Described on their website as a ‘hole-in-the-wall joint with outdoor seating, offering gourmet American burgers, hot wings and fries’, Varsity Burgers deliver exactly what they promise. The venue is the second of three Varsity venues, the other being American-themed sports bars in Nedlands and Waterford.
It was a cold and drizzly weekday lunch when I had my first experience of Varsity Burgers. Despite the weather, there were a dozen or so teens and tweens eating burgers outside as the indoor area was packed – with more teens and tweens. At 32, I may have been the oldest person in the place. After a quick peruse of the menu, I decided on the Monday to Wednesday lunch special of a Cheese Deluxe burger and beer battered fries ($12) and an exotic-looking bottle of iced tea ($5.50), bringing the bill to a very reasonable $17.50. Happily, a group had just gotten up to leave so I swooped on their table – the only remaining one indoors.
Upon inspecting the bottle of Arizona iced tea, I was surprised to discover it was made in Germany (tsk tsk – carbon miles). The flavour I’d chosen was green tea with honey, which was quite nice – sweet but not oversweet, with an appealing green tea fragrance.
The fries were square cut, medium thickness and fried to a perfect golden colour. They were hot and had a soft centre that was somewhere between creamy and floury, while the beer batter provided great crunch and savoury flavour, boosted by the perfect amount of salt. Excellent.
The burger was fairly compact in size and consisted of a shiny sesame seed bun filled (top-to-bottom) with Varsity’s own yellow-pink mayo, torn leaves of iceberg lettuce, two tomato slices, a single slice of American cheese, a medium-sized beef patty, finely diced pickles, a few red onion rings and more of the mayo. A small pickle was skewered onto the top of the burger – a Varsity signature. The soft, squashable bun was untoasted and rather dry, saved somewhat by the Varsity Mayo – a rich and surprisingly spicy condiment. The salad was crunchy and fresh, although it could have done with a little more diced pickle and onion – next time I’ll put the extra pickle inside rather than eating it separately.
The beef patty was cooked medium-well, had moderate beef flavour and was well charred with a slight crunch around the edges, while the American cheese was creamy and mildly-flavoured. It was a well-constructed burger that didn’t leave any drips, though it bordered on dryness and would have been improved by a slightly thinner sauce. Not the best burger in Perth, but definitely above average and great value as a lunch special. This was a close call, but I will say the Varsity Cheese Deluxe is…
Have you had a Varsity Cheese Deluxe? What did you think? Comment below and let me know.