Getting the interest of me and the rest of the hoi polloi who consider themselves believers in luck and dreams, four leaf clovers and dreamcatchers, isn’t hard.
Try free food. That’s enough to get most people’s attention. Anything that keeps the dream alive is fine too. Words that in the minds of dreamers are kryptonite to logic and reason. Jackpot. Chance.
Two $25 dining vouchers I received from Crown to redeem at eateries inside the Casino sealed the deal for a visit. The vouchers came with no min spend and no catch – well, apart from the implied ‘throw down your cash’ clause. As a self-confessed non-gambler who spends at max $5 when I’m at the casino (which is rarely), and $50 each week giving luck a chance, what an offer.
Going with the brother to redeem the second voucher, we tossed up between the Merrywell or Junction Grill. I felt like something heavier: beef, and ideally a beef burger. We were both leaning towards the Junction.
We scanned the Junction’s menu. There were beef steaks and a chicken burger. Bizarrely, no beef burger. Disappointment set in like a kid whose ice-cream hit the pavement before the first lick. I wanted the burger at this place. I admit that I can be something of a mad cow when things don’t turn out my way. In the spirit of Christmas Eve, I decided not to have a beef with them.
We arrived at the Merrywell expecting it to be busy. Our expectations were dashed. The place was dead. Probably explains all the flies buzzing around the place. Horribly large ones they were too.
Thinking I was clever, I ordered the burger this joint was proud enough to put its name to: the Merrywell Burger. I upgraded this to ‘Aussie Style’, which meant additions of beetroot and pineapple, for a total of $29.
The burger arrived, looking rather promising with a thick patty, a splash of sauce, and a basket load of chips. The first bite began an unstoppable fall from grace for the Merrywell Burger.
The bun was desert dry. Terribly stale. With some disbelief and for want of being mistaken, I isolated a piece of the bun for dissection. The bread’s texture was that of a neglected sponge. It was like the bits you’d throw to a paddling of eager, hungry ducks, secretly placing bets on the lucky duck who’ll come out tops in the game of snatch.
The patty was so overdone for the medium I’d ordered that the juices had achieved an evaporated state. The sauce and the addons were nothing special. The chips were poorly executed: overfried and greasy. Nothing could save this burger.
Buzzing around us as we sat were four unrelenting flies. Paying for a pricey meal indoors, and having to swat flies away from the food was a real turn off. Then there was the child. He was about ten years, and his family, out of all the possible empty tables in the room, decided that they would sit a metre from us at the adjacent table. From the moment he arrived, the boy made it his duty to slap his legs loudly. Over and over again. The parents chatted between themselves, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear. The flies and the bratty boy marred what little there was left of the dining experience.
I left there very unimpressed. For a burger the namesake of this place, it was a real shame. When last I was at the Merrywell a few months ago now, things were different. Whatever it was that happened in the kitchen today made for a truly terrible dining experience.
Now this was a meal I have unfinished beef with.
Taste verdict Expensive. A terrible burger and holy cow the flies!