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

Coffee Beef Brisket with Spicy Barbecue Sauce… and a month in the life of foodisthebestshitever

coffee brisket with home made barbecue sauce
I don’t even know where to start about what has been happening in my life that is so damn important that I don’t have a free moment to say hi to you folks out there in Blogland. I know, I know… I should probably start at the beginning. Yes, that makes perfect sense… start at the beginning.

Well *takes a deep breath* you know how we opened a restaurant back a little bit? No? Well we did open a restaurant a couple of months back and that is well and truly sucking me dry of inkling of spare time I thought I might have had. Yes I am it’s drunkard seafarer and it is my two dollar lady of the night… except with minimal risk of venereal disease. We have been waiting for a restaurant to call our very own for quite some time now, and this restaurant was a very fortuitous opportunity indeed, that presented itself as we were in the middle of some pretty big house renos, oh, and we were already pushing extra hard to get these house renos done by the time of my fortieth birthday party… which was just last week.

*pauses for another breath*

*tries to work out what the hell the point is and possibly if there is a segue here at all*

Yep. Proper grown up now… well at least that’s what they keep telling me.

So, in rather a large “fuck off” to being old and permanently retiring my dancing shoes, we held a bit of a ho-down and partied just like it was 1998 again… minus the lollipops. Ah the lollipops. Definitely one of those stories best saved for another time, like possibly when you and I sit down with the colonel and enjoy a good stiff drink whilst wearing our brown dressing gowns… AKA not at all.

We partied like twenty year olds and then spent three days recovering, looking not at all dis-similar to a person with an acquired brain injury or possibly a group of incapacitated elderly minus the incontinence… well, mostly minus the incontinence. We certainly SHOULD have had carers but no one had the foresight to book that shit in so there we sat, verbally defecating all over anyone who was with-in earshot. We had defective head meat. My brain’s wifi was weak, very weak and there was no sign of the signal improving for a few days at least. It was like my brain was using one of those cheap and nasty service providers that give you reception nowhere… basically not even close to being able to perform the one task they were created for. So that was my brain. Got over it eventually but it was certainly not a pretty sight.

Also, just a little something I noticed this year about birthdays. Why does everyone tell you what to do on your birthday? Seriously, everyone I saw had something to say, telling me to do things like “enjoy your day”, and my social media was filled (yes filled. I’m hella popular in the virtual realm… not sure what happened in reality) with comments like “have a great birthday” – straight up just telling me what to do. Well you know what? You have a great day; I’ll do what ever the fuck I want.

Just a little something I noticed…

While my brain recovered I searched for a recipe past Graz may have had the foresight to stash for future hungover Graz so that he may appease the people and, much to his credit, past Graeme had done me proud. Here’s what that sexy bastard saved for me.

Cook some brisket
Cook some brisket

Make some barbecue sauce
Make some barbecue sauce
Put it into a burger with some 'slaw
Put it into a burger with some ‘slaw
Sit in the carpark
Sit in the carpark

Eat the shit out of that bad boy!
Eat the shit out of that bad boy!

COFFEE BEEF with SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE (for a gathering of the hungry mans club)

3-4kg piece beef brisket
2 cups strong black coffee
1 cup water
Salt and pepper
The home made bbq sauce down below
Rolls and ‘slaw to serve

• Marinate beef in coffee and extra water overnight or at least… well… overnight, just like I said
• Roast covered in 150C oven or simmer very gently on the stove top for 5 or so hours* or until very tender. If liquid dries up before meat is cooked add a little water, 1 cup at a time, until that bad boy is melting like your heart did when you first saw that young lady you now call your wife. This is also a grand opportunity to pull out your slow cooker and let the beef simmer away for the day in that. Do it, it’s feesable, don’t feel like you’re cheating anyone here
• Once that piece of sexy beefy goodness is done set aside and allow to cool for a bit
• Now slice it up (or shred it for a pulled beef type scenario) best you can and get it onto a bun of some description, possibly with a bit of ‘slaw and a little home made spicy barbecue sauce, and get it into your belly

SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE (adapted from Manfuel)

May I just say this spicy barbecue sauce certainly is the good shit.

1 cup tomato paste
4 cups water plus 1 cup water
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
½ – 1 cup chipotle chilli, depending on how much heat you like, chopped or pureed
2 teaspoon each smoked paprika, ground cumin, onion powder and garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup corn flour (starch) to thicken

• Cook out tomato paste and brown sugar on a low heat until sugar is dissolved
• Add the rest of the spices and stir until mostly dissolved. Cook out for a minute or two
• At this point add in the 4 cups of water and apple cider vinegar
• While the sauce simmers a bit, combine the 1 cup water with the corn flour (starch) in a bowl and mix thoroughly until completely dissolved
• After letting the barbecue sauce come up to a simmer, add in the corn flour mixture and stir everything thoroughly
• Once again bring the sauce back up to a simmer and you should notice it thickening up fairly quickly. Simmer the sauce for 3 – 5 minutes more stirring as it goes. Don’t simmer too long with the corn flour in there or the thickeners could break down
• Put this all over your brisket burger so it drips down your shirt and you look like an animal. I really do enjoy a good sloppy burger

