There’s a new burger in town and it’s a contender to take Melbourne’s best burger crown from Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill. It’s from a joint called Huxtaburger, the choice of hangout for a new breed on Smith St, the Huxtabogan, and costs $10 to Perry’s $23. There’s a lot that’s good about the burger, each one named after a character in the The Cosby Show. My favourite is “The Bill” which at $10 is a patty of grass-fed Moondara wagyu with egg, pineapple and beetroot in a Breadtop bun, which if anything is its failing because each time I’ve eaten one the bottom is sodden and falling apart. But at $10, the burger punches with flavour and in my book is a match for the infamous Andrew’s burger in Albert Park. Match with crinkle cut chips and an ironically bad beer such as Fosters, bought in as a joke but sold out in the first week to the amazement of the owners, and you have a winner. Now those of you who follow me on Twitter will say I’m getting even creating the Huxtabogan character when, with their bar next door to the burger joint opening, I could have simple have referred to Huxta[insert name here]. The back story is that I live next door to Huxtaburger and 8.30am one Sunday morning I took their drilling and hammering into my wall and raised it an axe, which I ground away on Twitter. You see in the rush to open Huxtaburger before Christmas their builder, rather than take on extra staff, decided to build out of the legal building hours annoying all the residents in my flats. It would have ended there is Huxtable’s chef Daniel Wilson had told the builder to stop working out of hours. What I found out two nights later was that he had instructed the builder to keep on working out of hours. That led to me confronting the owners at Huxtable mid-service one Tuesday night. They wanted to talk about it. But there is nothing to negotiate when the law is being broken is there? My axe grinding aside, the burgers are among the best in Melbourne. But with $10 (and less) burgers comes a different crowd. They crowd the pavement and make it difficult to pass by and more often than stand in my doorway blocking the entrance, and thus the Huxtabogan was… Read more »
Posts Categorized: Collingwood
There’s no website. Or Twitter account. Or any effort in marketing the newest spot on the Collingwood side of Smith St, Gorski and Jones, which is next door but one to Cavellero. Yet G&J place is packed with good reason. The place looks fantastic and their short menu of food and drinks is good. Very good. It’s brought to us by the people behind Brunswick St Alimentari – “The Deli” – and a keen fan. The music is booming and the vibe is loud as we slip into our viogniers and big, bright green olives on our first visit. Last night it was Zucchini flowers, stuffed with ricotta, anchovy and pine nuts, one of eight starters. I’ve enjoyed the nuttiness and deep flavours of the “goats cheese beetroot farro radish walnuts” and the freshness and bite of “kingfish fennel mint orange horseradish capers” Wood fired cooking is central to the them here. You’ll find “rabbit cacciatore white wine olive rosemary”, roast pork belly where a roast half apple and a salad of witlof and radicchio cut through the flesh and fat. And then my personal favourite – large tubular hunks of bone standing upright with a watercress and shallot salad (and is listed as a starter). The food is comforting and rustic and terrific value. The showpiece meat slicer in the window will cut you a plate of cured meats for $10 or $20 dollars. The starters currently cost from $14 (two zucchini deep fried zucchini flowers) to $15. Mains are $22 to $25, although you can get a small plate of seafood spaghettini for $16 right now. There are still plenty of derelict and boarded up shop fronts in Smith St, the dividing line between Fitzroy and Collingwood. But increasingly it is being gentrified mostly for the better by places such as Gorski and Jones. Enjoy!