger the tick of approval, although he said he was yearning for a bigger chunk of meat. Now, I’m not sure if he’d gone totally off-subject or if he was still referring to the meat in the burger but that shredded lamb would’ve done me fine.

Bloody younger generation and their damn trendiness *waves fist in air like crazy old person*

That Drover

That Drover


“The Drover” was perfect. Yeah, I know, that’s what she said. Everything I need in a burger was held between the cheeks of that decent bun; well seasoned beef pattie, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, chilli jam and chipotle mayo. So damn good.

I washed my burger down with the best sweet potato wedges I have quite possibly ever eaten and a few different condiments to lube them up a little for the journey to my belly.

The best sweet potato wedges with the third best onion rings

The best sweet potato wedges with the third best onion rings


OK, the question of everybody’s lips; the onion rings. You know the humble onion ring is a pretty touchy subject around these parts but, well, I’m always going to give them a go. They were OK but they were more of a thick batter ring than an onion ring. I did not send them to the lab for testing but that batter was waaaay to thick for me to find too much onion in there, so they were kind of forgettable which is probably why I kind of forgot about them. I know that you may think that I have some kind of onion ring hex on me with my luck lately, but I’m sure they will come good soon…

I don’t even know how I found out about this place but I’m sure it was an accident. Actually, that is a complete lie. I do know how I found out about this place and I know it was an accident.

The story goes like this; Jennee was scouring the guide for the Mullum Music Festival (a pretty good reason to head to Mullum in itself) when she came across an ad for these guys. She sent me a pic of said ad and then I went here. That is it. I love a short story!

Nom nom chomp chomp

Nom nom chomp chomp


So yes, the Empire Burger Bar has done the little hinterland town of Mullumbimby a very generous service.

Go there so I may sleep well tonight for I have spread the good word.

Empire Café and Burger Bar Mullumbimby

Bayger Gourmet Burgers, Byron Bay… still delivering the goods

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bayger burgers byron bay
It had been quite a while since we had visited our ol’ fave, Bayger Gourmet Burgers in Byron Bay. Bayger is a bit of an old dog in a world of young pups when it comes to the local gourmet burger scene and we were keen to suss out if they were still delivering the goods and cocking their leg all over the place, or if they had become incontinent and spent all day in bed licking their own gear…

The storm clouds rolled in from the south as we headed into “the Bay” to rekindle this old friendship. Storm clouds in the middle of spring! That did not deter us though.

The sky bellowed like the stomach of Thor himself was rumbling after he had eaten one too many shrimp surprise from the all you can eat buffet. It was sounding ominous that’s for sure, but still we did not falter.

It rained (and I am always a little suspicious when the bright blue skies of spring are smothered by the fluffy grey harbinger of wetness. Yes, the fluffy grey “pocket rocket” battery powered woman’s accessory if you will…) as if Thor was indeed displeased with me. Displeased with me. And I have no idea why. I mean, in the last two weeks I have sacrificed three perfectly good goats… three goats… I don’t know… it’s between me and Thor I guess. Needless to say, we soldiered on.

We made it to Bayger and promptly ordered our meal as we were quite hungry, but we are always pretty quite hungry it is true.

Rolling with the big dogs and getting the hell into my face

Rolling with the big dogs and getting the hell into my face


Not a single one of our number could go past the Bacon & Cheese ($12.90);
Prime beef, crispy bacon, melted cheddar cheese, salad & BayGer sauce with your choice of wholemeal, light sourdough or Turkish bun. We all added the chips and home made lemonade meal deal option for an extra $2.50, and we also had the beer battered onion rings with garlic aioli* ($5).

The burgers here are both delicious and tasty. The patties are well seasoned, juicy and just cooked past medium, I had the Turkish bun which was indeed Turkish bun like and the salad makes the burger appear to be healthy, which it probably almost is until we had the bacon and cheese option. I’m not sure what is in their Bayger sauce but it kinda tasted like it was mayonnaise with chopped pickle… maybe not, but it still worked well on their burger anyhow.

Come here

Come here you sexy effer


The shoestring fries were a nice change. I don’t see them around a lot anymore and they are quite possibly my second favourites after the crinkle cut chip. Crisp and damn tasty, covered with some kinda special seasoning and perfect for carrying condiments to my mouth just like a good chip should be. Good chip. Good chip.

The home made lemonade (which has a drop of rose water I think) is cracking. I seriously crave that stuff as much as I crave the burgers. I crave it like I crave just one day free of stupid people. It is deliciously refreshing and once again gives your brain the impression that you are being healthy! They even gave us free refills, which mad me feel extra special and like this place even more. I am a seriously fickle mother fucker and that is the sort of shit that is going to have me coming back for more.

Very, very tasty

Very, very tasty


Now this is the part of the really good report card that I never like. I know I am not a teacher and Bayger is by no means my student, but that is the best analogy I can come up with so that shall be how we roll today. The onion rings. No good. The batter was almost rubbery. I don’t know why, but that’s how it was. Onion rings are some of my favourite things (along with unicorns, fluffy bunny rabbits and waterfalls made of that kick-ass home made lemonade) and I really think they aren’t done well often enough. That is what I reckon people.

And I will tell you this for free; these guys are still rocking their OG styles. Great burgers with a bit of a healthy aspect to them, loaded with local produce and washed down with awesome home made lemonade. Bayger are indeed still rolling with the big dogs and delivering what your burger eating face needs… possibly as long as your face doesn’t really need onion rings, that’s all. This place is still well worth the visit for the rest of its offerings!

Click here to save yourself the time it will take you to type Bayger Gourmet Burgers Byron Bay.

*I love it when people call aioli “garlic aioli”. Aioli literally translates to garlic oil. Garlic garlic oil is funny. It’s like that whole ATM machine or PIN number thing. I know, I should just leave people alone.

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