This Inner West pub is more about the mighty burgers these days
The Annandale Hotel is back in action, but it’s not quite the same, slightly sticky rock pub it once was. It’s been given a family-friendly spruce up with a focus on food. That’s right, following in the footsteps of so many refurbished pubs, the kitchen is where the action is. Burgers by Josh is responsible for the snack times here and you'd better bring your stretchiest pants. Chef Josh Arthurs started off at Danno’s Café in Dee Why, where his double-decker-scaling burgers first gained celebrity. Then he branched off on his own, popping up at various joints before landing at the Annandale Hotel.
We go on a Friday lunch and it’s rammed. But the queue isn’t going to be your problem; getting a seat is. We wait for around 10 minutes to order, and find one of the last tables in the joint at 12.30pm.
If you’ve come all this way, order up big, because that’s what BBJ is all about. We go ‘The Infamous Primo’, which features two 160g-wagyu patties; double melted American cheese (the same brand that In-N-Out use); chipotle mayo; a layer each of super-crisp bacon and beer battered onion rings, a pile of spicy pickled jalapeños and few token leaves of iceberg lettuce. It’s a freaking monster. It’s so big in fact that it’s almost impossible to eat – like a game of Jenga, but played with your mouth. It is however, pretty damn delicious: the seasoning spot on, the burgers just pink and smoky from the grill, sauce dripping down your wrist as you eat. I mean, what’s not to love about all your favourite things stuffed into a milk bun? It’s hard to argue.
If beef ain’t your bag, check out ‘The Scorpio’. It is crisp-edged, mildly spiced Southern-fried chicken (free range, we’re told) stuffed into a bun with pickled jalapeños, cabbage slaw and a super creamy jalapeño aioli. And whatever you do, do not miss the ‘Jurassic fries’ – shoestring fries layered up with liquid cheese reminiscent of Cheez Whiz and more of that chipotle-spiked 'Primo' sauce. They’re pretty much In-N-Out’s Animal Fries, but Aussief(r)ied.
They have boozy milkshakes too if you still haven’t met that calorie count (yeah right). The ‘Pick-Me-Up-Shake’ is a combo of Kahlúa, espresso, ice cream, chocolate syrup and crushed-up Oreos. It’s a beast too, but is thinner than we would have liked.
This is the age of extreme food, and Burgers by Josh are at the forefront of the trend. Other venues are doing it and falling on their faces on the flavour front, but these guys are not. These burgers taste great. Wherever these guys pop up next (Arthurs tells us it's set to be the CBD) you will find us there, fighting with the rest of Sydney for a table.
|Venue name:||The Annandale Hotel|
17 Parramatta Rd
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sun 6pm-late|