Where: Easey’s, 3/48 Easey Street Collingwood
What: Gourmet McDonalds meets takeaway fish and chips
Bloat score: 5 – So full of gas I floated home like a hot air balloon
I’ve been avoiding Easey’s like a fructose-intolerant person avoids garlic bread. Nothing good can come out of a burger place that serves mac and cheese, dim sims and potato cakes when you react adversely to the slightest whiff of onion and have my willpower i.e. none whatsoever.
But it was a Monday night, everywhere else I wanted to go to was closed, and I justified it by promising myself that I would avoid any horrendous after-effects by ordering a gluten-free burger with no onion and sitting at the opposite corner to wherever the mac and cheese was placed.
Needless to say, this didn’t happen.
I start off each week with a firm resolve that I will follow my intolerances, one that gradually wanes by at least midday Tuesday. Easey’s on a Monday night was setting a new record, however, even for me.
Feeling like I’d earned it after labouring up Easey’s five flights of stairs, I ordered the ‘Easey Cheesy’, which comes with a beef patty, American cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and mustard. I asked for it without onion, to feel like I was following my intolerances in some minute way, and retained the wheat bun, although all but one of the burgers at Easey’s can be made gluten-free at an extra cost of $3.
Upon further post-Easey’s reading, I learned that you can ask the chef to put anything you want in your burger – from three dim sims to six burger patties. Probably a good thing for everyone who had to encounter me in the next week that I didn’t learn of this until later.
Vegetarians are well catered for with the ‘Your Mate’ burger, which was a strong runner-up in my ‘what burger should I have for dinner?’ competition. It comes with a potato and zucchini rosti (rosti is my fifth favourite word in the food lexicon), American cheddar, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, aioli, pickles and onion.
Being my friends, the group of four that I was with insisted that we also order two serves of beer battered chips with chicken salt, a bowl of macaroni and cheese with crusted pretzel garnish and three double fried battered potato cakes.
According to this article in the reputable The Daily Mail, potatoes are only not considered a vegetable because you consume them in place of starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta and rice. But if you consume them with a burger, they become vegetables! Contrary to what the haters say, The Daily Mail is good for something.
My burger tasted like a McDonalds hamburger in the best way possible – it was a manageable size so you had space in your tummy to stuff yourself with sides after, but was a superior version of the classic drunken snack in that it featured higher quality produce.
The chips were crispy and moreish, and the mac and cheese – while never emulating the heights of its equivalent at Up in Smoke – was every bit as cheesy and addictive as a mac and cheese should be, with the interesting addition of crispy pretzel strips atop.
If there was one thing to be disappointed about, it was the potato cakes. Dripping in oil with excessively thick batter, the potato cakes paled in comparison to the ones I’m used to getting at my local fish and chips shop.
If I’m being honest, I could have fit in dessert, especially donuts with milkshake-flavoured custard filling. In the interest of appearing like a regular person however, I demurely professed that I was too full when the subject of dessert came up.
One of Easey’s biggest drawcards – apart from its artery-clogging food – is that you get to sit in a rooftop train carriage while enjoying both your meal and stunning views of Melbourne’s skyline. There’s a booking system on the website that allows you to reserve a train carriage for a maximum duration of an hour, although the staff didn’t seem too concerned with shooing us out once our hour was up.
The train carriages themselves were novel and comfortable; although maybe not so much for the three people who sat facing us as my partner and I selfishly hoarded our side for ourselves.
Easey’s is a great place for a weeknight meal, if you’re happy to abandon any pretence of health. The place itself is cosy but laidback, and if your hour is up, you can always head to the downstairs bar for another drink as we did.
This had to happen sooner or later, however, and I’m honoured to say that Easey’s has snagged the first five-bloat review on this blog. While I felt as fine as you can feel after ingesting copious amounts of food, I felt bloated for close to five days after.
Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results’ but I have to confess that I first heard a doctored version of this quote while listening to The Hives’ song Try It Again.
Whatever it is, you can rest assured that this won’t be the last five-bloat review on Whatever Floats Your Bloat.
Easey’s is open from 11am to 10pm Sunday to Thursday and from 11am to 11pm on Friday and Saturday.