Hamburger Nostalgia

The only hamburgers worth eating are from Australia.

They are made in 1971, when a new Holdon Monaro cost all of $2,770.

They are not made in stores that have names.

They are made in road-side cafes, usually along the old Hume Hwy, preferably at Yass or Glenrowan (before the freeway by-passed all the country towns and effectively killed them off).

Each is made to individual order by either the sultry and pouting sixteen year-old daughter of the proprietor, her eyes overly-made-up with blue powder and with huge black eyelashes, or his five foot nothing 250lb sweaty wife in her dirty floral apron who calls everybody “love.”

The proprieter is out the back having a fag as he tranfers diesel fuel from one 44 gallon drum to another.

The burgers are too wide to fit into any normal mouth (except perhaps that of that 16yo who has special oral skills, or so the boys in the local U/18 footy team say) as they have a full head of lettuce (the green parts only, never the too crunchy whiter parts), a crop of tomatoes, a paddock of fried onions and a thick slice of grilled pineapple in them, along with a slice or two of that definitive Aussie ingredient -- beetroot. ("You can beat an egg...") Speaking of which, maybe some bacon and a runny egg if this is a breakfast burger. The meat is more a rissole that a simple minced meat pattie; thick, tender, but not bloody. No pickle. The bun contains no sugar and does not have sesame seeds on top. The only sauce available is tomato, in a red squeeze bottle. OK, maybe there’s BBQ sauce left over in one of those brown squeeze bottles.

You've had to park the car (under the awning of corrugated iron if there is a space, to protect the vinyl seats from melting in the sun) and eat in the restaurant. Your cousin's boyfriend cannot eat and change the column shift at the same time. He does not multi-task. I see no future, but the trip to (from?) Canberra. My mum and I are nuisance chaperones.


My mouth is watering. Over the burger, I mean…

(BTW I was fourteen at the time, so this is not a pedophilia post! That 16yo was an older woman to me.)



Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 11:27 am | Profile


An Aussie told me just the other day about the beetroot in a burger. Yes I really do have interesting conversations with (Aussie) men!
Sounds tasty.

Posted by: Mia on Sep 10, 06 | 2:06 pm

Mmm beetroot. But not too much. Those small balls of beet are a salad dish on thier own, or you can add slices of red on ion and drizzle with a hint of olive oil. Nice dipped in mayo.

MMm I got a hankering for thick chips dipped in aioli now! I said NOW!!!

Just love being on a diet - I can't think anything but food.

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 3:20 pm

I've got a loving for pickled beetroot at the moment. Never had it unpickled though.

Posted by: Mia on Sep 10, 06 | 3:27 pm

I'm heading down to Culina now to see what they have. Maybe some pickled beetroot?

The usually beetroot I have is merely boiled.

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 3:55 pm

remember texas hamburger --mercer st mmm

Posted by: the Ex on Sep 10, 06 | 4:30 pm

Ex - and six steamed dim-sims. With soy sauce.

OFW has been purchased. Tick that for next time I do the Morroccan chicken.

And some seasoned asparagus spears! And some Strezlecki Blue Cheese - so strong it burns... At Coronation Plaza, Culina and the shop next to it, the NZ one...

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 5:54 pm

I have a similar fondness for the shawarmas made by Sam of Sam's cafe on Moorabool St.

I remember the hand written sign on the wall by the front window listed the the available options: tabouli, hommus.
In another texta colour was the tempting offer of a $3.50 ~Super~ Shawarma.

No other kebab or souvlaki I have had in the last 15 years has ever tasted like Sam's shawarmas. Whoever processed the meat (or whoever was processed for meat) did something very special - or maybe it was the sauce.

From Sams, shawarma, can of SARS and mars bar in hand, into red sigma
station-wagon with The Stranglers on the radio, on to Queens park with 5-iron, 7-iron and putter, and the inevitable tantrum on the fifth.

P.S. The cans of sars are now labelled 'sarsaparilla', lest anyone attempt to drink the contents through a surgical face mask.

Posted by: rambeaux2 on Sep 10, 06 | 5:55 pm

Heyo! Thanks for joining the family reunion!

True Sams Schwarmas were THE BEST schwarmas. The garlic yoghurt sauce was bloody nice... OK and with hot chili sauce.

And that was *your* tantrum of course...

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 9:03 pm

p.s. rambeaux, was I a good dad or what, looking after your eclectic diet like that?!

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 10, 06 | 9:35 pm


I remember those bugers - probably at Yass too -

Your non-multi-tasking driver was very wise - you forgot to mention how on the second bite half the beetroot, all of the tomato, and most of the sauce lands in your lap. Easting those burgers is... well, was... a two handed job!

Posted by: markeast on Sep 11, 06 | 2:00 pm

damn - sorry, no spellcheck!

Posted by: markeast on Sep 11, 06 | 2:02 pm

Yass is grass these days.

Two Macdonalds and a KFC and the town hidden behind the hills.

Posted by: expat@large on Sep 11, 06 | 2:41 pm


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