Paradise Road Diner

DSC01344Paradise Road Diner verdict: 8/10

Beef Burger: 8.5/10

Chicken Burger: 7/10

Sides: 8/10

 

So why Paradise Road Diner?

She says: We had some friends in town and one of them was gagging to go to the junction to ‘see if anything had changed’. So we thought why not? In the east, eat a burg. That is our motto. (I used to live in North Bondi and there was a part of me that is cross that this place has popped up since I have left and the rest of me was interested to give it a go having heard many, many good things.)

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He says: The photos of these guys on the interwebs always presented one handsome looking burger. There website states that they are going for Modern Americana food with a ‘South of the Dixie Line’ influence.

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What did you order?

  • The Cheese Burger with Bacon – $16
  • The Southern Fried Chicken Burger – $15
  • Chilli Cheese Fries – $8
  • Mac & Cheese – $8
  • Coleslaw – $5

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Tell us about the Cheese Burger?

He says: As suggested this was a beautiful looking burger that housed a patty, two types of cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, pickles, aioli and tomato relish. There wasn’t much to fault here but I could have done with the patty being a little rarer and with more salt.

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She saysOverall this was a pretty solid burger. The good patty, lots of sauce and delicious bacon put this squarely in the ‘would eat again with pleasure’ box. I wasn’t crazy about the bun but I also think that I have had my heart stolen by the milk bun, and i can never come back from there.

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So then, how did you find the Southern Fried Chicken Burger?

She says: Wow – what a strange burger. The salad bits were good and fresh, the avo was creamy (maybe a little over pureed for my specific tastes), and the fried chicken was doused in a very generous amount of Frank’s Hot Sauce.  I really liked the flavours in isolation but the Frank’s on a burger really threw me. I couldn’t get past it and for me it wasn’t something I would eat again. I wished we had ordered one of the other burgs to try, there were so many I liked the look of.

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He says: This wasn’t so much my thing. The chicken itself was well battered and juicy but although I’m a massive fan of Frank’s hot sauce on buffalo wings, I found here it gave too much of an overpowering vinegar hit to the entire burger. Again, as I’ve often stated, I feel avocado has absolutely no business being on a burger.

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Now, what about the sides?

She says: This is controversial and makes me feel like a traitor to my fast food leanings but man, that coleslaw was the stand out highlight of the meal. It was crispy, fresh and perfectly balanced. The chopped cornichons were fantastic and cut through the oil of the mayonnaise based dressing. The chilli fries were addictive but not necessarily the best I have tried, heavy on the meat with an almost Bolognese taste (wait is that how it is supposed to be?), it was too much for me. The mac and cheese was a winner with great cheese and salt levels (which is rare) but so rich I felt like I needed to do a few laps up and down Curlewis Street (BONDI REFERENCE) to feel human again.

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He says: Chilli Cheese fries are always one of those things I like in theory but am continually reassessing my thoughts for as I find the chilli in the most part heavy and overpowering. The ones here did little to change my mind although I’m more than happy to bear some of the blame there. The Mac & Cheese was as good as any I’ve had of late and the coleslaw (not something we’d usually order as a side) which had the genius addition of cornichons was almost my highlight of the meal.

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|| 296 Campbell Parade, North Bondi, NSW, 2026 || Website ||


HOURS:

Open 7 days a week

7am – 10pm Saturday – Sunday

11:30am – 10:00pm Monday – Tuesday

Paradise Road Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Harpoon Harry

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Harpoon Harry verdict: 6/10

 

Beef Burger: 5/10

Soft Brisket Roll: 8.5/10

Sides: 6.5/10

 

Why this place?

She says: We pass this place together on an almost weekly basis on our weekend pilgrimages between our respective houses in Newtown and Darlinghurst. For months we have wanted to try it and after some positive blog feedback it seemed like a no brainer.

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He says: Noticed these guys had a burger that was regularly recommended on various food blogs. With a couple of mates in tow and in the midst of a Sydney Film Festival marathon and we needed somewhere that both looked the goods and was close to the city – Harry’s fit the bill.

What did you order?

