- 9036 1456
- American (US)
August 14, 2012
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Photo: Eddie Jim
BURGER bars are sprinkling the city like sesame seeds on a brioche bun, but the 100-seater B.East - with its buns, beer and live music - cranks things up a notch.
It's the latest project by Maz Salt, 37, the guy who turned shipping containers into city bar Section 8. Salt was an early player in the laneway scene and is a big supporter of the local, often underground, arts world.
Seven years on and he's expanded. At home, he's got a couple of kids now, with baby number two born days after he simultaneously opened B.East and his second city bar, Ferdydurke. Both of the new offerings are more grown-up, with less grunge but the same commitment to street art.
Yarn bombers have made patchwork covers for B.East's double-stacked milk-crate seats and fashioned ''trees'' for the planter boxes. A local artist painted the 44-gallon-drum tables and there's a vast wall-length collage of beast-themed paste-ups, submitted in response to social-media posts.
Salt and chef Paul Moloney devised the compact, American-inspired menu, a fun offering of caramelised, Caribbean-inspired chicken wings, pork croquettes, the ''B.East Ice-Cream Sundae'', and shakes using Jonesy's milk. There's a pork sandwich, too, but burgers are the core.
The patties are made from organic, grass-fed Gippsland beef - brisket, chuck and rump - and some lardy beef suet for richness, plus a smattering of onion, garlic and parsley. The result? A textured, juicy, glossy patty with loads of flavour.
The Filthy B.East is a beauty, the patty dusted in mustard powder and topped with a mix of chilli, hot English mustard and cayenne pepper. Melted vintage club cheddar blends well, and the characteristic sweetness of the brioche offsets the spice.
Then there's the Sexy B.East, a double beef bonanza, not stupidly massive but good and meaty, with double cheese and a kicker jalapeno-spiced mayo.
In the vegie burger, the potato patty is inspired by a Mumbai street snack, spiced with turmeric and ginger, crumbed in chickpea flour and teamed with house-made tomato relish. Vegetarian and vegan options will increase next week with an expanded menu. The chips are served plain or laced with chilli and piping-hot Egmont cheese.
Live music plays Thursdays to Sundays, from the straight country stylings of the Bakersfield Glee Club to a 16-piece Afro-beat orchestra, DJs spin until late and Tuesday nights are for trivia buffs.
It's this connection with music and art that Salt loves. ''A string quartet and burgers,'' he says, ''I can think of nothing better.''
Where 80 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, 9036 1456
Prices Burgers, $7-$15; chips, $3.50-$9; ice-cream sundae, $9
Cards Amex MC V Eftpos
Open Sun-Wed, 11am-11pm; Thurs-Sat, 11am-1am
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A joint with $12.50 burgers, including the Japanese-inspired ''Mr Miyagi''. The wagyu beef patties are served rare, and the house-cut chips come with pickles.
194 Toorak Road, South Yarra, 9827 5058.
- 9036 1456
- American (US)
- Burgers, $7-$15; chips, $3.50-$9; ice-cream sundae, $9
- Sun-Wed, 11am-11pm; Thurs-Sat, 11am-1am
- Cards accepted:
- AMEX, Mastercard, Visa, eftpos