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

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.

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

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

WilliamsBurg, Lennox Head, NSW – A really really good place to go to eat a burger.

williamsburg lennox head
A new burger joint within the distance that I may ride my donkey from my house and not need to use public facilities on the way is the type of thing that is going to get me excited. I also get quite excited by midget porn … and midget wrestling… just midget anything really. Or should I be saying little people? Small people? I don’t bloody know. Somebody hook a brother up with the low down eh.

So,
1. New burger joint
2. Close enough to our house
3. Got a bit of a weird little thing going on in my brain where it feels like there is a few of those aforementioned little people in my brain and they are trying to punch their way out from the inside. (I’m not sure what the heck happened but I do remember going to our good friends wedding, having a beer, owning the dance floor and the microphone, having another beer, groping the bride’s mother, or was that the father? Yep, definitely the father. Had another beer, paid way too much for a taxi home, had another beer, retired gracefully to bed, woke up with said pain in head. Best I can deduce with nary the capabilities or funds needed to purchase a junior detective’s kit so I may take the investigation further, is some bastard did something to my brain while I was sleeping. Not cool… not cool at all)
4. New burger joint
5. They have deep fried pickles

That little list meant that I had 5 reasons to get my ragged ass out of bed on this day, and take that same ass for a leisurely drive through the winding roads that make up these back hills of the far north coast of NSW, and what a journey it was.

The burger menu looked like this
The burger menu looked like this

We found WilliamsBurg perched quite aptly on the corner of William St and another street that I can’t remember the name of (but if you’re super curious it is the one that runs along the beach front) in the little beachside town of Lennox Head and with that I found my self a new reason to go on and dare I say, love. We made our way inside, sat down, looked at menus and ordered some stuff… pretty much the things you would expect of someone going into a restaurant…

There was plenty of booze to choose from including local new kid on the block, the Top Shed, amber liquid on tap (but I will be honest and tell you that my face did choose an apple and guava juice due to the pummeling it had taken from old matey booze the night previous), and then there were the burgers. These burgers were almost godly. They could’ve almost done themselves more justice by calling the place heaven… if that wasn’t the shittiest name you could actually call anything except actual heaven… These guys truly know how to treat a piece of meat (nudge nudge, wink wink). This place should be the template for what a gourmet burger joint should strive to be – a well cooked burger put together with a slew of local ingredients produced by some of the regions finest, and the sides to back it up. I don’t know if I am conveying this point successfully but I think these guys make REALLY EFFING GOOD BURGERS.

That burger coming down from heaven to go into my face

After visiting WilliamsBurg for the first time recently I declared on other social media that there was not one single thing about my experience that I did not love, which was almost entirely true, but then I just remembered the mayonnaise. The mayonnaise was not as excellent as every other thing I tasted. The mayonnaise tasted kinda like some eggs and oil emulsified together (which we as a reality cooking show watching public know is a damn good start, right?) but then it didn’t seem to have too much else in it… like mustard or vinegar or seasoning. But that was the only little thing, like the only little thing. Yeah, I could have let it go, but I didn’t get the moniker “the mayonnaise nazi” by letting things like this slide 😉

Back to the good stuff.

“The William” with a few onion strips

Seba and I both went straight for the jugular of “the William” (beef patty, bacon, double cheese, lettuce, bacon jam, special sauce and deep fried pickles $16) which was without a doubt the best burger I have ever eaten in my life and the benchmark to which I will measure all burgers from here on in, and I do believe that’s all I need to say about that. (PS Laura’s Mess, something similar to this will be going down at the burger challenge my friend)

Jennee opted for “the Moocher” with it’s beer battered local fresh fish (today it was blue eye cod), ‘slaw and tartare sauce ($15.5). simple and delicious… or simply delicious… or something.

I didn't really get any pics of anything else because I was too busy having the time of my life with this sexy thing
I didn’t really get any pics of anything else because I was too busy having the time of my life with this sexy thing

Obi just wanted chips, which is highly unusual when there’s a burger on offer, but you know what? This was one of those days that if one of the kids want to have just chips for lunch, they can have just chips for lunch. So we got those chips, which were so crisp and tasty and just damn good, and we also got some crispy battered onion strips of awesome just to round it all off.

We all left so very very satiated and possibly a little smarter and better looking, the healing qualities of a damn fine burger fully realised.

I will go back to WilliamsBurg very soon. In fact, I feel that if it were just a wee bit closer, I would go there very often and very quickly turn into a red bearded Elvis type character.

Corner of Williams St and Pacific Parade (yeah I looked it up for you), Lennox Head, NSW. Go there now

Bayger Burgers, Byron Bay

Bayger burger joint, Byron Bay

Yep. You see what they did there with the name? Very sneaky. Like little white trash kids sneaking into the big top circus when it rolls through town… Very sneaky indeed.

Bayger is another addition to the ever-growing family of new wave eateries modern society calls “the burger bar”. Local free-range meats, locally baked buns, gourmet salad and home made sauces. Effing awesome. I love this shit.

As soon as I looked at the menu though, I discovered a typo. I continued reading and discovered a few more typos. This annoys me on a menu. On a random assed food blog – that’s fine, but on a menu… People got spell check right? A big brother or sister? Something? (Just in case, I will recant my previous paragraph if I am informed that they are crazy hippies and intended to write “we serve our beef burgers with slightly pink center enchanting the flavour”. I didn’t notice the pink center enchanting the flavour while we were there, but that’s not to say it wasn’t going on…)

Buffalo wings came with no blue cheese sauce, which was kinda disappointing since we were gagging for buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce, and got them because the menu read “buffalo wings… with a side of blue cheese dipping sauce”. But our buffalo wings came with no blue cheese dipping sauce. Maybe should of told us at the start instead of shrugging it off with a “no we don’t have any of that”. But they were good fried chicken wings tossed in sweet chilli.

Onion rings were good. Could have had a slightly thicker batter though.

Burgers were great except they were missing the pickle they were cited as having on the menu. But they were great. Cooked medium, juicy, well-seasoned, squishy soft Turkish bun… Fantastic. Really good burgers just let down a little by small inconsistencies. But this is what I’m always talking about. In the hospitality game, no matter how big your restaurant, or how small your wiener penis willy hotdog stand, you need to have consistency. You need to give people the product you are telling them they will get. And do it well… and then, as Jesus said*, life shall be good for all.

It was, like, 34 bucks for two burgers, fries, onion rings, “buffalo wings”, and a house made juice which tasted like fresh lemon, rose water and sugar? Maybe like a middle eastern home made lemonade. Well and truly worth it if they could just iron out a couple of kinks.

*may not be an actual quote from Jesus.