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Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Greatness that is Brodburger

I'm in Perth this weekend for a wedding at which I'm bridesmaid. That means, I'll soon have stunning wedding photos to share, as well as (hopefully) some wonderful Perth op shop finds. My youngest sister has caught the op shopping bug from me (the finds I post on this blog make her very jealous) and so we are planning a full day of op-shopping on Monday together. Family + Op shopping = blissful.

On Wednesday night, because I had no food in the house, we went to Brodburger for dinner. Canberrans will be familiar with this institution, but for those of you living elsewhere I will tell the story behind the greatness that is Brodburger.

As the legend goes, a guy who used to work in restaurants (as a professional chef) got sick and tired of the overpriced, low quality restaurant food he was dishing up. Him and his partner decided to set up on their own. They set up a crappy old red caravan at a public carpark by the lake, and opened for business in March 2009 selling burgers, or Brodburgers. These burgers are magnificant. They are huge and cost around $9. What makes them special is that they are made with really good quality fresh produce, generous quantities of it and are complimented by delicious homemade sauces and relishes.

Brodburger soon became an institution with a cult following. People think nothing of lining up for 2-3 hours for a Brodburger, or lining up for 40 minutes before opening time to be first in line. At any given time during Brodburgers very limited opening hours, there is a huge line snaking from the van. Here is a photo of some after work patrons (5:30pm):

Then began the standoff with the local council. The newspaper reported that the council wanted the caravan gone because it's an eyesore. Other rumours include that they were/are stealing electricity from the council's grid, didn't get approvals, weren't/aren't paying any rent... etc. Whatever the reason, they were issued with a notice to evacuate. What followed was a huge public outcry and petition.

Being Canberra, politicans got involved (what a great way to endear yourselves to the public - save the red burger van!). The council relented and let Brodburger stay subject to some conditions. Apparently one of these was that they would build a permanent brick kiosk in place of the van, in a matching style to the public toilet building next to it (as expected, this was met with "eeww gross" from everyone). For whatever reason, the parties couldn't agree and the fight or "mexican stand off" continued. As at November 2011,  they have apparently finally brokered a deal whereby Brodburger will be moving to a proper shopfront at the Kingston Glassworks.

Is this a good thing? On the one hand, it might mean they'll hire extra staff and there won't be a 2 hour wait for that burger greatness. On the other, it's hard to keep standards high when you have a larger turnover and don't have the same few people making burgers with love and care, day in and day out. As long as Brodburger stays delicious (which wouldn't be hard as long as they keep buying good quality produce, and heap it in generously...) I'll be happy. The lil red caravan with its fairy lights at night has a lot of character, but I'm sure the new shopfront will too. Broddy by night:

The owner, Joelle Bou-jaounde wrote on facebook:
"That you so much for all your support. Although we love the caravan as much as you all do, it was getting really stressful for us not knowing whether we were going to be allowed to stay or leave, month in month out. And the waiting times for you guys who have been so patient couldn't be improved from the caravan. We did try our best to stay. We will miss the park and caravan but trust us the new location will be just as different. And we will be allowed to open late nights as we do now."

The chicken burger has chargrilled chicken breast (real chicken breast, not a patty), avocado, your choice of gourmet cheese (I like it with brie), bacon, salad, homemade mayonaise, homemade tomato relish... omg delicious. The vegetarian burger with grilled haloumi and eggplant is supposed to be magnificant too, I plan on trying it next time. I tried taking a photo, but there is no way you can capture the greatness of these burgers. Someone else tried with the Steakburger:

Source: Skyring

The Brodburger clientele is mixed - you have old men in business suits, bogans from Tuggers in trackies and uggs, families, well dressed ladies in very high heels etc. You might wait in line for 2-3 hours, only to have them run out of ingredients or closing time come before you are served... and people take that chance, again and again.

Stay tuned, I will update you all on the Brodburger legacy whenever there are new developments... I wonder how they'll decorate the new shopfront, and when it will open?!

1 comment:

  1. I still haven't tried it! It's a bit of a hike for me, being in Belconnen. And the wait time puts me off....obviously I need to eat a Brodburger to understand why people do it! I'll have to try it before they leave the van though!


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