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

“Forever Seventeen” Birthday

For my 23rd SEVENTEENTH birthday (oho), I partied with some loved ones as usual.
Headed to 29th Apartment in St Kilda, where some of my friends gobbled down unlimited spicy buffalo wings while the rest of us attempted to dance to the DJ’s odd choice of non-dancey songs. Pictures speak a thousand words, so here are just a few of my favourite photos from the night. Props to my awesome friend Nico for the photos!

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Just around when this photo was taken, a drunk weirdo kept nuzzling his head on to my friend’s shoulders/necks lol. They were too shy to tell him to f*ck off, so I had to politely (lightly) punch his head off them lol.

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Nearly at the end of the night, Ashley surprised with me a rose ♥ Sweetheart, I know right?
Turns out some random dude was selling long stem single roses for $5 each along the streets of St Kilda :| (not dodgy at all) and he thought it would be sweet to surprise me with one hahah ..eh? it was still sweet :P

But yes, I chose 29th Apartment because if you look closely ..it looks like an apartment!
It’s completely decked out with cool windows, a bath tub, sofas, TVs and GIANT Jenga hahaha

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Because Fathima wanted me to upload a picture of her ;) haha ♥

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Overall, I had an amazing night and I’m so thankful for my gorgeous friends ♥
I can’t believe this was 5 months ago already ..and I’m already nearly half way to my next birthday ;A; Noooo…

Monthly Noms: Recent Eats

Hello hello! Is everyone fattening themselves up with Easter chocolate? No? Just me? :D
Anyway, today I bring you a Monthly Noms post! Yay! I know…I shouldn’t be calling this ‘Monthly’ as I haven’t really done it in ages lol. Either way, I thought I’d just post some of my recent eats that I’ve had in the past month or so ♥ Enjoy!

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Soft serve of the day (Rhubarb, Walnut and Strawberry ..I think) @ Belles Hot Chicken

After hearing outstanding reviews on Belles Hot Chicken, Ash and I drove there for dinner one night eager to devour some frieeeeed chikin! Of course, it was delicious but nothing compared to their soft serve of the day! It was super soft, fluffy and oh so-so delicioussss! This is a “MUST GO” recommendation!

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(Mine) Right: Nuts about Chocolate & Bubblegum

When I heard Dairy Bell was closing (apparently not any more, as they’ve been bought by Bon Appetit) I was frantic and eager to have some! Conveniently, there was a store located across the road from my work place, so Z and I spent one of our lunches savouring some delicious ice cream (I don’t believe I had any real lunch that day ;D)

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Triple Choc Gelato & Ferrero Rocher Gelato @ Nitro Lab (Glen)

My little bro and I had a little lunch date on a really hot day, so we decided to get some ice cream. Guess which is mine ;)

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L: Cookie Monster (I think) @ Passionflower & R: Build your own (forgot) @ Magnum Melbourne

If you’re ever unsure where to take your date for some late night dessert, Passionflower is an excellent choice!!

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Woah. Now isn’t this just one magnificent work of art?! This is one of the soft serves I had for lunch one of my work days. I made Z drive me to the Maccas down the road for this hit ;)

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Outrageous Banana Split @ Pancake Parlour

“Yes, can I have the Outrageous Banana Split? Oh and hold the banana please.”

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Ice cream @ Paesano International Buffet & Black Sesame Soft Serve @ Rice Workshop

Whenever my friends and I organize a catch up, we usually end up picking a good buffet. Why? A buffet usually caters for everyone and makes paying the bill a lot easier! Plus, where else can I get unlimited ice cream for a mere $29 a head.

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Gianduia Bianca & The Mighty GM Pie @ Gelato Messina

Omg. HELLO MESSINA! Probably one of the best and most interesting gelato you can get in Melbourne!
A place that frequently has a huge line outside at late hours of the night is definitely something not to miss ♥v♥

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Cornetto | FRUIT LOOPS SOFT SERVE @ Tuck Shop Take Away

Tuck Shop are seriously amazing. I was getting worried about my bad unhealthy eating choices of late so when they announced a fruit loops soft serve, I rejoiced!! I could finally get my cereal intake while staying faithful to my food group! Breakfast for ONE pleaseeeee.

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L: I forgot, but it’s probably a form of peanut butter / hazelnut etc @ Cold Rock Ice Creamery

It’s pretty surprising that in all my years, I hadn’t tried cold rock until recently! What was I missing out on!?

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Deep Fried Ice Cream @ Ocean King | Fill Me In @ Passionflower

Mmm my favourite kind of dinner is when it’s deep fried and full of ice cream ♥

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Sherbet dipped Soft Serve @ Ice Cream Truck | Black Sesame Soft Serve @ Rice Workshop

With all the great food I eat, I always try to exercise at least once a week. My weekly routine can be summed up in the photo on the left. Man…chasing after ice cream trucks doesn’t seem like a lot but it can be quite a work out!! I definitely recommend it :) And oh, don’t forget to reward yourself after you finally catch up to it!

