Burgers were never really made to be pretty. You can dress one up with as many fancy ingredients as you like, but at the end of the day, nothing beats a big, greasy slab of ground beef in a bun.
That's something the crew behind Dirty Burger — which has taken over the former Jackson Street Burger Co site — know well enough. You won't find black buns or cute accessories on the side here. Instead, the menu is made up of simple but flavour-packed burgers, where the fillings spill out the sides and the juices drip with each bite.
The fit-out here is something of a homage to the food on offer: simple but sophisticated. It's a small and cosy space, but neon lights, a wall of graffiti and (perhaps most importantly) a portrait of Biggie Smalls lend it an air of cool.
We spent a bit of time perusing the intriguing menu, and decided to start with the eponymous Dirty Burger ($14.90). This is one of the more classic items on offer here: ground beef, cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, the signature Dirty sauce and nothing else. The beef burgers here are all done to a "chef's medium" by default, which is a philosophy this author wholeheartedly gets behind. The resulting patty is chunky, juicy and brimming with fatty flavour, combining particularly well with the cheese.
We just couldn't resist trying one of the chicken burgers as well, and opted for the Coqfighter ($12.90). This came with a fried buttermilk breast as the centrepiece, accompanied by a crunchy slaw, pickles, jalapenos and dirty sauce. Fried chicken burgers can be hard to get right but Dirty Burger is on the money here — the patty has the right mix of crispy and juicy, packing a subtle zing, and the slaw is exceptional.
Everything is held together in a soft, fluffy brioche bun, with its slightly sweet undertones providing a good contrast to the savoury fillings. The burgers here may be dirty, but try a few bites and your mood certainly won't be.