Grill’d is a burger joint with a nutritious difference – so much so that they’ve even put the word ‘healthy’ on their logo. If you’re in need of a greasy hangover fix, you’d be better off going elsewhere, but if you’re after a burger meal without the associated guilt or food sweats, Grill’d is a probably your best bet. It’s a place you can feel good about eating at because as well as being healthier than your average burger joint, they use ethically farmed produce and are supportive of local charities. I’ve eaten at Grill’d restaurants several times before and while they’re not my favourite burger chain, they aren’t my least favourite either.
I walked into my local Grill’d during a busy lunch service and had to queue for a little while before being served, though I couldn’t fault the friendly and efficient staff. I ordered a Mustard & Pickled burger ($13) on a traditional bun (the other options are panini and a low carb superbun, the latter coming at a $1.50 surcharge), a snack serve of ‘Our Famous Grill’d Chips’ ($3.80) and a bottle of ginger and lemon kombucha ($5.50). This came to a total of $22.30, which I thought was reasonable.
For those who haven’t tried it before, kombucha is a fermented, non-alcoholic tea-based drink that’s very good for you. My experiences with kombucha to date have been limited to a few small sample cups at food and drink festivals, some of which have been flat, vinegary and unpleasant. In contrast, this Remedy Kombucha was a revelation – light and sparkling with a subtle tart character, a little upfront sweetness, delicate ginger and lemon flavours and a dry, quenching finish.
The chips were cut in a rectangular shape and sprinkled with a mixture of dried herbs and large salt flakes. They were deep golden in colour and very crunchy with a crisp exterior and a soft, creamy centre. You can tell they’re less greasy and better for you than your average chip (which could be seen as a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point-of-view) and with the herbed salt, they reminded me of oven roasted potatoes. Unfortunately the chips arrived just warm, which meant some were cold by the end of the meal.
The Mustard & Pickled burger wasn’t very visually appealing, with the bun seeming to take up at least two-thirds of its height. Biting into it revealed this wasn’t too far from the truth – the bun was a lightly toasted sesame seed wholemeal roll that contributed far too much to the burger’s volume and texture. From top to bottom, the burger was filled with Dijon mustard, a slice of tasty cheese, a large grass-fed beef patty, slices of red onion, tomato and pickles, a slightly tough leaf of lettuce and plenty of the rather sweet relish. The well-done patty had a nice coarse texture, wasn’t greasy or dry and had good beefy flavour, although it was a little overwhelmed by the stronger flavours of the mustard, cheese and relish. A ‘Simply Grill’d’ burger would have been a better choice.
While I enjoyed my lunch at Grill’d (thanks no small part to the excellent kombucha), the burger was the least impressive part of the meal. On the whole, I have to say that the Mustard & Pickled is…
Have you had a Grill’d Mustard & Pickled? What did you think? Comment below and let me know.