Easey’s

Sup it’s Ash again to regale you with some Easey readin’ (and Mel too with her text in pink!!!) 

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Easey’s is the place where you can take it easy with an Easey Cheesy and a frothy or four, and that’s the Easey’s motto…
or at least in my mind it is…

Chowing down on some iconic Melbourne foods – burgs, dimmies and potato cakes – could not be done anywhere more appropriate than on that which Melbournians have our most emotional relationship with, our public transport system. Specifically in this case decommissioned train carriages that were inexplicably hoisted up onto a rooftop.

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The concept of the place is that the building is about 5 stories high and each floor offers something different. The ground is a bar with some retro gaems with a wholefoods place out back, the second floor is a pop-up fashion store which was yet to open when we went and the remaining floors are the Easey’s kitchen, the rooftop beer garden and the crown jewel, the train carriages. The linchpin of this mish-mash is that you can eat/drink errythang on erry floor. So if the train carriages are full you’re in luck, you can eat a burger  with a vegetarian friend at the whole foods place and watch them salivate.

We were pleasantly surprised when the elevator from the ground took us straight up onto a train carriage. There’s nothing like overlooking Melbourne from original train seats while smashing some  of our most cherished takeaway foods (except these are much better than what you had as a kid and don’t cost too much more). Follow that up with something  with a bit more of a twist – sexy old school milkshake flavored donuts – and  the resulting culinary experience is sublime.

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Unfortunately, the first time we went was on a Saturday causing a few unexpected problems.

We had booked for a train carriage at 2pm, but due to traffic etc, we were a bout 10 minutes late. Due to their extreme popularity, it seemed that our table was given away. We were told to sit outside, meaning a few outdoor tables between carriages (which was actually pretty sweet, if it wasn’t so cold that day!) until a table freed up. Waited approx 15 mins. 

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The above image is actually their ‘old menu’ now, as after being open for a week, Easey’s listened to some customer feedback and changed up their menu quite some bit. You can check it out here. Not gonna lie, I am slightly disappointed that the Easey Cheese now comes with salad and is therefore an additional $2, but oh well.

If people want salad in their burgers, they’ve now got it.

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We were all very disappointed to find out that their potato cakes and dim sims were both sold out by the time we were ready to make our order. But really, that just meant that Ash and I were going to have to make a second visit…which we actually did, about 4 days later on a Wednesday afternoon. 

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First Visit (Saturday): Easey Cheesey with added 2x bacon, beef patty and cheese ($16)

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Second Visit (Wednesday): Easey Cheesey with added 2x bacon, beef patty and cheese ($16)

While one can get lost in the surreal venue, we have to remember the endeavor in question, the endeavor of burg ingurgitation that is. The outside is a secret recipe potato bun which served as a tasty but perhaps less overbearing substitute for a brioche.  Nestled inside is SOFTNESS. EVERYTHING JUST MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH. Except the bacon, the bacon was crispy like well CRISPY BACON (sorry my metaphors are failing me). Anyway it’s a definitive burger and one that undoubtedly should be at the top of everyone’s ‘to try’ list.

You can wash down all that rocket sauce with Melbourne Bitter on tap (!!), which perhaps not the most distinguished beer is one closely entwined with the heart of this establishment, Jimmy. Melbourne Bitters throughout its unremarkable history has never been on tap.  That all changed conveniently just in time for its most vocal proponent, Jimmy, to serve it at the grand opening of his restaurant.

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First Visit (Saturday): Easey Cheesey with added bacon and jalapenos ($10)

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Second Visit (Wednesday): Easey Cheesy with added bacon and jalapenos ($10)

While I’m quite the burger fan by now, I still sometimes struggle to eat a burger due to size and/or taste. My burger at Easey’s was in fact very easy to eat. The size was perfect for me and the overall taste was so good that I don’t think I put it down once. As a spice lover, I did experiment with the two available Changz hot sauce and can confirm that they’re both good. I personally actually really liked the addition of the Changz Red Habanero to my burger!

Interesting to note, despite the burgs looking diff the second time around, they were just as delicious.

