Ever since going to New York I have had burger withdrawals. Shake Shack has left a gaping hole in my heart and I have been trying to fill it ever since. There have been many attempts to find a burger that is on the same level as the ShackBurger but alas I have been out of luck.
I need to clarify one thing though, I am not looking for the best gourmet burger out there, I know where that is (RB&G) and enjoy it far too often to be healthy; what I am after is what you could label as a take-away burger, cheap and cheerful. We have been recommended a lot of places and each has pros and cons but finding something that comes close to what Shake Shack offers has been hard.
One of the most persistent endorsements was for Mary’s. Located on Mary St in Newtown this ‘hidden’ bar jumps on the no signage bandwagon and is the brainchild of Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham who were able to lure in Luke Powell, ex-Tetsuya’s head chef, to run their kitchen.
Mary’s Burger ($14.00) Double Meat & Cheese ($3.00).
In order to come as close as possible to a ShackBurger I had to order the Mary’s burger as lettuce and tomato are an integral part, and seeing as I’ve only ever had a double ShackBurger I also had to get the Mary’s burger as a double. All burgers come with fries however I was a little disappointed to see shoestring fries as the only place I have found to cook them right, and consistently so, is sadly McDonald’s.
As soon as my burger hit the table I was into the fries. To my surprise they were actually good, stupidly crisp but soft in the middle. Folding back the wrapper unveiled a good looking burger, nice and greasy with a suitably toasted Breadtop bun. First impressions are very accurate when it comes to a burger – and the Mary’s Burger left a good one.
Beef to cheese ratio is crucial and this was about as good as it gets, sticky melted cheese and juicy oozy beef shared the limelight while the lettuce and tomato helped keep it being too much to handle. Everything worked together and this is easily the best non-gourmet burger I have had outside of New York.
Cheeseburger ($14.00) add Trashcan Bacon ($4.00).
For Lex this was her second visit, and it was her second cheeseburger, although this round there was the addition of trashcan bacon. As with the Mary’s Burger the beef to cheese ratio was superb and I was able to pinpoint one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much – salt. Just as with Shake Shack the level of salt in the beef patty was quite high, but when done right it just makes the whole burger so much better. I still preferred the Mary’s burger over the cheeseburger but the trashcan bacon was pretty damn good, though not really required to make the burger work in my opinion.
Finally I had found a burger that ticked all the right boxes and I was quite the happy camper. Besides the burger the rest of Mary’s is cool, super laid back with a good selection of beers, wine and cocktails. Watching the chicken make its way to other tables I got a little jealous as it looked the part. Perfect excuse to come back soon I think.
6 Mary Street
Newtown NSW 2042