I've always thought it would be cool to have a time machine for one thing –– to go back and see what an original "cheeseburger" tasted like.
That might sound strange. Afterall, I could do anything in my time machine. But let's face it, McDonald's didn't grow in to the global monster it is by serving decades of hoof and pickle burgers. They started somewhere. There must have been a time when things like cheeseburgers tasted, well… real.
That's the thing about fast food, (not just the Maccas kind.) It normally just tastes the colour it is. The mustard tastes yellow. The sauce tastes red. The meat tastes grey. And the buns taste like beige and sugar.
I've tried "slow food" too –– and I'm a big fan of burgers like Grill'd –– they're great. But, the servings are so big, I might as well eat three grey-beige burgers instead and keep adding red and yellow until I can swallow them.
I know Maccas has tried a "slow food" comeback with some greasy self serve TV screens and bought themselves a new bag of coffee beans. But there's still a problem with that. I eat gluten free. But my wife doesn't. And we both don't eat pig.
That's right, we're special needs. It makes burgers even harder to find.
When Wifey spotted a burger joint at the bigger, better Robina Town Centre (on the Gold Coast), I wasn't just skeptical –– I was on the verge of what Wifey calls 'oppositionally defiant'.
The new place was called 'Betty's Burgers and Concrete Co'.
Cute name. Cute everything actually –– Chairs. Tables. Tiles… All impossibly cute. I'll be honest, the fit-out scared me. It was so 'girly' my testosterone literally left us standing there and went out shopping for handbags instead.
But there was plenty of space to park our pram. So, I figured I might as well take a few minutes to finally start squiggling up plans for that time machine on a napkin while we ordered.
I was glad I did.
At first glance, I thought Betty's was staffed by escapees from a roller derby. But everyone was friendly. And one of the escapees explained they keep their "beeves away from the swines" out back to avoid cross-contamination, which was a big bonus. I was still getting over my pink-o-phopia when our burgers arrived. One gluten free. One regular. Plus one serve of fries. And there was something about mine straight away… Someone had planted a garden in it. (That's a good thing.) There was enough lettuce leaking out the sides to feed a Victoria's Secret tour.
I don't know what that napkin was made out of, or what my pencil was exposed to –– but I got the feeling I was about to finally experience time travel to try one of those old-style burgers I'd been dreaming of…
The lettuce wasn't alone. It was drowning in some sort of secret sauce that tasted so good I can only guess it's made from liquid MSG and cocaine. It was great. The wrapper around the burger was perfectly peeled away to make sure as much sauce as possible squeezed out into my beard to save for later… (Wifey's problem, not yours). The meat… It was brown (not grey). And it tasted meaty. The cheese… It was the way cheese should be –– melted onto the wrapper. And the bun… As good as gluten free gets –– sesame seeds and all. Even the fries tasted like potato. They were so good we didn't bother with the sauce we ordered for them. (That's saying something.)
I noticed pickles are extra. But, that's only a problem if you don't pick them out and toss them away anyway.
Price wise, Betty's was exactly where I thought it should be –– smack bang between a Maccas edible colour burger and oversize slowfood from Grill'd.
All too soon, my burger was gone. Back to reality…
Time travel? I'm not sure I'll ever experience that for real. But at least I know where I can travel for a real burger. Look out boys… Betty's Burger and Concrete Co. has got bite.
(You'll just have to pick up your testosterone from Mimco when you're done.)
Well done gals. Great burgers. Great price.
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