I like my burgers, and few places make burgers like Brodburger in Canberra. I was sceptical at first, considering that Brodburger is served out of a dodgy looking ‘food caravan’ in the parking lot of Bowen Park.
But we were on a high after Questacon and in need of a good feed, so we drove down by Bowen Park in search of the conspicuous red caravan. And there it was, right at the edge of the parking lot, a perfect spot for nearby workers who want to enjoy a burger down on the grass overlooking Lake Burley Griffin.
It was 11:45am and Brodburger doesn’t open until 12 noon, but there was already a line of about 10 to 15 people, some regulars, others tourists, and all with a ravenous hunger plastered on their faces. The clock ticked over to 12, and the line increased to about two dozen, and yet the owner of the van was nowhere to be seen. At around 12:10, stomachs started grumbling and patient customers were wondering whether the delicious burger would elude them on this sunny day.
At 12:15, some rumblings could be heard behind the van, but less astute customers hadn’t noticed. Fortunately for us, a group of about five decided it wasn’t worth the wait and departed, moving us up the queue just in time for the van to open up.
On this day, Brodburger was run by two friendly, carefree dudes — one serves and the other cooks. Their menu is displayed outside on a wooden board, and contains an assortment of burgers, including beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian, as well as fries. The prices are reasonable and bottles of water are given for free (if you ask nicely).
After a short wait we reached the front of the queue and went with the classic Brodburger (according to the website: A grade gourmet beef patty, flame grilled. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and Spanish onions. Includes homemade aioli and tomato relish) and a BrodChicken Burger (Succulent chicken breast in a secret marinate, flame grilled. Topped with bacon, avocado, fresh lettuce, tomatoes and Spanish onions. Includes homemade chilli aioli). A lot of people went with the Brodburger Deluxe (which contains an extra patty, egg and bacon), but it looked like a coronary waiting to happen, so we passed.
The great thing about Brodburger is that their burgers are made fresh to order, but because of a shortage of facilities and staff, you almost certainly have to endure an agonising wait before you can devour your burger. There weren’t that many people before us, but some of them ordered entire boxes of burgers and fries to take back to the office, and consequently we ended up waiting a further 30 minutes or so before our two burgers were ready. And trust me, when you’re already starving, waiting for 30 minutes while surrounded by tempting burger fumes borders on torture.
Eventually, the burgers were ready, nice and hot in our little hands, and we took them down like prized jewels to a cozy spot by the lake. A few birds looked like they were eager to be friends, but I barked at them for the safety of the burgers.
So how was it? You know I don’t like to exaggerate, but the burgers at Brodburger must be amongst the best I have ever tasted. The buns are so soft and fluffy, and the meat is fresh, juicy and full of flavour. The lettuce and tomato balance out the saltiness perfectly, but it is the generous amounts of the insanely delicious, tangy tomato relish and home-made aioli that elevated the burgers to a whole new level. The Brodburger featured the green chive aioli and the BrodChicken featured the pink chilli aioli — both were to die for.
Bloody hell, just writing this post is making me super hungry. I’m going to get some food.
10 out of 10!
Address: Bowen Park Carpark, Bowen Drive/Wentworth Av, Barton ACT
Tuesday: Dinner: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Wednesday: Lunch: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm; Dinner: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Thursday: Lunch: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm; Dinner: 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Friday: Lunch: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm; Dinner: 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Saturday: Lunch: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm; Dinner: 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Sunday: Lunch: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
PS: Apparently the Brodburger van is not situated in a legally approved location and the council has been trying to get them to move, but petitions from customers have managed to keep them there, for now.