106 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
+61 3 9419 5101
In an attempt to have a bikini body ready for a week on the ‘Coast and for moshing around in tiny, tiny denim shorts and a bikini top at Big Day Out ’12, I’ve been extra, extra good with gym attendance. In addition, I’ve been stuffing my body with hot dogs, ice cream, chips and burgers all weekend – oh wait, Libs, you’re doin’ it WRONG. Sigh. I may not have a washboard stomach in a week’s time but hey, at least I can say that I’ve had my fair share of decent guilt-free food as was the case this afternoon at the new burger kid on the block, Huxtaburger.
Owned by the most-likely-Cosby-Show-fanatics dudes responsible for giving us Huxtable restaurant across the road, Huxtaburger has only been open for a millisecond but it’s already doing the rounds on Twitter, Facebook, food blogs and given that we’re in Hipsterland aka Smith Street, tumblr. I rocked up to Huxtaburger this afternoon after buying yet another pair of jeans (‘Aw, but Neuw were having a sale and c’mon, 50% off!’) and because it was close to 3pm, I thought that I’d be safe to avoid crowds – WRONG. Every single outside table was full, and only a couple of high stools inside the very, very tiny takeaway store were vacant. The concept is pretty simple: ‘Hot beef. Cold beer.’ You won’t find any fancy fillings, brioche buns or beers from microbreweries here – it’s just good ol’ honest diner-style burgers at Melbourne prices. There are only five burgers on the menu, from the basic ‘Huxtaburger’ to the cheekily-named ‘Denise’ which comes with jalapenos and sriracha mayo, a nod to the ‘hot one’ on the show. In addition, fries are available as well as a daily salad special – but seriously, who goes to a burger joint wanting a salad?
They were advertising ‘local beers’ for $5 and when I asked them what beers they said, the chick at the counter told me, “VB or Fosters.” The look one on my face must have freaked her out a bit because she then quickly said, “Oh, we had Carltons but they are sold out.” Uh, yeah, NO. Call me a beer snob but when was the last time one would voluntarily order one of those beers on Smith Street without wanting to make an ironic statement? Oh, right…
I ended up getting a 500ml can of Kepplers Irish cider ($9), a tall, dark and well-balanced formula that was also rough around the edges – like Colin Farrell. My Huxtaburger ($8) arrived on a tin plate, looking admittedly a little squishier for wear. I was expecting something, well, with a better posture and when I grabbed the damn thing with both hands, it deflated like a Swiss ball that gave way to a 150kg woman sitting on it. The bun was also a little oily, too. Thus, I was surprised when I bit into it … and saw that it tasted fantastic. The sweet bun held together a wagyu beef pattie that was so buttery and tender that it literally melted in my mouth, slices of tomato, lettuce, cheese and pickles. A generous squirt of mustard, mayo and tomato sauce completed the burger, which was only slightly larger than a Big Mac and cost twice as much. What made the burger especially awesome (and worth the price) was the bun. The slapped on a bit of butter all over the white non-crust bits, before letting the halves sit white-side down on the grill for a bit. As a result, it was not only crispy on the outside (despite the buns halves looking as limp as hell) but also on the inside – a lovely textural contrast when consumed in one bite with the fillings and it also made the burger taste that much better.
I regret not getting a side of fries, which were selling like hotcakes but I’ll give them a try when I order Huxtaburger’s equivalent of The Lot, aptly named ‘Bills.’ Given this burger joint’s popularity, I can only hope that they extend their premises or put out a couple more chairs and tables outside, at least. Get rid of the Fosters and VBs, churn out some milkshakes and we’ll soon see Cee Lo Green and his entourage of honeys crooning ‘Forget You’ at Huxtaburger.