87 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
So it looks like the burger craze ain’t goin’ nowhere. Try as we might, Melbourne just can’t seem to buck the trend, and the burgers have now been joined by milkshakes, hot dogs, and the like. I’d be lying if I said that I’m not thrilled with the plethora of good burgers springing up whichever way I turn, but I’m not sure my arteries feel the same. Luckily I’ve been good about going to the gym recently.
Grand Trailer Park Taverna takes the all-American trend one step further. In this case, the name really says it all – despite being indoors, it felt very much like a trailer park campground, set up for a night of drinking and revelling. The rough wooden picnic tables still smelt of freshly logged wood.
|Alcoholic Ginger Ale|
|Spiked Salted Caramel Milkshake|
The bar was open from the get go, and the alcohol flowed all night. Served up were three of the restaurant’s signature drinks – Sangria, Alcoholic Ginger Ale, and the Spiked Salted Caramel Milkshake. Everyone gravitated towards the milkshake, and its sinful combination of sugar and alcohol mixed into the fluffy milk and ice cream mixture. The alcoholic ginger ale was nice too, but I chose not to indulge in sangria after an awful experience with a truly delicious sangria that nevertheless left me feeling extremely sick.
Soon roving platters of scaled-down burgers started appearing out of the kitchen, and I for one am glad to be small enough to squeeze by, grab a slider, and disappear before anyone even noticed me. The first one I tried of the night was the McDowell, and no, that name is not a coincidence. It tasted like a (very good) Big Mac, right down to the melted Kraft cheese and special sauce with bits of pickles in it.
The Cynthia Benson won’t convince anyone that it’s a bona fide beef burger, on account of the moist yet crumbly texture of the mushroom patty. When you look beyond that however, what you get is a surprisingly satisfying sandwich that’s full in flavour and doused in sauce.
I managed to nab a serve of Chips, and they were thick, hand-cut with the skin still left on, and more than satisfactory. What I didn’t like so much was the tomato sauce, which had an oddly sweet taste to it. Maybe this is how tomato sauce in America tastes?
This time it was Chris who drew my attention to the similarities between The Chunk and another well-known fast food cheeseburger. And whilst I certainly agree to a certain extent, this was no mere cheeseburger. Not only was the familiar trio of bun-beef-cheese given a makeover with smoky onions and BBQ sauce, there were whole slices of jalapenos hidden beneath the patty that gave this burger a real kick.
We couldn’t leave without trying the Francis Underwood, the classic burger topped with an entire potato mac and cheese croquette. It may have been an imposing-looking slider, but unfortunately no one won in the end. The flavours of the burger were smothered by the sheer volume of the croquette, which added nothing but crunch and guilt.
Like I said, the burger craze is still going strong, but admittedly, I wouldn’t lump Grand Trailer Park Taverna as someone who’s jumping on the bandwagon. The impression I got was that it’s less food-centric, with its focus being providing a good time overall, rather than the best burgers known to mankind. So next time the workplace suggests drinks at another ho-hum bar, give this place a go instead.
Rating: 13/20 – party time, c’mon grab your friends.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Grand Trailer Park Taverna.