  • The Harry’s Burger: $18
  • The Soft Brisket Roll: $16
  • Diablo Chicken Wings: $12 ($5 on Sundays)
  • Crispy Polenta Fritters: $12
  • Calamari: $18
  • Guacamole – Dressed: $14

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Tell us about the Harry’s Beef Burger?

He says: When this came out it looked to be a winner and I was excited about the pork and beef short rib patty as a point of difference. Unfortunately it didn’t really do much for me. The patty was both way too big and overcooked and the guava ketchup didn’t really do much to further it’s case. Perfectly edible but at $18 and with a reputation behind it really was a let down.

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She says:  I was immediately disappointed with this one. We eat a lot of burgers and I accept that standards we have are high but the meat in this one really poor. And there was a lot of it. It was too oily but also with a tendency to fall apart, the outside of this super thick patty was blacked and dry while the inside was grey. It was reminiscent of the taste of your great-aunt’s home-made rissoles that are cooked for hours to within an inch of their lives. I couldn’t see past it to comment on the rest of the burger.

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So then, how did you find the Soft Brisket Roll?

She says:  THANK GOD FOR THE SOFT BRISKET ROLL. (While not technically a burger, there wasn’t any other option and He is a HUGE brisket fan (and is cursed by the fact that wherever we go with brisket, when we are there it is almost always sold out). The bun was soft, the brisket was beautifully cooked and seasoned and the salady bits were crunchy and fresh. I would go back for this again and again. A winner!

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He says: There wasn’t another burger on the menu so we thought we’d indulge in our love of brisket with this little guy. Unlike it’s sibling burger this was utterly delicious. The brisket was cooked to perfection and the only issue here was that it was about half the size it should of been.

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And what about the sides?

He says: As mentioned earlier we had a few friends in tow and this in turn afforded us the ability to order more sides than we normally would. The dressed guacamole was a favourite and came adorned with smoked bacon queso fresco and cheese.  The chicken wings were solid but nothing to bang on about. I had difficulty eating the polenta fritters as they were bland and had a strange texture to them. The fries served with the burger and brisket roll were simple but cooked well and, as they often do in a meal, shone accordingly.  

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She says: The fries were the winner for me, as He says, simple and done well. The guacamole was also pretty good, nice and fresh and served with some pizazz. I didn’t mind the chicken wings but probably wouldn’t get them again. The polenta fritters looked great and the crunchy exterior was nice because it was bathed in salt but the innards lacked flavour and they were too thick to rely on that outside seasoning to carry through.

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|| 40-44 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills, NSW, 2010 || www.hotelharry.com.au || 02 82628800 ||  info@hotelharry.com.au

HOURS:

Mon – Sun: 11:30am – Midnight

 

Bens Burgers (Brisbane)

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Ben’s Burgers verdict: 7.5/10 

BB Classic Burger: 8/10

BB Special Burger: 7/10

Sides: 7.5/10

Why this place?

He says: In my old stomping ground Brissie for Greek Easter and we thought it’d be a great oversight to not review a burger whilst we were in town. A fair bit of blogging investigation lead us to Bens.

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She says
: He did all the research for this one and did so well! Actually – I did also see it in one of our  Instagram follower pictures – they do great Brisbane burger reviews but unfortunately their name escapes me. (Sorry person! Comment so people can follow you.)

What did you order?

  • BB Classic Burger with Candied Bacon: $14.50
  • BB Special Burger: $11
  • Chilli Cheese Fries: $10
  • Strawberry Jam Milkshake: $7

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Tell us about the Classic Burger with Candied Bacon?

He says: This was a really good little burger. As the way with so many these days it tasted like an upmarket fast food burger (which is by no means a criticism). The candied bacon was as good as it sounds and is a mandatory addition I would think. I would have preferred the pattie a little more rare and the inclusion of more sauce and cheese but all in all these are minor quibbles.

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She says: For me, the candied bacon MADE this burger. Sweet and salty is always good and with this burger it added that perfect counterpoint to the almost fast food vibe (which, as He said already mentioned is definitely not a bad thing). I really liked the balance of flavours though – good pickles, nice fresh salady bits. This burger was my favourite of the two for sure. As always we added more aoli – sometimes I think that we would do best if we took our own stash of sauces everywhere.

