Cheeseburger Gothic

5 Boroughs refutes David Chang's whiny burger complaints

Posted July 18, 2015 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

?5 Boroughs?
405 Logan Road, Greenslopes
Open 11AM-9.45pm



David Chang is full of shit. He’s right about beetroot, but still full of shit. The New York chef, owner of the Momofuku chain, and publisher of The Lucky Peach magazine, has been talking smack about our burgers, describing them as the worst in the world.
Now you can, without a doubt, have a truly fucking terrible hamburger anywhere in Australia. As bad as you can get anywhere in the world. But that doesn’t make our burgers the worst in the world.
"You know who fucked up burgers more than anyone else in the world?” Chang asked in The Lucky Peach. "Australians. Australia has no idea what a burger is. They put a fried egg on their burger. They put canned beetroot on it, like a wedge of it. I am not joking you. This is how they eat their burger,"
No, Mister Chang, you ignorant fucking bigot. No we do not.
Some disabled Australians, sufferers of brain injuries or incurable genetic disorders, do indeed put beetroot on their burgers. But who are you to judge them, Peachboy? And as for a fried egg, we’ll have you know that there are few condiments that can match a perfectly fried egg for the way it lifts and ennobles to the merest beef pattie, whether wagyu or not. The runny yolk, when cooked to the zenith of perfection, bursts open at the first bite and spreads it’s golden goodness throughout the layers of a properly constructed burger, tying together the crisp, cold lettuce leaf, the juice tomato slice, whatever the hell kind of cheese you want, and the lightly toasted bun.
I could cite as evidence of antipodean burger excellence any number of first class chefs who, having mastered the art of fine dining, have entered the hotly contested field of hamburglary. The pony-tailed assassin, Mister Neil Perry (have you ever seen him in the same room as Steven Seagal? Well? Have you?!?) is but the latest entrant to the crowded high end of the market.
Perhaps David Chang simply needs to sample the wares of local but New York inspired burger serve dry, Stone’s Corner’s 5 Boroughs. American cheese is available for the unwary and foolish, but it is not the only option. The burgers are fine examples of the craft, available in traditional Chang-approved style - a simple ensemble of bun, burger and cheese – but you could get that at McDonalds. Were I David Chang, god help me I would range further across the menu, perhaps sampling the bacon and cheese, or its hotter cousin, laced with fiery jalpeno and sriracha mayo.
Or I would, if I ever made it past 5B’s generous Cuban Sandwich, two thick, heavy wedges of toasted panini, barely containing tectonic slabs of leg ham, slow cooked pork, melted cheese, dill pickles and American mustard. 800+ calories of Castro approved awesomeness that will leave no room for the excellent fries or sticky chicken wings.
5B is a gnarly place to venture to in the winter months, with all of the seating exposed to the elements, but then not everyone is a whiny, entitled man-child like Chef Chang. If you like your protein and carbs done simply, but with a little New York style, and no beetroot, you could do a lot worse than check this place out.
It's fucking way cheaper than Momofuku.

59 Responses to ‘5 Boroughs refutes David Chang's whiny burger complaints’

NBlob asserts...

Posted July 18, 2015
As with all things one must first agree to metrics of success. First for me is integrity; can one finish the burger, to the very last bite, without anything falling out. After that comes; taste, texture, satiety and aesthetics. The mob I work for have a donga (demountable building) at [redacted] the only cooking facility we have is a gas grill. Thus we have conducted exhaustive research into perfecting the art and science of burger creation. If one takes care to; lightly toast the Turkish bun, leave lettuce leaves intact, blot tomatoes with kitchen paper, Americanise the bacon (extra dessicated) and put the egg on last, so the top bun absorbs excess yolk, one can pile on a ludicrous amount of meat and retain the all important integrity.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted July 18, 2015
Your pamphlet, sir. Where do I subscribe?

damian ducks in to say...

Posted July 18, 2015
Can't talk, eating

Bunyip ducks in to say...

Posted July 18, 2015
NB, do you deliver?

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted July 18, 2015
Oh man that's harsh

tygertim would have you know...

Posted July 20, 2015
Paul, did you introduce JB to Nations Giant Burgers on his last visit?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2015
No. But if he ever returns I shall introduce him to the In and Out Double Double.

insomniac mutters...

Posted July 20, 2015
The In and Out Double Double reminds me of a time while working in NZ. For those of you who know the Wellington region I sometimes had to travel from Lower Hutt to Wellington for training, and often 3 or 4 people shared a taxi there. A woman came to ask me if I wished to share a taxi, to which I agreed. She then said, "In and out?", to which I also agreed. It was only after she left that my workmates pointed out that I had just agreed to have sex with the woman, who would have been among the more unattractive specimens in the office.

tygertim would have you know...

