Burger Inc., Geelong
The rather highly rated Burger Inc. flashed up on my radar when I was recently looking for a feed in Geelong.
The menu was quite extensive – almost too extensive – for a place that only sells one thing; the curious numbering, rather than naming, of menu items only made that fact more obvious. I’m not sure I was a fan of the numbering at all actually – there’s just something not quite right about going up to the counter and asking for a number two. Despite its sheer number of options, the menu seemed to lack diversity: while there was some variation in topping combinations (cheese, cheese and bacon, bacon and pineapple, and so on) a significant number of burgers came with the same relish and aioli, including the satay one. Satay sauce, relish and aioli? Hmm.
Menu criticisms aside, I must get talking about the food. Oh wait – one more thing – I personally feel that a decent burger is not quite complete without mustard nor pickle, and I was disappointed to see that there was only a choice of a beef burger with mustard OR a beef burger with cheese. That’s like choosing between your children. Alas, no pickles were to be found either. Sigh.
I ended up with a number one (please contain your inner toilet humour) which was a beef burger with cheddar cheese, salad, relish and aioli ($10.90).
The oval-shaped patty was adorned with a coat of evenly melted cheese. Boasting a crispy, charred exterior, it was moderately juicy, although not to the extent of forming any decent-sized plate puddle. Despite the good first impression given by the impeccable crust and cheese-melt-factor, the patty wasn’t particularly impressive. It was lacking in meaty flavour and there were visible specks of green, herbaceous material – sure signs of adulteration. A good meat patty needs no additives.
Relish was unfortunately scarce and the aioli – which I have always maintained has no place on a beef burger – had that whitish, translucent quality of the stuff typically found in a jar at the supermarket. At least the bun was decent though: crusty, chewy white bread was a nice diversion from the rest of the brioche-saturated burger market. I also appreciated the engineering involved in cutting the bun such that the base was larger than the top to prevent the dreaded ‘disappearing bottom bun’ phenomenon.
Bob, being less of a burger purist than I, opted for a new-age southern fried chicken club burger ($13.50). In this instance it was the winning choice, and for the first time ever I regretted ordering a beef burger.
The patty cleverly used juicy thigh meat, rather than breast, with a zesty, crisp coating that tasted as though it may actually contain eleven herbs and spices. The accompaniments of cheese, bacon, ranch dressing, lettuce and tomato were also suitable, however I did question the need for mayo on a burger already featuring creamy ranch dressing. These people really are mayo fiends.
The chips were also up to scratch, with a fantastically crunchy flour coating. Perhaps a little under-salted, though. The ‘small’ serving ($4) was huge and we struggled to finish it between the two of us.
I hate to admit it, but the chicken burger was the winner here. The beef burger was let down by the patty, which effectively rules out all 16 (yes, 16!) beef burgers on the menu and unfortunately I can’t comment on the range of 12 grilled chicken breast burgers. There are three fried chicken burgers on the menu and the same chicken is also available in pieces or nuggets, so maybe stick to these if you find yourself at Burger Inc.Burger Inc. 320 Pakington Street Newtown