Another Damn Fine Piece of Slow Cooked Beef Shin

slow roasted beef shin, dexter beef, northern rivers food nsw Boutique was once a word reserved for a place where a proper lady or the merrier of young gentlemen may be able to purchase perfume or a fashionable new handbag. Now, in these modern times we live in, boutique has become a word to describe the ever-growing number of small producers of meat, cheese, beer and things of the sort, and in equal capacity, also small hotels and guesthouses. In the Northern Rivers of New South Wales we are lucky enough to have many “boutique” producers of everything from meat to cheese to fruit and vegetables to bread to, well, even handbags for the more mature amongst us who are not embracing the current trends and require something a little more old school from the word. To get hold of a nice piece of pig or cow one need not look any further then the local farmer’s market or farm shop. Sunforest Organic Pork, Hayters Hill Beef or Cromwell Farms are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg or, if I may be so bold, the tip of the iceberg lettuce… or the cows teat… or the hipsters top knot… Whatever. Cromwell Farms, producers of old breed pork and Dexter beef, was the boutique purveyor of meats where this tasty tasty beef shin was acquired. Greg and Alison at Cromwell Farms hold regular pop-up farm shops where you can go and sample some of the produce being cooked by a local chef (yeah. It’s been me once or twice ☺) and purchase whatever it is you need to fill your home fridge and/or freezer. If per chance you do ever end up at a Cromwell Farms pop-up pork sale (maybe you wandered a little too far off the track after leaving the night club at 5am) do not, I repeat do not, leave with out a bag of bacon in your possession. Old breed pork smoked properly by Pat at the Clunes Butcher, it is amazeballs… and I don’t use that word lightly as I feel it makes me sound a little prattish. Back to the beef shin. I have said before that the secondary cuts of meat are my favourites and the beef shin certainly falls into this category. I have most definitely mentioned these cuts are a little easier on your back pocket. I have told you that if you give them a bit of love and some long and low cooking they pay you back ten fold in the flavour department. I can not force you to do anything but if I could by crikey it would be to go out and get a less favoured cut of meat, give it the love it deserves and see if that doesn’t change the way you think… but… well, I can’t fix stupid can I? Anyway, that story was nothing more than a premise as to where this beef shin came from on this one day… and I guess a little homage to the people who work so damn hard to make this available for the consumer or more importantly; just me. Also, worthy of note is this was a little almost cooking lesson with fellow bloggergeist and friend, Sam of Loving Lismore. We spent the afternoon cooking, sharing stories of strange carnie folk and one eyed goat herders and taking rightful care of the odd glass of three year old grape juice. Magic. Yep. Well done.

That piece of meat seasoned up and ready to hit the pan
That piece of meat seasoned up and ready to hit the pan
Sammy chops the onions
Sammy chops the onions
About to head into the oven
About to head into the oven
The beans go in and it can have another hour in the heat
The beans go in and it can have another hour in the heat

SLOW COOKED BEEF SHIN with CANNELLINI BEANS, TOMATO, GARLIC and HERBS (serves 6) 1 whole beef shin, 1kg ish 10 baby onions or eshallots (or 2 larger onions), peeled and quartered length ways 5 cloves garlic, chopped 2 punnets cherry or grape tomatoes, or a 400g tin of diced tomatoes will do the trick 2 400g tins cannellini beans 2 cups red wine 1 boquette garni of 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig rosemary and a few sprigs thyme A splash of olive oil Seasoning Salsa verde, crusty bread and a side or two to serve • Season the bejezuz out of that lump of meat. Rub it down with the massage, er, olive oil while you’re at it • Brown meat in an oven proof dish (or in a pan and then transfer to an over proof dish for baking) on the stove top • Once meat has some decent colour on it add onions and garlic and an extra splash of oil if it needs some lubricant, sauté until soft and fragrant • Deglaze with wine and add tomatoes and herbs. Cover and transfer to 170-180C oven for 3 hours or until meat is falling from grace… er, the bone… Covering the dish helps it steam a little from the inside, which in turn helps with the cooking process • Roll the meat over 1 hour into cooking, and then back one hour later. After the second turn it’s time to add the cannellini beans • When the meat is ready you will be able to push it from the bone with a spoon. If it is not ready after 3 hours put it back in for another halfa. Be patient. Do not eat it yet as it’s toughness will dishearten you and you will quite possibly end up naked in the foetal position in the corner of your bathroom… again • Pull the beef from the bone with tongs (or your bare hands if today is the day you make the world your bitch) and serve with salsa verde and your favourite sides. We had sweet potato mash and sautéed fennel, leek, cabbage and sauerkraut with a heap of butter because that’s what Sammy wanted • This is definitely one of those meals that needs to be washed down with a heap of red… a heap of red

You do not need a knife if you have cooked it properly
You do not need a knife if you have cooked it properly