Best Burgers in Brisbane: Howzat Burger @ Brisbane CBD

Let me start off by saying the title of this article is a very unintentional (but catchy) tongue twister....

I finally made it to Howzat Burger! Everyone knows I enjoy a good burger so it's been absolutely KILLING me to scroll through all the beautiful howzat burgers on my instagram feed... "The Don"...."The Mexican Wave" aka pork belly heaven ... It was torture. I had heard nothing but good things from my fellow Brisbane food bloggers so I had to check it out for myself. 

Howzat burger opened its doors back in January as a pop up burger joint. Howzat burger is the brain child of chef Philip Johnson who you may know from E'cco Bistro. Pop up means the restaurant is temporary so I had very limited time to check it out! Unfortunately I missed my chance back in January.... 

But luckily for me the public's reaction to Howzat Burger was so overwhelmingly positive that it's become a PERMANENT fixture on Adelaide Street- burger lover's rejoice!!! They are now open 4 days a week so you too can get in on the action. 

Burgers are $10 and sides are $5 at Howzat. They also have milkshakes, beer, wine and other beverages available. Check out the full menu HERE.

I'm all about the classics so I went for "The Don" this time. The Don consists of thick grain feed beef pattie, vine ripened tomato, cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, and mayo. I also got a side of onion rings.

This was a very sizeable burger! The Don is delicious.The beef pattie was juicy & thick and all the ingredients were incredibly fresh. If you haven't been to Howzat....well....what are you waiting for?! 

Howzat Burger on Urbanspoon

All You Can Eat: Maru's Korean BBQ in Sunnybank

After getting some really good news on Tuesday we decided to treat ourselves to a Korean BBQ feast. Neither of us had ever been to a Korean BBQ restaurant ...(I KNOW!)... so we were very excited to give it a go!

We actually weren't aware of the "All You Can Eat" deal at Maru's Korean BBQ until we got there and saw the special "All You Can Eat" menu. It seemed like too good a deal to pass up on. For about $29 dollars you get unlimited meats, salads, and sides! The waygu is the only thing with a limit. You get ONE very sizeable serve of the waygu steaks but everything else is UNLIMITED.

You can eat yourself into a food coma if you so desire. Needless to say we slept very well that night! There are a couple Korean BBQ restaurants in Sunnybank and we will definitely be visiting others in the future. We really enjoyed our dinner. Its a very hands on, and fun food experience. It would be fantastic for parties or special occasions. Gather around a table at Maru's and grill yourself up a delicious meal. The sides are cooked for you. They have a nice selection of soups and dumplings to choose from. We were surprised by how nice the presentation of the pre-cooked meals were! When you think of an "All You Can Eat" place you typically don't expect much effort to be made as far as food presentation. We were pleasantly surprised, however.

The food was awesome. We devoured steaks...pork belly...ribs...dumplings...soup, etc. The service was so quick and friendly. The staff were happy to give us cooking tips given we were Korean BBQ newbies..

Next time you are in Sunnybank with a group of your closest mates...pop into Maru's and take advantage of this great deal! Maru's is undergoing a transition to "All BBQ"...meaning there will no longer be pre-cooked meals on the menu. All BBQ, all the time.

Maru Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

Best Mex Series: Mad Mex @ Garden City

Being from the United States I practically grew up on Mexican food...

The US is closely located to Mexico and a large majority of the population is Mexican. So growing up I had a lot of Mexican influences in my life. I've taken a dozen Spanish classes (most of which were mandatory) since the first grade! Unfortunately I didn't retain much of my Spanish lessons. I can say "Hello"...."Goodbye"...."How Are You?"...."Yes"....and count to twenty with ease...but that's about it.

I've eaten my body weight in Mexican food and other variations of it (Tex Mex, etc.) I love Mexican food! When I came to Australia I was sad to learn it wasn't as popular here... there are a few Mexican restaurants- luckily...but nothing like the US. In the small southern town where I'm from the streets are lined with Baptist churches and Mexican restaurants...

So I thought it was about time that I rounded up the BEST Mexican joints down under. I started off my journey with a trip to Mad Mex @ Garden City. My luck has been changing dramatically over the last few months....I've actually been winning things! I won 2 pesos = 2 free meals at Mad Mex from the Nuffnang 007 Birthday Bash competition. We decided to check out the Mad Mex at Garden City and then catch a movie.

Mad Mex reminds me A LOT of Chipotle, although they compare themselves to Subways. Mad Mex operates in an assembly line-esq way. You choose what meal you want (nachos, burrito, etc), tell them which meat you would like, and load it up with as many extras you want (queso, lettuce, pico de gallo, rice, guac, etc)

We chose a chicken burrito and chicken nachos. Darrell loaded up his burrito with all the trimmings....and I mean ALL of them... I loaded my chicken nachos with queso, pico de gallo, beans, sour cream, and guac. 

