22 John Street, St.Albans Melbourne // Level 2, 15 McKillop Street, CBD Melbourne

Burgapalooza 2017

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Two weekends ago, May Lyn and I went to a burger festival aptly named Burgapalooza. We had gone the year before, with a much smaller crowd and held in a much smaller venue that was a university bar. What the venue lacked in space, the burgers more than made up for in flavour. This year, things improved in both aspects. This time held at at an outdoor grassy field in the inner west suburb of Marrickville, the lines moved quickly and the burgers came out just as fast when we attended the first lunch session of the weekend-long event.

With five burgers on offer, we bought $50 worth of burger “currency”. This was dispensed as retro-styled arcade tickets, with each ticket being $2 and burgers/desserts/drinks being multiples of $2, this prevented any fumbling with cash/card. Quite an effective system really.

Without further ado, we had:

1. Superior Burger – Piggy Back

– House Made Salt Aged Beef
– McClures Pickles
– Fermented Pork Jowl Nduja
– Smoked Maple Mustard
– Cheese
– Organic Bun

I’ve raved on about Superior Burger and their quality stuff before but man, this was amazing. Nduja is basically spreadable spicy salumi. The pickles added that hint of tanginess and the patty – perfectly medium as always. Probably the best burger we had on the day. Apparently the crew made 80kg of nduja just for the event!

2. Down N’ Out – OMG Burger

– Beef and Bone Marrow Pattie
– Porcini Bacon Butter Sauce
– Crispy Onions
– Garlic Aioli
– Seeded Bun

Pork bone marrow in a beef patty. Earthy, rich, decadent… bacon butter sauce and caramelised onions. Heavy. Unfortunately marrow means cooking out the patty slightly well. But so dense in flavour. It needed just one more aspect of flavour. Maybe kimchi or something.

3. Mister Gee Burger Truck – Happy Ending

– Grass-fed Beef patty
– Havarti Cheese
– Caramelised Onion & Brie
– Truffle Mustard
– Pickles
– Lime Mayo

Finally, we got to try Mister Gee, a highly regarded burger truck that is generally too far a trek to make just to sample their wares. The beauty of events like these is that all the good stuff is within one place. Masterful use of cheese, complemented with the tangy hits of mustard, pickles and lime mayo. Really good.

4. Burger Head – Beef And Hash

– Angus Beef Patty
– Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Hash
– Diet Ruining Gravy
– BH Sauce
– Dill Pickles

The new kid on the block, Burger Head had just been opened for a few weeks before doing Burgapalooza. Probably worth another go, but by three burgers in, I needed something really mindblowing to tantalise the tastebuds. The hash has potential, it just needed to not be slightly overfried i.e. burnt. Young blood finding its feet, I can respect it.

Yes – I did mention 5 burgers but we were satisfied with the four had. For posterity, the fifth was:

BL Burgers – Power of Juan

BL Beef Pattie
– American Cheese
– Tequila & Agave Bacon Jam
– Jalapeño jelly
– Pickled Spanish onion
– Avocado Aioli
– Coral lettuce

Sounded good, but too much going on IMO.

We cleaned up with some dessert from N2:

Pavlova in ice cream form. No more needs to be said.

Other ramblings on the event:

  • Props to the DJ, anyone that includes DJ Shadow in their set at a burger festival no less deserves praise.
  • $6 (or was it $8) Coors tinnies is highway robbery, but hey that’s pretty standard of a Sydney festival with tight BYO rules, etc.
  • The session we went to was the first of the weekend, so there was likely some adjustments to how the event was being run, but for us we had a good time without any complaints. A lot of privileged types seemed to have a lot to say afterwards online.
  • Free water stations, essential. Very very good that they included that, because it was hot. 23 degrees my arse.
  • Make the venue dog-friendly, biiiig market out there.
  • Shouts to organisers and burger/dessert/drink joints for throwing an event that’s only gonna get better.