Thursday, March 31, 2016

Chuck Wagon

With Adelaide’s heavy burger scene, and with what feels like endless options, Chuck Wagon definitely stands out, not only for the Americana food but the distinct look it’s created for itself.  Even before you walk in, your eyes are treated to a barrage of superhero/fandom statues, drawings, pictures and posters from the ground to the ceiling, literally.  As well as coming for food and/or a hefty milkshake, there are sights to behold.  I didn't take photos so you'll have to go look for yourselves... or google it.

In truth, we’ve been to Chuck Wagon a few times, and by we, I mean I had been once before and Paul has to hold himself back from going every week.  Paul has a friend who got him (us, totally us) a voucher for Chuck Wagon and needing no convincing, we were on our way (thanks Amanda!).  

The menu is so vast I was in a daze when it came to order.  Last time I was in this situation I had people to guide me through it.  And it’s easy when you know what you feel like, but seriously, 18 burgers to choose from, or wings, hot dogs, pizza fries, nachos, sides or how about one of their 11 different desserts on offer?  I mean come ON.  I am so indecisive with food, my FOMO is real.

The onion rings were obviously a goer, there was no question on that one.  I had already checked them out on Instagram and they looked all kinds of deep fried crunchy.  And Paul’s go to is sweet potato fries, so sides were sorted before we even got there.  I thought I was going to get the royale with cheese, I was sure of it, pretty much until we ordered and then out of my mouth came grilled cajun chicken.  Paul was having withdrawals from his favourite and ordered the Piglet.

The onion rings - guys - they are the best flipping rings I’ve had.  They’re not battered, but crumbed.  Delicious and crispy and just URGH perfect.  I swear they double coat them or double fry.  There’s some kind of extra trick to their trade.  Sweet potato fries also delicious.  But the onion rings.  Cake taken.  

These burgers were huge.  I was stuck in a mess because my burger was SO juicy that I wanted to put it down to clean up my covered hands, but because I had two hands-ed it everything dripped and the plate was literally wet, I thought I was going to look up and see some kids eating corn on the roof.  I would seriously consider asking for a side plate next time, one to eat over and one to put the burger down on when you need a time out.  

While the taste factor was incredible, I won’t lie, these aren’t my favourite burgers.  They were big, messy, and the bun went soggy.  I prefer that kind of smaller, less is more type that is going around at places like Nordburger and Burger Boss, but the Chuck Wagon burgers are the ones for Paul.  I will definitely go back to Chuck Wagon to try some of the pizza fries on offer, or the mac and cheese (with bacon) or even some ribs. 

Exciting news though - I’ve created my perfect trifecta.  Chuck Wagon onion rings, Nordburger burger, and Burger Boss special fries.  Now if these guys could get together and either open a shop together or open some near each other so I can collect my goods without the others getting cold, that would really help a gal out.  

Chuck Wagon 175 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Lucky Lupitas

News that devastated southern Adelaide, particularly Flinders Uni students (from what I hear) was the same news that made my stomach sing.  Lucky Lupitas was coming to my end of town, albeit, for a limited time only.  I’d heard of this place time and time again, so when those mexican delights were dangled in my reach, we hot footed our way there.  

Their temporary restaurant is on O’Connell street, but as soon as you walk through that door you could not be taken further away.  They’ve gone for the warehouse feel and have nailed it.  From the high beamed ceiling, to the ply wood tables and benches, right down to the copious stocks of tomatoes, tequila and beer on the restaurant floor.  It was a very different look and vibe from any other place I had been on O’Connell and I loved it.

Recently I saw a movie that immediately became my all-time favourite.  It’s called Chef, and it was the most upbeat, feel good, food porn frenzy of a movie I have ever seen.  It’s filled with a build up and background of cuban music that just makes you want to move.  It was also filled with food.  So much food.  Two days later I walked into Lucky Lupitas and they were playing tunes so similar that I didn’t stand a chance, I was smitten.  All the feelings that incredible film gave me transferred to this restaurant that I had been waiting for.

The Elote (grilled corn on the cob) was hands down the best damn corn I have ever had.  All warm and grilled to perfection, covered in cheese, maaaaaan.  I took one bite and pretty sure I blacked out for a second, because all of a sudden it was all gone.  If we hadn’t already ordered a stack of other food I would have asked for more.