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So then, how did you find the BB Special Burger?

She says: This was not such a winner – Super salty without a point of difference and lacking the balance of flavours that was so great with the other burger. The sauce distribution throughout the burger was totally off (you can see it in the cross section picture if you are looking for it). I know is a pretty unusual quibble but it made a big difference, because while I got all the sauce, He got almost none (I didn’t realise until too late – I would have shared if I had known, promise!).

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He says: Wasn’t as much of a fan of this one. Didn’t think the jalapeños worked all that well and they were packed in with the onion and pickles on the bottom of the burger which was strangely free of sauce leading it to be a touch on the dry side. Also didn’t find the special sauce to be all that special.

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And what about the sides?

She says: That milkshake – get out of here – it was good. Thick as all thickness and jam-y as anything. I liked it. But I like sweet. Note: I did only have two or three sips, as it came out first and I was pacing myself. Also note: We should mention that there was a pretty long wait for the burgers too, so if you do get a milkshake, you should also pace yourself and try not to drink it all before the burgers come – because the shakes are filling. The chili fries were okay, they were a for a bit underwhelming for me in regard to cheese, of which there was not enough, and what was there was not melted.

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He says: The chilli cheese fries were excellent and in the upper echelon of those I’ve had prior. The Strawberry jam milkshake was tasty but a little cloying (it was kind of like they poured half a jam pot in there).


|| 5 Winn Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD, 4006 || 07 3195 3094 ||  www.bensburgers.com.au ||

HOURS:

Monday: 7:00am – 2:00pm

Tuesday – Thursday: 7:00am – 10:00pm

Friday: 7:00am  – 11:30pm

Saturday: 8:00am – 11:30pm

Sunday: 8:00am – 9:00pm

 

Ben’s Burgers on Urbanspoon

Chur Burger

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Chur Burger verdict : 6/10

 

Beef Burger: 5/10

Chicken burger: 7/10

Sides: 6/10

So why Chur Burger? 

She says: I feel like we had to do Chur Burger to make sure we had enough burger cred. It is a staple of ‘best burger lists’ and we hadn’t gotten around to reviewing it. A little note on context, we got there at 11:29 on a Saturday, they open at 11:30, they made us wait outside until about 11:35 (which was pretty annoying – more so because I was hangry) but once we were in (with the 3 other groups who had turned up and were waiting) the burgers were fast as lightning.

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He says: I’d been here a few times pre OBM days and had never understood the hype. Was intrigued to see what I thought now that the blog had rendered my burger appreciation expertise at peak form.

What did you order?

  • Beef burger with double cheese and bacon – $13
  • Marinated grilled chicken burger- $10
  • Frickles – $7
  • Chips with chilli salt- $6
  • Salted Caramel milkshake – $8

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Tell us about the beef burger?

He says:  I apologise to all the Chur lovers out there but I just think this burger is the epitome of mediocrity. The patty is overcooked, dry and flavourless . The bun was on the stale side and the tomato jam just doesn’t do it for me at all. The mustard mayo needs more personality (and to be  lathered with more consistent coverage) but the addition of double cheese and bacon helped to make it mildly enjoyable.

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She says Yeeeeah, I don’t get it either. I like the tomato jam more than Him but the meat was pretty tasteless and the burger was a huge let down. I had high hopes (despite His Chur-negative attitude). I actually didn’t bother finishing the beef, it was just a bit ‘meh’.

IMG_5827So then, how did you find the chicken burger?

She says: This one was better than the beef and totally edible but not super special. The chicken was cooked well and the salady-colslaw was crunchy and fresh, but I don’t think I would go for this again…I still don’t rate grilled chicken (as opposed to fried) so it may be me being a princess!

IMG_5837He says: I’m normally not a fan of grilled chicken on burgers but this is an exception. The chicken is juicy, marinated thighs and is complimented well by the hot sauce mayo and minted slaw. Could have done with more chicken and twice the amount of mayo though.

IMG_5818And what about the sides? 

