Mr Griffiths Alibis & Libations, 524 Macaulay Road, Kensington. Phone: 9372 3978
We’re in Mr Griffiths for the poutine – a dish we’ve never before eaten.
But we’ve had plenty of loaded fries – and so far as I can tell, the Quebec-derived poutine could be the very first loaded fries.
We order the regular poutine – called The Drummondville (small $7).
I am perplexed and underwhelmed – the gravy and the curd lumps seem to add nothing to the fries.
And the fries themselves seem lacklustre.
Bennie loves them – cleaning the basket empty after I’ve grabbed a handful of fries untainted by the toppings.
That figures – his eyes invariably light up when he sees the phrase “loaded fries” on a menu.
Mine tend to glaze over.
My argument is simple: Why ruin fries – especially ones as good as those we inhaled recently at Littlefoot – with toppings that make them soggy?
So in fairness to Mr Griffiths, I’d say that even a serve a poutine fan deems of the very highest order would do nothing for me.
Mr Griffiths is a newish and welcome addition to Macaulay Road.
It’s a cool room, already with a relaxed neighbourhood vibe about it.
Beer is big here and the place is done out in Melbourne black.
It appears to be a hit – a previous mid-week attempt to try the food came to nothing as the place was packed when we tried.
If poutine is your thing, there are variations to be had that include the likes of fried chicken, hot sauce, pickles, onion, bacon, maple syrup and more.
It stands to reason poutine (not offered by many places in Melbourne) is a stronger selling point here than the burgers (sold by every man and his dog).
But as it turns out, our burgers are the highlight of our Saturday lunch – a judgment with which even my poutine-loving son agrees.
He loves the crisp ‘n’ crunch of the beautifully cooked chook in his Buffalo chicken burger ($12.50) with its Frank’s red hot, lettuce and ranch sauce.
My Bacon G’s burger deluxe ($12.50) is equally impressive with its beef, bacon, tomato, lettuce, pickles, onion and G sauce. And unadvertised cheese.
Big statement: This is the best bacon I can recall ever enjoying in a burger.
Get this – it’s both chewy and crunchy, it’s thick-cut and its flavour imbues almost every mouthful.
This is something of a rarity, something that should be wildly celebrated.
As Bennie points out, there is nothing extravagant or sophisticated about our burgers.
Indeed, at first blush they appeared to be on the plain and modest side.
But the truth is in the eating – they win because good ingredients have been done well.
Check out the Mr Griffiths website here.