Eat here: 1090 Burger, Melbourne (food truck)

1090 Burger (food truck)
https://www.facebook.com/1090BURGER

Hamburgers have always been my favourite food, and much to my utter and complete joy, the burger phenomenon that began to take Melbourne by storm a couple of years ago is still going strong. My general allegiance has always been pledged to Beatbox as my all-time, all round favourite basic burger, and the double smash from Rockwell & Sons would have to take out my favourite “dirty” burger (read: dripping with melty cheese and grease and sauce and everything I love. Dirty is NOT a bad word here!). I didn’t ever think I’d find a hybrid so perfect. 1090 Burger, where on earth did you come from, and where have you been all my life?!

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This little gem of a food truck is a regular in my northern ‘burbs (thank the burger gods), and compared to a lot of it’s competitors, it really doesn’t stand out at first glance. It’s a plain, unadorned truck, that might be mistaken for any other parked truck in the area, were it not for the crowd of people on the lawn beside it with picnic mats, beers, dogs and burgers. Like all good food trucks, the menu was small but impressive – I always like to try the signature on my first trip to any burger place, so I went with the 1090 Burger ($8.00) which was made up of bun + patty + cheese + lettuce + tomato + onion + mustard + mayo + ketchup + fairy dust. At the last minute, I noticed bacon on the menu for an extra dollar. My hands were tied. Give me bacon, too.

The burgers came wrapped in plain white paper, in a simple brown paper bag stamped with the 1090 logo. I loved that; simple is good. I carefully unwrapped my little gold nugget, and it was up there with the absolute best looking, most picture perfect burgers I’ve ever seen. It was burger porn.

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With beautiful looking burgers come high expectations, and I’ve lost count of the amount of pretty burgers I’ve eaten that have tasted like crap, so I tried not to get my hopes up. Totally unnecessarily so. This was the burger of my dreams. It was all the best parts of my favourite burgers combined. The holy trinity of mustard, mayo and ketchup was perfectly proportioned, and didn’t lead to soggy buns (thankfully, because the burger bun was perfectly soft with just enough crispness to hold it together). Flavour of the beef was just about perfect, cheese was melted magnificently and the bacon was crisp and so very good. Just the right amount of lettuce and tomato, and I know it seems like a random point, but best onion I’ve had in any burger. I don’t know what it was or where it came from, I just know it was several types of delicious.

Honestly, there really isn’t much else to be said. I think 1090 Burger just soared to the top of my list. To be certain, I plan to chase down the truck again next week, and possibly the week after. Quality control, you know.. Also, they often park up at Ruckers Hill in Northcote, and I mean, how much better a view can you ask for?! Anyway, believe the hype, this burger is beyond amazing, my new fave, and if you’re not already on social media trying to find it for dinner over the next few nights, then you need to have yourself examined.

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1090 Burger on Urbanspoon

Cook this: Hazelnut, coconut & dark chocolate biscuits (gluten free, low FODMAPs)

These biscuits are really different, but surprisingly delicious – they’re the sort of gluten free biscuits that you’d eat even if you weren’t gluten intolerant! They are surprisingly light, and I really love the taste that the hazelnut meal gives them. If it’s not for you, any other nut meal will work just as well – almond, cashew, whatever!

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You’ll need:
– 100g butter, softened
– 100g caster sugar
– 1 egg, at room temperature
– 1½ cups hazelnut meal
– ½ cup gluten free plain flour (or you regular plain flour if you don’t need it to be gluten free)
– ½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
– 2 tbsp dark chocolate, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a large oven tray with baking paper.
2. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer for 3 – 4 minutes, until it becomes noticeably thicker, lighter and creamier. Then, beat in the egg.
3. Fold the nut meal and flour into the creamed mixture with a spoon, followed by the coconut and chocolate. This recipe is incredibly adaptable, so feel free to substitute the coconut and chocolate with anything else you’d like – seeds, chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips, whatever!
4. Roll the mixture into tablespoon sized balls, flattening them slightly when you place them on the tray, and bake 12 – 15 minutes, or until they start to turn golden around the edges. Cool completely on the tray.

Fitzroy street art – September/October 2014

There may not be a lot of attention or publicity around it, but there is some seriously awesome street art on and off the main foot traffic areas of Smith and Brunswick Streets in Melbourne’s suburbs of Collingwood and Fitzroy. I like to spend a bit of time roaming the streets at least a few times a month in my favourite place; here are some of the incredible designs I captured over the last few months!

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Through my eyes: Patong Beach bars, Thailand

I love Thailand; the colours, the noise, the people. I came across this place on Patong Beach in Phuket during my last trip (January 2014), and the bright colours completely stopped me in my tracks :)

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This guy noticed me taking the first photo and stopped to pose for a second one! What a perfect place to stop for an afternoon drink!

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Cook this: quick & healthy – chicken & greens with coconut peanut sauce (gluten free)

OHHHH THIS IS SOOO GOOD!!! A HUGE thank you to the lovely Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower who posted this recipe a few weeks ago – as soon as I saw it on my reader, I knew I had to give it a try! If you’re not pulling recipes from other blogs to try out in your own kitchen, you’re missing out, by the way; bloggers are real people, in real kitchens. Their photos may not be fancy and shiny and magazine quality, but because it’s coming from a real person, you know the food is going to be amazing!

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Her chicken and greens looked delicious, but what really got my attention was the sauce – a combination of hoi sin, peanut butter and coconut milk. As soon as I read it, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen this idea before – three incredible flavours, which all worked perfectly together!

It’s a very, very quick dinner, and it actually is pretty healthy too! Andrea’s version looks amazing, and you can get her recipe from her blog. My version went something like this:

Veggies: stir fried broccolini and bok choy with garlic oil and a little soy sauce.
Chicken: sliced breast fillets, grilled on the BBQ with just a little salt and pepper.
Sauce: exactly as per Andrea’s instructions:

Add hoisin sauce (1/8 cup), peanut butter (2 tbsp, crunchy), and coconut milk (3 tbsp) into a small pot over low heat. Use a heat resistant spoon or spatula to stir the sauce. Once the ingredients are evenly incorporated, remove the sauce from heat, and pour it into a small bowl.

How simple is that?! Best part was that I doubled everything and it all re-heated really well for dinner the following night, too!