She says: Frickles saved the day for me here – I filled up on them which was fine because I wasn’t super fussed with the burgers. The frickles (which are deep fried pickles) were covered in a nice crispy light batter but stayed crunchy and juicy on the inside. I also rated the fries and the shake (however by the end a bit the richness of the salted caramel was overwhelming).

IMG_5820He says: The frickles were one of the daily specials and, unlike she, I wasn’t a massive fan. I found the batter a little on the heavy side so left them for She to gobble up. The fries were close to my favourite part of the meal and, although simple, were irresistible with the addition of chilli salt and aioli. The salted caramel shake was undeniably delicious but also incredibly rich and sweet – I enjoyed it but at the same time felt a triple bypass approaching with each sip.

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|| 48 Albion Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 || (02) 92123602 || www.churburger.com.au ||

OPENING HOURS: 

Monday: 11:30am – 9pm

Tuesday –  Saturday: 11:30am – 10pm

Sunday Closed.

 
Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

Barrio Chino

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Barrio Chino verdict: 9/10

Beef Burger: 9/10

Chicken burger: 8/10

Sides: 9.5/10

 

So why Barrio Chino?

She says: This was all Him. We were looking for somewhere near His place in Darlinghurst and this was on our list thanks to his incredible knowledge of our chosen foodstuffs (and just restaurants in general).

He says:  I’d eaten Mexican here a few times prior and was not be overly wowed but had a few fellow local Darlinghurstians who recently made their thoughts very clear about how much they loved the burgers here (or, as they call them, tortas). Also thought $10 Thursday burger night provided the perfect occasion

What did you order?

  • Barrio Torta with bacon and Ancho fries ($16 or $10 on Thursdays)
  • Southern style chicken torta ($14 or $10 on Thursdays)
  • Fried chicken with chipotle mustard dipping sauce ($12)

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Tell us about the Barrio Torta?

He says: Bang! Any prior misgivings about Barrio Chino are completely obliterated when this bad boy arrived.  The patty was flavoursome and cooked perfectly and the addition of cheddar, pickled jalapeños, and an utterly delightful chimmichurri mayo made this a tasty morsel to remember. Glad we added bacon as well. Sensational burger

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She says: I have to admit I was totally blown away by this one at the first bite. It’s getting rarer and rarer for us not to already have an inkling that a restaurant we visit will a good burger (thanks blogword!) so this was one awesome surprise. Great squishy bun, awesome fresh ingredients and fantastic flavourful sauce and good meaty meat.

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So then, how did you find the Southern style chicken torta?

She says: This was another ripper. Succulent crispy fried chicken, thinly sliced coleslaw and iceberg, and a perfect amount of chipotle mayo. The crispy freshness of the salady bits cut through the richness of the chicken and mayo combo, resulting in this fantastic balanced burger that was light and rich at the same time.

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He says: The fried chicken in this was brilliant (see sides review below) and it’s simplicity worked in its favour. The chipotle mayo should go wherever this chicken does. Wish there was more sauce and they added some cheese but these are minor quibbles (both of wish I can rectify the next time I order it!)

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And what about the sides? 

She says: That chicken – lordy-lou! This is up there with the best fried chicken in town right now – crispy batter that is just the right thickness and inside, hot succulent chicken that actually tastes like chicken, not just batter. (Actually, wasn’t someone going to start that fried chicken blog already??) The sweet sauce it comes with was just fantastic. The waiter saw my enthusiasm and offered to bring more to go with the chips, an offer which was accepted with gusto! Oh yes, and the chips – they too where top notch. Spicy but not so much that your lips hurt, crispy, plentiful. Top points for sides!

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He says: We kind of haphazardly ordered the fried chicken when we realised the tex mex nachos were only available on the late night menu. That turned out be serendipitous as said fried chicken turned out to be about as good as I’ve had in this city. The chipotle mayo and the chipotle mustard dipping sauce were all kinds of wonderful as well. The ancho fries were also on point.


|| 28-30 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, 2011|| Website || (02) 80219750 || queonda@barriochino.com.au ||

 

Opening Hours

Tuesday to Sunday (5pm-late)

Barrio Chino on Urbanspoon

The Nighthawk Diner at The Unicorn Hotel

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The Nighthawk Diner Verdict: 8/10

 

Beef Burger:  9/10

Chicken Burger: 8/10

Sides: 5/10

 

Why the Nighthawk Diner?

