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teaware and brewing aromas of Dancing Fairies, Blossoms of Fire and Heaven Mist teas of the late, lamented Chado have been replaced by ’ 70s rock and Johnny Cash, nachos, mini burgers, big burgers, wines, wine barrels and blow torches.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