Saturday, 29 June 2013

Burger Urge - 10 Year Celebration Party

A lot can happen in ten years, countries can rise and fall; wars can be fought; theoretically man could fly to Mars and back!  Ten years ago, Brisbane lads and brothers Sean and Colby Carthew had a dream and started down the path of making that dream a reality.  Their dream was to create a healthy alternative to the fast food outlets that were littering city streets with 'junk food'.  This might not sound so visionary now, 2013, but you need to remember that this was before movies like Supersize Me brought the notion that fast food was bad to our consciousness.

Burger Urge has been a local hangout for of mine for quite a while and I recently wrote about Burger Urge in my blog (see post here) so I was really happy to accept an invitation to their ten year birthday celebration with a number of other Brisbane Foodies and some of Sean and Colby's loyal customers.  It was also an opportunity for the boys to launch their new menu, so there would be some new taste sensations to write about too!

Living nearby, I arrived a little bit before the birthday celebrations started and had the opportunity to chat to co-owner Sean Carthew about his ten years at the helm of Burger Urge.
"It's been an amazing ride over the last ten years and we finally feel like we're getting some traction on our original plan.  We now have 5 Burger Urges open all around Brisbane and are looking to open quite a few more over the next few years."
"We have created a new corporate headquarters in New Farm, which will be our headquarters to expand our empire and get into franchising"
I asked Sean what happened to the amazing piece of artwork that used to be on the 'new exposed brick feature wall' in their original New Farm shop.
"Yeah, it was a sad day.  Anna Manolotas is a friend of ours who is currently in Spain.  We really wanted to keep the artwork, but when we tried to get the plaster off the wall, it just crumbled.  We plan to get Anna back in to create something new for us"
After reminiscing about the early days, many of the other guests had arrived, so Sean wandered off on hosting duties and the menu for the night started to come to our tables.  The idea for the party celebrations was to sample then provide feedback on the new menu, which coincidentally is one of my favorite things to do :)

First up on the table came the new Chip selection from Burger Urge, who have always had great chips but always look to improve.  There was a nice surprise with the addition of Tempura Onion Rings to the mix.  Burger Urge have always been known for their sweet potato chips, but the Onion Rings will give these a run for their money, they were crisp and sweet, just the way rings should be.

Next to be sampled from the new menu was the spicy Buffalo wings with came in two flavours, the spicy hot sauce or the smoked BBQ marinade.  I started off trying the BBQ marinade, which had a lovely smokey flavour which worked nicely with the crispy chicken wings.  I'm glad I went with the BBQ marinade first, the spicy hot sauce was almost off the charts and left my mouth numb for a while.  If you like hot and spicy wings, then trying these are a must.

It was time for the star of the show to come out and the four new burger choices on the menu started to filter out of the kitchen.  To make it easier for us to sample the goodies and not over indulge, the burgers came out already cut in half, which was a great idea, there was no way I could have eaten four burgers!!  My favourites were definitely the more traditional New Yorker and Spicy Lamb burgers, which were filled with fresh ingredients and most importantly had meat patties!  I didn't particularly like the Moroccan Garden (vegetarian) and the Arabian (too spicy) but that's just my preferences.  If you like spicy and vegetarian food, then these would be right up your alley.

The New Yorker was my favourite new burger (now permanently on the menu)
The moroccan vegetarian was my least favourite
I loved the lamb patty on the Spicy Lamb
I was really happy to be invited along to the ten year birthday celebration at Burger Urge, the place was such a large part of my casual dining life that for a while it felt like the only place in town.  Getting back to Burger Urge and watching the other 'foodies about town' enjoy a meal together and share their thoughts and experiences about Burger Urge over the years.

Ten years on, the concept of a healthy alternative to 'fast food' is pretty normal and something we take for granted, but it's because of visionaries like the Carthew brothers that this is an accepted view of the world.  I'm very happy that the boys have the beginnings of the empire they dreamed about so many years ago, it just goes to show how hard work, a vision and perseverance will reap rewards.  Well done lads and Happy Birthday


A simple dessert of Gelato
Sean and some of his regular customers from over the years
A familiar face behind the counter.  Keeping staff for 10 years is no easy feat
mmmmm, burger
Burger Urge - Fortitude Valley on Urbanspoon

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