The Erko

DSC00449The Erko Verdict: 6/10




Beef Burger: 4/10

Brisket Burger: 7/10

Sides: 7/10



So why The Erko?

She says:  I really like the feel of the Erko – it has that great old Aussie pub vibe, the staff are really friendly and it never feels like its packed with dickheads. It’s family friendly and spacious.  We have been here a couple of times to try the BBQ meats (totally worth a try) and the burgers looked impressive as they went past. (…okay yes, also we are lazy and it’s close to home.)


He says:  Not only conveniently located for us but also a cracking location for smoked meats and many beers in the past. Surely the burgers would follow suit?

 What did you order?

  • The Erko Cheese Burger – $19
  • The Brisket Burger – $22
  • Pulled Pork Poutine- $16


Tell us about the Erko Cheese Burger?

He says: Really disappointing. The patty was like and oversized (and cooked) pepper rissole with extra pepper. Seriously, the pepper in this one pretty much negated the taste of every other ingredient. Was also near impossible to hold.


She saysYeah, this was a massive let down. It looked good and I was pumped for a classic burger with that good greasy flavourful meat patty backed up by some strong flavour friends in the cheese, bacon and sauces. But, sadly no such luck. The bacon was hard to taste, the sauce was M.I.A. and the cheese, while it looked promising from the outside but when I bit into it, it actually wasn’t melted very much and wasn’t very strong or bitey. I don’t think I’ll be going for this one again.


So then, how did you find the Brisket Burger?

He says: The brisket itself was on point but didn’t really seem to work with the rest of the ingredients. The brisket was carved into two distinctly shaped pieces and didn’t seem to fit well in the burger which hence meant there were a whole lot of meatless bites which in itself is nothing short of a tragedy.


She says: Better than the Cheese Burger because the meat was the good, smokey brisket chunks, this burger still wasn’t awesome (sorry canned beetroot but you are going to have to do more than this to win me over). He is right about the logistical issues that we faced with the meat to rest ratio. It was hard to eat and not that much fun.


DSC00428Now, what about the sides?

She says:  Firstly at the risk of getting all food bloggy, this is not traditional poutine. The traditional dish is fries and cheese curds with a “gravy-like” sauce (thanks Wikipedia). Instead the Erko’s poutine is fries, gravy, pulled pork and just normal melted cheese. Perhaps it’s my childlike fascination with that RSL/nursing home flavour of powdered gravy (which is both amazing and disgusting at the same time), or that I just think any meal whose basis is fries is incredible, but there is something about this poutine. I can’t decide if I love it or hate it… I was leaning more towards love this day as I had a teensy bit of a hangover, which this dish is pretty much made for.


He says: Have had the poutine a few times before and it was just as tasty as usual. A big shout out to the aioli which, in my opinion, resides near the top of the garlic mayonnaise kingdom for the year.

|| 102 Erskineville Road, Erskineville, NSW, 2043 ||||


Monday to Saturday 11:00am – Midnight,

Sunday 11:00am to 10:00pm


The Erko Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Local Taphouse

IMG_5216 The Local Taphouse verdict: 9/10


Beef Burger: 9.1/10

Chicken Burger: 8.5/10

Sides: 7/10


Why this place?

She says: Full disclosure: a friend of mine’s partner is imbedded in some capacity in the Local Taphouse (I am not going to lie – really not sure what his role is and wouldn’t like to speculate. Let’s say he is the Junior Vice President)  and my friend mentioned their burgers to me previously. He and I made our usual deal where friends are involved. Which is a) we let you all know straight up that we have mates involved and b) if it sucks we eat it and don’t review it – rather than lie to you beautiful burger fans in order to save our friendship. Luckily it didn’t suck!

He says: I’ve enjoyed the beers here on numerous occasions and a chance meal there a few weeks prior gave me burger envy whilst watching a friend devour their beef burger. Unlike the magnificent She I have no personal affiliations with the establishment and so have no qualms being negative if the experience genuinely called for it.

What did you order?

  • The Local’ Beef Burger: $18
  • The Buttermilk Chicken Burger: $18
  • Slow Cooked Crumbed Brisket: $12


Tell us about the ‘The Local’ Beef Burger?

He says: This was outstanding. A flavoursome patty with serious character and cooked to just the right amount of pink lay down on a bed of to die for ‘secret’ sauce and soft American cheese. I would have put this in the top 5 burgers we’ve had on the blog if it wasn’t slightly let down by a dry brioche bun. Would love to see some milk bun action up in here!


She says:. I was surprised by how good this one was – it didn’t really look the part but it was actually a pretty special burger. The proportions in both burgers were really well done. This one had exactly the right ratios of meat to sauce to bread. I didn’t have a problem with the bun, but He makes a good point about the milk bun – it would have taken this bad boy to the next level.


So then, how did you find the Buttermilk Chicken Burger?

