Have I ever mentioned I absolutely despise food ‘trends’ (this you might know..) and will do anything in my power to avoid succumbing to them? I got into macarons six months too late, a freak shake is bloody beautiful to look at but would be a nightmare to eat and no thanks, I’m not forking out $8.5 for a deep fried croissant – hello heartburn.
‘How can you call yourself a TRUE foodie?’, you may ask. Well, here’s my answer – food is not a trend or a fad or a style or a materialistic expression of oneself. Food is nourishment and family and culture and tradition and simple and complex and a million other brilliant things. But food can never be to me what my Belgian cousin described to me as ‘éphémére’. It is never fleeting or just a passing interest. It hurts that it is just that to so many people today, what with the flickering of images being posted on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest every millisecond of every day.
By now, you do know that I have a very roundabout way of getting to a point. It builds up the hype around the topic, correct me if I’m wrong will you? What I’m trying to get at is this: why did burgers have to give in to the land of the fashionable? Burgers have been around for more than I care to look back in history and yet, all of a sudden, they’re now suddenly the next best thing, a new craze. It’s sad because it’s turning age-old practicality (meat and vegetables between two buns to make the perfect portable finger food) into something almost éphémère. I say almost because unlike frosted salted caramel cupcakes and mint green Chanel nail polish, burgers will always come back in season. They were always apart of the in crowd, never out of style.
If I reshift my perspective, I can appreciate that all these cafes and restaurants and burger chains are reviving something I’ve always had a soft spot for. All the way back in time when my love for juicy buns began. Back to when I was inhaling mammoth Whoppers in the back seat of mum’s Holden Commodore on our way home from school (and never asking for double meat EVER again thereafter).
I have this dream that I will blog once a week about something I’ve obsessed over but this is simply not going to happen with how my brain is functioning lately. So even though I’ve tried multiple burgers over the last couple of years to find some of Sydney’s best treasures, this is my first burger review. Wow, here we go folks. The Lord Gladstone Hotel has been making the blog rounds lately and yes, I waited a long time for the hype and trendiness to die down but I’ve given in. The promise of an American-style cheeseburger was too good to pass up on.The location is a short walk down from Redfern or up from Central and the look and feel is very old-school pub. Walk inside and take a whiff of stale cigarettes, beer-soaked tartan carpet and rocky tables. Not my idea of amazing ambience but whatever, we’re here for burgaaaaaas.I’m in the mood for freshness so I go for the Bushwick ($16 with fries) – beef patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and ‘burger’ sauce. My fellow burger fiends go for the Cheeseburger ($15 with fries) – beef patty, THREE slices of cheese, pickles, ketchup and mustard (and added bacon for an extra $2). You get a buzzer and wait your turn to pick up your order. And I’m first. YAAS.Unlike what I saw on the blogosphere, shoestring fries have now become crisp, chunky sticks of fluffy potato with the most addictive salty spicy seasoning. So good.
But the burgers? They’re a bit..average? Delicious with a soft squishy bun and a smoky patty but the lettuce and tomato were a little flimsy and I was paying quite a lot for such a miniature thing. This burger sauce situation was also non-existent so I needed the squiz of ketchup to relieve my addiction to condiments.Both friends thoroughly enjoyed their burgers but again, the size was pretty small and there wasn’t much WOW about these fancy attempts at McDonald’s-esque things.
So the quest is still on for Sydney’s best burger and maybe I’m okay with this being a trend! Burgers for life I say..
The Lord Gladstone Hotel, (02) 9310 1483, 115 Regent Street Chippendale NSW 2008, find them on Facebook.