We then went for the taco de pollo (slow cooked chicken and slaw) and taco de carne (braised beef).  These we shared, but I liked the beef better and Paul preferred the chicken, so it ended up more of a 70-30 split for each.  Which by the way, is a really difficult split to do when you’ve been handing back and forth packed to the brim, juicy tacos.  If anyone knows of a “clean” way to eat tacos, could you please let me know?  Because I ended up with a fallen apart taco all over my plate/the table, and my hands covered in juices (yes, I read that sentence, and yes, I’m sticking by it because I can’t think of another way to describe it).  

taco de pollo
taco de carne
I had heard of many a great burger here, which was intriguing.  It made me wonder what a mexican burger tastes like?  I was expecting a tex mex kind of thing with maybe corn chips and guac or something on there, like when you order a mexican schnitzel, but this burger had a bit of chilli powder, a bit of cumin, and a whole lot of something else that I couldn’t be more specific about.  It was really tasty, but not my kind of personal taste.  Whatever, it was half a burger and you know damn well I ate my whole half.  

Last but certainly not least was the quesadilla de hongo y frijoles.  That’s basically a mushroom quesadilla for those of you playing at home.  Unluckily for us, it was the last thing to come out so I was absolutely stuffed by the time we got to it.  I ate it, obviously, but it was a bit of a struggle.  Mushrooms are kind of a new thing for me, I’ve only introduced them to my stomach in the last 6 months or so.  Just one of those things that as a kid I hated and never gave them another go… but I’m glad I changed my tune.  Like everything else that Lucky Lupitas provided, the quesadilla was so full of flavour!  Every bite you could taste everything together and everything individually too.  The jalapenos in it proved a little much for me, my mouth was on fire, but like a superstar I pushed through.  10/10 would eat again.

Aside from the food, the service was stellar.  Our waiter seemed genuinely happy to have a chat with us, and all the staff were attentive.  To top it all off, it was incredibly priced.  We had all food mentioned, plus some rice and a drink each for $62.  For me, it without doubt lived up to the hype.

Lucky Lupitas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Burger Boss

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution from me to you.  I will bring one post a month to the table.  I struggle writing this blog, I just don’t make the time for it like I used to, but one thing hasn’t changed - I love food. 

I was thinking of starting this post how the rest of them usually go.. “This isn’t just a burger blog.. BUT”.  You know what though?  No reasoning.  I just really fucking love burgers.  I love everything about them.  They fall under one umbrella of “burger”, but shit, have you ever sat down and really thought about just how diverse the burger is?  There’s something for everyone (except the gluten intolerant… sorry guys (though I’m pretty sure most joints will help you out too)).  Chicken?  No worries.  Spicy?  No worries.  Vegetarian?  Noooo worries.  Double meat, extra cheese, hold the onion, add a hash brown?  No. Worries.  They’re a beautiful, delicious, mood-curing, two-hands-to-understand ball of happiness.  So here, have another post about a damn burger.

I have a friend named Jess, and I respect her food opinion a lot, I really don’t doubt a suggestion she makes.  So when she suggested Burger Boss all it took was teeing up a time.  We were going to be cute and double date night with our partners, but decided we were pretty damn cute on our own, and so we made our way to Burger Boss on Boxing Day.  Luckily the place was actually open (we didn’t think the public holiday thing through much), and took a comfy seat in the red and yellow diner.  

There’s pretty much no better time to get around some cheesed up fries and burgers than just before 1 January.  That’s what the week between Christmas and New Years is all about isn’t it?  Getting as many calories into your body as possible until you feel the pressure (from both society and your now figure hugging clothes) and have to start being healthy?  Yeah, nailed it.  

Their motto?  Eat Like a Boss.  That may just be a motto I take with me for the rest of my life.  Jess said we had to get the Boss Fries, then she opted for the vegetarian Boss Single and I got the Standard Single.  Just FYI, their vegetarian burger replaces the meat with not a veggie patty, not a mushroom, but two freaking hash browns.   TWO HASH BROWNS.  

The boss fries - cheese, caramelised onion and secret sauce.  Secret sauce that tastes exactly like big mac sauce.  Shhhhhiiiiit.  I asked if we should order a fries each and both the man serving us and Jess said “no, definitely not”.  My god, I was excited.  

If I went again I would get the Boss Single because it would be like having the boss fries but on the burger.  It’s 2.0.  In saying that, you could just have a DIY party and put the fries on the burger yourself… But you get what I’m saying.  The fries were so good I would consider going back just for those.  The burger was extremely tasty.  

