That Burger Joint, Barkly St

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D Crumb


It was Sunday night and the cupboards were bare. Hungover and unable to muster the effort to forage around the supermarket for supplies, I opted for take away.

The hangover demanded something substantial, meaty, indulgent, unapologetic – something to absorb the backwash of cheap beer and wine languishing in my gut.

Burger or kebab? Kebab or burger? Which fine medicine would sponge up the poison… Purely due to proximity, I decided to try That Burger Joint on Barkly St. I’ve heard good reports, via credible burger aficionados, and considering my beer googles, it wouldn’t be hard to fill the void. 

I ordered the Mighty Chillian, with a double patty. I left the house precisely on 10 mins, to meet my 15 min deadline. I lucked out and found a park directly outside, walked in, trumpeted my name at the staff and was instantly handed a brown paper bag with the fluidity of a well rehearsed drug deal. I pay-waved and left without breaking stride. A tightly choreographed routine, smooth as a Bryan Ferry ballad.

Unfortunately, this fairy tale chain of events ended abruptly when I bit into my burger. Naturally I was expecting this lovely run of form to continue, a taste sensation to accompany the perfect procurement process.

But no. There’s a bug in the system. An epicure fail. The bun was a wrongun! My Japanese Milk Bap was experiencing rigor mortis, well beyond its sell by date, stiff and stale, it worked the jaw like concrete mixer.

Although overshadowed by the brick-like bread, the meat was good and well portioned. It was spicy and cheesy, and if eaten independently of the bun, most satisfying. It was only the bun that marred the experience; a lonesome offender. In hindsight I should have ordered three patties and constructed a meat sandwich; meat between meat between meat; that orgy of protein and coronary Russian roulette our American cousins so love.  

Much like the game Jenga, where every piece is critical, this burger puzzle came crashing down when one key ingredient went awry.

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