Address: 106 Smith Street, Collingwood, VIC
Phone: (03) 9417 MEAT
Seriously. Nice. Buns.
That’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says ‘Huxtaburger’ and lately people have been saying Huxtaburger a lot. The hype is totally warranted.
Huxtaburger opened just before Christmas last year and has been living by the successful slogan “hot beef, cold beer” ever since. It’s been trial and error for the new burger joint, which kept running out of buns before closing time up until recently—not even the staff could have predicted how popular their meat would be. At least now they know.
This American-style burger haven is run by the people behind the fancier Huxtable across the road. Head chef Daniel Wilson is sticking to the Huxtable theme, with each of the four burgers on the menu borrowing its name from a Cosby Show family member.
The main star is the Huxtaburger, complete with Moondarra Wagyu beef pattie, American mustard, mayo, tomato sauce, cheese, lettuce and pickles on a glazed sesame seed bun ($8). Then there’s Bill’s Burger, which is the same as above plus some Aussie additions: bacon, egg, pineapple and beetroot ($10). For the kids, there’s the Rudy Burger, a slider with a pattie, tomato sauce, mayo, lettuce and tomato ($5).
For those who can handle the Theo Burger, you’ll be chowing down a Huxtaburger with an extra pattie, twice the cheese, bacon and a traditional BBQ sauce ($11). Literally mouth-watering. Check it out below.
I devoured a Denise Burger, and I don’t think I’ll ever try an alternative. Named after “the hot one” on The Cosby Show, it’s the Huxtaburger base but with slightly more zing, thanks to a generous sprinkling of sliced jalapeño peppers and sriracha mayo ($9). But I still can’t get over those buns. They come from a top secret Asian bakery somewhere, which I imagine looks like the Willy Wonka factory but for baked goods. They’re slightly toasted, pillow-soft inside and more similar to a brioche bun than a burger bun. Their lightness balances the juicy pattie, which is cooked so it retains a touch of pink. Excuse me while I wipe up the saliva that seems to have escaped my mouth.
Crinkle cut chips are available in small or large, as are chipotle fries upon request. We requested. The crunchy golden chips appeared with dark specks of chipotle peppered throughout. Chipotle is a hot smoked chilli pepper often found in Mexican food. It was barely spicy but it added a punchy flavour.
At Huxtable you can add bacon, egg and pineapple to your burger for only $1. If you’re not a meat eater, there is a rotating veggie salad ($10)... as in one that changes regularly, not one that miraculously spins when served. When we visited there was a refreshing Asian slaw of wombok, watercress, mint, radish and mung beans on offer. Another example was the cauliflower, quinoa, pomegranate, mint, red onion and pinenut salad available the previous week.
You can also wash down your burger with a bottle of Peroni, a Kelly Brothers Cider or a glass of wine (hell, why not a bottle?) from Medhurst Estate. There’s also a selection of soft drink available, if you’re into that sort of thing. On the topic of drinks, the rumours that a speakeasy wine bar called ‘Bill’s Bar’ is opening next door appear to be on track; the space to the right of Huxtaburger is covered in printouts of Bill Crosby’s face with a speech bubble hinting “coming soon…”
The shop itself resembles an old school American diner. The window in the front tempts passers by with a sneak peak at the busy grill. Inside, there are four bench seats with a view of the action. Aside from that, seating is limited to four wooden tables on the footpath with four plastic yellow stools a piece. There’s not heaps of room, but if you nab a spot your food will literally be served on a silver platter.
Huxtaburger serve the kind of burgers you crave. They taste good, they look good, they’re cheap and they leave just enough juice on your plate to mop up with your chips. As we stood up to leave, I couldn’t help but overhear the couple next to us.
“I feel sick,” she said.
“Oh, that’s no good,” he said.
“No, no!” she said defensively, “You know, like, sick in a good way!”
If I have to leave you with one thought, it is this: the burgers are better at Huxtaburger.