Monday, March 17, 2014

Top 10 Burgers in Adelaide - Part 1 - The Stanley Tavern

Hi All,

About a month or so ago the local newspaper in Adelaide, The Advertiser, posted an article showing "The Top 10 Burgers in Adelaide"... (http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/lifestyle/heres-adelaides-top-10-best-burgers/story-fnizi7vf-1226837067771)

Being a lover of a decent Beef Burger I decided I wouldn't mind checking out a few to see what each one was like.

For me the best burger needs a multiple of inclusions, it can't be one element that decides its fate - all needs perfect balancing. The burger roll and patty needs to be large, no point offering a burger costing over $10 if you're still hungry at the end.

  • The Patty needs to be seasoned to perfection - right now my wife makes the best tasting patties around, i'll argue it til i'm blue in the face and these burger bars have alot to live up to!
  • Pickles... has to have pickles, not everyones cup of tea but for me the option of having a handful of crunchy pickles is to die for.
  • Tomato Chutney - For me, has to be Tomato Chutney - just stunning and the taste is 2nd to none - Ketchup and Tomato Sauce just doesn't have the flavour.
  • Garlic Aoli - Just stunning, when included with tomato chutney it brings the burger to a whole new level
  • Lettuce & Tomato - A generous portion is required, can't eat a burger without a bit of healthiness added!
  • Egg - For the Burger to be complete a runny egg sweetens the deal (not too gooey but just a little run to it)
  • Bacon - Who doesn't love a nice helping of nicely smoked bacon!
  • Onion - For me its gotta be cooked, with a little bit of crunch!

We were sitting home one weekend with not much to do so we thought we might take a drive up to the beautiful Adelaide Hills and visit the lovely town of Hahndorf. Its fun for a family to make a day trip from the city and has loads to offer everyone, from family activities like the Hahndorf Farm Barn (http://farmbarn.com.au/) which boasts a huge variety of animals to get up close with and even feed, theres also the famous Beerenberg Strawberry Farm (http://www.beerenberg.com.au/) where not only can you purchase some of the best Jams and Sauces around but you can also venture down to the Strawberry field and pick the best tasting Strawberry's you will find in Adelaide!

For the Wine lovers there are also a nice selection of wineries around, from Boutique wineries such as my favourite Hahndorf Hill Winery (http://www.hahndorfhillwinery.com.au/) who make the best Rose wine I've ever tasted!, or a crowd favourite such as Maximillians (http://maximilians.com.au/cellar-door).

For the traditionalists who love a good German Pint or German Food you can't go past The German Arms (http://germanarmshotel.com.au/) or the Hahndorf Inn (http://hahndorfinn.com.au/), each show true their German heritage and offer old fashioned German meals and beers for you to try!

For our family the day was set out, a trip to the Farm Barn, head off for lunch then back to Beerenberg for a big punnet of Strawberries!

Lunch was decided, we would try the famous Stanley Burger at the Stanley Bridge Tavern (http://stanleybridgetavern.com/) located in Verdun just a 5 minute drive from Hahndorf. Its nestled on a beautiful street, if you haven't booked and it was a stunning late Summer day like we did on a Sunday then parking and getting a table may be difficult so I would suggest you book in advance.



It was a 30 degree day, nice breeze coming through the trees and the tavern from the get go looked very warm and inviting. We went through the old rustic main door and were immediately impressed by the structure of the building itself, its been maintained extremely well and all its old features are a definite plus.

We were lucky enough to score a table out in their garden on a rustic wooden table, set up for the kids was a game of bocce and totem tennis. I think the main feature for my children though was Benny the Jack Russell which moved freely through the restaurant and mingled with the guests.

My wife and I decided to each go with the Stanley Burger but were amazed at the amount of mouth watering options available - Ribs, Steaks, Pies etc. To the order we also added a small serving of their Benny's Ribs.

A bottle of Apple Cider to accompany and I was set for a very enjoyable afternoon. Justine and I chatted away while the kids ran off and played, but unfortunately as time went by the kids became more and more irritated and edgy as we waited a very long time for the food to come out. I think in the end the kids meals came out, just before the entree, after a solid hour and a half waiting... by that time we were all over hungry and a bit over the waiting... Our mains came out about 10 minutes after and began we did...

First on the agenda, try these stunningly presented Ribs, I was interested to try the sauce which included Honey, Spices and Blasted in the Furnace with Hoi Sin, Orange and a Sesame Seed Sauce... My lips were watering thinking about it.

The sauce delivered just like I hoped, it was stunning - beautifully sweet with a hint of spice but not enough to overpower you. The ribs were massive but unfortunately mostly bone, each were separated from the rack but just didn't have heaps of meat on there to get you overly excited. The downer for me also was the ribs appeared to have been cooked for a while earlier but mine were cold when they came out - almost appeared to be re-heated but just not enough. It was yum but 6 definitely isn't enough while also sharing - fork out and get the 9 or 12!

The massive winner though was the sauce, it was so good we all spent ages afterwards mopping it up with our chips!

The Stanley Burger, was definitely impressive to look out when it first came out. Accompanied by a big bowl of curly fries I proceeded to crack the egg and see how we go.

Nice - egg flowed just perfectly!

The burger was nice, not brilliant but nice, the Pattie was nicely made, good helping of smokey bacon on the top, nicely melted cheese and cooked onion, tomato and lettuce. I love a good burger and I think this was ok but it just didn't have the wow factor I was looking for. Notable exclusions from the burger was Chutney, Garlic Aoli and the most important feature for me.....Pickles... I love pickles with my burger - even if its an addition...

The Tomato Salsa advertised with the burger wasn't the best for me, took the taste away from the patty and hit the wrong note - a beaut chutney from local Beerenberg would have been spot on!

Overall I think I'm going to have to give this burger a 6.5, Probably could have scored higher but the long wait and exclusions brought me down some.

I would definitely order it again, I did like it and the Stanley Tavern is a great place to go to but I just can't push it much higher on the day.


I invite you all to check it out for yourself, personally if I was to rate the venue, staff and an overall experience and not take into account the long wait on that occasion I would give the Stanley Tavern a 9 - its setting in the heart of the Adelaide Hills and all round rustic appeal makes it a fantastic venue to sit down for lunch or dinner. The menu is extremely appealing to all taste buds and the Kids Menu is very good also (Picture of the Kids Cheese Burger opposite!)






If you do try the Stanley Burger feel free to give your rating as feedback, I'm keen to see what everyone else thinks!

So - 1 down, 9 to go. They rate these the best 10 burgers in Adelaide, I'm going to try them all and give my honest opinion.