Not quite as (I’m going to say the word everyone has something against) moist as a few other burgers I’ve had - like at Nordburger and Burgastromony - there was no juices dripping out of the patty and running down my hands, but I’m in no way saying that in a bad way.  It was good clean fun.  The bun was soft, the lettuce was crisp, and I was very, very happy eating it.  

Jess said they’re pretty much the same as In n Out Burger, and while I’ve never had it, if I’m judging a book by its cover I would be inclined to believe her.  Why would Jess lie?  She’s an angel and knows that we never, ever tell tales about food.  

If you like burgers, like era diners, and love fries, get yourself to Burger Boss.  Now.

Burger Boss Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jamie's Italian

It was a Friday night, we made an online “reservation” for in 70-80 minutes (which was about 6.30 - we had met straight from work), sat and had a couple of pre dinner drinks until 6.30, and that counted as a “walk in”.  Perfect.

You know what they say about location, location, location - Jamie’s nailed it.  The old bank building is just stunning.  The super high ceilings, big antipasto station (that’s right – an entire station dedicated to it - actually that's where they do the desserts too), mood lighting, an open kitchen to have a sneak peak at the chefs, and a less obvious but very, very important feature - the prison-bar toilets that were previously the bank vaults.

If you’re not already sold here’s a hot conversation piece for you - Kim and Kayne dined there and apparently one of them was very rude and difficult and it was not Kayne.  Feel free to use that one to fill a conversation void/win over your date with some Kardashian knowledge.  Don't blame me if it goes the other way for you though.  

We were seated as soon as we got in and being there on a Friday night in the comfy romantic, dim lighting with a male friend we got asked “so are you celebrating anything tonight?”  Fair question.  Apparently “yeah, he’s leaving” was not the best answer.  To clarify, we weren’t celebrating his soon coming six-month hiatus from Adelaide, but I panicked. 

Andy had been to Jamie’s twice already so he took the reins.  We ordered three items from the “Plates” menu and an entree sized pasta dish each.  If I’d ordered a main pasta I probably would have finished it, just hated myself after… It was a tough call because I’m pretty sure it would have been worth it.   We started with the Italian Bread Selection - which is a must do.  It’s a great little starter with a selection of three different breads and olive oil/balsamic and for $1.50, your wallet and taste buds are winning.

From the Plates (not Planks - which I will be trying next time I’m there) menu we shared the Sweet Mini Capsicums, Fried Three-Cheese Gnocchi and Crispy Squid.  I thought Andy was exaggerating when he said the squid was the best he has ever had, but after I had that melt in your mouth deliciousness, I had to agree that it’s definitely up there.  Personally (and totally personally because Andy loved them) didn’t particularly rate the mini capsicums, but I’m not a huge ricotta fan so I wouldn’t listen to me.  The Gnocchi – oh my lord.  Cheesy, with a tomato relish-type sauce, crunchy on the outside but so soft once you’d broken that crisp barrier.  I found it difficult to share those.  

The service was brilliant.  They were on the ball the entire time we were there, even when all their tables were full and the line to be seated was at the door, our drinks and food were coming out at an ideal pace, nothing was rushed and nothing lagged.

After hearing again and again about the daily made pasta, I obviously couldn’t go past a pasta dish for my main.  As a kid, I loved prawns.  As an adult, I didn’t.  Actually, it was probably the moment I had to start peeling them myself that I stopped eating them.  Anyway, I had tried them again and remembered why I used to chow down on them so much, so here I got the prawn linguine.  It did not disappoint.  My general aversion to seafood is that "fishy" taste that can sometimes go through a meal, I know it sounds weird because why would I buy a fish dish if I don't want the fishy taste, but I hope someone out there gets what I mean.  Anyway, it was definitely a comfort food.  It made me warm.  While it was just a tad salty for my liking, it was a decent sized bowl of flavoursome goodness. 

For our three Plates, two entrĂ©e pastas and two beers it came to around $80, which with the service, atmosphere and quality/amount of food, we definitely paid a more than reasonable price.  Without a doubt I will be returning.

Jamie's Italian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Hereford Beefstouw

I hadn’t heard of A Hereford Beefstouw, ever.  I feel like I’ve eaten at/heard of a lot of places, but as I’m finding out I have barely skimmed the surface.  It makes me really appreciate Adelaide.  I just love food, I love that we have so much of it.  