She says: I am going to claim this one as my find – I reckon I saw them first on the Instagram account of their food van, which has always looked pretty awesome. And we have had their burgers before – when they did a pop-up at the Icon Park venue on Stanely St, Darlinghurst (a myriad of issues including bad pictures and a number memory fading bourbon milkshakes ensured that the review from that visit never eventuated).

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He says: I’d heard and read myriad glowing reviews regarding the mobile van and pop up incarnations of these guys. As mentioned I hit up a recent pop up of theirs with the gorgeous She recently and really enjoyed the burgers and sides. Had big expectations of their new kitchen at The Unicorn Hotel (which they’ve claimed vehemently is not a pop-up but here to stay).

What did you order?

  • Cheeseburger – $16
  • Southern Fried Chicken Burger – $16
  • Buffalo Wings – 50c each (!!)
  • Chilli Fries – $8
  • PB & J Milkshake – $6

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Tell us about the Cheeseburger?

He says: This cheeky little fella made me feel like I was mainlining the culinary equivalent of euphoria. When I’m on my death bed and my life flashes before my eyes I’m pretty sure the patty and sauce on this burger will feature prominently. Very hard to fault and I can’t wait till the next time my mouth gets to annihilate it.

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She says: This cheeseburger was pretty special. Not your classic ‘cheeseburger’, the usual American cheese and meat patty were accompanied by butter lettuce, tomato and special sauce – and by god, that sauce was special. The deliciously soft bun and the most special of special sauces, as well as the rich, quality meat patty (that perfect marriage of chuck and brisket according to the menu) took this burger to the next level. Highly recommend!

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So then, how did you find the Southern Fried Chicken Burger?

She says: To be honest – when it saw this bad boy headed to our table I thought perhaps we had made a bad choice, or maybe they had messed up and served us a fish burger.  I’d not seen a chicken burger which had chicken which was so lightly  crumbed before. But this little baby was a taste sensation – lightly fried chicken with iceberg lettuce was kicked up a notch with the ‘Chipotle Barbie-Q Mayonnaise’. Same great bun as the beef this burger is totally worth a go.

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He says: This looked a nightmare but tasted like a dream. The chicken itself cradled the middle ground between a southern fried and lightly crumbed schnitzel style. The mayo had an addictive and unique tang and perfect complimented the chicken. Not meaning to sound like a broken record here but I can’t help but wonder just where this would sit in the grand pantheon of chicken burger land if they’d added a heap of cheese…..

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And what about the sides?

She says: Let’s get one thing straight – the peanut butter and jam milkshake was one of the very best milkshakes I have ever consumed in my entire life. Apart from that life changing milkshake however the sides were a bit of a letdown. Both the chili fires and the wings were cold when they got to us (and i know what you’re thinking, but we aren’t the types to let the food sit while take ages to photographs – photos are a two minute affair and we always pick at the sides pre-pictures anyway). And the wings were a bit too dry, they weren’t slathered with that finger licking, chin messing sauce that can make or break a wing.

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He says: I concur with Her regarding the peanut butter and jelly shake – off the freaking change ecstasy in liquid form (especially when you hit the bottom and could scoop out the glorious chunks). Unfortunately there were major issues with the fries and wings. The fries were almost stone cold and had a very strange cardboard like taste to them (seemed like an oil issue). The wings were dry, bland and also strangely cold. This was further baffling as we seemed to be the only ones in the hotel dining at the time. Maybe just a bad day in the kitchen on the sides department and considering the quality of the burgers our expectations were indeed very high.

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||106 Oxford Street Paddington Sydney 2021 || Menu  || Website ||

Opening times

Monday-Thursday 12pm – Late
Friday 12pm – 3am (no lock out)
Saturday 12pm- 3am (no lock out)
Sunday 12pm – 10pm

 

The Nighthawk Diner on Urbanspoon