Aussie burgers

September 2010

From the sublime to the gorblimey. Going through some old files the other day I came across a menu from a Spanish place — chain, actually — called Bocatta. This business was obviously begun by a Spaniard who had looked at Macca’s and thought, “Hmmm, good idea, lousy food.” Bocatta uses the same techniques of assembly and serving as the big one, but what you get is really good: crusty baguettes with jamón, tuna with peppers, really good cheese and even a Bocatta Burger, which was terrific. And they served beer and wine.

Cut to Australia 2010. Grill’d, an Australian burger chain — 33 already, with two more at 314 Victoria Street and 241 Crown Street, both in Darlinghurst. I got stuck into a burger at the Crown Street branch. And what a pleasant experience it was. You order at the counter, sit with a number, watch the burgers being made, then the call of “Runner!” and, hey, presto, had my very fine crispy bacon and cheese hold the cheese inside of five minutes. There’s beer in the fridge but they haven’t got their RSA yet. It’s a good bready bun (what a change) or a damper thing if you prefer, with a thick, perfectly cooked patty of identifiable meat, crispy bacon, relish, herbed mayo, torn lettuce and beetroot and tomato. There are also Moroccan lamb burgers and all sorts of vegie burgers. It’s a bright, airy joint with white walls and a communal table as well as smaller ones, big Manga drawings and slogans on the wall (‘INVISIBLE IS REAL’) — and polite service. Got me. Let’s hope they can roll over The Big One and bury them.

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