Friday, 1 March 2013

Mr Burger - Food Truck

One thing you're very unlikely to ever read from this guy is a positive review of faux meat. Sure, some people become vegetarian for health reasons and may miss the taste of it, but personally, I just do not see the point of it. I'm vegetarian because I cannot fathom eating meat and see no appeal whatsoever in eating some sort of substitute. For those who have made the switch for health reasons, surely eating a soy alternative that tastes like bad meat (so I have been told) is just making that switch all the more difficult, and denying yourself a world of vegetarian creations, unknown to those with a less concentrated sphere of ingredients at their disposal.

All that being said, allow me to be a tad hypocritical here. Growing up amongst a backdrop of American pop culture, the idea of hanging out at a burger joint with friends is ingrained in our psyche. As vegetarians, this is a world somewhat denied to us, and as a kid was something I yearned for. Sure, McDonald's and Burger King claim to have veg options (personally, I'm sceptical as to just how 'vegetarian' these burgers are, and would not touch them with a 20 foot barge pole whilst dressed in nuclear waste-disposal gear), and there are many gourmet burger restaurants and gastro pubs offering inspiring creations on a range of sourdough and wholegrain rolls and sandwiches...but I want my greasy fast food burger and fries dammit! Like in the movies!

Enter 'Mr Burger'. With authentic American diner-styled burgers, it is yet another addition to the burgeoning food truck scene in Melbourne. With 5 trucks scattered across Melbourne, it shouldn't be too difficult to find one, and it seems there's a semi-permanent location at the Queen Vic Market. The menu is very simple here. There is the Mr Burger, the Mr Meat, and - of significance to our kind - the Mr Veg. First of all, let me address the cheese situation. Although I did not see the ingredients, it was read out to me and no mention was made of any rennet or enzymes. Cha-ching! Time to order then.

The burger itself is served in a glazed, sesame seed bun. You know, like the kind you see on TV. The patty is of a falafel base - although I am pretty sure I noted a little veg compacted in amongst the chickpea flour - and surrounded by the classic burger staples: cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, tomato sauce, mayonnaise and yellow mustard. Those last 3 ingredients are key into creating the authentic burger 'feel'. Two condiments are just never enough! The ingredients combine well, with a good balance in the use of the sauces. I did find something a little grating about the texture of the falafel patty, it was almost as if there was a chalkiness to it. However, that had no bearing on the taste of it, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

At $8, the price is reasonable. The burger is not huge, but just remember, we're effectively paying to see through the looking glass, so I was happy to wear it for the experience. Also, I dare say I have more faith in the freshness of the ingredients here than at the big fast food slop houses.

To add to the experience, the van pumps out some old-school rock tunes to set the vibe. As such, I really did feel like a genuine Arthur Fonzirelli whilst perched on an outdoor bar stool, munching on my burger. To Mr Burger, Fonzi says "Eyyyyyyy!"


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