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Bubblegum @ Dolce House Gelato

Sorry, I had to walk a whole 2 minutes to get to this Gelato place, so I was kinda in the zone eating haha.

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TWO MACCAS SOFT SERVE! I bet you’re thinking one of them is for Ash ..but nope -_- they’re both for me.
So there’s actually a pretty “funny” story behind the two soft serves and the ripped receipt. So, Ash knows how much I love Maccas ice cream so he insisted that I needed TWO and despite my protests, he ordered me two (drive-thru) intending me to eat both ;A; I was so upset that I ripped the receipt in half when he handed it to me LOL. I really only felt like one that day ): ): ): He still laughs at this memory every single time ):

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Rainbow ice cream @ ?? in Melbourne Central | Black Sesame Soft Serve @ Rice Workshop

When I heard Rainbow ice cream was just vanilla ice cream, I laughed. There’s noooo wayyy vanilla can be THAT many colours pfffffft- because seriously, don’t lie, you can DEFINITELY taste the rainbow!!!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough | Clusterfluff in a Waffle Cone

If Ben&Jerry’s weren’t as expensive as they are in Australia, I would be eating it all the time. Such is life ):
The tub in the left photo was a special midnight snack with the boyfie though ♥ Sweet moments!

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Assorted Gelato @ Dex2Rose

Ah this was when we had the standard gelato serving for dinner the other night!! Check it out here.

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Hazelnut & Bubblegum @ Dolce House Gelato | Green Tea Soft Serve @ Rice Workshop

Oh hello Green Tea soft serve! I was in the city one early morning (for a hairdresser appointment) and wasn’t too sure what to have for breakfast, so I thought I’d have some green tea to help wake me up!

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Plain Sundae @ Hungry Jacks

At first glance, I thought this was my favourite Maccas Soft Serve ..but alas, it is Hungry Jack’s.
I always feel like a cheating girlfriend when I get HJ’s soft serve instead ): It’s definitely not as good as Macca’s – it’s more dense and not as fluffy/soft and always makes me crawl back to Maccas ;A;

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Chocolate Brownie @ Nitro Lab | ?? @ Wills Batch Ice Creamery

Both of these photos are just some late night supper I’ve had recently. Mmm puts you to bed real good!

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Hmmm, I’m fairly sure based on the position of that drink, Z drove me to Maccas for lunch again! And what a lunch it was!

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Zuppa Duppa (Hazelnut gelato, wild strawberry preserve, pistachio crunch & amaretti biscuit) @ Messina, Royal Croquet Club

Ah, Messina’s creativity is simply amazing. These cans of ‘soup’ were gorgeous and tasted great too!
I’m not sure why food markets even feature other food eateries, it’s obvious everyone’s only there to eat the ice cream duh.

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Toasted Marshmallow @ Tuck Shop Take Away

I don’t actually like camping, but at least I know what to eat by the fire if I ever go!

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It’s tradition for my brother and I to receive the Freddo Ice Cream cake for our birthdays each year!!
(Because seriously, who even wants normal cake when there’s ICE CREAM cake? pfffffft)

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Hahah so, Ash was jelly that he didn’t get to try any of my Freddo Ice Cream cake from my birthday, so I made him a ice cream cake for his birthday this year! This is filled with all three flavours of Peter’s Neapolitan ice cream, chocolate fudge, chocolate biscuits topped with lots of whipped cream ♥ I know. I’m a genius.

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I know I know, the right one definitely looks like it could be Maccas but it isn’t. It’s from IKEA! Yeh, I know right? Cool shelves, beds and soft serve from a self-serve machine!? WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT IN LIFE!?!?!

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Nuttylove (mine) & Chocoholic Sundae @ Wills Batch Ice Creamery

Just standard dinner. Yeah yeah, I shared a bit with Ash.

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Black Sesame Ice Cream @ Takumi

For my birthday last year, Ash took me to Takumi where we had the most amazin’ Black Sesame ice cream!

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The Colossal @ Pancake Parlour | Chocolate @ Ben & Jerry’s

On one fateful night, a group of friends and I decided we could challenge THE COLOSSAL!!
Well duh, considering it’s my main food group, I obviously had no problem carrying the team by eating it solo psh

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Ahhh don’t you love it when you wake up early enough for Maccas breakfast?! WIN OF THE DAY.

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Hazelnut & Bubblegum @ Dolce House Gelato

When you’re tired from being up all night partying, what do you do? Eat Gelato.

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Flavour of the day – Pistachio Soft Serve @ 8Bit

So, 8Bit is the super cool geeky themed place that I really wanted to try! Ash is a sweetheart and drove me all the way there just so I could finally get my hands on this! Um YUM. I was full for daayyyys!

The best way to end the post is by posting my favourite and most exquisite one of them all …

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Maccas Soft Serve! My one and only true ice creamery love ♥ ♥ ♥
There may be many innovative and creative ice cream, gelato and soft serves out there, but nothing will ever beat you!!!

Happy April Fools!