Grill’d Yarraville, 18 Anderson St, Yarraville. Phone: 9687 1107
The corner of Anderson and Ballarat streets, the heart of Yarravile … it’s where we live; well, almost.
It’s certainly where we shop for all sorts of things, get haircuts and the occasional beer, browse, partake of coffees and gelati and ice-cream, run into friends, see the odd movie, buys books … yes, well, it IS where we live.
Have done so for years and presumably many years to come.
So seeing a flash new franchise hamburger outlet operating on the site of the former post office is shocking to the point of confrontational.
Will it come to be thought of as an eyesore?
Or will the passing of time see it become just another part of the local furniture?
I have noted, though, that in the few days it’s been open it has been doing very good business, although I’ve yet to see any locals – locals I know, that is – taking the place for a test spin.
On the other hand, I doubt very much that I’m the first to give it a go.
Inside, looking out on to the so very familiar street life is quite a surreal experience.
The interior has polished concrete floors, lots of wood, a newspaper rack – always a plus.
The young or youngish staff are decked out in a variation of the very cool Grill’d T-shirts and obviously doing a diligent and enthusiastic job of taking care of their customers.
As this is my first visit – and future ones are likely to be on the rare side – I lash out for something a little bit saucier than my usual burger with bacon.
The Hot Mama ($13.50) has beef, roasted peppers, dill pickle, tasty cheese, tzatziki, salad and harissa paste.
When the not-so-young bloke who serves me asks me about chilli preferences, I say mild.
As it turns out, my burger is far hotter than any of the Indian, Thai or Sri Lankan food that it has been my pleasure to eat in the previous couple of weeks.
So hot it leaves my lips tingling.
My plain white bun seems not as fresh as I’m used to getting at Grill’d outlets, so I fear my burger will messily crumble. Happily it holds together quite well.
The cheese element is good in that it actually has flavour, unlike you know McWhere.
The meat component is as tasty as ever for a Grill’d product, although the harissa dominates all.
Cos lettuce leaves are terrifically crunchy, though I detect no flavour of texture of roasted peppers.
Which doesn’t mean they’re not in there – more likely they’re just swamped by the other robust flavours, including a good dose of dill pickle and yogurt sauce.
It’s a typically good Grill’d effort, though no better than their more basic and significantly cheaper burgers.
The snack-size chips ($3.50) are good but not up to the standard we’ve often enjoyed at other Grill’d outlets, such as Highpoint.
They’re only just hot enough and some of them are floppy. I suspect I’ve copped the end of one batch instead of the start of another.
Grill’d does good work, but I suspect I’ll continue to have NIMBY-type feelings about an outlet landing in the heart of Yarraville.
And be warned – a bells-and-whistles meal here pushes the upper boundaries of what constitutes a cheap eat.
My burger, chips and a small bottle of Pepsi nudges above the $20 mark – that’s twice what I paid for an incredible biryani a few days earlier.