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The milkshake doughnut was hot and crunchy on the outside, reminiscent of a good jam doughnut, and perfectly gooey and sweet on the inside. Despite asking the waitress about the Blue Heaven doughnuts that were advertised on their Facebook page, we were served their oddly green coloured ones. After posting about it on my instagram, it turns out they were Lime flavoured which were still perfectly delicious. 

I knew that the Blue Heaven ones would be A M A Z I N G if these were already so good. 

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YES, THESE ARE “BLUE” HEAVEN DOUGHNUTS

On our second go around, we were promised Blue Heaven doughnuts BUT IMAGINE OUR DISPLEASURE WHEN WE WERE SERVED GREEN DOUGHNUTS AGAIN. So anyway we complained straight away about this ginormous problem, only to be reassured by someone with a certain managerial aura that they were indeed blue heaven, but joked that his cook had gone color-blind (who knows maybe it wasn’t a joke, looks pretty green to me). His words did not lead me astray and I enjoyed the best doughnut like eva, a green-colored-but-blue-heaven-flavored doughnut.

Being the sweet tooth in the relationship, I was incredibly pleased with these. 
I was correct – I liked the Lime flavoured ones, but I LOVED the Blue Heaven doughnuts. I have never enjoyed a doughnut more! They were so delicious that I decided to order another two for takeaway (Ash stole on tho :( )

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On our second visit, we managed to order the potato cakes. I have never had a beer-battered let alone a Melbourne Bitter battered Potato cake. The verdict? Like a normal potato cake BUT BETTER.

The golden batter was delightfully crunchy and it was def one of the best I’ve had.

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On a funny note, when we took the elevator down, we had an extra person try to join us but the elevator beeped stating we had exceeded the maximum KG…..which was 400kg. What even. All those burgers couldn’t have surely made six people total to 400kg, could it?? Either way, the sixth person stepped out and the elevator worked again haha. 

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Easeys are open for the long hours and proudly serve burgs for brekky, lunch and din. They also have an interesting brekky item of deep fried frostie (dat cereal) chicken & deep fried poptarts. As I’m not a morning person I’m afraid I won’t get to try them anytime soon. But then I think of those delectable burgs again and that regret becomes a distant memory. Easey’s is departing platform 1 now and this is one train you really don’t want to miss.

Easey's on Urbanspoon

@ENCEPHLON

Ash’s B’day @ Cafe 51 & Ike’s Rack Shack

Hello hello from both Melody and Ashley!
Today we bring you a joint post about the awesome places we visited for Ash’s birthday. So if you see any blue text in the post, that’ll be Ashley butting in with his opinions about the dericious food we fattened ourselves with.
(Sorry that this post is so late, it took foreverrrr to force Ashley to write a few sentences -_-)

I messaged Cafe 51 about a potential birthday booking for Ash’s bday and man, did I receive an amazing response.
Not only did they take my booking (not something they’ve done in the past), they presented me with several different options and offers to make Ash’s birthday that little bit more special. As you can see in the photo below, we got our own little private table out the back along with awesome decorations that they let us keep! Best customer service ever.

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I was happily surprised to see the above signage outside the cafe and on their instagram!!
Yeah, like I said, they have excellent customer service and there aren’t much other places that are this awesome.

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Bacon 3 Way burger. This burger sounded like rocket sauce but unfortunately I wasn’t overly fond of the sauce, namely the bbq-sauce-like-bacon-jam. However I could taste potential, which was confirmed when I tried Mel’s derishicious doughburg, that was awesome and I need to have another. Now. Normally I’m a fan of sweeter buns, the big eg being brioche and so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at how much I liked the sweetest of sweet buns, namely the donut encapsulating the doughburg. Note: they have since switched up the buns which are now prettier ;)

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At this time, the doughburger wasn’t yet on their menu so when I explained my sweet tooth to them over email, they encouraged me to try out their latest creation. I actually really enjoyed it and finished it easily! It helped a lot that the size of this burger was a lot smaller than Ash’s one haha. Overall, I really enjoyed this and would like to get it again!

