My love of burgers will come as no surprise to regular readers of Eat My Words. I’ve gone so far as to name my top 3 burgers in Melbourne, and Simon and I practically lived on bread-based delights during our recent food tours of the United States. But lately I’ve been trying to limit my BCL (burger consumption levels).
All was going well with the clean eating plan until our dear friends Tim and Maya Cross, who also happen to be mad burger fans, tipped us onto 8bit over the weekend. So when we woke up feeling a tad dusty on Sunday morning, we jumped in the car for a westside excursion.
On the corner of Droop and Dennis streets, this light-filled diner works a quirky-cute aesthetic, with a clear nod to the video games of our youth: the table numbers sport Mario Brothers, Sonic and Pac-Man characters, there’s a 1up mushroom burger to delight the vegos, and there’s an old-school arcade game out the back, its knob just waiting to be twiddled with. The drinks cabinet is a nostalgia-inducing line up of Kirks Lemon Squash, Creaming Soda and Pasito (which just scream summer in Nan’s backyard to me), plus there are naughty-nice salted caramel or peanut butter thickshakes up for grabs.
I jumped straight in with the 8bit with cheese and I have to say it’s the closest thing to Shake Shack I’ve had here in Australia. The patty was that perfect blend of charred crust and slightly pink centre, topped with American-style cheese, a frill of lettuce, tomato, red onion and the tang of mustard, pickles and creamy 8bit sauce. The toasted brioche bun stood up to the challenge, and the whole thing came wrapped in paper, housed in a little cardboard holder for easy eating. Genius.
Simon, on the other hand, went for a Wonder Boy hotdog, a pale pink wiener topped with bacon, grilled onions and barbecue sauce. (I can’t help but giggle like a school girl when I look back at this sausage snap. Totally #rudefood.) While the ‘dog was good, it had nothing on the burger. He also ordered the loaded fries, slathered in cheese sauce, chilli beef, jalapeno relish and all manner of other food stuffs that really shouldn’t be consumed before midday. I don’t know what it is about chilli fries, but I always find myself scrambling around for the chips with no topping. Next time I’ll go the plain potato gems thanks.
And oh yes, there will be a next time… In fact, 8bit has me revising the hallowed halls of my Top 3 Melbourne Burgers. Make way La Via – this western gem has stolen your thunder.