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Tale of an Aussie Burger in Philly

February 20, 2013 3:02 pm |

Ants Pants Aussie BurgerFor those curious about our recent burger addition, The Aussie Burger, here is a little insight into the hows and whys of the burger known more affectionately as a “Works Burger” or “Burger with the Lot” by Australians.

Introduced around the 1960’s, this particular burger quickly took on a life of its own. For most Aussies, it involved a trip to the local milk bar or fish and chip joint to grab one with “The Lot” and maybe some potato scallops and a chiko roll for good measure. Every town or suburb had one or more and you’d generally have your favorite. Ours was Greasy Joe’s Milk Bar on Longueville Road in Lane Cove but the Fish and Chips shop up the plaza was a worthy backup. Road trips often resulted in late night stops at favorite roadhouses to grab a Works Burger often considered a very reliable (and very desirable) dining option. Into the ’90’s burgers certainly evolved into many more options but even with the popularity of McDonalds and Hungry Jacks (who recently came out with their own version of the Aussie Burger), the Burger with the Lot continues to be an Aussie institution that you’d find at most pubs, cafe’s and restaurants.

So what is it then? Traditionally you’re looking at a beef patty, tomato, lettuce, grilled onion, beetroot (beets) grilled pineapple and a fried egg. Options were always bacon, cheese and then personal sauce preferences of tomato or barbecue or sometimes with a combo of the two. It’s greasy, gooey, juicy and always tasty.

Aussie Burger Ants Pants Cafe PhiladelphiaWe’ve seen some attempts at the Aussie Burger in US establishments but in all honesty, you can’t just throw beets on a burger an expect it to be fair dinkum. For us, Philadelphia deserves and is ready for better than that. These days Philly is a very sophisticated culinary city with residents who have moved on from cheeseteaks and pretzels to embrace some unique and very high quality cuisine. Even since Ants Pants has been around, the difference in food quality in Philly has been significant and one could even argue for a ‘world-class’ rating. If something like “A Burger with the Lot” could unite a small nation, something has to be said for its broad appeal and we feel it should translate easily. For us, the sweet and savory combination is the winner. The balance of the beetroot and grilled pineapple with the meat, egg with the fruit and veges really makes for a wonderful taste blend that is something that we reckon is pretty desirable. Everyone has their favorite burger option, Shake Shack, Five Guys or more local options like Pub and Kitchen, Butcher and Singer and Village Whiskey and we feel pretty confident that the Aussie Burger stacks up.

So we invite you to give it a go. We have no problem if you add and subtract other ingredients, just don’t try and impress your mates by telling them you had an Aussie burger. Go ahead and wrap your laughing gear (mouth) around one in the not-too-distant future. Just remember to do the plate lean to prevent clobber spillage (dripping on your clothes).

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