Time Out says
A city clubhouse for burgers, deep-fried cheese, and pinball
One thing is clear at Down N’ Out – you must like cheese. Specifically, that yellow, square-shaped, processed stuff that bears the mysterious label of 'American cheese'. It’s everywhere on the menu at this burger joint: melted over a fresh-off-the-grill wagyu patty; deep-fried as a cholesterol-chart-busting cheese patty, and in sauce form atop a serving of fries.
The latter are called tiger fries, and with the option to have your patty cooked tiger-style (with caramelised onions and mustard), international burger fans might clock similarities with a certain US chain with whom the Sydney venue have been engaged in some legal entanglements.
The burger menu is short and simple – two cheeseburgers, a chicken, a mushroom, and a notorious weekly special. On our visit it’s the Ryde or Die, stuffed with fried chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese, bacon sprinkles, cheese and bacon ball 'dust’. Call the doctor.
The Single cheeseburger has a wagyu beef patty, and the grill must have been scorching hot to achieve such a charred crust on a burger that remains pink in the centre. The paper wrapping contains the mess of melted cheese and special sauce (similar to Thousand Island dressing); whole lettuce leaves provide reprieve; and a soft bun is lightly toasted for structural stability and a slight charred flavour. It’s a decent, solid burger.
Surprisingly, it’s the vego offering that wins us over. Too often a whole portobello mushroom soaks a vegetarian burger through. Here, the mushroom is panko-crumbed and deep-fried for crunch and texture, with melted cheese, and a fried cheese patty add-on. Vego-friendly it may be, but #cleaneating it is not.
Tiger fries – shoestring chips loaded with caramelised onions, special sauce and cheese sauce – are recommended only for devotees of OTT junk food; though we’re fans of the of the pleasantly piquant jalapeno poppers stuffed with mild ricotta.
On the drinks front, there’s Dr. Pepper for that synthetic cherry-cola hit, and herbaceous root beer. There’s also beer via tap or tinnies, and a cocktail list that isn't shy about appealing to your sweet tooth.
Down N’ Out is on a stretch of Liverpool Street in the CBD, wistfully dubbed 'the Spanish Quarter'. On any given lunch hour it fills up quickly with office workers; by night, the post-work crowd are joined by young ones who enjoy a post-burger burl on the flashing pinball machines. They’re a jovial, fun-loving crowd who appreciate a good burger, and who almost certainly love their cheese.
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu noon-9pm; Fri-Sat noon-10pm|