Facebook showed me the way here, advertising a lunch special - 2 for 1 cheeseburgers.  Obviously I was making that happen.  It was a picture perfect, sunny warm day with a light breeze so just when you were getting a bit too heated mother nature was there to cool you on down… so we sat outside on the crafty wooden chairs at the heavy wooden table and basked.  And basked some more.  And then got so hungry our conversation ended and would re-start with “oh my god I’m so hungry”.  As is standard.  Obviously, our meals eventually made their way out to us, and it really wasn’t a long wait, but my stomach had already making noise for a couple of hours before lunch.  

….Moving on. 

You know those people that just load everything with tomato sauce?  Just pile it on up with no regard for whether anyone else wants the sauce because that amount of sauce is just what’s necessary for your meal?  And without fail, there’s always a father figure somewhere nearby that has to remark “did you want any food with your sauce” and chuckles.  My life, guys.  I seriously butter up some toast and then put tomato sauce on it.  For a long time I didn’t know what a condiment was - tomato sauce was just part of the meal, right?

My point is.  Hereford do not have sauce on their cheeseburgers.  I KNOW RIGHT!!!  Of all the burgers, you would think the cheeseburger is the one with the sauce.  And here’s the big news - it was so good, I didn’t even ask for it.  Actually, they just gave us some anyway on the side with our house-made fries (which were crunchy and soft in all the right places, by the way) and I didn’t add it.  The burger held it’s own.  It was luscious and juicy and didn’t start falling apart till right near the end.  The bun still didn’t get soggy.  

The sauce they did have - now that was a secret sauce.  When my Mum eats out somewhere and has something she really likes, she has a habit of deconstructing it as she eats it so she can attempt to create it at home (something she absolutely nails, might I add).  I was wishing she was there to try and work this puzzle piece sauce out.  It was creamy and zingy and seemed like it might of had a bit of ahhhh something you know that ummm kind of tasted like…  That was me not being able to work it out at all.  Anyway, we asked the chef because even Paul was wanting to know (did I ever mention he found a recipe for Big Mac sauce and it tastes exactly like it?  Form a line, ladies!) and were very surprised the ingredients in it made such a delectable, oozy goodness.

If you want to know those secret ingredients, I suggest you get your butts into that fancy establishment (eating the burger with your hands is still acceptable - not that fancy) and try it.  Unfortunately they only do the burgers Monday - Friday on their lunch menu, but as the name would suggest, they specialise in steak, steak, steak for all those other times. 

A Hereford Beefstouw on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 15, 2015

American Cupcake Diner

You know those light bulb moments?  Those moments where you’re ticking along having a nice ol’ chat and suddenly realise “….Oh” and that light just pops on?

We went out to American Cupcake Diner with a couple of friends, Jess and Matt, who had recommended it, and I quickly realised that they recommended it on very good experience.  It felt like every time I mentioned something “oh maybe I’ll get the…” it was followed by YES THAT’S AWESOME but try it with the waffle fries, or yeah it comes in a double stack, or you have to get the chilli cheese fries jumbo pack chicken sour cream mexican fiesta hat.  You get the drift.  

It did not take long for me to feel like we were noobs dining with seasoned veterans (there’s the lightbulb I mentioned earlier).  I would liken to if I was to brag to someone in Anonymous about the fact I found some guys ABN once.   Except there was no bragging just recommendations.  Perhaps not the best comparison but hopefully you catch on. 

Please don’t confuse the tone of this.  It was 10/10 RAD getting to go with people who could tell us ideas, the menu was so huge and it all looked so good and deep fried and I wanted everything all at once.  Seriously, the menu is HUGE.  Not like a yeah girl it’s totally 8 inches kind of way, but in a very true you’ll need a wheelchair type way.  I could go back there another 10 times and still not have tried half of it.  The variation of burgers, hotdogs, mexican styles and desserts was epic.  Some might say there was too much.   I wouldn’t, but there are some crazy people out there. 

They are great for vegetarians too with their vegedogs and vegepatties.  Matt we were with is a vegetarian and opted for a mexican chilli dog - I’m pretty sure that’s what this is…

I was assured it tastes better than it looks.  I had a photo of him two-hands-ing it but thought our friendship wasn’t strong enough to put that kind of thing on the world wide web yet.  Jess had a burrito which looked super tasty but was devoured before an appropriate photo opp.