Posted July 23, 2015
Try Nations Giant Burgers in Vacaville. Truly a Fifties style burger it's great. I grew up near the original Natons, and that's all they serve, decent burgers, great fries, and really good pies and shakes.... the do serve breakfast though, large portions. Nothing like it when you've been out late, and have a munchies attack.... In n Out burgers are good, but am not wild about their fries....

Respond to this thread

insomniac mumbles...

Posted July 18, 2015
The best local burger here is a FatBoy. It is layer upon layer of meat pattie, cheese and bacon, with the appropriate token amount of lettuce and tomato. No egg and in any case I'd ask for it to be removed, and no beetroot but I don't mind a slice or two ... it's a wedge that is wrong. You can't get the whole thing in your mouth because it is too tall. Delicious

Respond to this comment

Gutz mumbles...

Posted July 18, 2015
I seem to recall some other fudez discussion on a sat morning not long gone by. *tips porridge into bin and reaches for supplies for heart attack burger while mumbling something about "resistance is futile".

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted July 18, 2015
I read David Chang's remarks. Basically, he just likes a cheeseburger.

Respond to this comment

damian puts forth...

Posted July 18, 2015
A "hamburger with the lot" from a reputable independent operator anywhere in Oz is really better than anything from a chain and especially an American chain. By reputable, we're talking about a fish and chip shop run as a family business (avoid anything where a person's name is part of the business name, and anything where the business name includes the word "diner", unless it's obviously an ironic retro reference or there really are 50s style booths) for preference by first and/or second generation migrants. Grey-greys or schoolies with a barbecue stand by the entrance to Bunnings are right out. Some casual operators with the Right Idea might be worthwhile (as per NBob's specs above).
A hamburger with the lot should include not just beetroot but pineapple also (though there should be no objection to a "hold the pineapple" order). The beetroot should be sliced, the pineapple ring should itself be grilled. It should contain fried egg, bacon and cheese (but not the strange orange stuff the Americans call cheese). There should be fried onion, shredded lettuce and sliced, fresh tomato.
I disapprove of the default barbecue sauce and will always order the above with no sauce. Maybe some mayo on the lettuce. I don't mind if bits of lettuce fall out, but as per NBob's spec, nothing else should. Otherwise it's impossible to eat in the car.
The bun should be soft and there should be an option for wholemeal, but leaving that aside there should be sesame seeds on the top. Turkish is fine, but in that case the inner face should spend some time on the grill. The only absolute rule about the bread, is that is must not be sweetened. Bread made with a small amount of sugar to get the yeast properly excited and hungry before adding it to the flour is acceptable, but sugary bread is a perversion of the natural order. It's probably the real reason that having 5 McDonalds per block in Australian CBDs still leaves a market for the aforementioned independent operators - there are things they Just Don't Get. And I guess it's also the reason McDonalds Australia keep trying new weird things, and advertising them ferociously. Ha... they think adding beetroot makes it Australian? Forgot the bacon, egg and effing cheese ya nong...

Tim puts forth...

Posted July 18, 2015
Hear hear! In my town we have an institution known as the Green Corner Kitchen. And while the original immigrant owner has long passed, and his children have sold off the business, and the store is no longer on a corner, the burgers are still fat, the beetroot is still red, and the runny egg still find it's way to the chin and the corners of your mouth.Superb.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted July 18, 2015
BLASPHEMER! Cast out the iconoclast, the heretic. Damned be his eyes that places fruit on the sacred burger or pizza.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 18, 2015
Look, the ham and pineapple Hawaiian is such a standard there's just no legs to this stand of yours, my friend. And the complex flavours in a pineapple ring caramelised on the grill plate is not, I repeat not to be dismissed lightly.
Me, given a choice it's a capricciosa (with anchovy) (no pineapple) from Kookaburra Cafe, but that's an old Brisbane thing I guess.
Seriously - the Kookaburra Cafe guy wants to retire. He's looking for a buyer for the business, goodwill and all and given it's 40 years and running that goodwill must be worth a mint (so whatever he asks for it will be a bargain). But failing that he'll just sell the building (there are For Sale signs on it now). Like I said he wants to retire.
It'd be such an awful pity to see that one slip away. I remember the "feed the multitudes" moment during the 4ZZZ occupation when a half dozen of those huge Kookaburra party pizzas just turned up. The fate of the Story Bridge Bomb Shelter Bar broke a larger portion of my heart than I would usually like to admit, but the end of Kookaburra would do ... well probably the same. You hear someone's turning the Broadway into... well, whatever it is it is something that is not a pub? It's a cold glass-and-concrete world we're leaving for posterity.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted July 19, 2015
Romans 16-8 "by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting."

damian asserts...

