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Two Hungry Bears – Narrabeen

Sydney

Where: Two Hungry Bears, 1303 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen NSW 2101

When: June 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: Approximately $45 for two meals

Post coronavirus quarantine it been a long time between good burgers for me, but I had a very positive feeling that Two Hungry Bears would be worth the drive to Narrabeen for that elusive dirty, juicy, cheesy burg. Their Mac Daddy burger ($18) lured me in and it really hit the mark.

The Angus Beef patty was pink, juicy, slightly charred and full of flavour. The crispy bacon was just the right level of crispy where it’s not just flavourless dust. The mac n’ cheese tasted like cheese (unlike many) and combined with the American cheese slice, this burger was all sorts of oozy cheesy goodness. Finally the raw finely shredded onion and special sauce rounded it all out to be a monster of a full flavour burger. Often I find burgers over priced, but this was huge and delicious and worth every cent of $18. 

I made it a combo with fries and a can for +$7.50. The fries were amazing. Super crunchy and seasoned and it made it hard for me to get the burger in as I could not stop filling up on the fries!

Often at burger places I am torn between the beef or fried chicken options. I love a classic beef and cheese burger combo…..but I also really, really love fried chicken. So despite the enormous size of the burger, I added a serve of their Nashville Hot Fried Chicken Tenders ($11) too.

It arrived at the table coated with a heap of fiery red, angry looking seasoning that I was worried would have me sniffling and coughing like I had a sudden corona attack. It actually wasn’t that hot, it’s what I’d call pleasantly spicy. The breast chicken was succulent and I loved the flavour of the super crispy coating. It was right on the cusp of almost being a little too oily, but hey, if you’re that concerned about grease you’re probably not ordering fried chicken right! Just like the burger, I thought these were a really generous size for $11. I was glad I took my leftovers home for a second indulgence later.

My only disappointment about this place was that the restaurant has zero ambience. It’s located on a busy road and has a takeaway shop vibe. It’s by no meals a destination burger joint, but being close to the beach you could always grab and go and eat somewhere more scenic.

Would I go back? I loved the food, but I’m not sure I’d make the effort to drive there again. It was an hour drive and I HATE the traffic up to the Northern Beaches and back. If I was in the area I would definitely stop by though.

Would I recommend it to you? I’m a little torn on this one. The food is great, BUT with a lack of ambience I’d probably not recommend this as a must go. Best for those that live on the North Shore, or feel like a big (annoying haha) drive.

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: n/a as they do not have a page on Zomato

Down n' Out Sydney Meal

Down n’ Out – Sydney CBD

Sydney

Where: Down n’ Out, 77/A Liverpool St, Sydney NSW 2000

When: May 2020

Meal: Lunch

Cost: $22 for one, no drinks

During Covid-19 lockdown I was craving a big, juicy, dirty burger. Sure, you can get burgers takeaway or delivered, but I find they’re a food that doesn’t travel well and need to be eaten promptly to avoid a soggy mess. So when restrictions were eased to allow up to 10 people to dine in at restaurants on May 15th, I was keen to scratch the dine in burger itch.

However, it turns out lots of other people were having the same yearning, as the Down n’ Out restaurant was already full with people waiting when I arrived. Reluctantly, especially since it was raining outside, I ordered takeaway and stood aside to wait for my meal trying to avoid the stream of people that continued to arrive minute by minute.

I ordered the Single Beef Burger ($12) which had a wagyu beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, raw onion, pickles and secret sauce. I also added bacon ($3). This was a classic American style burger with a slightly pink patty, which I would have preferred pinker, but it was juicy and tasty still. The secret sauce was nice, but non-distinct. I enjoyed the burger, but there was nothing stand out about it and it’s not a burger I’d rush back to have again.

Whenever I see onion rings on a menu I need to order them, it’s my side of choice! Down n’ Out’s version are Angry Onion Rings ($7) and they are like nothing I’ve ever had before. Nor want to again unfortunately. They had a real onion ring inside (which is a big tick as I’ve found some places strangely give you minced onion and batter formed into a ring shape), but it was coated in about 2cm of batter/dough that was dense and tasteless. It reminded of a deep fried onion doughnut more than an onion ring. The red seasoning it had been topped with, which I assume is where the ‘Angry’ is meant to come in, was also fairly bland not the punchy chilli flavour I expected. I ate one onion ring and threw the rest out.

Before my visit to Down n’ Out, I had read a few reviews that referenced the entry way looked a bit dodgy and you have to go up a set of ‘sketchy looking stairs’. I was glad to have read this as otherwise I may not have ventured inside alone, but inside it was fine and just a traditional grungy looking bar with old school pinball machines and video games.

Would I go back? Maybe, but it would have to be a stellar looking burger special (which they do a lot of) to lure me back in. The standard menu won’t cut it for a repeat visit.

Would I recommend it to you? No, it’s not a must do burger joint in my mind. If you’re in the city looking for a burger, I’d suggest Bar Luca on Phillip St instead and definitely get the Blame Canada burger!

Show me the food…

My Zomato Rating: 3/5

Happy Ending Burgers – Concord

Sydney

Where: Happy Ending Burgers, 55 Majors Bay Rd, Concord NSW 2137

When: September 2019

Meal: Lunch

Cost: Approx $20 each

Happy Ending Burgers has long been on my foodie to do list. Knowing that these guys are the same people who do the Mister Gee Burger Truck, which I loved, I was pretty excited to find out what was on offer.

After reading many reviews, the Psychedelics burger ($15) – beef patty, provolone, jalapeño-pineapple relish, maple bacon, truffle mayo – seemed to be a fave and being a mad truffle fan, I had to try it. Sadly, I think it had a bit too much going on and the truffle clashed with the pineapple relish. The patty was cooked to medium, still pink in the centre so I expected it would be quite juicy, but overall the burger was a bit dry, despite the mayo and relish.

I was also keen to try the fried chicken as aside from being a side, half the menu is fried chicken burgers so I thought it had to be good. We picked the 3 tender option ($7.50) with Korean sauce. I was disappointed that the chicken was quite gristly thigh chicken as ‘tender’ makes me think of nice white meat. The flavour was nice, but not amazing. The sauce just added red sweetness to the chicken, no real flavour.

The sides we chose were fries with liquid cheese ($5) and fried pakora onions ($5). The fries were just slightly undercooked for my liking and surprisingly the liquid cheese came in a little sauce container rather that spread over the fries. The fried onions were tasty, but are decadent and greasy as you would expect of deep fried shards of onion. These are probably not for everyone!

The place is pretty much a takeaway style burger joint, but there are a few stools along the wall on the inside and about six small tables on the footpath outside. We were lucky to visit on a weekday and could take our time, but I suspect it would be hard to get a seat on the weekend so be prepared to take away.

Would I go back? Probably not. There are so many burger places in Sydney that I would prefer to try somewhere new before a second attempt here.

Would I recommend it to you? With so many great reviews online, I’m assuming they were having a bad day, or I made poor menu choices. I’ve heard their simpler burgers are great, but I am a big fan of a big, dirty, ingredient laden burger. If you go, maybe try the Cheese 2000!