I got - seriously hold onto your hats here guys - a burger.  I can hear your gasps from here, please, control yourselves.  Paul also got - yep you guessed it - a burger.  We had to keep it fried so I got cheese fries and he got onion rings to accompany the monster burgers.  The store was nearly empty so I did eat the burger with my hands and watch it slowly fall apart as I tried to eat it with increasing speed.  I know, I know, I would have eaten it that way even if the place was full but hey I felt better that no one had to see it. 

As is unfortunately standard for me, I was well past full… and then we got dessert.  A wise man once said - YOLO.

Mmmm deep fried twinkie

One more thing I will mention is - the food was not the quickest coming out.  If you’re looking for some fast food diner experience I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you’ve got some time to spend and are looking for a good burger/deep fried errthang experience, I would definitely check it out. 

American Cupcake Diner on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Golden Boy

Sometimes you need to go on dates with your friends.  Sometimes it’s a Friday dinner date for six, that turns into eight, that finally settles on a party of ten.  Sometimes, a few of those friends drink from 1pm before dinner… which honestly, makes dinner a whole lot more interesting.  Add two rounds of shots (as well as cocktails and a few bottles of wine) by 7.30pm and you’ve pretty much got a party.

Right, so, from the start. 

I have a severe peanut allergy (and am allergic to all other nuts as well), which always plays on my mind when going out for any kind of asian cuisine (or indian which I guess is technically asian… or just any meal because you can find nuts pretty much everywhere if you’re looking out for them), because generally speaking there’s usually quite a few dishes that contain nuts, and even if they don’t, there’s always the mixing of the pans and cross-contamination.  I’ve been turned away from a restaurant because they wouldn’t risk it.  When booking, we told the staff at Golden Boy about it, and they communicated with us, with the chef, the kitchen staff, and back to us just to cater for the one persons allergy, to make sure I would be 100% fine eating everything on that table.   It doesn’t sound like a lot but usually it’s a “yeah should be fine just remind us on the night”… and so I spend those nights with my epi pen at the ready. 

There was none of that, they made sure I was looked after, my dishes were kept away from others, prepared separately, and because it was a banquet, made sure the dishes we had (bar one or two) were nut free.  I was sold on the service before I had even gone there.  So if your date (or friend, or parent, who ever) has an allergy, they’re not going to miss out and they will be safe.  There will be no first date experience of stabbing your date with an epi pen, sorry to take some of the potential excitement out of the night for you. 

Our booking was for 6.30.  I was well aware a few of the girls attending had been drinking half the day, I wasn’t really surprised when we didn’t all arrive until 7pm.  However, as Golden Boy was so busy it meant that we couldn’t get all the dishes we were going to because there wasn’t enough time before their next booking.  We were pretty lucky they could accommodate the extra 4 people we’d sprung on them so we couldn’t complain. 

We went with the “tuk-tuk”, which is usually $58 a head but was less as we had the “mini”.  They picked out their menu favourites and served them - though they did ask us if anyone wanted anything in particular.  There was Stuffed Tomatoes, Salt & Pepper Chicken, Green Curry, a couple of whole Steamed Barramundi, Egg Net Salad, Crying Tiger, Steamed Rice, Cooling Plates and something else in there as well.  My dear lord it was a feast.  A beautiful, bright, aromatic, fresh, full flavoured plate-licking-good feast. 

Dear everyone reading this.  Go. To. Golden Boy.  Get off your chair, make your way down there right now.  Actually, maybe call first (re above: very busy), but okay get off this webpage, google their number (actually, don’t even worry about it, stay here with me, it’s 8227 0799).  The food was so damn FRESH.  I ate roasted stuffed tomatoes AND LOVED IT.  I had some egg omelette thing stuffed with a whole bunch of other stuff (technically they call it an Egg Net Salad, psh technicalities), AND LOVED IT.  I had a mouth-gasm every time I put a new dish in my mouth.  You know that feeling of being so full you couldn’t eat another bite, teamed  with oh I’m in a really nice public place so probably shouldn’t be disgusting?  Well my friend across the table from me was yelling for more shots so while everyone was distracted I ate as much as I possibly could and pretended I didn’t.

I will 10/10 be eating here again.  

Golden Boy on Urbanspoon