Suns out, buns out

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With 16 burger pros at Monday’s Biannual Burger Festival, it was a foodie’s playground at Hank Marvin and Juliana Mare ate her way through the market!

Versatility was the theme of the day with an absurd amount of choices. Beef, pulled pork, chicken, mushroom or bean, not to mention enough bun options that Sir Mix-A-Lot himself would be proud.

The obvious (and only fair) choice was therefore to try one of each!

THE CHICKEN

48 hour buttermilk brined fried chicken, American cheddar, lettuce, carrot, onion, pickles and house made garlic aioli on a caramelised brioche bun.

Vendor: Skipping Girl Take Away

The standout burger of the day! Unwrapping the paper to discover the huge piece of crispy fried chicken was better than Christmas morning.

With a great spice mix, the chicken had a deep golden and crunchy outer. This crunchy layer wasn’t too thick, which kept the inside juicy, plump and deliciously moist.

Classic burger fixings, all faultless but the standout were the pickles – thinly sliced with a zingy flavour to cut through the unapologetically bold flavour of the chicken.

It was an excellent decision to sandwich the fillings inside a brioche bun. The hint of sweetness that comes from not only brioche, but caramelised brioche is perfect to pair with fried chicken. A truly faultless burger!

 

THE VEGGIE

The Ultimate Protein Burger: Sweet potato and black bean patty with spicy satay, ribbon zucchini, tomatoes, onion, lettuce and avocado on an activated charcoal bun.

Vendor: Raw Beet

Even the most devout meat eater would admit that if nothing else, the colourful burgers from Raw Beet look fantastic. Lucky for me, the Ultimate Protein Burger tasted the part too.

On their own, each individual component of the burger probably wouldn’t overly impress but when you take a bite – that is, if you can fit your gob around the colossal stack – the flavours altogether are pretty spectacular.

In terms of texture, the sweet potato and black bean patty didn’t hold its shape so with every bite, the burger because sloppier and sloppier. It would have been great to have something crunchy to balance out the fillings and soft bun.

Speaking of buns, this was an eye-catcher. Before I had the chance to find a grassy patch to sit and eat this bad boy, I overheard three groups of people making comments about the colour of the bun.

Activated charcoal – it sounds fancy, definitely looks a little unusual but if you were blindfolded, you wouldn’t know it was any different to your regular old burger bun.

The standout of this burger though was the house made spicy satay sauce. I had the opportunity to chat with founder of Raw Beet, Jansen who shared the secret ingredient giving the sauce its spicy kick; sriracha.

For a burger that’s 100% vegan to stand out in a sea of double meat patty’s and pulled pork, you must be doing something right. Tasty, vibrant and nutritious, the burger was great but I would’ve been happy with a bowl of that satay sauce and a straw.

 

THE BEEF

Kingswood Burger: Double 150g 100% grass-fed Angus beef patty, double American cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, red onion and home made McKustom sauce.

Vendor: Kustom Burgers

This was the burger that truly lived up to the phrase ‘Go big or go home’ because it was insanely meaty, cheesy and oh-so-greasy.

With a half-hour wait at Kustom Burgers, every minute sent our expectations an inch higher and while the burger certainly looked epic, it was difficult to see past the puddle of grease lining the box.

There’s no denying that a burger festival isn’t going to deliver the healthiest meal but the oily residue on this burger was absurdly high. But greasiness aside, it did taste exactly like a classic burger should; with that gorgeously char-grilled flavour on the meat.

The fixings on the Kingswood were no-frills – your standard lettuce, onion and cheese. This meant there was nothing distracting you from the quality of the Angus beef, which was sandwiched with two slices of good old American cheese.

These were classic flavours done well so it’s a real shame that the oily residue warranted more than one napkin to clean up.

 

THE SEAFOOD

Moreton Bay Bug Burger: with lettuce, crushed bacon, classic tomato salsa and lemon + dill mayo.

Vendor: The Kraken Squid

Kudos to The Kraken Squid for not only serving the only seafood burgers at the event but for having the coolest truck out of all the vendors!

Soft shell crab or Moreton Bay Bugs; a tough decision and one that I let the cooks make for me. You can’t after all, argue with the experts.

The Bugs were butterflied and cooked impeccably well, with tender flesh, fantastic seasoning and a subtle barbecued flavour.

The crab burger came with a slaw, which I thought was the better burger filling of the two menu options. It was a surprise therefore, how well the tomato salsa and mayo worked with the bug burger.

The salsa was light and fresh, contrasting well with the bugs and the whole burger came together with the lemon and dill mayo. My only complaint was that the bugs were so delicious that it was a shame to only get three in the burger!

Thank you to the Big Burger Biannual for spoiling us with today’s line-up.

It’s a shame humans haven’t developed bottomless stomachs yet because despite rolling out of Hank Marvin in a delirious burger coma, there were so many more burgers that I wanted to taste.

To see more of Juliana’s food reviews and her own burger recipes, check out Peaches & Push Ups and follow @juliimare on Instagram.

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