Friday, January 2, 2009

I Can Has Cheezeburger? or: Grill'd, Lunchering with Lisa & the first veg-gathering of the new year

The last week or so has seen Miss T consume three vegan burgers in the city, which she considers an excellent use of her time.

The first was a return to Grill'd, now secure in the knowledge that their bread is vegan-ok (and I hasten to add that although I did receive freebie vouchers - expiry April 08 - I did in fact pay for this one myself in the name of journalistic integrity or because I hadn't remembered to bring them with me or because they hadn't arrived, or sumfink or nuffink).

I ordered the plain ol' veggie burger on panini, minus mayo and cheese, but with dill pickle. And it was good. Fresh beetroot and avocado played a starring role, and the addition of the pickle was on par with, say, deciding to plane the edges off a square, giving it a push and then making another three. I was really pleased with the Grill'd burger and left feeling like I'd had a freshly made sandwich rather than a naughty treat.

My second burgering was another Lunchering with Lisa, on the last day of the year and it was suitable in the extreme. Feeling between us a combination of hungover, tired, hungry, anticipating the upcoming requirements of NYE and a leedle bit naughty, we decided that the ever-faithful Lord of the Fries was our destination and salvation. We both ordered the standard vegan burger (despite being the Chilli Monster, I have developed bouts of hiccups from previous spicy burgers) and chips, Lisa's with gravy and mine with satay. I am devoted to the LoTF satay. De-voted. It's thick, it's creamy, it's real peanutty and it's unapologetic about how it will clog my arteries and expand my hips. But Lisa's gravy was just about as good and bad at the same time, and I think I've found an alternative condiment.

Below: satay on a cone of chips with an adorable chip-pokerer.

As always, the LoTF burgers had a pattie that has even omnis singing praises (Buzz is a fan) as it uses TVP to great, textured effect. When married with the soft, white fast-food bun, little Maccasesque pickles and general squishiness, this is a burger that screams to be eaten at 3am, lit by flourescent lighting, standing up whilst swaying under the influence. In short, it's the best kind of junk.

Below: a reasonably intact burger.

Below: mustard and sauce, cheeze'n'pickle, in the best fast food style.

Finally, or perhaps firstly, today marked my first vegan eatering gathering of 2009, with a small group meeting at the newly opened basekamp cafe in the CBD. A vegetarian cafe, basekamp is vegan friendly and is decked out with the sweetest decor around (and also the sweetest waitress, who apologised to us when we knocked over and broke a sugar dispenser!). The service by our smiley waiter was friendly and informed - no having to explain veganism - and it is a credit to such a new cafe that all of us repeatedly professed our intention to return (except for Kristy, non-CityWorker, poor thing!).

Kristy, Lidia, Pip, Dan and I all met on Little Bourke Street and actually queued outside the tiny cafe waiting for a big enough table. I was at first a little confused to see ham on the menu, given that I thought it was a vegetarian cafe, but it turns our that basekamp makes liberal use of mockmeat in its rolls, wraps and burgers.

Kristy and Pip (and Dan I think) had a Chik'n Roll on excellent panini, with the addition of pesto on the experienced suggestion of Lidia, who herself had a gourmet wrap with tuna. Dan also ordered the mayo garlic bread, which was a bit of an experimental serving with mayo, not much garlic, and an almost astringent, lemony taste. I didn'
t mind it, Kristy liked it, and Dan was not a fan.

Below: the Chik'n burger on panini with pesto.

Below: the gourmet tuna wrap with welcoming words behind.

I ordered a beef and BBQ sauce burger, which arrived smoky and encased in a crispy bun. The pattie had a stringy texture and tasted less mocky than many mock meats. The BBQ sauce well-coated the salad inside, including the charred capsicum, and the pesto on both top and bottom halves of the roll was generous and tasty.

Look at that char! Look at that sauce!

The generous double serve of pesto, and unprecedented grated carrot.

basekamp (no website available): 390 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000. Ph, 9670 3569.


lisa said...

Wow, you are burgerlicious! Bakekamp looks amazing. Must check it out sooooooon. And thanks for suggesting the LOTF lunch, it sorted my hangover out good. That and the Calippo. Mmmm.

Mandee said...

I want it all! The LotF burger and your burger @ basekamp look awesome!

I'm Philippa O said...

it was so good! i'm going to try your burger next time i'm there...

a vegan about town said...

I spent a minute or two looking at your LotF chips, coveting them something terrible. The satay sauce is my FAVOURITE. If I move to Melbourne some time in 2009, LotF may have something to do with it.

Amira said...

um yum! those burgers look so good! and the chips *drool* look tasty also

Cindy said...

Boy am I sad that I missed out on the basekamp trial! As another non-cityworker it could be a while before I get there but mark my words I'll get there! *shakes fist at the sky*