With the common burger and fast-food industry changing a long way away from the traditional, it is not surprising that we are seeing new concepts heralding the humble burger in new ways. And, this often means stepping it up in the quality of the burger, for which there was certainly room for that from the limp old wrapped up burgers sitting at the ready in their shoot for usually far too long…
Meet the Royal Stacks (fitting name for the burgers of this caliber), not only do they perfect a range of awesome burgers, but poor a good ale straight from the tap too, which makes the perfect companion not commonly found at all the usual burger venues. Making a name for themselves in the shortest time, Royal Stacks has made a splash on the Melbourne burger scene, enough that I had to go and check them out!
I went for the CBD location (they have three with more on the horizon), conveniently located in Collins street, so a stroll for many of the office workers right in the hub, and a welcomed respite from the trendy cafes and eateries too. Once you step through the heavy glass doors, you are greeted by a massive living wall of greenery, a giant jar of Nutella and the friendliest smiles behind the counter.
The menu is shorter than your usual fast-food joint and a whole lot healthier and more seductive too. A quick glance had a few of their top choices jump out at me and with a tad of assistance from the helpful staff, I soon had my lot on the way… Ordered my pint of liquid amber to go with it and we were away.
With 8 burgers to choose from, a dozen of sides and extras to add, 8 ales to match, and the usual suspects of soft drinks, they also offer a range of wicked milkshakes and their renowned frozen custard desserts, which are not for the faint of heart. But, burgers first. I could not go past the ‘Prince Harry’, a concoction of lean Australian pasture-fed beef patty, (minced fresh on a daily basis), butter lettuce, American cheddar, Swiss cheese and a wicked horseradish, shallot and gherkin mayo - yummm!
Also, a close contender was ‘The King’ adding a home-made mac & cheese croquette to the common fillers, plus American mustard and their special burger sauce, and ‘Miss Elizabeth’ (aptly so called with Elizabeth street only a few blocks away) featuring Swiss cheese and a truffle mayo.
But the price for ‘my fav’ went to ‘The Saint’, with a double serving of the fresh and hearty patties, tomato, butter lettuce, bacon, American cheddar, raw onion, chipote mayo and pickled jalapenos set between the buns, wrapped in their bright and fresh coloured distinctive brand wrapper. A tad spicy and a good gob-stopper at that.
Add a serving of fries or their cousin, Gems, both available in a cheesy version (if that’s your thing) and you can have a pretty good burger meal with a freshly drafted beer right in the CBD that is not just ‘thrown’ together, but prepared with regal attention to detail.
The Royal Stacks concept has pretty quickly made headways with another location in Brunswick and at the Chadstone Shopping Centre giving you three ports of call for what is definitely a ‘royal’ take on the humble burger, which has suffered under the too often disappointing effort put into them at other fast-paced burger chains.
The idea behind Royal Stacks of taking good quality Australian beef and mincing it fresh daily, making their own patties and using the freshest of ingredients, clever sauces, classics like Swiss cheese and American cheddar and mustard, served in a relaxed environment with top customer service and beer on tap, as well as packaged ales and wine, has definitely paid off.
Following my first visit, I have been back three times. A couple of times for a quick bite and as a respite from the busy day in the CBD, another time to enjoy a good burger after a seminar with a colleague, topped off with a nice taste of red. Needless to say, the imperial burger concept by Dani Zeini, who was behind the Dandenong Pavilion, Grand Trailer Park Taverna, Easey’s and Truck Stop Deluxe success, has found my liking, and while I cannot speak for everyone… you simply have to make your own judgment.
Happy chompin’ on their majestic burgers! ;)