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We stuffed our faces gloriously (literally haha ^) but the main attraction was yet to arrive!
Our Death By Chocolate burger …waffle?… CAKE! Yes, his birthday cake was a special burger cake haha ♥

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This gargantuan beast aka my burday burger bake… I mean cake aka a much bigger than usual death by chocolate. This baddest of bad sweet boys from bottom up is waffle bun, 10 inch beef patty, heaps of cheese, layers of bacon, nutella, bbq sauce and popping candy, and waffle again. MAN this was the tits but also super rich. I would say it should be treated as both your main and dessert rather than attempting to conquer it post ‘savoury’ burg. Woops. The overwhelming sweetness of the nutella was a bit of a clash with everything but when you remember that bbq sauce is normally pretty sweet anyway it’s not too much of a stretch. I can’t guarantee everyone would like this but I’d say if you like the way it sounds its no doubt worth a try.

Like shit, I knew they warned me about the size of this thing but I really didn’t realise how big it was LOL..
While I personally wasn’t a fan of nutella and beef … I really really liked the nutella and the waffle!!! Seriously. Their waffle was amazing and I will happily order it separately to eat with nutella :)

Cafe 51 on Urbanspoon

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After waddling out of Cafe 51, feeling at least a few KGs heavier than when we walked in haha, I gave Ash some secret driving instructions to a nearby place for his next birthday surprise! For agessss, Ash has been bugging me to go to one of those Escape Rooms but because I’m literally a wuss, I always refused as the majority of them are quite scary. But as I really wanted us something to do other than eat on his birthday, I did lots of googling until I found one that provided non scary themes haha …also lucky that it was super close to Cafe 51.

Hilariously, there were a few other things nearby such as go-karting and paintball nearby so he was kept guessing until we finally entered the building named ‘EXITUS” and he saw what we were really doing!

I chose the ‘Casino Heist’ challenge and managed to successfully complete it! YAY! :D

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Even though, dinner was at like 8pm ..we were NOT ready for this. Seriously. I was still so full :(

Dat triple rack stack. These were some sickkkk ribs. Pork, beef and lamb. When people talk ribs they are usually talking pork and let me tell you these were the business. Best I’ve had. Altho I enjoy a good lamb rib, and it goes without saying that these were damn fine, I usually find lamb ribs to be a bit too fatty and so they are my least favourite and that held to be the case here. But again prob the best lamb ribs I’ve had and still very enjoyable. I might be a bit of an oddity and beef ribs tend to my favourite and so man these were the shiiit. They reminded me of an old fav – Racks Ribs Co which unfortunately closed it’s doors permanently and is sorely missed, but the great smoky taste was def invoked here.

As for the non-racked food accompaniments aka sides, the jalaoeno cornbread and salad were all more than up to scratch. (Oddly, I found myself enjoying the jalapeno cornbread way more than I should! It was dericious!) All the rack recipes as well many of the others were put together by famous Texan pit smoker, Chris Terlikar and are prepared on a competition grade smoker imported from rack city itself, Texas. Anyway the short of it is, get these ribs in you now.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ike’s Rack Shack on Urbanspoon

After a long day of eating and solving puzzles, Ash took me home where I finally got to present him with his gifts! I tried my hardest to make everything a ‘B’ theme haha – for no particular reason except that he loves boardgames, burgers and beer lol. Although, I couldn’t think of a ‘B’ word for the Makise figure hmm…
 

Pressies from mah babeh #baconbourbon #win A photo posted by Ashley Kasner (@encephlon) on

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His mum says I should stop spoiling him though ahah (Naaaaaah, spoil me more)
Isn’t Makise Kurisu just beautiful though?

Burger Noms: Americana

Yo yo it’s Ash again, back for burgs.

I have some infatuation with American food places so every time I hear of an American place I drag a group and/or Mel along and 9 times out of 10, I’m  deeply disappointed and feel cheated to say the least. The gleam of the proud red, white and blue in these places is not present in the food they serve. Then I go to the next American place and the exact same thing happens. Goddamn. Maybe I should just actually go to America.