Posted July 19, 2015
“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted July 19, 2015
Have you been talking to Greybeard?

Respond to this thread

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted July 18, 2015
I am forced to admit that the hamburger I ate in Melbourne was amazingly mediocre. But it was the only hamburger I've ever eaten in Oz.

As for fired eggs on to of hamburgers: who is this asshat to criticize such a delicious combination? I'm a fucking hamburger loving American and I fucking love fried eggs on burgers. So fuck him.

Respond to this comment

tqft swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 18, 2015
Went to Bro Burger at Browns Plains last week.
Had the Beached As burger. Yes it is run by Kiwis.
Sweet Potato wedges were awesome as was the fish burger.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted July 18, 2015
What the fuck is a fish burger? It can't be a burger with fish as the protein. That makes no sense. It can't be a burger: it's a fish sandwich.

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted July 18, 2015
Perhaps it would be a fish sandwich if you were a girl. A proper fish burger has a deep fried battered piece of fish, which is much more manly to eat.

tqft would have you know...

Posted July 18, 2015
It had 2 pieces of battered fish

damian would have you know...

Posted July 18, 2015
Likewise the chicken schnitzel burger is sporadically popular in parts. Maybe more in some parts than others. I remember it especially in Canberra, for some reason.
You get a large chicken schnitzel with coleslaw and mayo in a bun. It works surprisingly well, and it's a massive amount of food, especially with chips (which purists will insert into the bun with the rest).

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted July 18, 2015
I was highly uncertain about the prospect of a fish taco, but then found it was one of the nicest things I've ever eaten.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted July 19, 2015
Battered or not, it is still a fish sandwich.

damian mumbles...

Posted July 19, 2015
By the same mechanism that makes inevitable that any restaurant calling itself "seafood lovers" will be nicknamed "fish fuckers", a seafood sandwich in a bun will be called a fishburger. Some businesses might aim for the proposterous, the fillet (or rather fee-lay) o' fish (meaning "son of fish" being the case in point.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted July 19, 2015
PNB!!! As you bloody well know, the difference between a sandwich and a burger is defined not by its filling, but by its bread conveyance. A sandwich is when filling is placed between two flat slices of bread. A burger is filling placed in a sliced bun. You sir, are a shameless and mischievous provocateur!

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 19, 2015
Mz W, it beats the living hell out of golf.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2015
+1 for a chicken schnitzel burger.

damian puts forth...

Posted July 20, 2015
The mass and majesty of this world, all
That carries weight and always weighs the same
Lay in the hands of others; they were small
And could not hope for help and no help came:
What their foes like to do was done, their shame
Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride
And died as men before their bodies died.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 20, 2015
Wow, that's lifted straight from the Sanction 5 instruction book.

Respond to this thread

SZF reckons...

Posted July 18, 2015
I've never seen David Chang and Dino posting at the same time. The levels of crazed douchery are disturbingly familiar...

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 18, 2015
Makes perverse sense.

Respond to this thread

Josh would have you know...

Posted July 18, 2015
I'll take beetroot over bloody pineapple any day.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 18, 2015
And Josh leaps moves into pole position in the credibility 5000.

Josh is gonna tell you...

Posted July 18, 2015
Being a South Australian who moved to Brissy. I quickly learnt to order no pineapple & tommy sauce on my burger.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 18, 2015
Certainly prefer the tommy to the bbq sauce. But I've found that since getting that means I'm going off menu anyway, just asking for no sauce suits me betterer. Lets the complex interplay of the core ingredients shine, or something.
Still not sure how I might adjust to the "same, but different" things that go on in pubs in Adelaide, but it's so many years since I've there it hardly matters. Tassie might be a better bet for me, while it's 13 years ago I distinctly remember wandering into a pub in Hobart that was older than Brisbane and there was a dog sitting at the bar.

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted July 18, 2015
what fkn muppet thinks a burger withour PINEAPPLE and BEETROOT is COMPLETE FFSAKES. talk about a fkn gastronomical FKN philistine or what!

Respond to this comment

Burdekinst has opinions thus...

Posted July 18, 2015
Beetroot is essential. Just back from Europe trip and the best burger in fifty five years of extensive sampling. Made by whom? Expat kiwis in Kraków. Moa burger with the lot. Pineapple:grilled. Beetroot. Hallelujah for this sandwich of sanity in a country where ninety percent of the food is white.

damian mumbles...

Posted July 18, 2015
Wow, hallelujah indeed. Those wily Polish Kiwis...

Respond to this thread

jennicki asserts...

