Venue: Alfred's Kitchen (Perth)
When the Fellow's first came together in February 2011, we believed we had what it takes to complete multiple burger reviews. Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7. Like the Miami Heat and the recently crowned King James, we at Burger Friday find it necessary to surround ourselves with talented people in order to put ourselves in the best position to succeed. As such, the lure of the 50th Burview saw Burger Friday introduce a number of high priced recruits - including All-Australian Ruckmen Nic Naitanui, a trio of Australian Diamonds netballers and Collingwood Premiership player Nathan Brown's brother Mitchell. Honestly, I haven't seen a team recruit this well since the Adelaide Crows gave up Chris Groom for Andrew McLeod in 1994.
50 is a number whose significance is reflected in many sports. From a bullseye on a dart board to the quick raise of the bat and tweak of the box associated with a half ton in cricket. But most enjoyably, the number 50 is reserved a special place in the annals of basketball history. It was the number worn by Hall of Famer, "The Admiral" David Robinson. And it is the number retired by the University of North Carolina Tarheels for "Psycho T" Tyler Hansborough - a man whose idiotic persona on the basketball court has paved the way for other A-grade jousters such as Lance Stephenson, whose disappearing act in this years Eastern Conference Finals was made all the more enjoyable by the fact that he sledged LeBron for being a choker last year. Oh how I love watching people's comments come back to bite them on the arse! But it could be worse, Lance could have acted like former UFC Middleweight Champion Andersen Silva in his recent world title fight - where Andersen copped a glancing hook from Chris Weidman, acted like he was knocked out, only to be knocked out cold one second later.
But enough clowning around, let's get to the aforementioned milestone review.
Alfred's Kitchen is a quaint truck stop style burger kiosk located just across the road from Perth's Bassendean Oval, the home of the Swan Districts Football Club and WAFL sensation Murray Newman. Alfred's kitchen has specialised in serving fish 'n' chip style burger treats since 1946. One of the more enjoyable facets of Alfred's service was the open fire roaring out the front, which signals that Alfred's is open for business. With my inner pyro chomping at the bid, I had a look at the menu (or the "Graham Manou" as I like to call it) and Alfred's boasts over 40 burgers ranging from the coronary option double hamburger with egg, bacon and cheese to the lighter option of the lentil. We promptly ordered the single hamburger with bacon egg and cheese and got ready to chow down.
The patty was, as it should always be, the star of the show. The subtle bitterness from the slightly charred outside of the patty mingled seductively with the coagulated meat fibres in a way that only a perfectly cooked handmade meat patty can. The juice and flavours covered and excited all parts of the palette like they were Igors Vihrovs dutch winking and flat bagging his way to the gold medal in the floor exercise at the Sydney Olympics (just wanted to send a shout out to our Latvian readership (almost 150 views from the great country). Anyone remember this bloke from Roy and H.G.'s "The Dream"?). I cannot say enough for how well this patty hit the spot.
The bun was exquisite. Like a sesame freckled breast of an angel lightly toasted to perfection. There is so much to be said for the simple act of lightly toasting a burger bun. Actually, from this day forward I am going to declare a war on untoasted burger buns - these should be outlawed from burger production the way centre circle bounced pads were outlawed from the AFL in 1999 when they caused Shaun Rehn's leg to snap in half.
The salads played their part - crisp and refreshing. Salads on a burger are like the guys making up the bench on an NBA team - slapping a towel on the ground is as flamboyant as they should get (Patty Mills - if there was a ring for towel waving, you'd be the finals MVP), but their main job is to hold back the other bench sitters when the stars of the show heat up, so that nobody gets a technical foul.
The condiment of choice for Alfred's was a simple dollop of Heinz Big Red. Whilst some may gripe at the lack of a gourmet sauce, I applaud it. This is after all a burger aiming to do all of the simple things right, to become a whole that is more than the sum of it's parts. What you get when you have a "simple" burger try to be something else with an extravagant sauce combo is an unmitigated disaster - a Tony Romo if you will. Romo is one of the more talented QB's in the NFL but tries to do some extremely extravagant things on a football field (19 picks in the 2012 season alone). Stick to doing the fundamentals well instead champ.
The chips were a perfect accompaniment to the burger and stayed true to the brief. They were crunchy, light on the inside and adequately dressed due to the selection of condiments. One of which was chicken salt. Nuff said.
The overall rating of this burger suggests that there are some aspects for improvement, but if you start adding extravagant ingredients you take away the burger's identity. We here at Burger Friday encourage burger diversity and can find enjoyment out of all styles of burger. So I would not change a thing here.
The sports person who I will compare this burger to is fast bowling icon turned breast cancer ambassador Glenn McGrath. As a result, I am dubbing the Alfred's Kitchen burger - "The line and length" burger. This burger hit all the right notes with its simplistic design and ingredients. It is a burger that would be successful all year round and in all kinds of conditions. As for Glenn McGrath's association with the number 50 - he scored arguably the most loved half century in all of cricket against our rivals from across the ditch. I cannot help but laugh at the look on Pidgeon's face after he slog sweeps Vettori for six. Enjoy.
What is next for Burger Friday you ask? Well our fellow 50, Curtis Jackson, got shot nine times and "he ain't going no where". So buckle in an enjoy the ride to 100.