I was a big fan of Chipotle in the States so I expected to really love Mad Mex and I did. It's nice being able to pick and choose what goes on your meal. You really can't be disappointed with your meal when you made it, can you? Guac isn't free and you pay a little fee for extra meat but you can have as much of the other goodies (pico de gallo, queso, rice, beans, etc) as you desire! So if you are a bit fussy and like your burritos or nachos a certain way.... Mad Mex is for you! Nice size fact I couldn't finish all my nachos but luckily I had Darrell there to polish them off ;)

Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Mad Mex Twitter
Mad Mex Website

*AmeriAus won 2 free meals to Mad Mex from Nuffnang Australia. All opinions expressed are our own. 

Lunchgustation @ The Myer Centre

We were lucky enough to snag two seats to the Lunchgustation at The Myer Centre! It was a very unique experience. I can definitely say I've never eaten at a formal dinner table in the middle of a bustling food court while very fancy looking waiters (white gloves and all) served me as a violinist & celloist played softly in the background.... but I could get use to it!

We were treated to a complimentary 10 course lunch sampling some of the delicious food on offer in the Myer Centre food court.

The Entrees: Chinese Chilli duck dumpling (Happy Little Dumplings), Burrito w grilled chicken- salsa fresco & guacamole (Salsa's Fresh Mex Grill), Tofu Vietnamese Roll (Pho Viet 1)

The Mains: Steamed barramundi w ginger & shallot pesto (FantAsia), Balsamic beetroot salad w feta (Sumo Salad), Onion Pakora (Vege Rama), Crispy Pork Belly (Yum Cha Noodle Haus)

The Desserts: Cookies w dark chocolate ice cream (Mrs. Fields & Royal Copenhagen), Doughnut w white chocolate ice cream (Donut King & Royal Copenhagen), Triffle dipping cone w raspberry sorbet (Royal Copenhagen)

We also enjoyed some deliciously fresh juice from FJ's Freshly Juiced! The flavours we sampled were: Juice of Watermelon, Juice of Apple & Acai,  and Juice of Raspberry & Orange.

Favourite drink: Apple & Acai from FJ's Freshly Juiced
Favourite entree: Burrito w grilled chicken, salsa fresco & guacamole from Salsa's Fresh Mex Grill
Favourite main: ...we were divided on this one... Darrell's favourite was the Crispy pork belly from Yum Cha Noodle Haus and Chelsea's was the Steamed barramundi w ginger & shallot pesto from FantAsia
Favourite dessert: White chocolate ice cream from Royal Copenhagen

FantAsia on Urbanspoon

Yum Cha Noodle Haus on Urbanspoon

Royal Copenhagen Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Donut King - Myer Centre on Urbanspoon

Vege Rama on Urbanspoon

Quick & Easy Dinner Recipe using Barilla Australia Products!

Barilla Australia were kind enough to send us a sample pack of a few of their products! We love Barilla products. Barilla uses the BEST quality Italian ingredients which make for incredibly delicious, flavour packed meals! We aren't big fans of store bought sauces, but we understand that sometimes you just don't have time to whip up your own. If your going to buy our top pick is Barilla. They know Italian food. The sauces and pasta are beautiful! 

We whipped up a quick and easy recipe using the orechiette pasta and ricotta sauce provided to us by Barilla. Check out the recipe below:  

Orechiette w Chicken, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Beans, & Basil in a Ricotta Sauce         

(Serves 2) 
1. 4 chicken breasts, diced 
2. 6 cherry tomatoes sliced in half 
3. 1 jar of Barilla Australia Ricotta Sauce 
4. 1 package of Barilla Australia Orecchiette Pasta 
5. 1 cup of green beans 
6. S&P
7. Basil leaves & shaved parm to garnish 

Cook your Orecchiette al dente and set aside. Boil your green beans until tender and set aside. In a skillet with a tsp of oil  ook your diced chicken until the juices run clear. Season with a little S&P.  Drain your skillet. Add your ricotta sauce and allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for 10 minutes. Add the rest of your ingredients (excluding the garnish). Toss until well combined. Let it sit on low heat for 10 minutes or until warm. Sprinkle a bit of shaved parm on top,  throw in a fresh basil leaf and serve! 
Barilla Australia Website
Barilla Australia Twitter 

*Special thanks to Barilla for providing AmeriAus with the pasta and ricotta sauce. 

The New Rare Pear in Samford Village

Well, we've got your weekend sorted! It's about time you hopped in the car and headed to Samford Village. We've taken a mini road trip up to Samford a few times now. We fall even more in love each time. You've got breathtaking mountains....beautiful valleys...and some of the BEST cafes you'll ever have the pleasure of visiting.