She says: One great chicken burger – smooshy and a bit fall apart – which worked here. The chicken was nice and soft but still well cooked. The batter was golden and crunchy – not too thin/not too thick. Good coleslaw, pickle and a nice amount of awesome sauce. A real smashing snack that I would go again and again.


He says: Again this was excellent. Was a massive fan of the buttermilk chicken used here (top marks for crunch and seasoning) and it’s hard to fault chicken of that ilk when combined with allies like slaw, American cheese and a creamy mayo-esque sauce. Again had the same issue with the brioche bun but maybe that’s a personal thing and even with it’s presence it remained a fantastic little chicken burger. 


And what about the sides?

He says: We went for the slow cooked crumbed brisket because it wasn’t something either of us had tried anywhere before. It wasn’t so much my thing. The brisket itself seemed to suffer a dryness after being deep fried that couldn’t be saved by the surrounding horseradish cream. Taste wise it just didn’t make much sense to me. The fries served with the burger were of the McDonalds shoestring variety and went down a treat when coated in the delicious house aioli. Also will be kinder on the sides here as had the arancini balls and Taphouse fried chicken the week before and they were both delicious. Good to know this is more than just a cracking place to have a beer! 


She says: The brisket was a bit strange – I wasn’t a massive fan – maybe because it looked a bit like a croquette so I was expecting it to be much less dry than it was.  I do love a maccas style chip though – mostly because our good friends at Mary’s. To be honest, our previous sides choices (detailed above) were much better!

|| 122 Flinders St, Darlinghurst, 2010, NSW || Website || Email || 02 93600088 ||


Monday – Sunday: 8:30am-8:00pm

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Papi Chulo


Papi Chulo Verdict: 6.5/10

Beef Burger: 7/10

Brisket Burger: 4/10

Sides: 8/10



Why Papi Chulo?

She says: This is a fairly recent entry onto the restaurant landscape and Merivale family. I had heard about it opening but I didn’t realise they did burgers (He did of course). Though Manly is a bit out of our way usually, we were on our way out of town right past it (sort of) so we thought  thought we would give it the OBM once over.

He says: It’s not often I’m in the vicinity of the Manly wharf so when She’s wonderful parents lent us their car and we were already headed to a weekend soiree nearby the food god’s aligned to give us the opportunity to try the legendary Dan Hong’s (he of the Fish Shop burger perfection) new patty in bun creation.

What did you order?

  • Papi Chulo Burger  $18
  • Smoked Wagyu Brisket “Sandwich” – $18
  • Curly fries – $9
  • Peanut butter milkshake

Tell us about the Papi Chulo Burge?

He says: This was a really decent burger. Patty, sauce, pickles, bun and texture all ticked the right boxes. There were no clear faults but I feel it just lacked that little something to up the ‘wow’ factor. A workmanlike effort that I commend but hardly sent me into the passionate burger induced psychosis I desired.


She says: This is a solid, classic beef burger – nice, somewhat smokey, grilled patty with those awesome crunchy cooked bits. Good, American style melted cheese and a fair bit of sauce. I was expecting a lot after He told me that the same chef was responsible for the Fish Shop burger, (which remains to be reviewed by us but which is very high in my esteem) but it wasn’t quite as mind blowing as I had hoped. I would eat it again though for sure if it was a little bit closer town.

So then, how did you find the Smoked Wagyu Brisket “Sandwich”?

She says: Alas, this was not at all my kind of burger. I did make note to Him that it was described in the menu as a sandwich but He assured me that it would be suitable to be reviewed as it came on a burger bun. I am in no way pointing fingers (squarely at him), but I will say unless you are a big caramelized onion fan, I would stick with the beef burger.

He says: This was described as a Sandwich (a strange trait that is appearing at a few places of late) but after catching a few photos of it on other blogs and the fact that it was served on a burger bun made me feel at peace at it’s inclusion. When it arrived it looked like it was going to be the cat’s pyjamas. Alas it didn’t work at all. There was an over arching feeling of bad team work here. All the elements on their own (tender beef brisket, well cooked egg, sweet but not cloying caramelised onions, juicy pickles and soft luscious bun) kicked goals but when you put them together they negated each other’s virtues. To use another sports analogy- this burger was a team of champions rather than a champion team. Avoid it.IMG_4698

And what about the sides?

She says: It was my first time curly fries experience and I am a believer. They were that great style of chip that is almost crumbed, common to hotel room service menus an d with extra crunch. And the peanut thickshake was incredible. Both sides were big winners in my books. I would travel to Manly once a week by Segway for these sides.

He says: The curly fries had devilish batter that could charm even the most hardened culinary critic. The peanut milkshake was akin to liquid gold and put me in a heavenly food coma at it’s completion.

Visited on 26 July 2014

|| 22-23 Manly Wharf Manly NSW 2095|| Website ||


Mon – Fri 12:00pm – 10:30pm (Reduced menu 3:00pm – 5:30pm)
Sat 11:30am – 10:30pm
Sun 11:30am – 9:00pm

Papi Chulo on Urbanspoon