Posted July 18, 2015
I tried an Aussie-style burger with beetroot. It scarred me.

Respond to this comment

Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 19, 2015
Ate a beautiful bison burger today. Medium rare. Bacon. Blue cheese. A little goat cheese for creaminess. And a beautiful fried egg. On a white bun.
No garden. No pansy aioli. No whole grains. No bullshit stuff. Just glorious protein.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted July 20, 2015
God damn that sounds good. Love me a bison burger.

Respond to this thread

Guru Bob ducks in to say...

Posted July 19, 2015
Good to see that someone has refuted these terrible assertions about the good old Aussie burger. It has saddened me to see the proliferation of extremely average American style overpriced burger joints down here in sunny Melbourne. Often it is hard to distinguish between a chain store burger and the supposed gourmet version (except for price that is)...

Respond to this comment

Puma has opinions thus...

Posted July 20, 2015

The pineapple part baffles me.

I went through a phase where every burger or steak I made was slathered in caramelized onions, mushrooms, or blue cheese. Sometimes all 3 and a big cabernet to wash it down. Then I was like...this is silly...I can't even taste the beef anymore. Now I just like sharp cheddar on my burger and my steaks plain. Has to have a really good char though.



Respond to this comment

tygertim mumbles...

Posted July 20, 2015
My niece, Nicola, used to go out with a gal from Sydney. I was invited to a barbeque, and Shelley the Sheila was the chef... I never realized how creative an Aussie cook could be. She barbeques prawns the size of lobster tails, which were served on toasted buns, mayo, honey mustard, Vidalia onion slice, lettuce, tomato, pineapple ring, red pepper, slathered in teriyaki sauce, and an awesome white cheddar. It left my mouth stunned by the awesomeness of its magnificence..... ill just take Shelly's word that was a burger, call me a heretic if you will. It came wit something called "chips" sprinkled with malt vinegar... is an Aussie "thing" like French fries and mayo is for Canadians?

NBlob mumbles...

Posted July 20, 2015
@TT. I'm blessed & cursed with access to better seafood than %99. Chilled Crab / Prawn, fresh peeled, especially sand crab (like your blue crab) on fresh white bread is a favourite delicacy. Usually served with sandy feet, beer in cans & summer both in quantity.

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2015
Salt and vinegar chips are indeed a thing. It dates back to getting the fish and chips wrapped in yesterday's news. I imagine it's not just Australian, but more generally anglo-irish. You even get packet chips ("chrisps" to the brits, but we don't use a special word) with salt and vinegar flavour.

tygertim mutters...

Posted July 23, 2015
@NBob... man, sounds heavenly....Crab in a burger? Surf n Turf using the beer burger method a la the BBQ Pit Boys.... host me forgotten an experimental ban...

Respond to this thread

FormerlyKnownAsSimon ducks in to say...

Posted July 20, 2015
Nothing worse than a hypocrite who attaches fence sitting comments at the end of his assertions (1). I'm assuming it was a tongue in cheek article? Cause those were fighting words! Almost at the same level as the great potato scallop/cake war of '15Chang, mate, you are first against the wall when the revolution comes!(2)(1) except for that Dave Chang guy he's great(2) of course the wall is where everyone lines up for free hamburgers

Respond to this comment

Therbs asserts...

Posted July 20, 2015
An American complaining about burgers in another country. Erm, who came up with McCrap and Hungry Jack/CrapKing? Their product is not hamburger its shite meat patties. Plastic cheese? Yes, step forward once again Murka. Crap mayonnaise? Well, looky here, good 'ol Unky Sam once again. Sugar laden bland tomato sauce? Hey, USA, here's your gold medal. Put that in a sugary steroided bread roll and what have you got? A burger in the USA.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted July 20, 2015
Only the mentally slow eat that crap, Therbs. They are endlessly fascinated by the simple fact that McCrap, Hungry Jack and Crapking never rots. No kidding. Put one down. It will get cold. It may dry out over time. But no bacteria will grow within that stuff. It is the source of endless wonder among the American Illiterati, whereas I cannot eat that stuff for the very same reason.

Except for the In and Out Double Double jungle style.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted July 20, 2015
Protein style?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted July 21, 2015
Too messy. But good. I'll admit that much.

Respond to this thread

tygertim ducks in to say...

Posted July 23, 2015
@Therbs, Man , you gotta try a burger from Nations Giant Burgers, or The Red Onion, or heck, Johnny Rockets (while listening to Jan and Dean not the jukebox..... just not the same at all. The terrible three at like tv dinners, made to cover until you can get the REAL thing...

Respond to this comment

Respond to '5 Boroughs refutes David Chang's whiny burger complaints'

Follow along with RSS