The Victoria Street locale has long been lacking a decent burger joint. So thank the sweet merciful lords of brioche buns that Black Dog Brewery (owned by DB) and the iconic Empire Tavern have teamed up to bring us Black Dog Burger - a Better Burger-esque beer and burger haven.
In the same historic building as The Empire, Black Dog sports a simple but classic fit-out heavy on light varnished wood, and sporting a bar and open stainless steel kitchen across its back wall. There's a massive poster which very visually shows the ingredient makeup of each burger and several smaller posters proclaiming that Black Dog is "A hungry man's best friend". So they do a good pun, but can they whip up a good burger?
The short answer is yes. With the choice of only three burgers - The Cheeseburger, the Black Dog Burger and the Black Dog Deluxe, you'd hope so. I went with the Black Dog Deluxe which featured a brioche bun, pickles, double American style cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, bacon, a beef patty and Black Dog Special Sauce. It was delicious, a juicy well cooked and well seasoned burger by all accounts - and were it not for the slightly mediocre fries and off tasting beer, I would have been Black Dog's biggest fan. Claiming to be an upstart craft brewery, Black Dog is actually owned by DB and to be honest their beer is reliably mediocre. At $47 bucks for lunch for two it's more expensive than the similar Better Burger, and the fries aren't nearly as good, personally speaking.
Despite the shortcomings, Black Dog does the basics right and serve a bloody good burger complete with uber-friendly and fast service. Give it time and the friendly team at Black Dog are sure to work out the kinks and offer an even better burger experience.