Would you like fries with that?
In continuing our foodie weekend in Melbourne, and despite being still relatively full from breakfast at European, we lazily headed towards the heart of Melbourne’s CBD for lunch.
Lord of the Fries, I belatedly found out, is a vegetarian burger joint. It has two burger joints actually: one is a store front with two sides opened towards Flinders St and into Flinders St Station, and the other is a tiny store on the corner of Elizabeth St and Flinders St. It is unmistakeable with its bold white on red sign and the line of people impatiently waiting for their turn. The lack of seating on the Flinders St side (there are several communal benches inside the station) had us finding a shady spot on the steps of Federation Square (off to the side of course to avoid being trampled on). It was kind of fun actually – kind of like a fast food picnic!
The restaurant boasts of having a lot of yummy sauces to go on your hot chips, as well as two sizes of burger to choose from. Their website proudly shows off the dimensions of the burger, but like with everything else, it’s kind of hard to really grasp how big they actually are until you see it for yourself.
The size difference between the two is, as you can see, quite significant. Where it takes two hands to hold the regular sized burger, the mini fits nice and cutely on my palm (which, unfortunately, I’ve forgotten to take a photo of).
While the burger comes stock with melted cheese, lettuce, and caramelised onion, the patties come in two varieties: regular and spicy. The regular patty is served with kosher pickles and slathering of tomato sauce, mustard, and mayonnaise, whereas the spicy patty is served with jalapenos, salsa, and sour cream.
The regular-sized burger had the spicy patty, which I was told had a bit of a kick but nothing that couldn’t be handled. I had opted for the mini original-patty burger, as I wasn’t really hungry yet and I was mindful of the degustation we were going to have for dinner.
It really didn’t taste like a vegetarian burger – it tasted almost like the “real” thing! A very good “real” burger. The bun was fresh and wonderfully soft, which is not surprising as Lord of the Fries has their buns delivered daily by a local bakery. I didn’t find much wrong with it though if I were to nitpick, I would say that the patty was a bit soggier than the normal beef patty, but that’s only if I was nitpicking. =P
The array of sauces available proved a bit too much for my fellow foodie, as he struggled to pick one, and he finally managed to choose the French-Canadian (Poutine) sauce. Oh my goodness, whoever thought of this cheese and gravy combination was a genius. It was all savoury and cheesy, complimenting that scrumptious potato taste perfectly. It was absolutely delicious.
My choice of the Sauce of the Month (Iceland Sauce) was not that great, it was more at the other end of the scale. Advertised to be a “sweet and creamy” mayo, it was anything but: it was slightly sour and not creamy at all. After the third chip, I was convinced that our server had liberally covered my hot chips with sour cream instead. Bit of a shame really. I knew I should have gone for the Italian sauce: cheese melted by Napoli tomato sauce.
I love my hot chips crunchy, the crunchier the better, and while the chips here were very good, they weren’t as crunchy as I would have liked (nor had any of those small crunchy pieces). I know some people like their hot chips slightly soggy or soft and I think they would have appreciated these a lot more than I did. Though I would have to say that I felt the chips were not only perfectly seasoned, they were made from actual potatoes and not reconstituted potatoes or whatever they use to make those almost powdery hot chips (you know the ones I’m talking about right?) and the oil they used wasn’t old or below-par.
Lord of the Fries’ website proudly proclaims to have the best fries – a statement which my fellow foodie agrees with whole-heartedly, but I may need a bit more convincing.
While I really liked the chips, my fellow foodie loved it. So much so, we ended up having it with the Thai sauce (“golden satay sauce”) for lunchinner. The sauce was more like peanut butter with the satay taste thrown in as an after taste. I had my reservations about how nice this would actually taste, but surprisingly it was quite yum… for the first half of the cone. After a while, the thick peanut sauce congealed a bit as the chips cooled (it was a mildly cold kind of day) and kind of made a thick peanut-coat on the tongue. (So don’t let that happen if you are to order the Thai sauce on a cold day!)
I was easily impressed by their awards and had to agree they use darn good mock meat, possibly the best I’ve ever tasted.
Lord of the Fries was recommended by my co-worker, Liya, and thanks to her I’ve got a pretty good fast food vegetarian alternative to McDonald’s for whenever I’m down in Melbourne. Yay!
Lord of the Fries
Shop 5 Flinders Street Station (across from Federation Square)
Melbourne, VIC, 3000