As a slow food fan, many fast food and chain stores make me shudder. However this, the twenty-fourth restaurant for Grill’d and Sydney’s first store, is an exception. What I can report back on is a bustling Saturday lunch crowd of locals jostling for healthier, tasty, affordable food that’s served quickly by earnest youngsters.
Funky space too – it’s red, vibrant and splattered with quirky cartoons promising “no neon lights... no drive thru... no goddamn colonel and no clowns.” Now since I’m not a nutritionist, I’ll leave their claim “Grill’d burgers - up to 78% less saturated fat than McDonalds and Hungry Jacks” for someone more qualified to debunk. In my view the burgers look and taste better than offertings from either competitor.
The Hot Mama ($11.90) sang with hot harissa, tangy dill pickles and lean, flavoursome beef on a traditional bun moistened with tzatziki.
Herbed Chips ($4.90) also rate.
The Caesar’s Palace ($11.90) layers smoky bacon with moist chicken pieces well marked by the grill, springy baby cos leaves, parmesan and a free range egg.
I always like to take a peek inside, so I usually get a knife and cut my burger in half. This one looked great to me; especially the springy lettuce! No soggy buns here! Everything seems to be in the right proportion too. Look - if I had to come up with a critique, it’s probably that it all gets a little juicy; so grab an extra serviette at the counter.
The 'fine print' is also good. Buns are sugar free, preservative free and baked daily. All burgers are available bun-free if that's your stick; gluten free (for an extra $1.50); or with vegan patties (and a range of other toppings) if you don't want to eat meat. Heck you can have 'em kid sized too. If you do take a meaty option, the preservative free beef is lean, and they say it's ninety-five percent fat free. Not a bad place to drop by for a burger.
57 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest
Ph: (02) 9436 0699