This place is oozing with character and after one trip you'll never want to go home. 

And now that The Rare Pear has opened up a new cafe in Samford there really is no reason for you to return to Brisbane....I mean really... 

Yes, you heard correctly- the popular Holland Park breakie joint owned by Irene Di'Marco has opened up a new cafe in Samford Village! They've actually been there for 1 1/2 years now and we think Samford Village and The Rare Pear are a match made in heaven. 

The cafe is located in the Lifestyle Centre Complex. This complex is also home to a beauty salon, gift shop, yoga & pilates classes, and a plant nursery. So while you munch away on a delicious meal from The Rare Pear you are surrounded by a sea of exquisite flowers and other hidden treasures. Might be wise to set a budget before coming because you'll be tempted to buy everything in sight! We love The Rare Pear's new location and if you are a nature lover, like us, we are sure you will agree. 

Where else can you have an up close breakfast encounter with a bearded dragon? Don't worry they are friendly and very polite. 

The menus at the Holland Park and Samford aren't the same but you won't be disappointed by the options they have available. We started off with a Berry & Chia Smoothie, and a Skinny Cappuccino

With a little help from Irene we decided on The Rare Pear Summer Salad, The Rare Pear Burger, and the Pulled Pork

The Rare Pear Summer Salad  is made up of roast beetroot, asparagus, crispy pancetta, pumpkin tossed together with quinoa, watercress, spiced pepitas & herbed crumbed bocconcini  with a sumac chipotle dressing. 

This salad has a lot going for it....apart from its good looks! It was INCREDIBLE. We are not surprised at all by it's popularity. If you have been reading our blog you know we are not big salad fans....I mean, to be honest, we never order salad. But I'd order The Rare Pear Summer Salad again...and again...and again. It was such a beautiful combination. It was sweet, savoury, crunchy and that sumac chipotle dressing was perfection. We definitely recommend this dish. 

The Rare Pear Burger was made up of a house burger pattie with bacon, a fried egg, tasty cheese, caramelised beetroot & onion, aioli, mixed leaves, and roast pumpkin relish on a Turkish bun with beer battered chips. 

This burger was everything you could possibly want in a burger. You really get your money's worth at The Rare Pear. A decent size burger it was! The beef pattie was juicy and thick. It had all of the favorites... sweet beetroot...aioli....bacon....fried egg...a pefect aussie burger. 

Last but not least we devoured an enormous Pulled Pork sandwich. This monster sandwich consisted of pulled pork on a turkish roll with house barbecue sauce, haloumi, fried egg, fresh sliced tomato, rocket & aioli....

That should really say it all....this was an amazing pulled pork sandwich. The epitome of pulled pork sandwiches. Did I mention you get your money's worth at The Rare Pear? 

We had an amazing lunch at The Rare Pear...and after writing this review we wish we were there now! The Rare Pear also has a large variety of pastries available that are made fresh each day. Once a month they host a themed dinner- BYO ($2 corkage)- with a set price of $50 a head.

They serve all day breakfast with lunch officially beginning at 11am (but they are pretty flexible).  

The next dinner is scheduled for March 28th at 6:30pm. It will be "A Roman Feast"- 3 course Italian style dinner. Booking is essential so grab a spot by phoning 3289 6688 now! 

*AmeriAus was a guest of The Rare Pear Samford Village. All opinions expressed are our own. 

Chester Street Bakery & Bar New Menu Launch

On Monday night we were invited down to Chester Street Bakery & Bar for their new menu launch. We love any excuse to dine with foodies...We had yet to try Chester Street  for ourselves so we were all the more excited to check it out! We had an awesome night filled with splendidly mouthwatering meals and tantalizingly sweet desserts.

The atmosphere at Chester Street is very cool and relaxed. They have rather large dining tables which make it the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and share a few cocktails with friends. Check out our photos from the night...

The Grilled squid w/ hummus, smokey paprika and natural almonds...a very inspiring & delicious combo

The sweet corn and creamed leek & fresh herbs croquettes with lime of my favorite entrees of the night! 

Chester Street Bread with black olive and anchovy tapenade  

Quinoa is very popular right now.

This wild rice is an excellent accompaniment to any tasty & fresh! 

Don't get me started on the barramundi... thank God for this dish! 

The best rack of lamb you'll ever eat. Tender, juicy goodness...

And we can't forget the most important meal of the day..... DESSERT

The Mango and Passion fruit mess is EXCELLENT. 

I could live happily off the nutella cheesecake from Chester Street for the rest of my days...

Head down to Chester Street Bakery & Bar and give their new menu a try for yourself! 

Chester Street on Urbanspoon