350 Lygon Street, Carlton 3053
(03) 9347 1666
If you haven’t already noticed based on my reviews of two other burgers, I really like these over-glorified sandwiches. And while the world of vegie burgers can be a mine-field, I can always rely on my old faithful: Grill’d.
This burger chain is prolific. When I first tried it in the clean and pristine neighbourhood of Subiaco in Perth, it was the only one in WA. But now, it’s all over the place in Perth and I run into it all the time in Melbourne: in QV, on Lygon Street, on Brunswick Street, in St Kilda. The list goes on. And I’m glad. Grill’d is one of my favourite burger places and there’s good reason for that. All too often, vegetarian burgers are simply bland and uninspired. Not to mention there’s usually only one token vegetarian burger available at any one establishment, so choice is limited. But at Grill’d, there’s a whole three to choose from. I’ve never tried the Field of Dreams burger, due to my aversion to mushrooms (and a giant mushroom is literally the patty in this burger) but I’m sure it would go down a treat for mushroom enthusiasts. I’ve only sampled the Bombay Bliss once when I was exhausted, out of my mind, and close to perishing from starvation. It was almost a religious experience, but not one I’ve since repeated. And then there’s the Garden Goodness burger.
This is undoubtedly the best vegetarian burger at Grill’d. With a nutritious veggie pattie in the middle, and an amazing combination of tomato relish, herbed mayo, avocado, beetroot, cheese and salad thrown in the mix, it’s a flavourgasm. I was never a fan of beetroot before, but I’ve got to say, Grill’d converted me. It provides the perfect counterbalance of sweetness to the other savoury ingredients. Best paired with the panini bun (that traditional bun just doesn’t look appealing to me), the burger tastes fresh and healthy. My main qualm, and one that has become less of a problem as I’ve mastered eating Grill’d without spilling a single condiment on the plate, is that eating these burgers is no easy feat. An abundance of napkins are often required and you’d have to be a god to not get anything on your hands but really, it’s worth it. Not even the price of $11.50 bothers me, given that it’s so ridiculously filling. A single trip to Grill’d can leave me satisfied for the rest of the day, particularly if there’s chips involved. And their chips have really grown on me. Thick-cut, sprinkled with rosemary and other herbs, and paired with sweet chilli mayo, these chips only disappoint me when they run out.
The vibe of Grill’d is casual but cool. With the exception of the occasional middle-aged person eating a salad with a glass of wine (do you realise where you are?), Grill’d is usually frequented by young people. This is particularly true at the Carlton branch, as you’ll often find a gaggle of college kids trying to escape a bad college-cooked meal here on week nights. The walls are plastered with odd jokes about cows and pictures of hands in a burger-holding position, making me wonder whether Hungry Jacks has considered filing a lawsuit yet. It can often be a bit cramped and finding a table is sometimes a challenge but overall it’s got a good urban atmosphere. Plus, service is quick and friendly.
So my advice? If you’re supremely hungry and in a burger mood, look no further than Grill’d. Just don’t expect them to extend the vegetarian range any time soon.
- Taste: 9/10
- Nutrition: 9/10
- Atmosphere: 8/10
- Cost: 7/10
- Convenience: 10/10
- Overall: 43/50
Conclusion: Amazing. If you haven’t tried this yet, go right now.