Although somewhat American diner style, Merrywell does not appear in this post for two reasons: 1) it is only subtly American compared to the kitsch of say Misty’s and Captain America’s 2) they make a goddamn good burger and get to hang with some greats instead of the dregs* of burgerland discussed here.

As I have a better memory for tastes I do enjoy, I don’t have much to say about um let’s say ‘lesser tastes’, and so rather than give my usual verbose analysis on those, I’ll just give the quick and dirty.

*Not all the places mentioned here are ‘dregs’ just most of them!!

Misty’s Diner

103-105 High Street, Prahran VIC 3181
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I ordered the American burger, which for some reason has an egg. USA residents/experts, please let me know if many of your  standard and/or signature burgers contain eggs because my understanding is that they don’t. This burger also had a terrible and overcooked patty. The inclusion of egg didn’t help, however the burger was otherwise a bit dry with just a smattering of ketchup for sauce  so it might’ve been even worse without but who knows,  I won’t be returning to test that.
Melody: I actually had a super shit burger and didn’t even bother trying to finish it. However my spirits were lifted when I saw they had the legendary ‘American desserts’ which seemed to include a lot of deep fried goodness. Not being able to persuade Ash, I shared the double stuffed deep fried oreo with Lawrence and enjoyed it.
Misty's Diner on Urbanspoon

Captain America’s Hamburger Heaven

38 Forest Road, Ferntree Gully VIC 3156
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We actually ventured out to this “fine establishment” many aeons ago, so my memory isn’t the best. I think the wings were alright but all I  remember otherwise is a giant sloppy thing they called a a burg with average ingredients and being later told some racist pricks harassed my mates on their trip home. Conclusion: Avoid like the Ebola.

Captain America's Hamburger Heaven on Urbanspoon

Soda Rock Diner

257 Toorak Road, South Yarra VIC 3141
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 The USA diner vibe here is actually mad cool and the crew I came with put money in to the little juke box thing and made a night of it, but the food is just super average. To elaborate, I had the burger and curly fries which were mediocre at best and then, a member of said crew had a hotdog and didn’t seem to pleased with it. So not matter how you approach the menu, you’re not going to get a great feed.
Melody: I got chilli fries which was surprisingly different than what I thought, but still good.

Soda Rock Diner on Urbanspoon

Panned Pizza

189-191 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
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You will note that they are called ‘Panned Pizza’ not ‘Wrapped Hamburger’, and so taking this on board if you inexplicably find yourself here, give the burgs a miss and instead give their recreation of NYC-style pizza a whirl. Originally they only sold pizza and a few sides but then they moved to a bigger and more central location and massively expanded their menu, namely including a full range of American burgs. So you’d think they’d be awesome at least doing pizza, let alone burgs, but really the pizza only rates as good, not great. And let’s not even talk any further about the burgs.

Melody: The first time we came here, I ordered ‘poutine’ not really knowing what it was ..ever since that fateful day, I jump at the chance to order poutine despite Ash’s dislike for gravy and chips! (I may or may not have made it my sole meal the few times we ate at Panned Pizza)

