Snack at­tack

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Graeme Phillips

TQ ON EL­IZ­A­BETH

136 El­iz­a­beth St, CBD. Open week­days 8am to late, week­ends from 9am. Face­book. Ph: 6236 9119

IT’S not of­ten Launce­s­ton gets the culi­nary drop on Ho­bart. But it did with spe­cialty ham­burg­ers when Burger Got Soul opened in Charles St about four years ago and their menu of 27 dif­fer­ent burg­ers proved an in­stant hit.

While Burger Got Soul’s Sandy Bay af­fil­i­ate didn’t cut the mayo for me on my only visit, Jack Green in Sala­manca upped the ante when it did for burg­ers what the own­ers had done with their gourmet, any­thing- on- top piz­zas at Cargo next door.

Now Ho­bart’s about to be well and truly burger’d.

The old Se­greto above Marti Zucco Pizza, in North Ho­bart, has just opened as the Burger Haus.

Pilgrim Café in the city is ren­o­vat­ing the neigh­bour­ing tat­too shop on Liver­pool St to open as a Cal­i­for­nian- style burger place be­fore Christ­mas, while there is talk Crumb Street Kitchen is plan­ning some­thing sim­i­lar in the new year for the Mall.

But, first off is Stu­art Ad­di­son with TQ Tas­man Quar­ter­mas­ters, where the haunt­ing sounds of the shakuhacki flute, the beau­ti­ful teaware and brew­ing aro­mas of Danc­ing Fairies, Blos­soms of Fire and Heaven Mist teas of the late, lamented Chado have been re­placed by ’ 70s rock and Johnny Cash, na­chos, mini burg­ers, big burg­ers, wines, wine bar­rels and blow torches.

All part of the in­creas­ing Amer­i­can­i­sa­tion of our food scene, I’m afraid.

But, that’s the way we’re head­ing and Ad­di­son and chef Jar­rod Wess­ing are do­ing it well with out­side, in­side and up­stairs seat­ing, a pri­vate din­ing/ meet­ing room, in­ter­est­ing, well- priced wines and, in among the steaks and burg­ers, what might well be the tasti­est, most vis­ually- pleas­ing na­chos in town.

But first a dis­claimer ... I have dipped and tasted but never eaten na­chos in Ho­bart.

How­ever, one of my first jobs as a kid was to make and grill the pat­ties, fry the onions, grill the tomato slices, toast the buns, add shred­ded let­tuce and a slice of beet­root for ham­burg­ers in a beach­side milk­bar in Queens­land.

And it was this sim­ple, per­haps old­fash­ioned, style of ham­burger from POP Café that was my win­ning choice in 7HQ FM’s burger com­pe­ti­tion last year, while the other judges chose a multi- stacked num­ber stabbed and held to­gether by a skewer and one you needed a triple- jointed jaw to get your mouth around.

Thank­fully, TQ’s burg­ers are all a bite­able size, with gen­er­ous and well- sea­soned meats and sim­ple fill­ings pro­vid­ing com­ple­men­tary tex­tures and flavours.

A mini burger called a “slider” of slow roast pork comes with the meat’s ten­der­ness con­trasted against a slice of crisp ap­ple; the 48- hour brisket burger is nicely off­set by sweet pick­led beet­root; and slices of pick­led gherkin to­gether with what Amer­i­cans call “fry sauce” ( a sweet­ish blend of mayo, ketchup and bar­be­cue sauce) play the same com­ple­men­tary role in a gamey, thick­ly­tex­tured veni­son burger.

There are ex­tras for your burg­ers like ba­con, raclette in­stead of ched­dar and black truf­fle salsa; a few steaks from the grill with a blast of the dou­ble- bar­rel blow torch; croque mon­sier and eggs for breakfast; the “fries”, though

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