Purveyor: The Grounds, Alexandria NSW Australia
Menu Item: Chicken Schnitzel Burger
Price: $21 AUD
Squawk: If you’ve ever driven through Alexandria and seen a random line of people and wondered what they were all waiting for, it was probably to get into The Grounds. They’re kinda the only game in town. A part of town historically full of factories, that is now in the process of going “full hipster.” And regardless, it is a truly impressive and awesome venue and worth a look, although we’re not sure about the wait. We managed to sneak in a slower time for a late lunch and snag a seat at a communal table amongst the roasting machines. Cool. But, as always, you want to know about the grub, so here goes: First thing we noticed was the chips come in a paper bag. A nice and unusual gimmick – and they’re good chips too, although our neighbours polenta chips seem like the more interesting call. Burger-wise the tabouli influenced salad is unexpected and nice. And that’s about all the squawkin’ we can do for this one. The staff run like a well oiled (coffee?) machine and the free wifi is a nice touch.
Buaawk: A place this cool really should have a winning chicken burger, but they have a ways to go before their Schnitzel Burger matches up with the vibe and decor. The bread was stale which may explain the mayo overload – you know, to soften things back up. The chicken was unremarkable, although we did think it was nice that they use smaller pieces stacked to fit the bun rather than one giant schnitty with wings that stick out squ-awkwardly RSL style. That said, this translates to a solid stack height that makes for hard, messy, eatin’ and our communal table was out of napkins the entire time – the one part where the overly efficient, walkie-talkie wearing, staff dropped the ball. Sauce-wise they had Tabasco only, which is just a rookie move that we can longer abide. Speaking of sauce, there wasn’t any sauce for chips which just seems like an insult. And speaking of chips, the bigger insult was in the rolled up chip bag. Turns out they scrunch up a bunch of the bag at the bottom to make it take up space so that your big bag of chips is actually only about two thirds as full as it looks when it lands on your table. This is sort of scam reflects poorly on everything else. Yes, there were, in fact, plenty of chips, but it still feels deceptive. Why not just use a smaller bag? And lastly, if there was any cheese on the thing, we couldn’t taste it.