Panned Pizza on Urbanspoon

Parlour Diner

64 Chapel Street, Windsor VIC 3181
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Now we come to the first joint in this post that actually deserves a review, and having gone thrice hopefully this lengthy read will be entertaining/informative for at least some of y’all, or alternatively I promise not to be offended if you scroll straight down to the tl;dr. Really I won’t be. Much.
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So first time I went, lots of mistakes were made, but not by them rather by me.  I eagerly ordered fried chicken, french fries, an oreo milkshake and their burg with the lot (named the captain) and as soon as they brought them out, I realised my folly, the old ‘eyes bigger than the stomach’ adage. The fried chicken we shared, and I gave up on it quickly and let Mel tackle most of it due to being disappointed in its unremarkable taste. This was also tactical as I like to think it slightly reduced the bloatedness I still later felt in abundance. Due to the somewhat atypical milkshake flavours, I was a bit lost and ordered the orea shake on the waitress’ recommendation. It was average to the point of unenjoyableness. Bleh was the prevailing  taste in the back of our proverbial mouths  – but wait was there a golden beacon of light in the form of fried potatoes shining in the distance? Sadly, they were out of their signature curly variety and we had to settle for normal fries – delicious, delicious normal fries that is! So far that’s one home-run and 3 strikes for those keeping count.
As for the burg I need to remember to not just order the main/biggest burg and actually pay attention to what I’m ordering. As in this case there was too much salad and egg. I found it amusing when the moment of clarity came of why a review I read called this burger a ‘rainforest’. As for the egg, well stupid stupid egg I love you, but you do not belong in burgs or at least not in mine. The thick melted American cheese was however a positive and I could sense buried potential in the bun and patty given the right dance partners.
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Being unsatisfied, I nagged Mel to go back and ended up switching things up entirely and ordered some of the least appealing bbq ribs ever and no beef patty sandwich. I mean shit, tomato based sauce on my ‘murican bbq? no thanks. I ended up turning to the available Dr Pepper bbq sauce which I was not only keen to try based on my love for Dr Pepper but also to drench the ribs in. Apparently it was little more than a prop for added Americaness, because when I asked the attendant (aka the owner) how it goes with the ribs I distinctly recall him answering thus “I wouldn’t put that in my stomach”. Anyway the sauce was sweet n tasty, overwhelmingly sweet in fact, but for a cheap soft drink-turned sauce it is what it is and did its job of drowning out the tomato-based sauce. Also, on this visit we were able to nab the elusive curly fries!! The old-school style fries were a treat, if not due to an exceptional flavour compared to the regular cuts, but the novelty alone. Although being wary of their milkshakes due to my previous experience, but having seen glowing commendations of their oldschool choc malt shake, I was willing to give them a second chance. I was rewarded for being a true believer with one of the best shakes I’d ever had, mmm dat shake.

Melody: The above lobster & shrimp roll is mine and while delicious, I didn’t realise their shrimps would be whole – others I’ve tried have had them in smaller chunks and smooshed :( I’m not the biggest fans of shrimps, so thankfully I had Ash to finish it for me :D
Later returning for my third and final visit (so far), I of course reordered the choc malt shake (just as good the second time!), and also made some sweeping changes to the burger. I asked for the Captain again, as the lesser burgs were missing the delicious sweet onions and requisite bacon, but I  also made sure they saved the tomato and egg for the next customer, and then did some deforestation (aka I took out half the the lettuce).  These small changes made the delicious patty and cheese really shine, elevating it to the best burg of this post so far, especially apparent when compared to the previous 3 burgers of absolute distinction.
 tl;dr version: you should give this place a try, just careful with what you order. despite having the appearance of a varied menu you may as well pretend the chicken and ribs arent there, just get a burg WITHOUT EGG. also for any veggos that have stuck with me for this long, a mate told me they do a ripping vegetarian burger but thats not something i will be verifying myself.

Parlour Diner on Urbanspoon

TGI Fridays

Various locations (this one in particular is in Melbourne Central, CBD)
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Here we have a locally available burger that isn’t quite off the zombie conveyor belt aka the big yellow arches, but nor is it up to the (high) standards of Mr Burger. So let us take a wee looksie. Inexplicably they only put some, rather than all of their burgers in brioche buns, so the obvious solution here is no matter which one you order, request brioche. Combining the sugary notes of brioche with the sweet/bitter Jack Daniel BBQ sauce made for a more than palatable experience. On the downside the lettuce towers their chefs seem fond of aren’t great, but I’ve never met a burger salad that a good picking apart can’t solve. Not the same quality as the good stuff but defo cromulent. With 7 locations around Victoria and more around the rest of Australia, wherever you are (well not everywhere but at least 7 places!!), TGI can fulfil your passable American diner burg needs.

Melody: I did not like this burger… but have enjoyed their chicken stuff :D

TGI Fridays on Urbanspoon
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So there you have it peeps, the bad, the ugly and some more bad and  then a couple half  cromulent American diner burgs. Also turns out writing these burg posts are hard-work especially compared to just snapping and eating them, so inevitably these burgs will almost always appear well in-advance on my instagram.

@ENCEPHLON