Our first Carl’s experience was in Akihabara, Japan earlier this year. As soon as we had taken our first bite of our burgers we knew we’d be back. This time, we ventured to Bateau Bay on the Central Coast to get our fix.
As Carl’s only has two stores in Australia, the location of this particular store seemed a little strange to us initially. Why the Central Coast? Why not somewhere in Sydney? Then we noticed how many people make the pilgrimage from Sydney to pay homage to one of the top burger gods.
When we arrived the line was almost out the door so we used the time to decide what to order. We definitely needed that time as we were tempted by every item on the menu.
The store was spacious but crowded so we sat at one of the only tables available. The great thing about Carl’s is that you don’t have to wait at the counter for your food; they bring it to you. It didn’t take long for our food to arrive, either.
We narrowed it down to the Portobello Mushroom Thickburger and their Famous Star. For sides we couldn’t decide between the chicken tenders or the chilli cheese fries… so we ordered both.
|Mushroom Thickburger and Famous Star
The Mushroom Thickburger has a perfect ratio both with the size of the patty and generosity of mushroom and other burger fillings. This particular burger combines sauteed portobello mushrooms with Swiss cheese and red onion – a dream combo if you ask me! The gravy is gorgeously warm and saucy and it goes great with the other ingredients.
However, the nature of mushrooms and an actually photogenic burger is that you can come across some serious slippage issues when you’re eating so be warned!
The Famous Star is aptly named. The meat patty was really juicy, came apart easily and was further lifted with mayonnaise and sauce. Tomato, onion and lettuce lent their crunch well, as did the dill pickles which brought a great tang to the taste. Similar to the Mushroom burger, the Star quickly became a tasty mess which needed ongoing reconstruction in order to continue the meal. That well known skewer through the middle to maintain order would have been nice, but getting messy with a beautiful burger is definitely not a chore!
|Hand Breaded Tenders with Range Sauce
These tenders were light and crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside and tasted amazing with their ranch Sauce. We immediately regretted settling for the smaller size of three instead of upsizing to five
|Chilli Cheese Fries
|Almost a meal in itself owing to its size, the chilli mince had a moderate kick and was well seasoned. There was an ample amount of cheese that made me draw comparisons to nachos. Disappointingly, the fries themselves were undercooked which was amplified by the cheese and sauce, turning them into a bit of a mush.
We enjoyed our homeground visit to Carl’s and we’re pretty happy we no longer have to travel to Japan to enjoy it again. Next time we’ll probably skip the chilli cheese fries and opt for the chicken tenders upgrade.
Written by Lachlan Munnings @mister_eats
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