Is DA’Burger tapping into an alternative inner-city Oregon subculture by inferring an association by incorporating a not-so-subtle ghetto talk into its name? Or perhaps hint that what it got iz what you needs – not just any burgers, dawgs, but DA burgers, you feel me?
Hey, I’m not suggesting that I have an ounce of street cred to my name, but for the sake of research (and my ever expanding tummy rolls), let’s just say I strutted down with my ace (the SO) to break it down for you readers and check if DA’Burger deserves some props.
If you’re coming down Brunswick Street towards New Farm past sundown, DA’Burger has made it near impossible for you to miss their Vegas style bright blue and black shield signage. It’s loud, bold and will not be denied. Unfortunately, this is at a traffic junction, so you might need to do a couple of circles to find a park. I recommend taking a right on the junction away from Merthyr Village and finding an on-street parking spot. For the rest of you strutters, walk this way.
The DA’Burger menu is up on the board overhead the order counter, but if you’re dining in, you can sit up front overlooking Brunswick Street or head back past the montage of framed photographs to a slightly more intimate casual dining area. There are menus on each table, so if it looks like it might be busy, try and grab a seat first and peruse the menu at your leisure until you’re ready to order.
Pricewise, DA’Burger’s offerings are comparable to other burger joints in the area, such as Grill’d and Burger Urge. If you’re a regular of either establishment (and why wouldn’t you be if you’re a local), you may see some menu similarities, but the differences are enough to keep things interesting.
I went with their namesake burger – Da Burger, the cheapest burger option they have at AUD$11.90. It comes with flamed grilled black angus beef pattie, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo and DA’Burger’s own tomato relish. It’s similar to Burger Urge’s Cheese Louise, which is AUD$8.90 and Grill’d’s Simply Grill’d burger which is $10.90 (which doesn’t have the cheese or tomato).
I like that they grill the burger buns as well. Nothing is worse than a soggy bun and a grilled bun does a better job of soaking up all the juices.
The Bus Stop and a side of chips
For AUD$14.90, the Bus Stop combo has the flame grilled black angus beef pattie, grilled streaky bacon, pickled gherkin, tomato, red onion and mayo, DA’Burger‘s own tomato relish. Burger Urge has a similar product, the New Yorker at AUD$12.60 (has cheese and BBQ sauce, instead of mayo) and the closest Grill’d has is their Crispy Bacon and Cheese (AUD$11.50), which has tasty cheese, but no pickle. I reckon the Bus Stop was the better burger than Da Burger, and it was partially to do with it having less strings of onion.
To complete our meal, we also ordered a side of DA’Burger’s beer battered chips. These came piping hot out of the fryer and very liberally salted with their herbed salt (pretty sure it’s got rosemary). I loved the crispy crunchy coating with the fluffy white potato center, but we found ourselves knocking each chip against the plate to kick off as much salt as possible to make it more palatable.
Since I’ve compared DA’Burger‘s two burgers to their equivilant from Grill’d and Burger Urge, let’s talk about the quality and flavour. The buns at DA’Burger were as large as both, though a touch flatter than Grill’d. The ingredients tasted just as fresh, but their mayo and relish lashings were not as generous as Grill’d. The beef patties were juicy without being dribbly and not terribly thick – and well-cooked through. Having a conversation at DA’Burger was relaxed and easy – no shouting over loud music or the banter from the kitchen.
DA’Burger has a liquor licence, so you can have a beer or two with your meal. But I liked that they had a glass water dispenser flavoured with lemon and lime, and fresh glasses up at the counter that is free-for-all.