Toowoomba locals are bananas for burgers it seems, with Hello Harry recently launching in the Walton Stores development.
This burger bar is edgy, it’s hip and it had a not-inconsiderable queue every time I walked past this buzzing precinct during my recent, four-day stint in T-Bar.
The Toowoomba outlet is the fifth Hello Harry outlet. The burger chain is another brainchild of Chef Tony Kelly (ex-Stokehouse) and his bestie Scott Hosking, who also are responsible for Junk next door.
For diners this means you have the ability to team burgers with pan-Asian hawker dishes, neatly constructing your own eating adventure. In some categories - say, like salad - I would definitely recommend that you do, because the Asian salad options at Junk far outweighed the Chopped Salad ($6) at Hello Harry - notable only for its pickled red onion topping.
Despite the long queues, our order comes out reasonably fast. From the main menu, we were drawn to the Louisiana Pulled Pork Burger ($10) which teams pulled pork that is slow-cooked overnight, then pulled freshly each day by the resident chef, with a barbeque glaze and red cabbage 'slaw. Compared to Sydney burger monstrosities, this proved to be a reasonably sized burger that was flavoursome, and felt relatively healthy - even the sesame seed topped brioche bun didn't come across as overly sweet.
Near the counter you’ll find a chalkboard #HiddenMenu – a throwback to takeaway stores of yesteryear – that includes some special burgers, including the (now requisite) eating challenge burgers. We skipped over the burgers likely to be bigger than your head, in favour of what this store seems to do best – pairing a quality bun with a simple set of protein-dominated ingredients. The weekly special: Spicy Pig Burger ($15) took a deep-fried slab of pork belly, fresh herbs, mixed ‘slaw, crunchy fried shallots and a very mild sriracha mayo. and sandwiched it inside the same house-made brioche bun. It was an honest burger that only wanted for a more liberal hand with spice.
While revelling in the people-watching opportunities afforded by this vibrant and busy place, I washed down my burger with the on-tap Monteith’s Pointers Pale Ale ($10/Schooner) before setting off into the night.
476-482 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba
Ph: (0434) 403 050