Between 2 Buns, 26 Pier Street, Altona.
A new burger place?
Another new burger place?
Truth is, I am suffering burger fatigue – after all, there is much more wonderful and affordable food in the world, particularly in Melbourne’s west.
Same goes for pulled pork – probably more so, actually.
But then, within days of Between 2 Buns opening on Pier Street in Altona, I start to see some feedback on social media – and it’s all good.
So off I go for a Saturday lunch.
Even early lunchtime, the place is building up a head of steam of curious and eager punters.
They all leave happy.
As do I.
The place is done out nicely in hip burger joint style with an accent on black and white.
But unlike some of the franchise places, this one hums with a family-run vibe and high pride in the what is being done and the food that is being prepared.
The menu (see below) doesn’t explore any outer reaches of innovation or experimentation, but that’s fine, too.
There’s six burgers, six varieties of fries, hot dogs, “donut sundaes” and shakes.
How about dirty fries of a large fries, chilli beef, cheese sauce, bacon, M2B sauce and spring onion?
An $11 meal all on its own.
My ambitions are more modest, for this visit at least.
I get a classic burger ($9.50) with beef, cheese lettuce, tomato, red onion, mustard and B2B sauce, with bacon for $1 extra.
And a regular of the beer-battered fries.
Initially, my hearts sinks when I see the fries – they appear to have been doused in chicken salt.
Another thing of which I’ve had my fill!
But to my surprise, they don’t taste of chicken salt – they taste simply like good, hot fries.
The burger, as suggested by its name, is a classic burger.
Nothing fancy – just top-notch, fresh ingredients stuffed between the covers of a nicely soft bun, all making for a very enjoyable two handfuls.
The slightly chewy, slightly crisp bacon pushes things from good to very good very nicely.
What I’d like to see in such burger joints:
At least one non-meat burger or sandwich – perhaps a nice, juicy, well-seasoned mushie burger? Vegetarians will never be a real important part of a set-up such as Between 2 Buns but offering at least one non-meat option would surely be a winning strategy for those families and groups with diverse eating habits.
(And I know of one Altona local – a vegetarian – who has already become an inevitable non-customer.)
Finally, if you’re going to offer hot dogs I most certainly consider it’s worth paying a bit more – and pricing accordingly – for a fine smoked frankfurter such as those sold by Andrew’s Choice in Yarraville.
Others mileage may vary.
We’ll revisit so Bennie can make his expert call on Between 2 Buns.
He’ll certainly go for one of the more grandiose burgers.
And, most likely, those sinful and seductive dirty fries.