Of the many things a person is forced to give up upon diagnosis of coeliac disease, or food intolerances, few are as dramatically life altering as the humble burger.
From the soft and tasty bun to the flavoursome patty, and the all important sauce, this precarious balance can swiftly been thrown off by the exclusion of one or more of the vital components.
Though a few sites boast lists pertaining to the best gluten free burgers in Melbourne, frequent visits to places on those lists have proved disappointing, as though many writing the lists don’t understand what makes a burger good in the first place.
Further still, what about the “normal” people who eat alongside us? How do they know that the gluten free burger will be listen on a menu alongside decent glutinous, cheesy burgers, dripping with onions?
Welcome to my 2017 initiative: So You Want To Eat a Burger. Here, myself, one who must abstain from GLUTEN, LACTOSE and FRUCTOSE, will review burgers alongside a compadre who can eat whatever they damn well please. Together, we will diligently work to bring together the official and comprehensive list of the best intolerant friendly burgers in Melbourne, but also the best place for both the food intolerant and intolerably healthy, to eat delicious burgers, and of course, fries, together.
The Beer and Burger Bar
Location: 112 Swan St, Richmond
Contact: (03) 9429 5934; firstname.lastname@example.org
Open for Business: Sun – Thu: 11 AM to 10 PM; Fri – Sat: 11 AM to LATE
Score: At the bottom of the review. READ ON…
Can’t have beer without sport and no back support
Claire (The pain in the ass):
The Beer and Burger Bar breaks the menu down into eight burgers defined by their patty, plus a weekly special. There’s a vegetarian option, though the inclusion of haloumi and aioli, leaves vegan burger lovers hungrier than usual.
For those feeling brave, there is The Don, a burger made up of 1.2kg of beef, 16 bacon rashers and all the usual suspects served in a 700g house made brioche bun, with a side of chips and two cans of soft drink. The record at time of writing is 25 minutes and 55 seconds. 24 hours notice required.
On the other hand, if you feel like tiny burgers, they also do that. Sliders are available, but only for the gluten munchers amongst us.
I’ll break the news early: there are no gluten free fries. The chips are beer battered, bringing disappointment and increased sadness (as if we needed it) to the gluten intolerant masses.
I omitted the cheese from The Chicken Burger for my late lunch. The poultry was accompanied by tomato, smashed avocado, lettuce, smoked bacon and a chipotle aioli. Avocado, tomato and aioli contain a moderate level of fructose, so I manage my consumption of these ingredients carefully to avoid trouble.
The chicken was tasty, avoided being too dry, and was complemented by a standard mix of nice ingredients. The sauce was interesting, really quite delicious, but I still found myself searching the table of condiments for something to add with a bit more pizazz.
Where the meal was really let down was the bun. Dry and crumbly, almost seeming stale, far too thick, and stodgy as it went down, a constant reminder that I was eating a lesser version of the fares than my “normal” companion.
Perhaps it’s my fault for ordering wine (from a very small list) instead of the titular beer (very extensive selection), but the drinks side of thing for a joint that advertised booze before burgers, left me less than impressed. The wine, a Pinot Grigio, wasn’t very good, to the point I was concerned it may have turned. As I mourned the lack of gluten free beer on a very hot day, I watched the staff pour my glass from the same bottle of wine they’d just used on their forehead and neck to cool themselves down. On that note, the staff really let the experience down. Disinterested and unhelpful, I’ve had far better customer service from a 15-year-old at McDonalds.
Dan (The one who eats whatever he wants):
I consumed The Beast, a classic double burger: double beef patty, double cheese and double bacon. As a whole, the burger was large enough to feel big, but not too large you couldn’t eat it with 2 hands.
The beef patties were well cooked and easy to get through, though arguably a touch dry. The cheese had a fantastic melt within the burger; pulling out with a mouthful always dragged some cheese strands with it, of which was good quality. The bacon was a secondary portion of the meal, adding but not noticeably so. The burger contained the unusual choice of gherkins, they neither made nor broke the meal. The bun was possibly the weakest part of the meal, not weak as a whole but imparted little.
A powerful part of The Beast were its sauces. The burger has a 3 headed monster of tomato Sauce, American mustard and aioli. These combined very well with the rest of the burger, they avoided being the dominant flavour or completely absent. The fillings did not carry the sauce, the sauce didn’t carry the fillings. The mustard gave it enough kick to add to the overall experience.
The burger was garnished with an onion ring. I’m not about the onion ring life in the way some are, but it was of a decent quality, an inoffensive part of the meal.
Dan: Chocolate Oreo Milkshake
This was a treat. The milkshake passed the first test of all milkshakes, having some discernible flavour other than milk, and boy did it ever. It was strongly flavoured by its Oreo content, which made it quite chocolatey, and added some tasty chunks through the straw (a texture I adore). Only downside was the size, a little on the small side.
DAN – 8/10
Other fillings: 8/10
X-Factor: Onion Ring
CLAIRE – 6.2/10
Other fillings: 7/10
Any burger recommendations? Let a gal know in the comments.