12th March 2015
Shop Re 03 Urban Diner Epping Plaza
Epping, VIC 3076
From what I’ve heard, being a pharmacist in America is a super lucrative job. I would be earning 6-figures right out of the gate, and given that I’m currently working for peanuts, that’s some pretty good incentive to pack up and move overseas. However, whilst I’m seriously considering going to England down the track, I would never, ever move to America for the following reasons: one, I’ll have to learn to drive on the right (aka wrong) side of the road; two, I’ll have to re-do my pharmacy degree on my own dime; and three: there will be places like Laurie Dee’s beckoning on every street corner.
Melbourne has seriously upped its burger game in the last couple of years, and I’m honestly not sure if that’s a good thing, as I’m now spending approximately 82% of my time attempting to resist the lure of hot beef and melted cheese. But considering that I couldn’t remember my last burger, I felt that a trip out to Epping with Daniel was justified to try out what was dubbed by The Burger Adventure as Melbourne’s best-kept secret.
If Laurie Dee’s had opened closer to the city, business would be booming by now. Instead, it does a quiet but steady trade for what I’m guessing are a mix of locals and burger enthusiasts. It’s a cross between a diner and a fast food restaurant – you order at the counter, and pick your food up when your number is called.
Having come out this far, trying the signature burger was a no-brainer. I settled for The Laurie Dee Single ($8.45), whilst Daniel indulged in The Laurie Dee Double ($10.95).
I couldn’t vouch for the double (though Daniel really enjoyed it), but I thought that my Laurie Dee Single was pretty great. The American cheese melted lovingly into the crumbly, smash-styled patty and its crispy edges, and the generous amount of the Special ‘D’ Sauce meant that each mouthful was creamy and delicious. There was just enough salad and pickle relish to keep the burger fresh, and I really enjoyed it, but I couldn’t help but crave a little for the fatty, beefy goodness that was the double.
Luckily, I had let Daniel talk me into getting the Chilli Cheese Fries ($8.95), and whilst these didn’t look mind-blowing, they were actually pretty close. The sticky mix of mild beef chilli and cheese sauce was delicious is a sinful, fast-food sort of way, whilst the diced onion made me feel a little better about myself. One thing definitely worth mentioning though was the special seasoning on the fries; I couldn’t tell what it was beyond a subtle herbs and spices mix, but consider me hooked.
Even if I had been full, I wouldn’t have been able to resist the Banana Pecan Pie Sundae ($6.95, single), made with not ice cream, but frozen custard. I have to say, frozen custard is a fantastic idea – it is undeniably rich and creamy like ice cream, whilst retaining the silky smooth mouth-feel of soft-serve. Layered with crumbly short bread, warm caramel fudge, crunchy pecans, and freshly sliced banana, this was as decadent as it sounds.
After that very satisfying meal, Daniel and I agreed that whilst we wouldn’t drive across town like we did for the burgers at Laurie Dee’s, we absolutely would drive a good 20 minutes, and if we lived in the area we would be there every week.
Rating: 14/20 – so hungry right now.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.