Thursday, November 11, 2010

Danny's Burgers, Fitzroy North by Big Fil

Danny's promotes itself as established in 1945 and Melbourne's best burgers. I suspect that one of those two statements is true.

It's really hard to find a good hamburger bar in Australian cities these days. And there's no doubt that Danny's is a good hamburger bar. However, I think best Burger's in Melbourne is a bit of a stretch.

Coming from an Adelaide beachside suburb, back when a balanced meal was one you could carry in two hands without dropping it, I grew up on newspaper wrapped hamburgers and fish and chips. And most hamburgers then were much better than the overly processed rubbish that passes for a hamburger at today's international food chains. But even then it was true that the best hamburgers were generally found in small country towns.

This wasn't just because everyone likes to find a small out of the way place they can claim as their own. It was because these used the best, freshest ingredients. You just knew it was going to be good when you ordered a chicken burger and had to wait a while because the guy was out back strangling his chicken.

I still think country burgers are generally better than city ones, even though standards seem to have dropped there too. Where they have improved is in the burgers available at some gastro pubs. You may have to search but this is where you'll find the best burgers in Melbourne today. They mightn't have the streetcred but they do use better ingredients.

Anyway, on to Danny's burgers. Danny's looks the part - grill behind the counter, TV in the corner, bench along the side, menu up on the wall. While not the most comfortable place to sit it does remind me of the hamburger joints I used to frequent as a kid. All it needs is a few more retro 50's, 60's or 70's ads for chiko rolls or ice cold coco-cola. And an old school pinball machine in the corner.

Unfortunately the burger with the lot was a little disappointing. On the plus side, it had the real grill flavours and textures of a proper hamburger. There were a couple of cons though. It was a little dry, and I also prefer onion rings to diced onion and like my bacon thicker and crispier. Still good, but a let down for a place advertising itself as the best in Melbourne.

Better was the steak sandwich. Lightly toasted white bread, tomato, bacon and onion with a thinly cut but adequate amount of steak. Again I would have liked my bacon a bit thicker and crisper, but overall it was moist, tasty and filling.

But best was the chicken fillet burger. I really should have got this with pineapple, just for the nostalgia, but remembering how this often made the burger soggy just went for bacon and cheese. White hamburger buns, moist chicken fillet, why can't other places make their chicken burgers like this. Could happily have eaten a second except I was already struggling with the large chips I had ordered on the side.

While not the best burgers I have ever had, Danny's is the best hamburger joint I have been to for a while. Toasted rather than caramelised buns, meat which doesn't appear to have grill marks photo copied onto it, staff that look like they have been making hamburgers for years rather than having finished their training the day before. It should be so easy but not many places do a proper, flavoursome hamburger these days.

Food - 7.5
Ambience - 7
Service - 6.5
Price - 7

360 St Georges Rd
Fitzroy North VIC 3068
Tel: (03) 9481 5847

Danny's Burgers on Urbanspoon

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