Thursday, 29 May 2014

Cheap Eats - Ribs and Burgers

If there is a way to catch people's attention, Ribs and Burgers certainly figured out how to do it.  The offer of one free hamburger a week for a whole year for the first 100 customers certainly got my attention, and that of my blogger buddies too.  Given that the offer was mid week, there was never any chance of me winning the prize but I hear that the queue on the opening was complete madness.  I guess I could have called in sick but that would have been irresponsible!

Even though I couldn't get in and wait in the queue for free burgers, the fact that a new burger joint had opened up in Brisbane was always going to pique my interest.   Of course, it wasn't long before I made my way to James Street to check it out.

I've always liked hamburgers, lets face it, they are the food of champions but it wasn't until I went to New York last year that I really got a taste for the traditional American (Gringo) fast food (see post here).  Ever since then I've been on a crusade to find Brisbane's best burger and I've had some beauties but the standard against which I've been measuring my burgers is Howzat Burgers in the CBD (see post here).  In fact, since I tasted my first Howzat Burger, I've pretty much eaten it every week!

Ribs and Burgers first opened in Sydney's Neutral Bay in 2011 and since that auspicious date has gone on to open another nine burger joints, Brisbane being the most recent.  The latest in a series of burger joints to open up in Brisbane, Ribs and Burgers aim to be different by considering themselves a boutique casual dining restaurant instead of a chain restaurant.  In doing so, they plan not to saturate the market with heaps of franchises, but choose select locations that increase the value of the brand.

I'd heard from a blogger buddy that Ribs and Burgers could get pretty busy, so we chose a Sunday night to visit, hoping that it wouldn't be as crazy busy. Located just outside the Centro Cinema on James, we noticed how modern and open the place looked.  Lovely clean lines and an open kitchen provided a really inviting feeling to the place and gave off a slightly more upmarket feel and definitely felt more like a restaurant than a burger joint.

We gave the menu a once over and very quickly decided on our burger choices, and while I waited in the queue to get served, SC went and scored one of the few booth tables available.  I had the opportunity to study the menu for a while and was pretty impressed with the range of burgers available as well as a decent selection of ribs.  While we were ordering burgers for our first visit, I made a mental note that we'd have to come back again for the ribs, and soon.  It also didn't escape me that there were more burger options than you could poke a stick at, including a range of 'butchers choice' burgers that seemed a little more upmarket.

Being the burger purist that I am, I had to check out the Ribs and Burgers original, which comprised of beef mince patty, grilled and basted, served on a sesame seed bun with iceberg lettuce, tomato, Spanish onions and their special pink and BBQ sauce.  Sure, they're simple ingredients, but when put together juuuussssssst right, are magical and delicious.  Once I picked up my burger and took my first bite, I was transported back to New York, it was superb!  The sesame seed buns were soft and just the right size so that the bun and meat patty were in perfect alignment.  What stood out for me most was the moist grass-fed patty that was medium rare and succulent, juicy and full of beefy flavour.  My burger was in complete harmony and was easily the best burger I'd had in a while.

Going for something just a little bit different, SC chose the bacon and cheese burger, which was identical to my original but with the addition of the bacon and cheese.  With a choice of swiss or American cheese, SC opted for the very cheesy American cheese, which to me has a little bit of an artificial flavour but SC loves it. The two strips of bacon were cooked through but taken off the heat just before they went crispy and had a very salty bacon flavour.  It was a little bigger than my burger, so SC didn't eat it all, which allowed me to finish it off.  I definitely think the original was better, but it was the cheese that put me off a bit.

We also orders a side of Ribs and Burgers 'famous' chips.  I'm not so sure what made them famous?  They looked just like normal chips to me and while they did taste pretty good, there was nothing completely amazing about them.  We thought that perhaps a little more salt or seasoning on them would have helped.

I hate to say it but my favourite burger joint has been relegated to second best.  As much as I love Howzat Burgers in the CBD, I found my original burger from Ribs and Burger to be the best I've had in Australia.  The only thing stopping me from eating the burger for lunch every day is that it's a bit far away for me to easily get to.

I have to say though, I'm going to put this to the test by getting in a few more times to see if it was a once off, or they are just that good.  Interestingly, while I was wandering the aisles at Coles tonight and saw Heston's very special beef burgers are now available in Australia.  I think I'm going to have to try this one out at home on my BBQ.....  It could be that the next great burger I eat is one that I've made at home!

Grab a number and wait for a delicious burger to come your way
This guy will keep you company
Seriously good burger
But the Original is the pick of the two we tried
James Street is home the best burger spot in town

Ribs & Burgers on UrbanspoonRibs & Burgers


  1. I'm keen to go and try the ribs. Will have to check it out soon! And I do also love a good burger :)

    1. I can't wait to go back Mel, it was yummy!

  2. Awesome Review!

  3. I am not a huge fan or burgers or ribs but this sounds quite enticing so maybe I will have to try it:)

    1. Sherry, would be interested in what you think of the burgers. A buddy has been back a second time and didn't like it as much as her first visit - I'm hoping they are not going to be inconsistent!

  4. I found the burger to be amazing!!! Can't wait to go back,and try the ribs. Awesome review and helped us decide to eat here last night.

    1. Glad you liked it Graeme. I thought it was pretty damn decent. I had a lovely burger in Singapore today - I'll be posting about this one in a week or so :)


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