The Goodbye Burger

DANNY’S BURGERS: 360 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North, Melbourne

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The things I like the most about Danny’s Burgers are the things that are most lacking in my life: consistency and stability. As I prepare to move back to Sydney after just under a year in Melbourne, via California and Mexico for a month, it is comforting to know – and this is meant with absolute sincerity and the right amount of gravitas – that a place like Danny’s will always be here.

With a seemingly surfeit of hipster pretension in this otherwise fine city, Danny’s is a bit of a throwback to a good old fashioned, high quality burger and fries joint, with few tricks, fuss or preen, when attempted throwbacks of another sort, like Huxtaburger, miss the mark.

It’s been around since 1955, apparently serving the same straightforward fare in and out every year, with a range of hamburgers from single to triple sizes (maxing out at just over $10), as well as chicken and steak sandwiches. The clientele is mixed, from hard-case looking folks invariably seated at the end of the 50s diner style counter, to young families, young loves, old men, the occasional hipster, and the likes of me enjoying the conversations of the patrons and the boisterous antics of the kitchen staff but not engaging that much.

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I usually get the hamburger, with sesame bun, chopped up lettuce and tomato at the base, with a slice of bacon, gooey fried egg, a slice of cheese and tomato sauce interspersing the number of patties of meat of your choice. My penultimate  time here about a week ago I had a Triple, which are massive, requiring an attack from various angles. And during my last visit a couple of days ago I got a Single, which I now prefer to the larger sizes, as you get satisfaction more from the taste rather than from completing the task of finishing it; this way you also get more of the original sauce to go around, as the Triple can get a little dry.

But alas that is all, for now. And for Melbourne as well, the move down with my wife, Carmel, not being as successful as hoped. The reasons are varied; some simple, others complicated; the feelings, though, are amicable, despite my occasional Sydneysider bluster. I hate saying goodbyes, but knowing that you will certainly revisit makes it a lot easier.

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